Inflatable vs hard body

Debating between a cheaper inflatable, like Seyvlor Tahiti or a hard body SOT. I’ve read concerns on tracking and wind resistance. Mostly use on flat calm water, no long trips. Will I be wasting my money on a cheap infaltable? Any opinions greatly appreciated.

I’d pick an SOT over an inflatable for most any situation I can think of. I think you’d be lots happier in the long run.

unless you travel by Air. other then that GO HARD!!

I Have Both

– Last Updated: May-19-04 4:16 PM EST –

An Inflatable Kayak (IK) just does not perform like a hard shell. I would get a hard shell for a first boat IF you can afford it, have a place to store it, and a way to transport it.

I have a Stearns Mad Dog IK, a Stearns 119, and a Sevylor River X whitewater IK, and four hard SOT's.

The Stearns was one of my first kayaks when I sold the canoe, and I do not regret buying it, but maybe my reasons are different than yours.

When I bought it I was going into some remote lakes in the high Sierras that I could not portage a hard shell boat into. To be honest, kayaking was actually prohibited on some of those lakes, and the camouflage IK was really handy. I have a huge mesh backpack to carry the IKs and gear in. I am no longer single, and that kind of behavior is no longer acceptable!

I still take the IK on short camping trips when I just do not feel like racking hard shell boats. I also often need to take 3-4 boats for the family and only have room on the racks for two. I can get another in the pickup truck bed, but if I need four, the IKs comes along.

People really obess about the first boat purchase, but actually it is the one time you can not make a mistake, because anything that gets you out on the water and off the shore is going to be a good thing, and no matter what you buy you will want more boats as your skills grow.

It would be better to have a Tahiti this year than wait for a hard shell boat next year. If you do go with an IK I would encourage stepping up to the Stearns, but I must say I know very exprienced river runners who still take their first Tahiti along on most trips just for kicks, and a whole lot more who remember their first Tahiti very fondly.

PS, I just noticed in your profile you like the ocean. The ocean is absolutely no place for an inexpensive IK. They are too suspectiable to wind and too slow to fight strong currents.

I used to be a hard body
Now I’m inflatable.

These Dayz
These dayz I am lucky to get it blown up…

You made me do that, Dave…

Didn’t you just have a birthday?
I think you’ve got about 10-12 years on me, which means that you already had a dirty mind while I was still in diapers! I didn’t do nothing…and nobody saw me, and you can’t prove anything.

my ex
My ex was a hardbody, and I still miss her. Haven’t broken down and bought an inflatable yet though.

I Am Trying To Reform!
I have been trying to reform ever since Kathy stared reading the board…

(towed) a guy in who was being blown out to sea in a poor excuse for a kayak (inflatable). He could make no headway in a 20 knot wind. Not a prudent choice for big water, IMO. Some inflatables are better than others, I hear, but I’d go with a hardshell.

I tend to agree, but.
some experienced folks around here are pretty partial to inflatables for neighbor island trips. Mostly Aire Sea Tigers, I think. Some of those trips are pretty serious water (Molokai north shore, etc.). Audrey Sutherland has done a bunch of impressive trips in Hawaii and Alaska in inflatables.

hard shell
Thanks for the feedback. It helps to hear from experience. I guess that should be hard shell, not hard body.

Sea Tigers
The Aire Sea Tiger is in a class by itself. They can do some really serious tuff, but they are very expensive. Almost 3 grand.

my wifes
hardbody looks great in her hardshell, going in the ocean , don’t take a deflatable.