Monday, 31 August 2009

canoe aspirations

I always leave the car at the Millbrook car park and on the way back I took the scenic route back along the river. Crossing over the bridge by the lock I spotted a guy sitting with two inflatable canoes on the river bank. I've been toying with the idea of getting one so I stopped and had a long chat about the pros and cons of having one of these instead of a rigid one.

The big advantage is the space saved. I was told that this particular model was no bigger than a large suitcase when packed, so no roof rack is needed as they will fit in the boot of a car. Inflation takes about twenty minutes and this is down to the order in which the canoe needs to be blown up. Floor partial inflated, then the sides, more air in the sides, etc. An important point made was that as the canoe skin is material it needs to be fully dry before packing away. This will undoubtedly mean that if you've had to pack it back into the boot of the car you'll need to re-inflate it back at home.

In use the canoeist reckoned that he needed to paddle 20% harder with these than he would with a rigid one. And that's a lot more work.

I was glad I had a chat with him as it gave me answers to a number of questions about inflatable canoes. Personally I like the idea of a Canadian style canoe rather than a kayak as it's more the romantic image of paddling to my mind.

8 comments:

Dave Hollin said...

I had a look at inflatable canoes a couple of months back. Winwood had a sale on theirs and the 2 man came in at around £60 or so
Tempting as my space is at a premium and I have no room for a rigid kayak in my house!

Dave Hanlon said...

Get a canoe and get out on teh water! If you love backpacking (which you do) you'll love canoe camping. There two routes to teh same fullfulment.

There are some great down-river inflatable boats but as far as Canadian canoes are concerned I would choose a foldable every time. There are two manufacturers of foldable Canadians:

http://www.allycanoes.com/
http://www.pakboats.com/canoes.htm

I own an Ally 16.5 DR. Easily storable as with an inflatable but virualy no trade of in terms of performance. These are seriosu boats that have been used on countless full-on wilderness expeditions. Not cheap though:

http://www.randulfvalle.no/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=22&Itemid=15

baz carter said...

I've since spent some time trawling the internet and have found an inflatable open canoe that does the trick.

baz carter said...

I dont want to lash out a great deal of cash as it's unlikely to get a lot of use (perhaps!) Besides if I had the choice of canoe or rucksack - just think of how many rucksacks I'd then own :)

Dave Hanlon said...

You'll have a job finding a rucksack that can carry 300kg of gear! Watch out, canoeing is addictive and since weight is less of an issue it brings with it an excuse to spend even more on gear. Imagine all that stuff like (espresso makers)you thought looked funky but was too heavy to pack ;-)

baz carter said...

It wasn't the weigh; it was how many rucksacks I could buy instead :)

andy said...

www.airkayak.com

seen at the destinations show earlier in the year

thing is baz you will need a big backpack!!

Anonymous said...

have a look at www.songofthepaddle.co.uk.

Loads of info about canoeing, trips and reviews of canoes, rigid and inflatable.