Inflatable for ocean use

Looking for portable kayak for occasional loake but mostly sea kayaking. Maine, nova-scotia more than Bermudas…!

looking at Aquaglide Chelan tandem with optional spray deck or Advance Element Convertible. Any hint or comparison? or other models? I would be hesitant to try a Razorlite tandem at sea…

thanks for the help,


How long are the trips you are thinking of? How much gear will you need to carry? What size person are you? What is the limitation that has you looking at portable versus a standard hard shell kayak?

I have been using an Aquaglide Chelan solo for a few years now mostly on protected waters. Previously I had a Tempest 170. I wanted a boat I could travel with more easily.

The Chelan seems pretty well made, and with the drop stitch floor, it moves right along. However with a 36" beam, it is too wide to continue using the Greenland paddle I had grown fond of. I use a 215cm high angle paddle with no problems. I would be hesitant to take a boat like the Chelan into rough water. Being that wide it is not going to behave like a sea kayak, and would seem prone to flipping.

I am thinking about getting a Razorlite and making my own spraydeck for it. I believe I would be able to use the Greenland paddle again.

This article/video has some interesting thoughts on how to select an inflatable

The SUP manufacturers are making really good inflatable boards, too bad an inflatable kayak can’t be made utilizing the same technology.

They already are being made. The Aquaglide Chelan series uses the same drop-stitch construction as paddleboards for the floor/hull. Pumped to 7psi it feels about as hard as fiberglass. The Sea Eagle Razorlite uses drop-stitch for the floor, as well as for the sides. It makes for a trim boat, and the beam is only 24". I think the Razorlite is the only fully drop-stitch boat available in this country. Anyone seen anything else?

I’ve paddled a razorlite. Very impressed with the overall stiffness of the boat; nothing like the baby-with-a-full-diaper feeling I get in most inflatables. But thats where my favorable impressions end. It yaws wildly with every paddle stroke, even with the little skegs that come with it. Extremely susceptible to being blown by the breeze (note that I say breeze, not wind). I imagine in moving water (maybe up to cl 2?) that could be an advantage, giving it a certain maneuverability - my trials were confined to flat water. However, it does ride very high and, with a broad beam and inability to edge I suspect the maneuverability could be an illusion. Given the price, I think you could do better. Just my 2 cents.

Thanks for the heads up amf. I don’t mean to hyjack the thread, but I guess this discussion still pertains to the original poster’s interest in Aquaglide Chelan products. Yes, inflatables are a breed of their own. They do sit on top of the water, but I discovered a fun aspect, in that they can spin around in one spot. This is handy getting up small rivers and creeks. My Chelan has about a 5" x 8" skeg that does help with tracking, but with the 36" beam, paddling is happening fairly far out to the side. I found that putting a 10lb. weight up forward in the bow really helps the yaw factor. Supposably the trough shaped hull helps the racking as well. Maybe it does a bit. All in all, it does OK. If I try to high angle paddle it doesn’t make me crazy.

Maybe it really doesn’t make sense to go to the Razorlite, It is just that I could try the Greenland paddle. Not sure if it is worth it for that. I have never been a fan of folding kayaks with assemble-on-site internal frames. Locally around the Seattle area I just keep it inflated and car top it, but I do like that the deflated Chelan goes down to 27" x 22" x 18" for easy packing. I guess I also like the openness of the boat. I can sidle up sideways and just sit down and swing my legs in. For me, it is protected water use only.