Maiden Voyage of the Inflatable...

DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior MemberPosts: 3,033 Senior Member
The head finally cooperated. The wife and I carted the Saturn FK396 to the lake (300 yards) and launched. Here are my impressions.

Light, easy to transport, tough material, lots of D-Rings and two removable benches (that get hard after a while...).

The removable "Keel/Fin" could be larger, but really it offers enough lateral hydro-resistance to do its job.

The large flotation tubes make the craft a bit Beamy, so paddle strokes may not be as intuitive as with a kayak or canoe, but the learning curve is quick. Use adjustable paddles to get the right length.

The craft is more of a hybrid between a kayak and canoe. With my wife up front to offer a load (125 pounds - lest anyone suggest I was indicating she's a load) the craft is easily paddled solo as one would paddle a canoe. Stroke and guide with one paddle, or using the traditional kayak stroke of alternating paddle tips. 

Being only 40 pounds, it is subject to a little wind, but I've canoed with 60 pound canoes and it doesn't seen to be that bad. Both the canoe and the inflatable will only drift as fast as the wind is blowing...

The rigid, inflatable floor (removable) allows for easy standing and fishing. This company makes stand up inflatable paddle boards as well and the technology is the same. It's like standing on a hard synthetic running track.

Solo, without a load, the front end is ever-so-slightly raised if the pilot sits on the rear bench. There is no water resistance noted. Tandem or with a load up front, it pushes a little water, but the front end is pointy and the floor in between the float tubes is recessed, so there is a slight pontoon profile. So, it paddles easy. 

I plan to do a little fly fishing with it this week to get a feel for its fishing utility. 
It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain

Replies

  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 9,700 Senior Member
    The test will be to see how it holds up to a fish hook in the lip of a landed fish.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,033 Senior Member
    I suppose. But there has to be a reason so many professional outfitters are starting to use inflatables as drift boats.

    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 1,262 Senior Member
    Yea, they're getting tired of having a sore back.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 9,516 Senior Member
    I suppose. But there has to be a reason so many professional outfitters are starting to use inflatables as drift boats.

    I would imagine they'e a lot cheaper than a drift boat.  My buddy built a drift boat and it set him back a lot of money, was heavy, drew only a couple of inches of water, and looked great.  We floated the Au Sable in it.  An inflatable seems like a less-expensive solution, although I can't see any way it would be as stable.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,033 Senior Member
    It probably isn't as stable, but then, how much stability is "necessary?" I can easily stand and fish out of a 34" wide kayak (not in white water...but then I don't fish whitewater.) My hard kayak weighs 100 pounds. My inflatable weighs 40. They aren't puncture proof. Nothing is perfect. The Space Shuttle cost billions and we lost two of 'em. 

    This boat isn't going to "replace" any of my fishing craft. It simply adds a dimension to them. Portability and utility. 
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 17,309 Senior Member
    Glad it's working out for you
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 22,624 Senior Member
    Sounds like it's going to fill the purpose for which you bought it. The real test will be the kids in it flopping around and doing 'kid stuff' in it. And it does add the convenience of being highly portable and compact for transport.
    If a Liberal throws a hand grenade at you, pick it up, pull the pin, and throw it back at them.



  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,209 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 said:
    The test will be to see how it holds up to a fish hook in the lip of a landed fish.
    We used an Avon inflatable for spearfishing, never put a hole in it, ya just have to be more careful 

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 9,700 Senior Member
    jaywapti said:
    CHIRO1989 said:
    The test will be to see how it holds up to a fish hook in the lip of a landed fish.
    We used an Avon inflatable for spearfishing, never put a hole in it, ya just have to be more careful 

    JAY
    I have 4 boys, Mr. Murphy lives at my house and applies his law every day, a big flopping fish out of water may make a guy do things in an inflatable boat he may not do in an aluminum canoe, time will tell, Dan will probably not baby it, especially if he is reeling in a lunker, just so's he can make it back to shore before the air all leaks out:)
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,033 Senior Member
    It has three air chambers. It can't sink unless it hits an iceberg...

    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 22,624 Senior Member
    If it hits an iceberg it will just bounce off. Not enough mass or momentum to do the Titanic thing. :)
    If a Liberal throws a hand grenade at you, pick it up, pull the pin, and throw it back at them.



  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 9,516 Senior Member
    It probably isn't as stable, but then, how much stability is "necessary?" I can easily stand and fish out of a 34" wide kayak (not in white water...but then I don't fish whitewater.) My hard kayak weighs 100 pounds. My inflatable weighs 40. They aren't puncture proof. Nothing is perfect. The Space Shuttle cost billions and we lost two of 'em. 

    This boat isn't going to "replace" any of my fishing craft. It simply adds a dimension to them. Portability and utility.
    You can't have too much stability in a boat you're standing up in and fly casting from.  My pal's was unmovable.  You could have had a square dance in the damn thing.  But it was heavy and expensive; took him several months to finish and was fancy.  Wood, a deluxe kit..  Required a trailer.  I can see the 80-pound appeal, as well as the lower cost.  If it does OK in fast water, no wonder the guides are flocking to it.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 22,624 Senior Member
    Inflatables are a LOT more forgiving when you hit rocks 'n' stuff in swift water. They just tend to bounce off and keep on going. And you don't have to hammer out dents when you get home! :D
    If a Liberal throws a hand grenade at you, pick it up, pull the pin, and throw it back at them.



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