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PokeJoe
Aug 24, 2004

hail cgatan




Hello there, this is a thread about boats you can carry somewhere "easily." My packable boat of choice is an inflatable kayak, looked down upon by many hardshell kayakers. It doesn't track well, it's slow, it's fragile, etc. Well they're right about those things but there's one area where even the nicest hardshell can't compete: going inside a backpack. This makes it great to store in my 1 bedroom apartment, fit inside the trunk of a normal car, and can be hauled up a mountain by yours truly.



Once you acquire a packable boat, it opens up a whole world of lakes that you can have all to yourself if you're willing to put in the effort to haul it up there.





My kayak itself is an Intex K2 Explorer and it's been a pretty good boat for me. I've had it for about a year now and have taken it out a bunch of times, I even have a sail for it! It's paid for itself many times over paying for rentals and I can take it anywhere I want. Drying it is a pain in the rear end though.
The bag I keep it in is an army surplus duffel bag, available at a surplus store near you. It's big and has a water-resistant plastic coating inside. For life preservers, I use an inflatable life belt with a CO2 cartridge. Nothing else I could find packed away easier. I also just recently got some collapsible canoe paddles that are smaller than the kayak paddles that pack even better in the bag but I haven't used them yet so idk how good they are.

There are many choices for packable boats, many companies make "packrafts" that are very lightweight and small. Many of them are even under 10 pounds! For comparison, my 2 person kayak bag weighs a little over 40 pounds with all it's gear and a water bladder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VC_A618SBQo

I've never used one of these little packrafts but if they get you on the water they're probably good enough to splash around a little lake.

There are also folding Oru kayaks but I've never seen anyone actually carry one of these somewhere. They're still pretty large even when they're folded. Post if you've done it!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CGclIZBlRA

Boats of this nature can be had in all price ranges. You can get an entry level Intex challenger for $60 on a sale or you can spend $1800 for a custom made packraft. Or you can get a drop-stitch kayak in between. The world is your inflatable oyster.

Anyway discuss carrying boats to places you can't drive to here. Are you going to a remote camp site? Paddling off to smoke weed in peace? Lots of land between the lakes you want to visit?

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Mud Shark
May 12, 2012


Picked up one of those $150 Intex row boats about a month ago. I've been pretty surprised at how much I like it. You definitely can't fit the 6 people it claims but it's fine for 2 adults and 2 kids on lakes and creeks. Bought a hand pump to blow it up, bought the electric one after the first trip because lol no.

We had canoe paddles so we just used those which makes it handle like a big wet turd. I'll probably get proper rowing paddles but for something I can easily pack into an RV pass-through, it's awesome.

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


My father bought a packable Kayak that has since ended up with me. It is very convenient with an electric pump.

Now if my local waterways were something approaching clean it would be quite nice.

Pharnakes
Aug 14, 2009


I used to work at a boating business, a few years back a couple turned up with an inflatable kayak and asked permission to launch it off our facilities.

I was all for it but my boss was a bit leary of potential liabilities from what he assumed would be a pretty shitly build thing. Turned out it was something originally designed for I think arctic expeditions, it somehow managed to have an outrigger, a mast and a functional sail on it. I haven't got any pics but it was pretty cool.

Poopelyse
Jan 21, 2011

Set phasers to maximum stunning



my wife and i are in the market for an inflatable paddleboard and some kind of inflatable boat/kayak that could fit one of us plus the dog. where do i even shop for such things? and does anyone have any recommendations? we want some outdoor toys we can do more fun stuff outside.

pointsofdata
Apr 25, 2011



For inflatable paddleboard, I've been well served by a midrange itiwit one. IDK what a really good one would look like but I don't have any complaints.

ur in my world now
Jun 5, 2006

Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was




Smellrose

Yeah I have a Ten Toes weekender board I bought off Amazon that I like just fine but I don't surf or anything on it. Be careful of the prices on stuff right now, looks like everything is either sold out or is being gouged by assholes.

Ciaphas
Nov 20, 2005

> BEWARE, COWARD




I have an Intex Explorer kayak that I just used for the first time this morning. Filling it with the hand pump wasn't an ordeal, and on the water it performed like a champ.

Backpacking with it isn't likely anytime soon for fitness reasons, but carrying it via bike on a cargo trailer was easy peasy. Looking forward to finding more places to put in, besides the very populated one I went to

Plus I met some waterfowl

https://i.imgur.com/LsSXNHI.mp4

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


Poopelyse posted:

my wife and i are in the market for an inflatable paddleboard and some kind of inflatable boat/kayak that could fit one of us plus the dog. where do i even shop for such things? and does anyone have any recommendations? we want some outdoor toys we can do more fun stuff outside.

The better half has a Bōte IPB, and got me a Bōte Lono for our anniversary. The Lono is a pretty cool hybrid kayak/PB, so I’m pretty excited.

PokeJoe
Aug 24, 2004

hail cgatan




Poopelyse posted:

my wife and i are in the market for an inflatable paddleboard and some kind of inflatable boat/kayak that could fit one of us plus the dog. where do i even shop for such things? and does anyone have any recommendations? we want some outdoor toys we can do more fun stuff outside.

How big is your dog? The Intex k2 I have could fit 2 adults and a dog if they aren't that large and could easily take a human and a pup. Sea eagle makes a little longer, little more expensive one too if you think you need more room.

Mischievous Mink
May 29, 2012



I almost grabbed a really cheap Intex inflatable kayak last year and ended up getting cold feet. Now I'm getting this itch for one again, I don't drive so the portability really calls out to me, but the prices have definitely taken a quarantine ding. Never really heard of the standing inflatable paddle boards, they look like a neat alternative to inflatable kayaks, though the price barrier seems higher. Seems like no matter what I'm gonna hate to wait for stock and reasonable prices. The lake I live by is full of leeches so I don't really get to enjoy a nice swim or anything.

Poopelyse
Jan 21, 2011

Set phasers to maximum stunning



cool, thanks for the suggestions on paddleboards!

PokeJoe posted:

How big is your dog? The Intex k2 I have could fit 2 adults and a dog if they aren't that large and could easily take a human and a pup. Sea eagle makes a little longer, little more expensive one too if you think you need more room.

yeah, this sounds like a good choice. our dog is about 30 pounds so it seems like that Intex is a good one. I'll have to keep an eye out for any of this stuff to come back in stock...

Bubbacub
Apr 17, 2001



PokeJoe posted:

There are many choices for packable boats, many companies make "packrafts" that are very lightweight and small. Many of them are even under 10 pounds! For comparison, my 2 person kayak bag weighs a little over 40 pounds with all it's gear and a water bladder.

Oh hell yes, I have a packraft and it's awesome. I live in a dense urban area and don't have a car, so I need something easily transportable on a bike. Mine is an Alpacka classic.

I just started bikerafting, which means you get to the river on a bike, inflate the raft and strap your bike to the bow, float downriver, and then reverse it all to get home. This lets you paddle a lot farther, packrafts aren't great going against wind or current.


Practice the bike loading on dry land first



Raft and paddle are strapped to the cargo rack, everything else fits in a single pannier.


MW
May 20, 2001

"Nooooooooo!?"

We bought 2 paddle boards for me, wife and 3 children. Awesome purchase and we have probably used them 5 times last couple of weeks explorer the nearby lakes and the archipelago. Kids love it, it's relaxing and it's all around pretty chill to paddle to a small island and have lunch.

PokeJoe
Aug 24, 2004

hail cgatan




Bubbacub posted:

Oh hell yes, I have a packraft and it's awesome. I live in a dense urban area and don't have a car, so I need something easily transportable on a bike. Mine is an Alpacka classic.

I just started bikerafting, which means you get to the river on a bike, inflate the raft and strap your bike to the bow, float downriver, and then reverse it all to get home. This lets you paddle a lot farther, packrafts aren't great going against wind or current.


Practice the bike loading on dry land first



Raft and paddle are strapped to the cargo rack, everything else fits in a single pannier.




This is awesome! I've been on the lookout for hikes where I can park near the river, hike a few miles up stream and put in, then float back to the car.

Ciaphas
Nov 20, 2005

> BEWARE, COWARD




Bubbacub posted:

Oh hell yes, I have a packraft and it's awesome. I live in a dense urban area and don't have a car, so I need something easily transportable on a bike. Mine is an Alpacka classic.

I just started bikerafting, which means you get to the river on a bike, inflate the raft and strap your bike to the bow, float downriver, and then reverse it all to get home. This lets you paddle a lot farther, packrafts aren't great going against wind or current.


Practice the bike loading on dry land first



Raft and paddle are strapped to the cargo rack, everything else fits in a single pannier.




That's real cool. How much weight are you carrying on the back of your bike like that? After a couple accidents I'm a little spooked of carrying weight that high on my own bike, so I trailer my kayak instead

Clayton Bigsby
Apr 17, 2005



Ciaphas posted:

That's real cool. How much weight are you carrying on the back of your bike like that? After a couple accidents I'm a little spooked of carrying weight that high on my own bike, so I trailer my kayak instead

Those Packrafts are ridiculously light.

Bubbacub
Apr 17, 2001



Ciaphas posted:

That's real cool. How much weight are you carrying on the back of your bike like that? After a couple accidents I'm a little spooked of carrying weight that high on my own bike, so I trailer my kayak instead

My packraft is on the heavier side since it has zips for a spray skirt and for internal drybags. It's about 7 pounds for the raft and 2 pounds for the paddle. There are rafts that are less than half that weight, but they can't carry as much. The hardest part is answering questions about the raft when I'm biking to the river (I usually wear my PFD while biking since it's kinda bulky), then answering questions about the bike when I'm on the water.

Bubbacub
Apr 17, 2001



PokeJoe posted:

This is awesome! I've been on the lookout for hikes where I can park near the river, hike a few miles up stream and put in, then float back to the car.

Yes, that's an excellent way to use a packraft! You can hike farther than that with it too. Last summer we hiked for 2 days on a section of the AT, then floated back to the car on the 3rd day. It's a pretty luxurious way to travel, it totally made up for the extra weight on the hiking days.



PokeJoe
Aug 24, 2004

hail cgatan




Took the yak out for a spin, tried out my telescoping canoe paddles finally. They're definitely a slower way to get around than the normal kayak paddles but they pack into the bag much much better. I think I'm gonna keep using them for longer backpacking trips but stick with the normal kayak paddles for drives to the lake. I stay a lot drier with the canoe paddles, i think I'm going to try to lengthen the kayak paddles with a dowel rod or something to try to enhance them. We also used the sail a bit and had a few speed boats cheer at us when we sailed by them, one of these days I'll take a good pic of it in action.

HenryJLittlefinger
Jan 31, 2010

stomp clap



Poopelyse posted:

cool, thanks for the suggestions on paddleboards!


yeah, this sounds like a good choice. our dog is about 30 pounds so it seems like that Intex is a good one. I'll have to keep an eye out for any of this stuff to come back in stock...

Where are you located? Front Range?

Poopelyse
Jan 21, 2011

Set phasers to maximum stunning



HenryJLittlefinger posted:

Where are you located? Front Range?

I'm in Laramie. I ended up just buying whatever inflatable SUP was available on Amazon that was within my budget. already been out with it a few times and it's a fun time. even the dog is slowly getting used to sitting on it while we paddle

Planet X
Dec 10, 2003

GOOD MORNING

I bought a Sea Eagle Paddleski and its pretty great. Inflatable catamaran with a decent sized sail that I could also hook a motor or rig up with a swivel seat for fishing.

Does anyone have opinions on good electric motors? I want something decent, but I'm not ready to shell out for a Torqueedo.

Elmnt80
Dec 30, 2012

OH NOOOO!





How fast are you trying to go? A high thrust stern mount trolling motor will scoot along at a decentish clip.

HenryJLittlefinger
Jan 31, 2010

stomp clap



Poopelyse posted:

I'm in Laramie. I ended up just buying whatever inflatable SUP was available on Amazon that was within my budget. already been out with it a few times and it's a fun time. even the dog is slowly getting used to sitting on it while we paddle

Well if you want another one at any point, a lot of the rental outfits in Fort Collins and Loveland sell off some of their stuff at the end of the season. Where do you paddle up there? Horsetooth is terrible and I need a new place to take the family for afternoon canoeing.

Rooted Vegetable
Jun 1, 2002



Slightly adjacent topic I suppose, but has anyone got any thoughts/experience with packable boats which are only really transportable by car, but still inflatable.

On a recent pop up trailer trip to a lake, I saw someone inflating an Aquamarine boat from a Jeep, no trailer etc in sight. Appeared to have a trolling/electric motor with him. Looking at their site it appears there's a decent range and not too expensive.

My Dad had a boat when I was a kid (bigger than this) and although I wouldn't necessarily fancy these for open waters, pootling around lakes and inlets might be OK. On the flip side, I can still store it in my condo storage locker.

Rooted Vegetable fucked around with this message at 18:52 on Aug 13, 2020

Ciaphas
Nov 20, 2005

> BEWARE, COWARD




orb


Safety Dance
Sep 10, 2007

Five degrees to starboard!



Wow that looks like a peaceful way to spend a morning or maybe evening.

Ciaphas
Nov 20, 2005

> BEWARE, COWARD




i don't recommend the waking up at 4am part, but yeah it was pretty drat nice

theflyingexecutive
Apr 22, 2007




My fiancée and I were lucky enough to get an intel K2 for the real $100 price from amazon instead of the gouger price. We’ve been out on NYC’s most scenic and often polluted waterways with it, even up and down the harbor close to shore and plenty of random rivers and inlets that look navigable but are really only 4” deep in parts.

PuErhTeabag
Sep 2, 2018


I'm in the process of attempting to build my own packraft.

Inspired by DIY Packraft, but having more time than money, I decided to come up with my own design.

At this point, I've obtained fabric (from Seattle Fabrics), proved that I can weld it acceptably, created a design in CAD software, and built a 1/8 scale model that doesn't look too terrible. I'm roughly following the dimensions of the Alpacka classic.

Some shots of my paper model V1:





I've since created a V2 design that reduces some of the bow and stern air volume because I don't need a 400 lb capacity for this specific craft. Please ignore the gaps between some tubes, it's really hard to constrain these goofy shaped pieces.



I'll post more pictures as I get further along. Right now I'm cutting paper templates for the tube segments, which is kind of tedious.

Total investment so far is about $100 of fabric, a $20 Aliexpress leather iron, and quite a few hours. My biggest concern (besides somehow screwing up the design) is that the fabric I purchased is inferior and something will blow out.

Long term the plan is to go use this one for a year or until it breaks and apply those lessons to the next model. I'd like to incorporate a zipper into a future model, so I can stow things inside the raft tubes themselves.

PokeJoe
Aug 24, 2004

hail cgatan




Woah that looks cool as hell. I'd never even considered building my own inflatable. It seems like some arcane magic

PuErhTeabag
Sep 2, 2018


PokeJoe posted:

Woah that looks cool as hell. I'd never even considered building my own inflatable. It seems like some arcane magic

If you want to make one yourself and only use use about half the arcane magic, this website sells kits: https://www.diypackraft.com/

They are very cost effective compared to an Alpacka or other brand, and you get to know how the sausage is made, which I like. You also should be able to fix your own raft quite easily because you'd have the right tools and intimate knowledge of how it goes together.

Safety Dance
Sep 10, 2007

Five degrees to starboard!


theflyingexecutive posted:

My fiancée and I were lucky enough to get an intel K2 for the real $100 price from amazon instead of the gouger price. We’ve been out on NYC’s most scenic and often polluted waterways with it, even up and down the harbor close to shore and plenty of random rivers and inlets that look navigable but are really only 4” deep in parts.

Post some pictures of your exploration! That sounds like a lot of fun.

Bonzo
Mar 11, 2004

Just like Mama used to make it!


I've been looking for one of these to take the to the lake next month. Any places in Canada I can look at? wasn't sure of Bass Pro or Canadian Tire carry good ones or if I need to look at a specialty store.

Rick
Feb 23, 2004
And now the whole nation - pulpit and all - will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open.

When I was unemployed I have had one in my amazon cart that was around $60 for months, the plan was to take it down to a lake near the border that has a lot of little launch places for small fishing boats. I don't know what the plan was after that. Now that I have a job I never have time to go down there though, it's abandoned during the week but crazy busy on weekends.

PuErhTeabag
Sep 2, 2018


I've been making some progress in my packraft build.

First, I made a seat to test out my welding abilities as well as my Boston Valve installation.



EDIT: DON'T USE E6000, IT USES TRICHLOROETHYLENE AS A SOLVENT WHICH IS REALLY NASTY STUFF. IT CAN BE ESPECIALLY HARMFUL IF YOU TOUCH AN IRON TO IT FORMS SUPER DUPER NASTY THINGS WITH SUFFICIENT HEAT. I'm experimenting with Shoe Goo, Seam Grip, and Aquaseal as alternatives.

Lessons learned: E6000 is good glue see above and works for bonding PVC and TPU coated nylon, but you have to rough up the TPU and the PVC first. Also, I should have used a baffle instead of directly quilting the two sides of the seat together. The sharp angle creates stress risers and I got a pinhole leak at the edge of one of my interior welds after bouncing on my seat to test out it's durability. I'll probably remake this later.

I made a little form of the correct (11") diameter to help keep the seam straight as I welded the tube seams.



With some masking tape to make the fabric stick, it worked really well. I worked the wrinkles out before welding, but they are present in this picture.



Three tubes down, seven to go! I can't do more than 3-4 in a day because I need to reinforce interior corners with glue because they are at the highest probability for having a leak.

PuErhTeabag fucked around with this message at 04:19 on Sep 1, 2020

PokeJoe
Aug 24, 2004

hail cgatan




i keep going back to those diy kits you posted as a potential winter project but I think my gf might kill me since the only room I have to do it in is our living room

PuErhTeabag
Sep 2, 2018


PokeJoe posted:

i keep going back to those diy kits you posted as a potential winter project but I think my gf might kill me since the only room I have to do it in is our living room

The good thing about this kind of project is that it is really easy to roll up and pack away when you aren't working on it. If you want to seem reasonable, show her a video of a Pygmy Boats build first. (I'd love to build one of their wooden kayaks)

https://www.pygmyboats.com/kit-construction-process.html
https://www.pygmyboats.com/boats/touring-kayaks.html


Welding the fabric has a very minimal smell that I'm not bothered by, but someone with a sensitive nose might care about. The glues will offgas solvents of some type as they cure (all three I'm currently considering use toluene which is less toxic than TCE but not still great for indoor use), so you'll need a place to glue that isn't indoors. You might be able to get away without gluing interiors and just putting little glue spots on any leaks from the outside, which would let you wait until after the boat was finished to glue, but I'm not sure.

If you are serious about it, go order your iron from aliexpress sooner than later, because mine took almost three months to arrive.

Other updates: that seat design sucks. After bouncing on it for a while, I sprung pinhole leaks next to two of the quilting welds. The angle of the fabric joining is too steep I think and I didn't do a good job of having smooth round welds. Looking at other inflated seat designs, using an internal baffle seems to work to control thickness without introducing bad stress risers. I'm also freaked out about the TCE because it's toxic to aquatic life, so I'm scrapping what I have done and starting over. Luckily this gives me a chance to not repeat some of my mistakes and the fabric isn't too pricey.

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Boxman
Sep 27, 2004

Big fan of




Poopelyse posted:

my wife and i are in the market for an inflatable paddleboard and some kind of inflatable boat/kayak that could fit one of us plus the dog. where do i even shop for such things? and does anyone have any recommendations? we want some outdoor toys we can do more fun stuff outside.

We had been toying with an ISUP for a while, and...everything pushed us over the edge. We went with Nautical 10.5, the entry level board from iRocker. Expensive compared to some of the kayaks posted in this thread, but cheap compared to a lot of other ISUPs, even others from the same manufacturer.



We don't have a lot of grounds for comparison, but we've been very happy with the purchase. Whatever they cheaped out on, it isn't too apparent to beginners from the first 5 hours or so of paddling around.

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