Inflatable kayaks or similar kayak/kickboat experiences?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Denny, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    A friend of mine indicates he has an opportunity to purchase one of those inflatable kayak/kickboat type craft that were on the market for a few years. I believe Outcast sold one as the Y2Kayak, and Scadden sold them as the model Escalade. Outcast sold (until recently) a similar craft, but with a rowing frame and solid foam flooar. I don't know anyone that has one of these inflatable kayaks so couldn't give him any real experience information or insight.

    They are like a mini Aire Puma raft, built for one person with the front end floor cut out so the fisherperson can use fins for propulsion. The other propulsion method is with a kayak paddle.

    I realize there is no 'perfect' one-person inflatable fishing craft. However, it seems logically to be a pretty good craft. It seems to be compromise between the Watermaster vs. pontoon boat debate. It has the convenience of no frame, like the Watermaster, so it should be easier to get ready than a pontoon boat. However, it is more hydrodynamic (pointed upswept ends) than the Watermaster, so it should be much quicker than the Watermaster.

    It seems the downside it shares with the Watermaster is no anchor provision. The only specific downsides I can see are the kayak paddle and what to do with it when fishing.

    Is there anyone out there that has experience with these, any info I can pass on? :thumb:
     
  2. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Richard, I have the Scadden Escalade which was made by Aire and also sold (with improvements) as the Outcast Odessey. If I were chosing between the two, I'd go with the Odessey as it has 2 main bladders while the Escalade has only one. (the foam floor/framed Outcast was the Power Drifter)

    I love this little boat. Like anything, there are pros and cons and it is not my only boat. I also have multiple float tubes, pontoon and cat boats, kayaks and canoes but this one certainly has a place in my flotilla. I originally bought it for fishing the salt so I didn't have to deal with rust/corrosion of frames but I find I use it a lot on rivers and lakes too. Since I bought it, I never use my float tubes anymore as it is way more comfortable to fish from.

    The upside: Its frameless design makes it quick to get on the water, it weighs only 18 lbs so hiking it in to places like Lenice are a snap and it fits into a very small bag for transport/storage. It has good built-in storage pockets and a rear cargo deck. The seat is very comfortable (combo air/foam) even on long days. On a lake, I can paddle to get somewhere fast then put my fins on to troll. The seat keeps me out of the water and if my feet get cold, I can put them up on the footrest. It is great on mild rivers. I've floated the Yak from Big Horn to Red's and used my fins the whole time so I could fish on-the-go. I can hop off the seat and fish a run without ever leaving the boat. I like being able to paddle vs row so I can see where I'm going. I'm not into sitting still very long so anchoring hasn't been a problem. I have used a mesh bag with rocks or a small kayak anchor occasionally and simply tied it off to one of the D rings. As it's made by Aire, it is very well made and they will still provide repair service should it be needed.

    Now the downside: While one can paddle it, it doesn't track that well so one must be a good paddler to keep it straight on flat water. Although it does have a pointed bow and stern, it has a lot of rocker and it is 46" wide; it's faster than a float tube but I can row my pontoon boat faster as rowing is usually faster than paddling. I've never pitted it against the Watermaster but my guess is one could row the Watermaster faster despite its shape. It is ok for covering smallish lakes (Dry Falls) but if I were going to do any distance I'd take a hard shelled kayak like my Tarpon. It is rated for Class III rivers but without a drysuit, I wouldn't think of anything above Class I. One sits much lower than in a pontoon and while it is fun to get a lap/chest full of waves, it is scary in waders (and yes I always wear a PFD on lakes and rivers). It's easier to get in and out of then a belly boat but more difficult than a pontoon. The paddle is only a small pain while fishing; I tuck it up in the bow and with a paddle leash attached, I tend to forget about it.

    Bottom line is I find myself grabbing this boat a lot, way more than I anticipated, especially for quick solo trips. PM me if you have anymore questions.
     
  3. FLGator

    FLGator Member

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    Richard,

    Not sure if this is applicable based on the dimensions of the craft, but something to consider. Might eliminate the need for a kayak paddle. Lots of positive feedback from users as an alternative to the conventional rowing frame.

    http://www.oarsaddle.com/

    Take care,
    Chris