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What sort of boat should we get?


Carl Fimble
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Carl Fimble

Anyone know anything about boats?

I'd like a boat, ideally it would be easy to transport, safe, long lasting, cheap(ish) and capable of carrying up to five people.

I had been thinking about an inflatable boat like this (the Intex Excursion 5):

https://www.intexinflatablekayak.com/

 

Though maybe a Canadian canoe would be better, or a proper wee rowing boat, god knows though, I know next to nothing about boats. 

It's not for using on the sea, just (mellow) rivers and lochs. 

We don't have a tow bar on our car, but could fit one I suppose, I'm not keen on trailers though, roof bars could be fitted to our car, and cheaply, so I'd prefer that, or something like that inflatable boat above, which could just go in a bag in the boot. 

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Libspero

Not sure I really know what you are looking for..  ignoring the legality (I know nothing about lochs):

Kayaks are fun for one,  but a bit of a faff if you need to take 5 for 5 different people..  bit of a learning curve too, especially if you plan to use a spray deck.

A standard inflatable might not be a bad idea..  maybe even invest in one of those electric outboards with oars as a back-up?

Sailing boats are fun..  but for something big enough for 5 it might be a bit of a handful if you’ve never sailed before and storage may be an issue.

Perhaps tell us which of the above sounds closest to what you are thinking and we can narrow down from there?

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Carl Fimble
49 minutes ago, Libspero said:

Not sure I really know what you are looking for..  ignoring the legality (I know nothing about lochs):

Kayaks are fun for one,  but a bit of a faff if you need to take 5 for 5 different people..  bit of a learning curve too, especially if you plan to use a spray deck.

A standard inflatable might not be a bad idea..  maybe even invest in one of those electric outboards with oars as a back-up?

Sailing boats are fun..  but for something big enough for 5 it might be a bit of a handful if you’ve never sailed before and storage may be an issue.

Perhaps tell us which of the above sounds closest to what you are thinking and we can narrow down from there?

Sorry, I'll try to give more details, I'm just all excited about it after seeing loads over the last few days, haven't thought about it enough yet.

Kayaks are no good as we'd need too many of them- PITA to transport and store. A little boat like the inflatable I linked to would probably suit us, and adding a wee electric motor sounds like a good plan. 

It'll just be for days out on the water, nearby and maybe to take with us on camping trips. Just worried an inflatable won't last long, or be safe, though that one seems to get good reviews, and supposedly it'll stay afloat even if two of the three chambers bursts. 

I'll maybe use it for a little fishing trip sometimes too, can't think what other info would be helpful, any questions just ask though. 

Not too bothered if it's legal or not, I'd not even though about it, pretty sure it'll be fine though. 

Sailing I know NOTHING about, and would worry I'd fuck it up and capsize the thing. 

I reckon a rowing boat style would be best, just wondering if an/that inflatable would be any good, really liking the idea of a wee motor as I'll get tired rowing for hours- Mrs Fimble has already said she doesn't like rowing!

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Carl Fimble
3 minutes ago, Bobthebuilder said:

If you float it, fly it or f**k it, rent it. It's much cheaper.

Dunno- that wee inflatable I liked to is just £140ish, plus life jackets x 5, a motor and battery, and maybe wetsuits X5.

We hired a little boat last week, well ok- a pedalo! It was £35 for an hour. 

I think it's a choice between a Canadian canoe and a little rowing style boat. 

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Bobthebuilder
3 minutes ago, Carl Fimble said:

Dunno- that wee inflatable I liked to is just £140ish, plus life jackets x 5, a motor and battery, and maybe wetsuits X5.

We hired a little boat last week, well ok- a pedalo! It was £35 for an hour. 

I think it's a choice between a Canadian canoe and a little rowing style boat. 

I did repeat the old quote in jest of course.

The Canadian canoe sounds the dogs nads to me. Much better on a freshwater use, no sea salt to clean off, no tides, easy to maintain etc. My old man was into boats, they are great fun more so if you have kids. The sea is a different beast altogether though, can be a bit scary.

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Kurt Barlow
4 hours ago, Carl Fimble said:

Anyone know anything about boats?

I'd like a boat, ideally it would be easy to transport, safe, long lasting, cheap(ish) and capable of carrying up to five people.

I had been thinking about an inflatable boat like this (the Intex Excursion 5):

https://www.intexinflatablekayak.com/

 

Though maybe a Canadian canoe would be better, or a proper wee rowing boat, god knows though, I know next to nothing about boats. 

It's not for using on the sea, just (mellow) rivers and lochs. 

We don't have a tow bar on our car, but could fit one I suppose, I'm not keen on trailers though, roof bars could be fitted to our car, and cheaply, so I'd prefer that, or something like that inflatable boat above, which could just go in a bag in the boot. 

You can stick an electric outboard on the back of one of them too. 

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Libspero
45 minutes ago, Carl Fimble said:

A little boat like the inflatable I linked to would probably suit us, and adding a wee electric motor sounds like a good plan. 

I think an inflatable sounds perfect..  just roll up and put in the car when you're done. 

If you are going to power it,  you'll want something slightly more robust with a proper transom (hard bit at the back that you can mount an outboard on).  That will add quite a lot of cost,  as too will the outboard,  but it will extend your range and mean you don't need to row without making any noise and pissing people off. 

If you are literally just going to paddle around in the shallows a cheap inflatable with some beers and some mates and some oars sounds fine.  Just watch out for strong winds and currents.

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34 minutes ago, Libspero said:

I think an inflatable sounds perfect..  just roll up and put in the car when you're done. 

If you are going to power it,  you'll want something slightly more robust with a proper transom (hard bit at the back that you can mount an outboard on).  That will add quite a lot of cost,  as too will the outboard,  but it will extend your range and mean you don't need to row without making any noise and pissing people off. 

If you are literally just going to paddle around in the shallows a cheap inflatable with some beers and some mates and some oars sounds fine.  Just watch out for strong winds and currents.

Anything built with proper transom will likely be a completely different league in build/durability as well - particularly known brand s/h, though probably going to weigh a fair bit more and take up considerably more space. Got to think about where you are going to be able to park carry and safely launch from, once afloat is one thing getting afloat can often be the most problematic.

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2 hours ago, MrPin said:

Whenever I see gravy, I think of trains, not boats.

Thats not Gravy though. It resembles the contents of my bowels after a night drinking.

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Bricks & Mortar
13 hours ago, Carl Fimble said:

Anyone know anything about boats?

I'd like a boat, ideally it would be easy to transport, safe, long lasting, cheap(ish) and capable of carrying up to five people.

I had been thinking about an inflatable boat like this (the Intex Excursion 5):

https://www.intexinflatablekayak.com/

 

Though maybe a Canadian canoe would be better, or a proper wee rowing boat, god knows though, I know next to nothing about boats. 

It's not for using on the sea, just (mellow) rivers and lochs. 

We don't have a tow bar on our car, but could fit one I suppose, I'm not keen on trailers though, roof bars could be fitted to our car, and cheaply, so I'd prefer that, or something like that inflatable boat above, which could just go in a bag in the boot. 

Inflatables are prone to being windblown.  You'll be surprised by the current, even on rivers that look mellow, (i.e paddle upstream first and return downstream when your arms get tired).  Some Scottish Lochs are colder than the sea in summer, as they have melting snow feedng them.  You should be prepared to be in the water, and quite suddenly, in case of mishap.

For roof bars, think about the length of your boat, and the distance apart your roof bars are.  My Corsa has a roof rack, but doubt any but the tiniest boat could be transported as the bars are about 2 foot 6" apart.

Inflatable kayak isn't a bad shout, particularly if transportation is the main consideration.  Think you should stick to small and still bodies of water, prefereably shallow, at least until you've got the hang of it.

Life jackets of course.  A handheld VHF to contact the coastguard if you'll be going on the sea, (but they don't cover most of the inland lochs).

 

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Frank Hovis
14 hours ago, Carl Fimble said:

Kayaks are no good as we'd need too many of them- PITA to transport and store. A little boat like the inflatable I linked to would probably suit us, and adding a wee electric motor sounds like a good plan. 

 

Two three man solid kayaks, or rather 2 + 1 as they usualy have a child middle seat, will store one on top of the other and two easily fit on roofbars.

Unlike inflatables they won't perish or burst, don't need inflating (sounds obvious but I have done and it's a pain), and won't gently deflate as you're out there meaning you start sinking lower and paddling becomes difficult.

They are much easier to clean, or you don't have to bother - just leave them out in the rain.

The other huge advantage of solid over inflatable is the much lower side profile.  Just look at the side height of that boat. I have been out in similar in strong winds and we were paddling at a 45 degree angle to compensate for the wind push.

ff8e9356-223b-4777-86d7-84ddd67cbd52._CRc

 

They will also have dire resale value so are poor economy.  Solid kayaks keep their price and you can sell them ten years on for maybe 80% of the price that you paid.

 

I'd recommend one or two of something like this:

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 130t Tandem                    £700

image.png.e8cd329fe4072e5951166f30b43b597e.png

The Wilderness systems Tarpon 130t Tandem is an exceptionally versatile double sit on kayak which can be paddled solo or tandem and comes with integral hinged seats and 2 small hatches. Maximum use has been made of the interior space to allow children to travel with adults, we know of one Cornish family of five using it all together!! The Tarpon 130 paddles extemely well due to the fine flared bow and the integral skeg at the stern giving a comfortable, dry ride. A lovely stable paddle for larger paddlers for whom the integral backrests give unequalled support to the lower back. For familes it has proven more popular than triple sit on top kayaks because of the extra legroom in the cockpit.

http://www.wildthings-canoes.co.uk/wilderness-systems-tarpon-130-tandem.htm

 

One other piece of (possibly unwanted) advice: do not do what I did and buy the cool colours like the one above.  You are going to want to be visible at a distance in case you get into trouble so stick to orange or red.

 

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Mental Floss

https://www.gumotexboats.com/en

If you're going inflatable have a look at these. More money but absolutely excellent apparently. Personally I've got an old Sevylor Hudson which is ace. But as with everything they de-specced the newer version and fucked it up.

Solids have advantages as Frank says. However, I can get my Hudson in the roofbox along with all the lifejackets, paddles, pumps etc. Also I can carry the boat a decent distance when inflated eliminating the need for trolleys etc.

 It's never popped on me yet (famous last words)! However I've had some properly hairy moments in it. Never underestimate the power of wind, tide and currents. The high sides of inflatables act like sails and it's nigh on impossible to push against wind and tide in one. Don't forego safety equipment, it might be the last mistake you ever make.

But I'd say the £300 I spend on my inflatable has been paid back many times by the fun we've had in it. 

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Kurt Barlow
14 hours ago, onlyme said:

Anything built with proper transom will likely be a completely different league in build/durability as well - particularly known brand s/h, though probably going to weigh a fair bit more and take up considerably more space. Got to think about where you are going to be able to park carry and safely launch from, once afloat is one thing getting afloat can often be the most problematic.

Those intex inflatables have a transom mount which will happily take a small electric outboard. The Bisons  electric OB's are fine for lakes and rivers. 

Bison Outboards | Fishing Mad

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Aren't boats like tents, in that to find out the carrying capacity you take the manufacturers rated 'persons' guide, and multiply by 2/3 and round down if necessary? (or similar equation -- IIRC it was sometimes quoted as halve and round up).

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Andersen

As @Frank Hovis a couple of 2 person (or 2+1) kayaks, fir easily side by side on a roofrack. Bugger to store when not in use, you can get some with motors but don't expect to find them second hand. Buy soon to avoid the summer rush.

Or an inflatable XL / family board? https://www.sup-internationalmag.com/2019-starboard-team-inflatable-boards/

 

Sup.jpg

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Hopeful
On 16/04/2021 at 20:24, Carl Fimble said:

Sorry, I'll try to give more details, I'm just all excited about it after seeing loads over the last few days, haven't thought about it enough yet.

Kayaks are no good as we'd need too many of them- PITA to transport and store. A little boat like the inflatable I linked to would probably suit us, and adding a wee electric motor sounds like a good plan. 

It'll just be for days out on the water, nearby and maybe to take with us on camping trips. Just worried an inflatable won't last long, or be safe, though that one seems to get good reviews, and supposedly it'll stay afloat even if two of the three chambers bursts. 

I'll maybe use it for a little fishing trip sometimes too, can't think what other info would be helpful, any questions just ask though. 

Not too bothered if it's legal or not, I'd not even though about it, pretty sure it'll be fine though. 

Sailing I know NOTHING about, and would worry I'd fuck it up and capsize the thing. 

I reckon a rowing boat style would be best, just wondering if an/that inflatable would be any good, really liking the idea of a wee motor as I'll get tired rowing for hours- Mrs Fimble has already said she doesn't like rowing!

 

https://kokopelli.com/

Not owned one, seen the pack craft in use

 

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Carl Fimble

Thanks for all the input, just spotted this sit on kayak, which can hold two adults and two children, which would be all we'd need most of the time, no idea if it'd be any good, but the specs and price look ok to me :

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/ocean-quatro-rotomod-rigid-4-seat-canoe-kayak-2-adults-2-children/_/R-p-X8387870

 

Doesn't include paddles so that'd add another £70-100ish, quite a lot more expensive than the inflatable boat I linked to originally, but it should last decades?

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33 minutes ago, Carl Fimble said:

Thanks for all the input, just spotted this sit on kayak, which can hold two adults and two children, which would be all we'd need most of the time, no idea if it'd be any good, but the specs and price look ok to me :

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/ocean-quatro-rotomod-rigid-4-seat-canoe-kayak-2-adults-2-children/_/R-p-X8387870

 

Doesn't include paddles so that'd add another £70-100ish, quite a lot more expensive than the inflatable boat I linked to originally, but it should last decades?

 

Inflatables, forget it, as they sit `on the water` directional control is abysmal and so you will give up in frustration.

What you put above is ok but they are sit on rather than sit in, you will need wetsuits, and they don't hold resale value.

Once you have put the price of wetsuits on the above you are on your way to a reasonable Canadian canoe that will be a lot more controllable, you won't need wetsuits, you can carry it on roof bars, and it holds resale value better....that's what I would go for as a canoeist. As someone said, why not hire initially and see how practical it is for you. If you then still like it at the end of the season (late Autumn/early Winter) ask the hire place if they are selling any of their ex-rentals...you will then be able to buy what you have used/like at a reduced price, and so this will cover your rental costs as against a new one.

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Carl Fimble
28 minutes ago, MrXxxx said:

Inflatables, forget it, as they sit `on the water` directional control is abysmal and so you will give up in frustration.

What you put above is ok but they are sit on rather than sit in, you will need wetsuits, and they don't hold resale value.

Once you have put the price of wetsuits on the above you are on your way to a reasonable Canadian canoe that will be a lot more controllable, you won't need wetsuits, you can carry it on roof bars, and it holds resale value better....that's what I would go for as a canoeist. As someone said, why not hire initially and see how practical it is for you. If you then still like it at the end of the season (late Autumn/early Winter) ask the hire place if they are selling any of their ex-rentals...you will then be able to buy what you have used/like at a reduced price, and so this will cover your rental costs as against a new one.

Got what you are saying about inflatable boats sitting on the water, is there much difference between that big sit on kayak and a Canadian canoe though? I kinda like the idea that a big plastic thing will float even if it capsizes, not just fill will water like a proper canoe would (I think...). 

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Carl Fimble

Looking at Canadian canoes on eBay now, 2nd hand might well be the way to go. 

 

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Andersen

It might be worth asking the hire shops now, these are not normal times so the typical "Autumn sale of ex-rental gear" didn't happen last year. A couple of rental places I spoke to last week were selling off their old hire fleet now - they have bought new gear for the new season and it is getting delivered this week.

I prefer the kayaks (tarpon above etc) to canadian canoes. Safe, impossible to sink and great fun as you can jump in and out when on water, just be prepared to get wet bums. Check the length before you buy, some of the 2+x are longer than others (long roofrack needed? storage?) Build quality & design varies between makers, Decathlon are fine for fun / mid-range kit (I've just packed one of their inflatable sups for a trip tomorrow). Lifejackets are sensible for anybody not a strong swimmer, crash helmets are a good idea if you're using it near rocks (cheap ones are fine). Think about the water temperature - not warm at this time of year. Enjoy :Beer: 

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Libspero
7 hours ago, Carl Fimble said:

Looking at Canadian canoes on eBay now, 2nd hand might well be the way to go. 

 

The trade-off with anything rigid will be storage and transportation.

Whether it is more practical or not will depend on the use case.  
 

A cheap inflatable with cheap oars isn’t really for more than splashing around close to where you launch.  Put a motor on and you can go a bit further.

I think of canoes as more “people on a mission”..  not so much for hanging out in,  more for paddling around and/or exploring.  Less stable though.
 

 

 

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