I was in Naknek and King Salmon part of this week for work. I was asked if I had any information about using Aire Kayaks on the ocean ( coastal Bering Sea and North Pacific). I don’t, so am posting this for input. Not interested in inland waterways, lakes or rivers. How do these paddle and track in the ocean, loaded for a few weeks of travel? The person who asked the question is more than competent, so there is no need to offer advice about safety.


Sea Tiger Maybe
We have a Lynx 1 and a new Force and we are sold on them. Absolutely as good as they get. But, I would not want to paddle either of these on flat water for very long. I would go nuts because of the slow progress. They are also affected greatly by the wind. Both of ours have bail holes in the floor so I would not want to deal with the water from below or the exposure from above.

The Sea Tiger is a different animal. It looks like it paddles fairly well I know it is stable. The construction is bomb proof so that isn’t an issue. My problem would be speed, being affected by wind and the exposure to the elements. The difference of 1 mph is tremendous when making crossings. I also like an enclosed boat when it’s cold or rainy.

I know I didn’t answer your specific question but I can assure you that Aire boats are in a class of their own when it comes to quality. I am just not sure about the specific application.

re: Sea Tiger Maybe
Thanks for the reply. I think in this application the boat must be covered and has to track, otherwise he would just use a Pacraft. He is trying to avoid again portaging (3-days) a rigid kayak across a small (4,000’) mountain range.

what kind
I guess it would depend on the type of Aire. The Sea Tiger is a huge heavy monster, not suitable for a solo portage. The Sawtooth is a flatwater kayak, and self bailing. It would do alright on the ocean, but maybe not open ocean conditions. Any of the Aire river kayaks you would need to retrofit with a skeg.

The Innova Helios 1 is pretty light (23lbs) and is capable on the ocean, though not fully covered.

re:Innova Helios 1
thanks, I will pass that on. 24 lbs is half the weight of the kayak last taken over the pass. Does the kayak have covered storage? can’t figure it out from the image.

helios 1 storage
It has covered, though not watertight (no bulkheads) storage under the front and rear decks. It can hold more than it looks! I can easily pack a week’s worth of supplies and gear.

Audrey Sutherland’s kayak?
Umnak, didn’t Audrey Sutherland paddle hundreds of miles along the Alaska coast, alone, in an inflatable over several summers? Might be worth finding out what make and model she used. I think it had some kind of short kayak with a light deck, but I’m not sure. And it didn’t weigh much because she did this when she was relatively old and said 30 pounds was the upper limit for her. If you’re interested, you can Google her and links to a couple of interviews might come up. I did that once and the interviews were pretty informative.

Ginger in NC

I think she was using the forerunner of what became the Grabner Holiday 2, which is a pretty pricey but well made and capable boat.

Incept in New Zealand has an inflatable touring kayak called the Tasman which was built with input from Audrey. It’s 14 feet, around 30lbs and has covered decks and a sprayskirt compatible cockpit. It runs for around $3000.

Thanks, that helps.

Re: Audrey
thanks to both of you on the Sutherland connection. She spoke at the Juneau Kayak Club a long time ago and is still referenced around here as someone who knows no fear.

I’m not sure that another $3K kayak is in the offing for the fellow out on the Alaska Peninsula, but it is worth passing along.

Aire Sawtooth/Trinity II
I took an (Aire) Tributary II, which is a blue Sawtooth II for 20 miles of paddling on Lake Superior near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore last summer. At 15’3", and 32" wide it has decent speed, and handles well. I recommend it…more details on my blog: