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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the market for an inflatable tandem kayak, and came across what looks like an older model Aire lynx for sale, pictured below:



Does anyone know what year this style lynx was made? and if there have been any major changes to the model over the years?

The only thing I can see is the seats are different, and the bow and stern covers look different.

This boat is for sale for $700 with a paddle and pump, and a foam floor insert that can be interchanged. I plan on running some class 3-4 water with this boat, and want to make sure it has many years of life left (I hear these boats are made to last, so hopefully this one is no exception)

I feel like it's a good deal even if the boat is older than 10 years and the warranty has expired. What do ya'll think.

Thanks
 

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That's a pre-2003 Lynx 2. check with Aire, but sually the last digit or two on the serial number tells the year of manufacture. some folks swear that those are better than the current model, but all boats seem to have fan clubs.

personally, I'd pass on it at that price if you are planning on upgrading the floor to an air floor. that would put you near the $1000 mark, and you can do much better than that. I've seen several air floor Lynx 2's for sale around the $600 to $700 range. there were several foam lynx 2s in CO this summer for $400-500 with paddles etc.

Some feel that a foam floor is more high performance, but I would think that makes more sense for a solo duckie than a tandem (a tandem duckie really isn't a high performance craft anyway). To me it wouldn't be worth the pain is the ass factor of a non-deflatable boat- you really don't want to be removing the foam floor every time you use it, plus the tandems are around 12 feet long, so that would be a real storage problem for me.

For a tandem, I think that the tomcat series might be just fine for you, and they are on sale right now at NRS for around $500 (around $400 is a good price used). I have a tomcat solo and it does everything I could ask from a duckie. unless you are a hardcore duckier and hit super steep creeks and drops etc., you really don't need any more durability/performance than the tomcat provides. if you are that hard, you'd probably be looking at hard boats anyway.

if you want to go the used route, I'd keep looking, and I'm sure a better deal will come up.
 

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The boat looks great. Pics of the hull would be helpful (if you don't already have them from the seller) as that's where damage and wear is most likely. The foam floor makes it harder to roll/fold for transport and storage vs. an air floor. As per Whoapiglet - if you're going to upgrade the floor to air then the purchase price isn't worth it.

My cousin has several Lynx1 and Force kayaks that are all around 15 years old. They're all still going strong and are simply bombproof. I put a fair amount of abuse on some of the kayaks during low water MFS floats and no worries.

I have mixed feelings on the TomCat series. I currently own one, and have owned the two predecessors models (Caracal v1 and v2). They're not as durable as the Lynx series and are much more likely to suffer tears and cuts, and the cheap valves are sub par.

The more durable and more expensive Lynx is going to last longer than a TomCat and take abuse better, as well as have a better warranty. But then again, you can buy 2+ TomCats for the price of 1 Lynx, so there are several ways to look at this.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input.

I should have been more clear - the boat does have an air floor, but there is an optional foam floor that can be inserted if I wanted. Here's a pic of the bottom of the boat. Looks like it's pretty clean:



My only concern with this older boat (seems like it's pre-2003) is the degrading pvc or urethane air bladder. I'm not sure how long the materials are good for, but if they start to fall apart soon I might as well start looking for a newer or new model and not pay for repairs down the road. I guess it's all about how you store the boats and use them though, as fatmanZ said his cousin still uses the lynx hard after 15 years.

So, are the differences between pre vs post 2003 models the hull shape and seats? Are the valves and urethan/pvc shell grade the same?
 

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that looks like a better deal to me then. nice condition. I think the valves were halkey roberts on those, which work fine- not as nice as the leafields, but ok. basically its the original brand name version of the summit valves that Aire uses on their cheaper tomcats.

I wouldn't worry about the urethane degrading, its super durable and doesn't see any sunlight. with old PVC boats, look for fading, and cracking in the plastic. for the most part,with AIRE boats, if the outside looks good, the whole thing is probably fine. Find out if the boat was stored inflated or not, inflated boats have less issues with cracking from rolling, but since they are huge, they often live outdoors and get faded. sun also causes cracking.

here is some good info on new vs old lynx
AIRE Lynx II inflatable kayak, $73 UPS and gear allowance - Tandem River Inflatable Kayaks
 

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The boat looks to be in great shape. I have an old Aire Force that is old enough it doesn't have a serial number on the outside. It was used by an outfitter for years, owned by a private party for a few more years, then I got my hands on it. It's noticeably faded and well used - but the innards are solid and hold air fine. That boat makes the Lynx your considering look showroom ready.

Judging by the pictures alone the boat looks to be in fine shape and a decent deal - esp considering the air floor!

One more question: You say you want to do class III/IV. Any reason why you're thinking of getting a Double vs. a Single? Are you planning on taking someone with you on the runs, or lots of gear on multi-day trips?
 

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Two person IK's are a dime a dozen nearly. I think you could find that boat for $500. I was in the market for a single IK for about a year, and got so tired of all the IK's coming up being tandems. Be patient, you've got a few months. But that boat looks to be in good shape.

Edit- I don't see any cheap deals out there now, but I swear there were a lot when I was looking!

Are those inflatable seat backs? If so, they are much better than the typical aire seat that is like a crazy creek.
 

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Air floor, foam floor, paddle and pump for $700. Great boat for multi-day self support trips. Mine is still strong. Buy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm hoping to get into some class III-IV's with this boat, but need a tandem cause' the girlfriend wants to come along, and I would be in the dog house if I just bought a solo. I figure the longer boat would be a good compromise between running rapids solo or with a partner, solo trips down the wild and scenic Rogue with lots of gear, using the boat as a fishing vessel for steelhead fishing on some northern California coastal rivers (Eel, Smith, Russian, Mattole). Seems like it can be a good all-around boat, until I get serious and start going down bigger water, or smaller creeks.

Yeah, that seat inflates. I wasn't sure about that feature, but I guess it should be a little more comfortable. I haven't seen any deals out there, but I've only been looking for a few weeks. I could probably wait for a newer boat to show, but you never know if you've got a deal until its gone.
 

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That rig has B7 valves clearly visible in the stern from the photo, and with an aire and foam floor is great. Take it apart and look at every thing. If it is in good shape with no aire cell patches it is a good deal, although I would try to pay in the 500 to 600 range if the warranty is expire. Upgrade to a cheeta type chair. We have 2 of these exact same boats. I ran the upper Owyhee at twcie floodstage paddling solo, it was great. It paddles just fine solo either day trip or multiday. Ditch the girl or get her a boat too. I have a single Aire lynx from the early 1990s that is still going strong!

I would try a little negotiation but buy it!

2 of the exact same boat in the background on the NF John Day
 

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One thing you might think about- for the uses you describe, you might look for one of the mini rafts like a Trib 9.5 or a mini me/max or even a paddle cat or culebra. I have the mini max, and it weighs 50# and I found it on Craigslist for $800 with 4 paddles. you can start out with regular paddles, and eventually put together a frame for fishing.

The benefit is more capacity, generally more fun to R2 a raft than paddle a ducky, you have a more capable craft- plus, they call tandem duckies "divorce boats" for good reason. Mainly, if you plan to fish out of the thing, a raft is worlds better than a kayak. You really can't cast a fly rod out of a kayak, its tippy and too low to the water, and you can hold a raft in place mid stream whereas that is really hard to with a kayak paddle. essentially, cost is close to what you are looking at, and with paddles, you can do everything you can do with a tandem duckie, with the option to do much, much more with some extra equipment.

just a thought....
 

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Shapp, you are a talented man. when I first got my duckie, I tried to use fins and sit on the side tube so I could fish while i was floating sideways.... I know it sounds stupid now, but seemed like a good idea until I actually caught a fish and fell ass over tea kettle into the drink. bought a 'toon since then to solo fish out of.

no doubt you can fish out of anything- just think a raft is better suited to fishing. lets be honest with the dude- buy the duckie, because if you like to fish and camp as you say, its almost a foregone conclusion that you will end up with raft and a plethora of other water toys anyway. then you will want to get all your buddies on the river and the easiest way to do that is with a duckie.
 

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Duckies are great. Starting with a duckie is awesome. 1-cheaper, 2-more fun in hot summery floats, 3-find out if date really wants to boat before you buy a raft, 4-simpler shuttle for quick after work runs.
 

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buy the duckie, because if you like to fish and camp as you say, its almost a foregone conclusion that you will end up with raft and a plethora of other water toys anyway. then you will want to get all your buddies on the river and the easiest way to do that is with a duckie.
Amen! Truer words were never spoken. Start with a duckie and end up with a pile of rafts and IKs. Nine and counting.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've done my share of fishing out of pontoon boats, at least one man boats...I used to have an outcast 8'er and took it down some III's on the Applegate River in Oregon looking for winter steelhead -













I was thinking of a bigger pontoon boat, but like you said that will come at some point. After reading all the posts it seems like the aire lynx is a good boat for any situation, and to hear they are still going strong after 15-20 years shows that they're bombproof. Even if it does fall apart, I know Aire stands by their products and will repair the boat at a reasonable cost. I know this from experience after popping the shell on my outcast on a strainer, and only paid $50 to get it fixed:

 

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that looks like some ballsy water for an 8 footer- nice work. the only advice i have for you is- start saving- you are gonna buy a lot of stuff in the next couple years... start with a good pfd...
 

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Great stuff Notch !!!!!
My first ever whitewater experience was running Alpine Canyon in an 8 ft. Outcast mini-cat. Sailed through Kahuna and Lunch Counter right side up and was addicted for sure after that. That was five boats ago. I'd say start with whatever you can afford, whatever makes you happy & gets you on the river. Just know that it most likely won't be your only last or only boat.
KJ
 

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I'm hoping to get into some class III-IV's with this boat, but need a tandem cause' the girlfriend wants to come along, and I would be in the dog house if I just bought a solo.
You might consider a shredder, mini-me, or puma for this. You can get a frame and row, or you and the little lady can R2. It's just that so many divorces happen because of tandem kayaks.... A puma would serve all of your needs and many more. Just a thought.

If you're set on the tandem duckie you're looking at a great price. I have seen cheaper, but not very often for a boat that looks this good. A Hyside that old would fetch a grand as would most other decent ducks. The nice thing about older Aire boats is the little pinholes and scrapes are just on the outside, usually keeping your relatively inexpensive floor bladder in tact.
 
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