Can an inflatable kayak be anything

but slow and have the performane of a bathtub? People ask about them here frequently.I have paddled one of the ‘ducky’ style and observed a couple of others. Compared to even a Swifty, they look like pig boats.

a predictable, soft, bathtub can be pretty desireable on a whitewater river where one is not willing to learn to roll a hardshell.



Hey String,
Watch it. That’s my pig boat you’re referring to—have some respect.

depends on
the quality of the IK, as well is the standard to which it is being compared. I’ve found I can average 3.5-4 mph in my Innova over the course of a day. Compared with most boats it’s size, that is about normal. If you are comparing it to a 16’ FG kayak, it’s not even close. It is never going to let me roll, but because of the boyancy and flexing, it is much more nimble in moderate wind and waves than a typical rec boat. I would also say that it is much safer than the plastic tubs because of the boyancy and ease of re-entry.

I wonder how
Audrey Sutherland would answer this question?

That lady has covered more water in an inflatable than most here ever will in “anything”.

Water doesn’t care, only people seem to…

Aire Sea Tiger
"Performance" has many faces…

Submitted by: Jim Lethcoe


We have been using these boats for 10 years guiding tours in the Columbia Glacier area often navigating through thick ice. We have found these boats to be extremely safe and seaworthy and very rugged and durable - they have outlasted fiberglass boats. They perform well in all sea and wind conditions except for strong head winds. They make a great tender for a larger craft.

The New Hobie Inflatables…
Are all the rage for the RV folks here in Florida…

Bic Yakka is fun.

– Last Updated: Feb-08-08 9:25 PM EST –

Anybody with a Hobie weigh-in on
how those pedals do in weedy shallows/rock gardens? Just curious. (Really dig the sail

option on that boat.)

If i ever do ww again , it will be in a

– Last Updated: Feb-08-08 9:54 PM EST –

ducky. That makes sense to me; flat water doesn't.
And Sissy, I did not call a Swifty a pigboat, I don't think.

Here’s what she might say:
(Because she’s smart enough to paddle mostly solo and not involve herself in mundane on-line chats about whether or not IK’s have any merit.

A great lady:

There ya have it!

– Last Updated: Feb-08-08 10:54 PM EST –

Gettin it done in an inflatable.

My main reasons for interest in
inflatables is the rising cost of gasoline. I always have room for an inflatable in the trunk, but for other boats I need a rack or a trailer, and pay with 3-5 mpg reduction in gas mileage. That adds up in a 6000 mile road trip where I may be boating only a couple of days per week.

I don’t expect the same performance from a WW inflatable that I get from hard boats, but inflatables promise to get me down about any WW river I would attempt at my age.

Advanced Frame
Has anyone tried these out? The 10 and the 13 look interesting but do they work and how hard to set up?

I like my Innova for playing in the

Handles the rough stuff really well.

Stearns IK 116
I have a Wilderness Systems hard shell and a Stearns IK 116 inflatable. Both are a blast. I do feel safer in the hardshell in more challenging conditions and it is faster. But it is so cool to be able to toss the IK into the trunk and go. It paddles well, turns on a dime, and is cozy. No skirt that I’m aware of will fit it so you do get wet. I also have to empty out the water, rinse it, take it apart and hang it around the house to dry to avoid mold. But I still love it! They’re cheap and worth a try.

they make great WW kayaks. they are highly manuverable in rapids. But I dont get why some cost as much as a poly sea kayak, more than 1000 dollars!! And, there are a few Touring class models witch track decently and look like rigid touring kayaks, such as The Innova Seaker, The AE advanced frame EXP, and many more

I own both 10’ and 13’ AdvancedElements
kayaks. My experiences with both: absolutely fun on any type of water, especially white water. Both are quick to inflate (about 12 minutes), very stable, the 13’ model is quicker than the 10.5 and both can keep up pretty well with hard boats. The 13’ “fits” me better as I am 6/2, 210lbs and size 12 1/2 feet. The 10.5 is rated at 300lbs and the 13 at 400lbs. I have been down the American River many times when hard kayaks would not go, especially the San Juan rapids. I have gotten hung up on sharp shale and jagged river rock and not scratches, only scuffs. I have yet to puncture either one. Excellent kayaks, I prefer the 13’ due to my size, it tracks well, and very easy to transport in any car. AE makes an excellent product and really stands behind their line. Check Amazon from time to time as they rice them all over the place. For pics, just PM me.

P140 - High-end IKs cost what they do
because they require more human labor to mass produce (than say, many a roto-molded type boat.)They also need a great amount of supervision throughout their actual lay-up process.

Think of assembly much like that involved in a fine tailored suit: A number of soft, loose cut material pieces which need precise sewing together. The stitching and multi-layer welded seaming of PVC, nylon, etc., needs detailed attention and scrutiny almost constantly throughout manufacturing process. The material cutting can be precisely done by computer. But the actual “connecting” of the IK, takes a skilled person to oversee. This creates a higher base production cost, and hence, greater retail prices. In fact, this is probably one of the reasons you don’t see many retail yak shops bothering to carry higher priced inflatables

– Too much built-in costs that many retailers just don’t find the profit margin worthwhile. This also explains why we consumers have to purchase higher priced IK’s directly from the company that makes them – and not from a dealer.

Although retailers will carry many cheap “pool toy” type boats, these are usually boats/rafts with little or any type of warranty. And as they do not require as strict a human oversight throughout their manufacturing process, they cost much much less (and so goes the quality.)

Duckys can be fun
I greatly enjoyed doing a run of the Sac in a Ducky.

A friend also had a blast - he is a much better paddler than me and surfed standing waves and played having a grand time in a Ducky.