You've obviously never been in a good one. I would put my Convertible, or my Rio up against any hardshell, or canoe made, for general use. Here is a great example. If you hit a rock on a river hard enough to punch a hole in a hardshell, your trip is over. There is no way to patch it in the field. It will require expensive polymer work to be seaworthy again. A good inflatable, under the same conditions, requires a simple patch that can be put on right there, and a little inflation, and you're back on the water again, in less than 30 minutes. Even a bad rip wont sink you completely, because unlike a hardshell, there are multiple compartments, any one of which is capable of keeping you afloat long enough to get home. Entire bladders can be replaced easily, and relatively inexpensively.
I wouldn't trade either of my inflatables for any model of hardshell. I have a Pelican SIT, but I mostly use the inflatables. I had the Pelican first.
Originally Posted by BigPhish
I'm not going to take anything away from your preference for inflatables, but you're not entirely accurate about the other stuff. Small cracks or holes in a "hard" kayak can be patched in any number of ways in the field -IN AN EMERGENCY- at least enough to get you home. Modern thermoplastic roto-molded kayaks can be easily and inexpensively welded and built up to fix all but major cracks and holes, not to mention the material is remarkably tough and forgiving of impacts. Plastic welding and filling is easy to do at home and can be done by anyone with rudimentary mechanical skills. "Laid up" glass, kevlar, whatever, boats also can be repaired fairly easily and cheaply with fabric and epoxy.
Originally Posted by Gigmaster
I'm sure there are very good inflatable boats out there, but there are reasons why they are still only small piece of the kayak market.
Point taken. There are advantages and disadvantages to all types. I have both hardshells, and inflatables, and love them all. As far as I am concerned, there are no bad Kayaks.
My point was that there is nothing wrong with a good inflatable kayak. They are just as safe as a hardshell, generally speaking. They are a viable choice.
Originally Posted by jszymczyk
This is not a criticism but merely an observation regarding the content of the initial post. Having read the post, I gather you are referring to fishing the open seas. And if this is the case then I am not going to contradict you. On the other hand, if you are paddling/peddling a lake, bay, estuary or a river, then I think a sit on top kayak is far more user friendly than a sit in. I have both types of kayaks and it is my experience that the sit on top, both in terms of comfort and ease of casting a fly rod, then my Hobie wins hands down.
I'd like to have a SOT, but right now, my wife has put her foot down. No more boats for a while. She has a weird way of thinking...like "How many boats can you use?". Of course, any guy can answer that...." As many as you can get....".
I have tried to explain to her that, as much as I love tacos, there are times when I would rather have a burger, or a steak, or spaghetti. Boats are like that. But she totally misconstrued the explanation, preferring to interpret as a comment on women, which couldn't be further from the truth. I explained that I had no desire to chase other women, because women are not that much different from each other (it sounded a lot better when it was in my head....). This only seemed to escalate the situation (ever wish your brain had an 'audition' button, so you could preview what you are about to say before it comes out....?), so I have dropped the SOT thing for now, while I am still married.
Gigmaster, so true and funny too. Careful what you say to the missus, they analyze differently to us rational thinkers.
I had to do it. In case anyone is wondering whether these boats are seaworthy, my son, his significant other, my grandaughter, and myself took the Convertable and the Rio out yesterday on Carter's Lake. We had waaaay too much fun. Here's me in the Rio.
Here's the crew in the Advanced Elements Convertable.
We did 7 miles. I am going on a river assault tomorrow on the Coosawattie with the Rio. I will post pictures if I survive the Class III+ fast water. Hopefully, I will bring home some fish as well.
I put my money where my mouth is. I'll put both of these boats up against any hardshell on anything, but over-all speed, and the Convertable is faster than some hardshells. The Rio is as fast as a lot of Playboats, and can handle Class V water just as good. It is self-bailing if you remove the drain plug in the back.
I love my boats. I love where I live....Life is good.......
Hope Gigmaster survived his trip.
We had a blast. The Coosawatee was great. There was a strainer (two fallen trees completely across the river) that was offset with a stump sticking up from the middle. I had to attack from the fast water on the right side, and slalom left around the stump, and squirt out to the right side back into the middle. It was great. This weekend, I plan to run the Conasauga from the Beaverdale Superette to Norton Bridge, fishing along the way. The Conasauga is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the country, with many species that can be found nowhere else. I will try to post pics.
May 4th, and 5th, I am going to paddle out to an island I know of on Lake Ocoee, camping overnight. This place has catfish as big as Prizm, and more smallmouth bass and walleye than you can shake a stick at. I have some new Puglisi patterns I want to test.
May 14th, I am paddling and fishing the Soddy River (a Tn. River trib...) below Chattanooga.
A word about the pictures.....we had PFDs, but we had to take them off to reach around behind us to get the cameras. Actually, you can see one of the PFDs sticking up in the second pic. My grandaughter never had hers off, and we put ours back on right after taking the pictures. You should always have a PFD on unless you are stationary and diving.
Last edited by Gigmaster; 04-23-2013 at 10:07 PM.