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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Inflatables: More News #13845167 01/13/21 10:14 PM
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Brad R Offline OP
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I saw the posts below on various inflatables, thought I'd mention that a whole bunch of new offerings by various manufacturers are coming out. I personally believe it is a trend that will get stronger.

I have mentioned elsewhere that while many of these current inflatable kayaks use Denier 550 and similar skin material, essentially the same as one sees in rafting boats used by guides to take folks down fast rivers, that I'd like to see some sort of graphene skin used, too. Time will tell but nothing is stronger for its weight.

So, Hobie announced yesterday that it has updated its inflatable fleet for 2021. It has 4 new models, the two largest being a 2 seater and a 4 seater. For fishing, I think most here would want the Hobie 11 iTREK. It is 10'8" and 40" wide, framed kayak seat and, this and all the others have the Hobie Drives.

Then, NRS is in the game via an acquisition I believe. Just a paddler, no drive option, and it looks mysteriously almost the exact same as Hobie's last inflatable, the i11S.

Finally, and I just saw this, Bote, the popular SUP board maker? It has expanded in all sorts of directions with some vessels capable of using small outboards. But, today, it announced a super looking inflatable kayak which can be configured for one paddler or set up tandem for two. It comes in at around $1100, so not cheap but looks to be super good for someone who doesn't have space to store trailers/hard-shelled kayaks, no good transportation options.

Worth a look, I think!

Brad

Here, Bote's Zeppelin Aero 12'6" Inflatable Kayak. Cool video, too:

Bote Inflatable

Re: Inflatables: More News [Re: Brad R] #13845616 01/14/21 05:05 AM
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Inflatables have come a long way and the new adhesive mounting systems allow you to easily add skegs, rudders, trolling motors, transducer arms, graphs, etc, etc.

They are lighter, easier to carry, fold up in the back seat/no need for trailering or putting in the bed.

The high quality ones are extremely buoyant and handle waves and rapids far better than HDPE. Also due to the buoyancy, you can get into just a few inches of water. The turning radius is crazy good due to their ability to spin.

They are slower and don’t track as well and don’t hold well in the wind, but with the newer drop stitch flooring and rigid keel compartments, this has greatly improved vs 10 years ago. With the drop stitch flooring, even big guys can stand in them and sight fish.

On windier days and on days I want speed and coverage of lots of water, and if I want to do lots of trolling I’ll use my PA 14
Creeks, rivers, brief trips, calm conditions, don’t want to bother with my trailer I’ll use my Sea Eagle 350fx inflatable.


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Re: Inflatables: More News [Re: Brad R] #13846071 01/14/21 04:28 PM
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Thanks for sharing.

Anyone have a recommendation on an inflatable fishing SUP? I find myself wanting one more and more for taking on trips where kayak storage and transport is not an option.

Re: Inflatables: More News [Re: Dougfresh] #13846122 01/14/21 04:54 PM
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Brad R Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Dougfresh
Thanks for sharing.

Anyone have a recommendation on an inflatable fishing SUP? I find myself wanting one more and more for taking on trips where kayak storage and transport is not an option.


Dougfresh, a Bote Rackham Aero Inflatable would be hard to beat. With one or two options they offer or you could make I guess, it'd be one heck of a fishing plaform that you could carry anywhere. For some applications, I think I might rather want to fish off a SUP than a heavy kayak in several situations.

Here, a url to this SUP Brad

Rackham Aero

Re: Inflatables: More News [Re: Brad R] #13846163 01/14/21 05:41 PM
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http://tapamthemovie.com/trailer.html

Ultimate portability and travel friendly, dedicated fishing craft, some brands have a hull weight of only 3.5 lb...

Hope this helps.

Re: Inflatables: More News [Re: Brad R] #13846398 01/14/21 08:50 PM
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Inflatables are puzzling to me. Aside from calling a raft a kayak I don't get what they're so popular. You ever put a balloon on the water and watch how fast it blows away in the wind? An inflatable raft isn't much different and about the worse possible paddling watercraft available in it's size.

I watched a Bote inflatable raft (long probably 14' plus) launch once in 15-20 mph. Guy had a trolling motor on the back and a girl in the front of it. They got away from the bank and the trolling motor was pushing them along slow but making progress. They got around a grass island and the wind hit and literally pushed them backwards while the trolling motor was running. They came back...

Is it the weight that makes people want to go that route? I get that people who travel could benefit but I highly doubt there's that many people using them while they travel. noidea


You get out of it what you put into it!
Re: Inflatables: More News [Re: Brad R] #13846549 01/14/21 11:03 PM
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Not familiar with the Bote, but some of the inflatables have a very rigid v hull and with additional skegs does OK in 15-20mph. Would not want to be in one 20mph +

The best advantage is very easy portage. Through woods, over embankments/ rails/ rip rap, and across very shallow water.


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Re: Inflatables: More News [Re: Jerry713] #13846551 01/14/21 11:04 PM
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Brad R Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Jerry713
Inflatables are puzzling to me. Aside from calling a raft a kayak I don't get what they're so popular. You ever put a balloon on the water and watch how fast it blows away in the wind? An inflatable raft isn't much different and about the worse possible paddling watercraft available in it's size.

I watched a Bote inflatable raft (long probably 14' plus) launch once in 15-20 mph. Guy had a trolling motor on the back and a girl in the front of it. They got away from the bank and the trolling motor was pushing them along slow but making progress. They got around a grass island and the wind hit and literally pushed them backwards while the trolling motor was running. They came back...

Is it the weight that makes people want to go that route? I get that people who travel could benefit but I highly doubt there's that many people using them while they travel. noidea


Jerry, right, it is almost all about portability, storage issues and low weight.

Yes, canoes, for example, are notorious victims to strong winds with their high side profiles. And, weight certainly affects how one is moved by wind. But, the material a kayak is made of has no direct effect. It either catches wind or it doesn't.

If the profile of an inflatable kayak has high sides like some rafts? It is going to blow around. But, here, I've attached a profile view of the Hobie iTREK 11 and it like has less profile than most kayaks, almost like a SUP, less area for wind to push around inside a cockpit, too.

Anyway, I expect to see more and more of them in the future.

Brad

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Re: Inflatables: More News [Re: Brad R] #13846677 01/15/21 01:30 AM
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I've never been on any type of inflatable. I do watch Mark's Fishing Channel on YouTube. He fishes off an inflatable SUP that he motherships to the back lakes with his boat. He is constantly talking about how bad the SUP is in the wind and it's low profile just like the Hobie. So when I say inflatables aren't good in wind it's based on what I've seen and heard on forums.

Not hating on them just wondering what the draw is. They're cheap enough, well some of them are I may have one some day.


You get out of it what you put into it!
Re: Inflatables: More News [Re: Brad R] #13846774 01/15/21 03:11 AM
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Same concerns, too, for lighter aluminum bass boats like Tracker and others. They are notorious for blowing/pushing around easily compared to heavier glass boats. Yet, aluminum bass boats are very popular. Just don't see many of them used by pros. Part of their popularity is price though some are mighty expensive.

And, with most SOT kayaks, say a Hobie PA 14, the seats are so high, a kayaker's body acts like a sail. A low profie helps.

Since we are on the beach more days than not, I see quite a few SUPs and the operators seem to get out just beyond the breakers and then paddle parallel to the shoreline. They look unfazed by water and the normal wind around beaches. But, that's a heck of a lot different, for sure, than wanting to plant yourself in one place and fish. I don't know how SUPs anchor, don't recall ever seeing one but I'm sure some do.

I used to paddle my Meyers Sportspal all over Lake Athens. When it was windy, blowing in the right direction, I could direct the canoe, let the wind take me home. I'd often stand the whole way out, then back home, only to sit and tie on a lure or land a fish. Like a giant SUP!!!

Brad


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Re: Inflatables: More News [Re: Brad R] #13846814 01/15/21 03:41 AM
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A person standing up on a SUP acts like a sail, and regardless of whether it is a hard or inflatable SUP- makes it hard to hover or control position with hands occupied on both a paddle and fishing rod, in wind and chop. Same kind of thing would happen if someone were standing up, instead of sitting lower in a low-profile Hobie. But since the Hobie is heavier, it is slower in moving off position compared to a SUP, an advantage. So long as the hull shape is the same, the heavier The Craft, the more it has the disadvantage of draining your energy for just about everything else, like paddling it, portaging it, loading and unloading it, launching it without a ramp, Etc. The craft which has the lowest weight and the best ability to be compressed allows access to water areas that can only be packed into, which are not trampled or have not been overfished.

Re: Inflatables: More News [Re: Brad R] #13847177 01/15/21 03:11 PM
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Good points, Porta. It essentially has to do with "sail area" including the operator sitting in a seat, the higher the more sail, and the height of the vessel's profiles catching wind.

It has next to nothing to do with the weight of the vessel itself, the material it is made out of. So, assuming the same vessel shapes, a 250 lbs. man sitting in a 50 lbs. kayak will be blown around about as much as a 150 lbs. man sitting in a 150 lbs. kayak. One tiny advantage a very heavy kayak holds, assuming two identical shapes, is its very own weight makes it sink lower in the water giving it a tad of advantage.

But, most SUPs and some of the new inflatable kayaks (the iTREKs for example) sit very low in the water, almost no profile for the wind to catch, small "sail" effect. But, the operator is all exposed high above the water, a big sail. This is why touring kayaks are sit-insides where the operator sits much lower compared to the water surface, butt usually below water level. Very low profile, low sitting vessels.

Other differences? Standing where there is less ballast for an inflatable. They say standing in one even with their typical greater width "feels" different. I bet since the center of mass of the unit (vessel and operator) is much higher for a "relatively" lighter boat.

I used to sort of "battle" kayakers on another forum regarding the idea that adding Styrofoam "inside" their kayaks helps with flotation under normal circumstances. With a hell of a lot of effort, I finally convinced about half of them that . . . only if you turtle it, flip it upside down and it fills with water will adding Styrofoam do any good.

Oh well!

Brad

Re: Inflatables: More News [Re: Brad R] #13847229 01/15/21 03:40 PM
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Hey Brad, you're on the coast now, aren't you?


A good rule of angling philosophy is not to interfere with another fisherman's ways of being happy, unless you want to be hated.
Zane Grey, Tales of Fishes, 1919

https://vimeo.com/73372194
https://vimeo.com/72859045

Re: Inflatables: More News [Re: Brad R] #13848289 01/16/21 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Brad R
Good points, Porta. It essentially has to do with "sail area" including the operator sitting in a seat, the higher the more sail, and the height of the vessel's profiles catching wind.

It has next to nothing to do with the weight of the vessel itself, the material it is made out of. So, assuming the same vessel shapes, a 250 lbs. man sitting in a 50 lbs. kayak will be blown around about as much as a 150 lbs. man sitting in a 150 lbs. kayak. One tiny advantage a very heavy kayak holds, assuming two identical shapes, is its very own weight makes it sink lower in the water giving it a tad of advantage.



PC: Good point speaking generally about comparing keeping the TOTAL weight between different individuals, and the carry weight of additional load is a consideration, and should be added unless it is used as an empty craft. Since MY specific weight stays the same at close to at 150 lbs plus load, it would be considerable difference in total empty weight for a 50lb vessel (total 200 lb) versus a 150 lb vessel (total 300 lb and less carry weight for same hull shape) when it is time to buy a boat. Same idea if I weigh 250 lb. Heavier craft might be steadier because of the inertia effect which steadies the shock when hit by wind or chop. Identical kayak Hulls made of Steel Construction or inflatable material Construction wouldn't have the same response or control because of the weight and material difference. The steel hull might be better in wind or chop, but the inflatable might be better on Rocky River Rapids because it can cushion solid collision shock better. That's the way I see it anyway, hope that helps.



But, most SUPs and some of the new inflatable kayaks (the iTREKs for example) sit very low in the water, almost no profile for the wind to catch, small "sail" effect. But, the operator is all exposed high above the water, a big sail. This is why touring kayaks are sit-insides where the operator sits much lower compared to the water surface, butt usually below water level. Very low profile, low sitting vessels.



PC: Sometimes windage can be good like if you're in a hurry to get away from a storm and have a Tailwind helping you to escape to shoreline.



Other differences? Standing where there is less ballast for an inflatable. They say standing in one even with their typical greater width "feels" different. I bet since the center of mass of the unit (vessel and operator) is much higher for a "relatively" lighter boat.

I used to sort of "battle" kayakers on another forum regarding the idea that adding Styrofoam "inside" their kayaks helps with flotation under normal circumstances. With a hell of a lot of effort, I finally convinced about half of them that . . . only if you turtle it, flip it upside down and it fills with water will adding Styrofoam do any good.



PC: Good point Brad, the flotation might be better on the outside, where it helps prevent flipping, as well as helping with keeping a boat which is full of water afloat. Examples are such things as Clamp-on side floats for canoes



Oh well!

Brad






Thanks for your interesting thoughts, Brad! My comments are posted inside your message above.

Last edited by porta; 01/16/21 08:13 AM.
Re: Inflatables: More News [Re: Brad R] #13849946 01/17/21 08:09 PM
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Porta, right.

My old canoe, a Meyers Sportspal S-14 had what were referred to as "sponsons" on each side on the outside, essentially boat collars, where they were useful in actually floating an upright canoe if it was loaded to the point it pressed the canoe down that deep into the water.

And, for sure, how weight is distributed makes a huge difference, thus my reference to center of mass for the whole unit (kayak, gear AND operator).

In the end, as you and others well know, the big trade off is you can make a kayak more stable by increasing its beam width, its length, too. And, too, its weight. As the weight is increased, regardless of the operator, it lowers the center of mass. What it costs you? Speed. More difficulty overcoming inertia.

I have a paddler now, a Native 12XC, and I think it is slower than even a Jackson Big Rig I owned several years ago. Its hull is flat as a pancake and it is heavy. My Sportspal was MUCH faster with the same flat bottom but much lighter. The Sportspal caught way more wind as most canoes suffer from this.

On a windy day, even the 2 or 3" or so seat height adjustment found in many kayak seats makes a huge difference paddling into the wind if the seat is in its high position. And, one can feel the difference in stability, too, at least I could. I had one kayak that felt tippy with its seat set high, just fine a few inches lower.

What a difference a few pounds makes, a few inches here or there, and slight differences in hull shapes.

Brad

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