Sunday, 18 October 2015

Inflatable canoes

Amongst the small flotilla of vessels we have acquired over the years are two inflatable canoes. We got them back in 2012 and have used them in a few different places including rivers, sheltered bays and harbours.

From a canoe you get a different view of the world. Looking up at cliffs and river banks and being able to weave in amongst rocks and inlets. There is also an even greater connection with the water as you feel the rhythm of the swell passing beneath you.
We have a Sevylor 2 seater and a Sevylor 2 + 1. They were mainly chosen for their price as they were the cheapest ones available at the time. For a family of five with young children this meant that we could travel with an adult in each canoe and the children split between them. As the children have got older we have managed various combinations of children and adults between the two canoes.

They fold/roll up well for storage. They also fit into the boot of the car without taking up a huge amount of room. Another bit we particularly like is the backpack design. It is heavy to carry, especially when it has just come out of the water and will drip down your back. For a short distance however, it is a much easier method than the alternatives for carrying a canoe.


One drawback is the lightness and high sides which means that they can catch the wind sometimes. We have even been spun on occasion broad side and it can take some effort to go straight when the wind is blowing side on.


They have proved fairly tough despite being taken over rocks, shingle and being generally bashed around for 4 years. One has suffered a split near the seam after being pushed onto a deck cleat in strong winds whilst inflated. They are relatively easy to repair though and ours came with a puncture repair kit. Obviously the more expensive inflatables are even tougher.


Overall we are very satisfied with them and they certainly opened up our explorations in various places.
We are also looking forward to hearing from our neighbours who have set off on a year long cruise with inflatable stand-up paddle boards, it will be interesting to see what they thought of them.



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