Inflatable Kayak Longevity?

-- Last Updated: Jul-30-16 5:02 PM EST --

So back in 2007 I was looking for an inflatable kayak. I did lots of research and wanted a top end brand with good reviews. I settled on a Innova Sunny. Seemed to be at the time and still today, a highly regarded inflatable.

Fast forward to present day and the Sunny is falling apart. I've used it maybe 7 times since 2007 for day trips to local freshwater lakes. It primarily sits in it's duffel in my garage. This boat has very little use but all the glued areas are failing. All the glued D rings that hold the seats and carry handles fore and aft have come off or almost off. The boat is even splitting along a glued seem on the hull. I'm very disappointed and very hesitant to purchase another inflatable. The kayak cost me $800 new which is no small chunk of change to me.

Is this normal for inflatables?

Failing D-ring glue not uncommon
No experience with inflatables, but I’ve seen various D-rings pull off on Royalex canoes. We just glued them back on. I don’t know if you can do the same with the seam. It’s probably best to call Innova.

The hot and humid climate here in Texas may have something to do with them coming off easily after a couple of years. Where do you live? If I had an inflatable, I would probably try to store it inside a climatized building.


– Last Updated: Jul-30-16 9:22 AM EST –

prob not. widespread degradation from glue joint failure would kill the market ....

UV, abrasion are prob the common ailments.

call support

the working environment is highly toxic, workers are subase, fabric surface problems unseeable esp thru a toxic haze on Friday Afternoon in August. NH.

not all inflatables are made the

– Last Updated: Jul-30-16 7:48 PM EST –

same way- some have "heat welded" seams. most whitewater inflatables can last many years and suffer much abuse. So far the current batch of ww glued boats- star, saturn, rocky mountain all seem to be holding up okay, their predecessors did not do so well. Thus the preference for many years for heat welded inflatables even though they are more expensive. The problem you are having may be specific to the innova company or the specific model you purchased.

Washing the boat with fresh water after using it and before putting it in storage will greatly extend it’s life. Specially bad if it’s used in salt water. You don’t mention where you live or paddle.

Bill H.

heat degradation
High heat can soften and degrade vinyl adhesives. In fact, this is why you can use a heat gun to remove vinyl floor tile and to remove vinyl stickers. If you live in a hot region like Texas or Arizona, your garage could get pretty toasty in the Summer.

Shouldn’t happen
A quality inflatable that’s been lightly used and properly stored, should not fall apart after 9 years. I have owned a variety of whitewater catarafts and rafts over the years…Hypalon,PVC, and Urethane. Glued and welded construction. My oldest boat is about 20 years old and going strong (Aire). Storage in a hot garage should not cause a quality glued boat to fall apart like your pictures show. My rafts live in a non-climate controlled shed with temps of below zero to over 100 with no issues. Unfortunately Innova boats only come with a two year warranty, so I doubt contacting them will get you anywhere, but you could try. Their website touts their products as “lasting a lifetime.” Bummer that your kayak is such a mess.

Try a Sea Eagle
I’ve read good things about Sea Eagles with lots of people commenting that they’ve owned theirs for many many years. They’re reasonably priced, too. Might be worth checking out.

seaeagle longevity

– Last Updated: Aug-19-16 6:45 AM EST –

not any more , for a thousand dollars I got 12 two hour
paddles, explorer 420 was kept inside for 10 years looks
like new but the whole thing is coming unglued, yes even the seams. i ve been told they were welded but when they
started making them over seas they switched to glue, must have new owners and or incorporated, so sad. maby theyre going out of business like folbot.
advanced elements kayaks weld theirs, folbot is out of business, they had great boats for the money, my greenland ll is over
20 years old and going strong, no seagle for me ever again.
the advanced element kayaks are welded and modular meaning if one part fails it can be replaced.