My wife and two children (5 and 9) want to spend some time on the water, so we’re researching canoes/kayaks.
Ideally I’d like to get one of the folding or inflatable boats found on this site, but I really don’t know much about them.
I would end up buying two of them, where each would have a two person capacity. I understand there are some that have a 4 person capacity as well.
We would be using them on lakes and gentle rivers. I’m looking for something that’s really durable, easy to paddle, and easily transportable (hence the need for inflatable/folding).
Do you have any suggestions on which models are best suited for my needs?
http://www.foldingkayaks.org I had an Innova inflatable for a while and I was pretty impressed with its on the water behaviour.
Sevylor Colorado Canoe
My Wife and I love this boat. Easy to inflate/deflate, light, durable, and as fun as can be.
Here is a link:
also, check out the Bic Sport Yakka
I like the designs they have, though I understand why some don’t
I agree with Makalu about the overall quality of the Sevylor Colorado.
However this boat is very high on the water therefore very sensitive to winds. I think it is very adequate for paddling down rivers, but not so for paddling on lakes or at sea, unless manned by strong paddlers.
Like Tsunamichuck I’d rather suggest an Innova Sunny.
Look up www.theboatpeople.com web site : there is everything you need to know about inflatable kayaks.
Bic Yakka is not a tandem
It will not accommodate one adult and one kid the age of Siva’s.
Alley Pak makes both canoes and
We did a wilderness 15 day expedition in the Arctic using a Alley Pak folding canoe, and I think they are awesome.
One of them would hold all of you.
They have aluminum ribs, and a rubberized canvas type hull with a thicker floor material.
When they are apart and in the back pack they are about 30" x 30" x about 18" plus or minus.
I forget the weight, but I am guessing about 50 pounds since I was able to carry one on my back during the portages.
We went through some class II water with them, and they handled it well.
Ours didn’t have seats, but they would have just gotten in the way if they did and we used our big “Bills Bags” as seats which worked well, but I am guessing that they make them with seats also.
The first time we put it together, it took about a half an hour or more, but once you know the procedure it is only about ten or fifteen minutes.
The draw back is that they cost a boodle compared to a conventional hard sided canoe.
maybe now I’ll read the posts fully before replying
I missed the tandem need
in that case, forget the Bic
Klepper Aerius 2
I had a Klepper Aerius 2 folding kayak for 20 years. They are super-stable, incredibly durable, and wonderful boats. Used, on eBay, I often see them for $1800-2700 (I sold mine on eBay for $2500).
There’s a lot of material on the web about these boats. Although there are a bunch of manufacturers out there, this is the original, real deal. I could ramble on and on about it. Feel free to contact me for more information…
If your use is light…
(ie: no serious multi-day trips, just messing about on the water) then go with an inflatable. Folding kayaks are great boats, but for a family of four you will need two boats … which means twice as much effort to set up, take down, dry out, and store. And bear in mind that folding kayaks don’t fold down to nothing: a fully disassembled folding double is still a sizeable set of (heavy) luggage to pack in your car. And then factor in the price…
The Ally canoe idea is intriguing. Canoes are great family boats.
Check out Pakboat folding canoes also
I’d suggest looking into the Pakcanoes too. The owner used to be a distributer of the Ally folding canoes, then he developed his own version. If you call the company they are very nice about taking time to discuss factors involved in choosing between their models. One of their larger canoes should fit your whole family for now. An accessory that might be useful for the kids would be their kayak style inflatable passenger seats that are mounted on the floor. You might want to try one pakcanoe just big enough for everyone now, then when the kids are a little bigger you could keep that canoe to paddle with two people and then choose between canoe and kayak and folding or inflatable for your second boat after you have some experience as a family in one style of boat.
Kleppers & Other Traditional Euro Tandem
I think Chicagoland Canoe & Kayak Base has some used Kleppers. Last I spoke with them they had a pre 1990 Folbot tandem folder, probably a Super, for $300.00, but I don’t whether it’s in immediately useable condition. http://www.chicagolandcanoebase.com/index.html
German folding kayak maker Pouch has some rather large tandem kayaks, as well as a folding canoe - http://www.poucher-boote.de Very sturdy,high quality boats. I speak from experience as an owner of two of their kayaks purchased demo/used from their North American importer Ralph Hoehn. Ralph’s site is http://www.pouchboats.com
Pakboats - http://www.pakboats.com - also makes several models of folding canoe.
Chuck is right, take a look at www.foldingkayaks.org - a fairly active forum, as well as photo galleries that include assembly pics. Folbot has a very active forum, too - http://www.folbotforum.com
Pakboats’ Kayak Seats
Yeah, those seats are very comfortable and resistant to most of the viscissitudes of weekly lake and river use. C.
I demoed a Pak Canoe awhile back and was impressed by its design and construction. I wouldn’t have a problem recommending it.
Have you considered using sit-on-tops? For what you’re talking about that might be another option. Cartopping isn’t that big of a deal and you have multiple options if you want to go that route.
We have two Innova Sunnys
for our family of 3. Got them for all the reasons you mentioned, plus the flexibility of going solo with the seat in the middle. They would meet your needs just fine. If you are not too concerned about technical kayak skills (rolling, sculling, etc.) they are very good performers.
Tsunamichuck is right on
Chuck is right, this is where to start. If you live anywhere near West Palm Beach, FL I have a A1 Klepper you can try. This is a single, but it would give you an idea of what is involved in assembly/disassembly as well as the quality that goes into the better ones. There are a few other really good ones out there including Feathercraft and Longhaul. Even Folbot, although less expensive and built to a different standard, is a decent boat.