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Thread: Inflatable paddling advice needed!

  1. #1
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    Default Inflatable paddling advice needed!

    I sold my last rigid canoe (16ft Mad River) a few years ago and consider myself a competent paddler (2* open boat). I saw a guy paddling an inflatable on a canal with a single canoe paddle so had a look on Amazon. A couple of people in the review section for the Sevylor Adventure Plus mentioned they too used a canoe paddle from a kneeling position to great affect so I decided to buy one.
    So my new Sevylor arrived yesterday and I hit the canal this morning full of excitement. It did not go well
    I got into a comfortable kneeling position straddling an inflated dry bag but I could not get it to track anywhere near straight. My J stroke might be a little rusty but it seemed impossible. Am I doomed to using a kayak paddle or is there something Iím missing?

  2. #2
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    Does your boat have a skeg/ tracking fin? They help a lot.
    Not in Oxford any more...

  3. #3
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    Yes. The problem is the boat turns instantly on the paddle draw, far too much to correct with a J.

  4. #4
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    I remember when I first tried to canoe paddle my old inflatable, I thought it was impossible too. Easing right off and not worrying about speed helped a lot, slow and considered strokes. It was very slow going though, and never really got faster until I got the open canoe; any time I paddled with others I resorted to kayak paddles.

    Try adding a little bit of draw at the beginning of the stroke turning the J into a C. Once you have a bit of momentum, concentrate on keeping that paddle moving in a straight line in the middle of the stroke.

    One off the problems with inflatables is that you tend to have to reach out over the tubes a bit, so your stroke has more of a turning effect.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  5. #5
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    Feels like I can’t get the paddle under the boat. I tried slow strokes but just stood still. I have ordered a kayak paddle but I’ll keep trying with the canoe paddle too.

  6. #6
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    It might be worth experimenting with trim. Where in the boat are you kneeling?

  7. #7
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    In the centre. I’m going to check the pressure with a different gauge as the 1.5psi being indicated felt very soft.

  8. #8
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    I could just about get mine tracking straight with the J stroke, getting going straight in the first place was difficult but once moving it became easier. Forget trying in any sort of wind though as it becomes extremely difficult. A kayak paddle for starting moving and then switching to a single paddle once moving works well.

    I sold mine and got an Old Town Camper which is so much easier to paddle.

  9. #9
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    Try moving your kneeling bag a little further back and see if that helps. But try when it's not windy.

    Pressure is affected by temperature, so if the water is colder than the air it will go soft. That's usually more of a problem in summer. The other thing is that when you leave the boat in the sun, the pressure goes up, so the 1.5psi will have been set by the manufacturer to allow for some sunshine driven increase without bursting it. If there's no sun, you can can pump it a bit harder, maybe 1.7?

  10. #10
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    Definitely going to inflate in more. I’ll take both paddles next weekend and play around with my position in the boat.

  11. #11
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    Jul 2017
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    If you have a spare waterproof bag, fill it with about 10 ltrs of water, [ should be easy to fill], settle that down into the bow, that'll help stop the bow reacting to every paddle stroke. If your at all handy, add a skeg patch [EBAY ], to the front as well, that'll have the same effect, but weigh less.
    Good luck.
    Mike.

  12. #12
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    Was just looking at skegs for the front. Cheers.

  13. #13

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    My hunch is that not a lot of design time goes into Sevylor's boats. Coupled with the floppy low pressures, this makes for a generally pretty poor paddling experience. All is not lost though! People seem to be queuing up to buy them on eBay so I'd cut your losses and ask Father Christmas for a Gumotex Palava instead (info and vid of it in action http://www.gumotexboats.com/palava-red)
    Last edited by The Inflator; 11th-December-2018 at 10:01 AM.

  14. #14
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    I have used Sevylor before (holiday hires) and find they are actually pretty good with a kayak paddle. However I really wanted to use it with a single paddle as it’s much more relaxing and probably less taxing on a 2 day trip.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam S View Post
    I have used Sevylor before (holiday hires) and find they are actually pretty good with a kayak paddle. However I really wanted to use it with a single paddle as it’s much more relaxing and probably less taxing on a 2 day trip.
    Only if the two day trip is half the distance you could cover with the kayak paddle

    It is much more relaxing, mentally, but realistically I soon realised that if I needed to get anywhere at even walking pace, a double blade was the only way. The Palava is indeed much easier, though still tends to spin more than a hard shell canoe.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  16. #16
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    “It’s about the journey, not the destination. And whether you can fit it into a hatchback” - Old Chinese proverb.

  17. #17
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    Perhaps the least confusing way forward would be to set yourself a firm but realistic budget, then see what comes up within that bracket.
    There's a virtually unused Gumotex Helios 2 on EBlay at the moment, might be worth a watch. There as tough as old boots, and paddle reasonable well.
    Regards
    Mike

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