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I am in the market for an inflatable kayak. I am not overly experienced but have been out a few times. I would like something durable and versatile that will not cost more than $1000. I have been looking at a Sea Eagle Explorer 380x as it has convertible drains so it can be used for whitewater or other. Any assistance on quality of this kayak or any other suggestions on good products would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
 

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FUNNY stuff from the SeaEagle website:

"Explorer Kayaks Can Rocket Fearlessly Down Class IV Rapids!"

Sure, the IK can rocket down IV rapids, but as a rookie, you won't be in the boat! Or how about this crazy claim?

"How tough is the Explorer Kayak? In torture testing, we pounded it mercilessly with the claw of a claw hammer. It had no effect. Neither did stabbing it with a screwdriver. We simply couldn’t penetrate the “crocodile hide” hull."

Uh, bullshit. Even much more "serious" IKs get punctured.

Stay away from that SeaEagle crap. Look for a boat from Aire, Tributary or NRS. There are options under $1,000. Also follow the banner ad on the Buzz homepage. Slightly used Tributary Tomcats and Zoik IKs pretty cheap.
 

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I got a Tributary Tomcat Tandem, not too expensive yet built very solid. It can handle class IV if you can, but I use it mainly for fun, class I to III runs and for that it is perfect. Sometimes I take it on camping trips where there is a lake nearby – kids like that. Sunday afternoon River floats…its good to have that thing around. Would buy it again!
 

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I met a guy with a SeaEagle duckie on Pumphouse last weekend. He gave me the same line about being able to beat on it with a claw hammer and stab it with a screwdriver. I offered to test it with my screwdriver, but he wouldn't let me.

I have an IK made by Downriver in Denver and I really like it. It's very stable and durable. It also bails quickly. I've done III's and one IV in it my first season and I stayed in when others in duckies were coming out. I put a 2nd thwart in it for foot bracing and that helps a lot. It's a good boat for a beginner. I highly recommend it.
 

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I also have a Tomcat Tandem and a Force and would recomend them to anyone. Very well built, and great warranty. The Tomcat is big enough for a single person to camp off of, if you dont take too much stuff. I got mine from Gravity Play (top banner) for $500 and it looked brand new. If you plan on having an IK for a while stay away from all the cheap ones (Wal-Mart, Target) and get one of the name brands- Aire, NRS, DownRiver, Hyside. I have also seen alot of Vanguards on the river and they look very well built as well.
 

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Tributary's are solid at a reasonable price. NRS, DRE and Aire's are better. I'd stay away from Sea Eagle.

Personally, I plan to buy two IK's in the next year and without any doubt I will be purchasing two SOAR's. Debating between two canyons or two pro pioneers. I like the way the seats sit at the top of the tubes. More like a canoe. No wet butt! You can also put a small frame on one.

The pro pioneer has a 1500 pound capacity, so fairly luxurious overnighters are easily accomplished. All of the SOAR owners I have talked too have said they love theirs and the people at SOAR are cool. I'm surprised you don't see more of them.

I'm buying two for ultimate versatility. I plan to have a custom frame built that will connect the two like a cat. Ton's of storage with two 16' x 48" wide boats

They are a little more than a Sea Eagle but you have a serious boat.

http://www.soar1.com/
 

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I own a tomcat solo by Tributary and for the price it is a fantastic IK. It easily handles class III and I'm sure would have no problem with larger water. It is very stable and very durable. For the money you can't beat this boat. It retails for around $650 new but clavey.com has them on sale right now for $550. That would leave you plenty of cash to fully equip it with nice gear. Have fun!
 

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I am in the market for an inflatable kayak. I am not overly experienced but have been out a few times. I would like something durable and versatile that will not cost more than $1000. I have been looking at a Sea Eagle Explorer 380x as it has convertible drains so it can be used for whitewater or other. Any assistance on quality of this kayak or any other suggestions on good products would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Geeman, I'm noticing that you talk about versatility and "whitewater and other." There is a trade-off between whitewater performance (quicker turning) and flatwater performance (tracking). This is especially tricky if you want to use your boat on a lake and in whitewater. Other folks may have specific suggestions for boats that are more versatile than others. It might behelpful if you described both ends of the water spectrum that you are looking for the boat to work on.
 

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Guess it depends on how you will use it,the ' Guide to Inflatable Kayaks' link picked that Sea Eagle 380x as the best overall ducky.I was always skeptical of SeaEagles too,but like the plug for flat water idea[ don't Sevylor's River x two man's have that ].Apparently they're pretty tough.The cheapo model that looks like a Sevylor Tahiti is unreinforced PVC ,if I'm not mistaken.The better Sea Eagles would probably be fine for non technical III - IV and better than most duckies on flat water.They are long,wide,with semi big tubes ,for a duck,so not so good for creekier stuff or play.Don't like that they don't have thigh straps or footbraces or the placement of the drain holes. You may be able to add the straps & braces.


Yarmony,

SOAR's are quality boats but big and more canoe like,sounds like you have a specific plan in mind.One negative, if a baffle blows after your warranty expires they are a huge pain to fix.Both master raft repair guys I know detest working on them.They may have improved the design.
 

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zoik

I bought a Zoik inflatable a few months ago, and can not say a single bad thing about it. Very stable, light, and manuverable. I ran Numbers the other day and it performed great, no flips. I bought it from an adventure racing team that uses them once or twice, and sells them for about half off. Here is the web site, gravityplay.com. Also check out zoikinflatables.com. I hope this helps.
 

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Take a look at a Jack's Pack Cat: http://www.jpwinc.com .

I've been paddling them for about 20 years, everything from steep creeks to remote expedition-style floats to the Grand Canyon.

Compared to the average duckie: not quite as maneuverable, much more stable, greater load capacity and rigging options, no swamping & draining in big water, incredibly comfortable and adjustable seating, weight comparable or lighter, breaks down into four pieces (2 tubes, seat and foot frames) for easy packing. I've carried one in a duffel to New Zealand and Alaska (with a 4-piece breakdown paddle).

Here a Grand Canyon pic:



This is a Fat Pack Cat, 16-inch tubes. If you get a Jack's Cutthroat and a Fat Pack Cat frame, you'll have the choice of paddling or rowing with the same set of tubes. I build my own rowing frames. Check out the 'More Games with Frames' thread.
 

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I have a sevylor tahiti $120 from amazon, no frame, pretty light, more like a raft than a kayak, very stable in wave, but much less efficient than the real kayak in flat water.
 

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go cheap

i got one duckie which has been used and abused for years...its got a foam floor...it was made by someone in a garage or something and it has been awesome...when looking for a duckie, look for two things...does it float...and do i have the "skill" to make what ever piece of shit im paddling look good...i hear people talk about manuverability when it comes to duckies...that is kinda stupid... ive been in tons of duckies and all of them were manuverable...my advice would be to get the best one you can easily afford...dont break the bank...there is still a paddle,pfd,and helmet to buy...just make sure it holds your weight forward of center so it will naturally float you facing down hill
 

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i never paddled a pack cat it does look kinda cool...ill have to try one
 

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I decided to do some word association around the word "ducky".

Ducky - Moped - Man Purse - Male Makeup - Assume the position - Taking it in the ass and liking it - not drinking a booty beer.

Moral of the story: Duckies are for softcore morons. Also, drink your booty beers.

P.S. I can't wait until Yeti gets involved in this one.
 

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I have is an AIRE Lynx 1, green (we call it the pickle), with a nice paddle and a repair kit. It 's probably 5 years old, has only been used a handful of times, and is stored indoors. I'd like $550 OBO.
 

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I got two AIRE Tomcat solos for me and my wife this year. Fun, stable, great for beginners. My wife not been a kayak fan in the past and loves them. Easy to run class III, I'm sure you can run IV if you have the ability. They work great for light overnights, but looking back I like the looks of the Fat Cat.
 

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id be looking to contact tea...that sounds like a fair deal and you will still have money for a paddle,helmet,small drybag,and pfd...i don't know if it would cover dry tops and stuff cause i dont know what you have or where and when you like to go...keep looking not all gear that is for sale is in want ads
I am in the market for an inflatable kayak. I am not overly experienced but have been out a few times. I would like something durable and versatile that will not cost more than $1000. I have been looking at a Sea Eagle Explorer 380x as it has convertible drains so it can be used for whitewater or other. Any assistance on quality of this kayak or any other suggestions on good products would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
 
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