My final two: Pakboat Quest 150 or Advanced Elements EVO

There is also NO storage space in the evo, so forget overnighters. Evo assembly is quicker than the quest, but getting the skin smooth is tricky as the front and rear thwarts are a pain to install properly (there is however an easy mod that speeds this up) The quest dries out more quickly than the original AirFusion1040 as the sponsons are free floating,and not inside sleeves. Both are surprisingly seaworthy in rough water. I love both but more than 6 miles in the evo will be a PITA as it’s so slow. The quest tracks fine without a rudder but the airfusion really does need the optional, great, skeg.

Both roll well but the airfusion is easier. One slight issue with the Airfusion is that on mine the joints between the skin and the end caps leak - easily fixed with aquaseal. And yes, if you accidentally put the quest sponsons too low it goes from being really stavle to super tippy. Hope this helps!

@questions do you still have the offsets for the sea otter? If so I’d be really interested in getting them from you, please!

@string said:
If I ever got it together, not sure I’d ever take it apart.

My feelings, too.

@greyheron said:

@string said:
If I ever got it together, not sure I’d ever take it apart.

My feelings, too.

If you never take it apart and use it in salt water, you’ll never be able to take it apart – ever again! Corrosion will weld any aluminium tubes together after a while

One last thing about the airfusion; it does have a keel created by the paddler’s weight on the aluminium keel tube. This may be less pronounced on the Evo because of what I’m guessing is a much more rigid (drop stitch) seat. In any case, as I mentioned earlier, the optional skeg does a very good job of helping tracking when you need it.

The Decathlon X500 is now available in US for $799 (and I believe it performs better than Advanced Elements Evo, due to sharper V hull design):

My friend bought it and said its primary stability takes some getting used to. But its V hull shape is not designed for beginners anyway and experienced kayakers should be able to get used to it.

siravingmon is exactly right on Quest 135/150 's sponson placement. I capsized my Quest 135 twice, before I realized that I installed the sponsons slight too low. After adjustment, I could do bird photography hand-holding a 600mm full frame equivalent telephoto lens on Q135. This photo was taken that way (I was too conservative on iso and shutter speed for this photo, iso 400 and ss 1/1250 would work better, but it still reveals good feather details, which is difficult to obtained with a kayak):

I have used folding kayaks for 17 years, including in salt water. I NEVER assemble one without generously lubing each frame joint with BoeShield T-9 and always flush the boat inside with fresh water after salt water exposure. I have never had a frame corrode together, though I did buy a Feathercraft K-1 that the prior owner had neglected and it had two frozen joints. Cost me $80 to replace those sections. Yes, corrosion is an issue but only if you are not careful and consistent with maintenance when using in salt water. I use the lube even when paddling in fresh water. I have stored boats assembled for a year or more and never had a frame freeze.