New to board and almost new to paddling

Hello everyone I’m new to the forum and soon I will be new to paddling.

My wife and I recently ordered an Intex Excursion 5. I don’t have it yet so I’m not sure how much I’ll feel comfortable doing with it but at the least we can do some fishing in a local lake (Badin lake). I’m just wondering if anyone that has one of these (or a similiar inexpensive inflatable) could tell me a little about what to expect from it. I read a little about making a floor for it out of plywood which I would love to try eventually. Any other tips or DIY improvements would be greatly appreciated.

My wife and I are both young and in good shape, and love camping so one of the things we’re hoping we can do is taking a few weekend trips and find somewhere to camp partway. Should I expect the raft to be reliable enough to trust it for that?


Give us an Intex link so we know what
you have.

found it on Amazon

I’d say this boat will be fun for taking to the lake for floating around and relaxing. I wouldn’t expect to go anywhere in it though, as rowing a vinyl inflatable rowboat is futile, IMO.

Also, while this has 3 separate chambers, so you’ll have something to cling to should one chamber lose air, vinyl is not very durable, so I wouldn’t trust taking it farther from shore than I am comfortable swimming.

Thanks, Nate. I agree that this raft
is for gentle pursuits. A patch kit and some quality duct tape should be handy for day trips.

I cant say
And chances are you wont get alot of responses on this board regarding that boat since the vast majority here own canoes and kayaks. But I think you should stay anyways because its nice to diversify this board up. A few rafters and rowers here would spice things up and make the board more interesting. Anyways, welcome!! I hope you enjoy your stay.

For the price, I think the boat will function decently. One time I bought a 60 dollar sterns inflatible and it had a leak when I got it brand new. But this boat is over twice as expensive, and you usually get what you pay for, so I think it will work. I hope you have good luck with it and it brings you years of joy!!

When I was a rafter (before I discovered kayaking) my raft cost a couple of grand.

paying for what you get
Expense is not always a good indication of quality. I would never assume something is good just because it’s expensive. Sometimes you get what you pay for, and sometimes you just get screwed.

vinyl vs pvc
Yeah, I guess i’m not expecting all that much, but I think it will still be fun.

Are PVC and vinyl the same thing? I thought there was a difference. Could be wrong though…

Anyway, I’ll let you guys know what I think when I get it, then I’ll update with pics once I get a chance to take it out.


PVC vs vinyl
I believe “vinyl” is a nickname for Poly Vinyl Chloride. Inflatable runabouts, like Zodiacs are often made of PVC, but those are a really tough fabric that’s been impregnated and coated with PVC. The PVC provides the air-tightness, but not the structural strength or abrasion resistanc. The PVC tubes of a zodiac type boat are extremely abrasion resistant, and can last for a decade of heavy use as a tender for larger boats. They’re also much more rigid, and so they perform more like a hard-hulled boat. The inflatable vinyl boats I’ve seen, that look like the one you got, are typically just constructed of vinyl sheet, with no reinforcement. They’re very soft when inflated, and are very prone to punctures or abrasion because vinyl by itself is pretty soft.

It ought to be a pretty tough boat …
… that is , as PVC boats go …

The PVC is 30 ga. which is substantially thicker than most . The material is called Super-Tough™ which according to the discrip. is a 3 layer laminated construction , the middle being a polyester mesh !!

It’s probably more capable than you might think although I wouldn’t want to trust it in swift/fast water if banging into sharp rocks/objects will be a norm … I wouldn’t hesitate to take her down a slow rolling mountain river though , a few easy bumps here and there shouldn’t cause any catastrophic failures .

Wonder what the max. inflation pressure is ?? Probably quite a bit higher than most in it’s class , which should help it feel pretty stiff .

For the most part , river rock is reasonanbly soft edged , due to the ages of smoothing caused by the water and sediments … but some sharp stuff is still out there !!