Inflatable Kayaks: Hull Forms and Rigidity

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13 thoughts on “Inflatable Kayaks: Hull Forms and Rigidity

  1. Pingback: Inflatable Kayak Is Safer Than You Think! | Kayaking Venture

  2. Dario Steccanella

    What do you think about Aquaglide?
    I have the Chelan Tandem and I feel very good.
    One of the few and very rare, almost unknown in Italy. Very stable and fast on the lake.


  3. John Thompson

    Your site is really great. I think you and I think alike on a lot of these issues. I am torn between going for a drop stitch floor (the Sea Eagle 385) or your current kayak – the Gumotex Seawave. Is the Seawave floor really stiff enough? I recently had a Blueborn kayak with drop stitch floor and it was quite impressive. Except for the fact that the seams separated very easily. I tried two kayaks and both failed within days. They recommend 7 PSI which seems crazy. The second one I inflated to only 3 PSI and it still failed. So now I am in the market for a more reliable and higher quality one. After the Blueborn experience I am a little gunshy on buying another drop stitch, but it seems the Sea Eagle gets very good reviews and I have found very little online about having problems with the seams. It is also lighter and wider (more stable it seems) than the Seawave… So these are reasons I am leaning toward the Sea Eagle. And also I think it is easier/faster to set up than the Seawave. Maybe the Seawave is more durable? It is a different fabric…? Maybe the Seawave is faster through the water? I realize you haven’t personally tested the Sea Eagle, but any thoughts you might have on this issue would be much appreciated! Thanks!!


    1. Chris S Post author

      Hi John, ah yes the Bluehorn, those orange ones – they did look a bit dodgy but were the first around.
      As you have found you need to have a top quality DS if it is to take the pressure.
      Too wide can be slow and for me the flat floor puts me off as it may not handle like a kayak but a raft – hence all those skegs.
      When the sea gets uneven they may get a handful.
      I hate tippy but the SW is very stable.
      Seawave fabric is different. Sea Eagle is PVC plastic – Gumotex is Nitrilon (like hypalon) rubber.
      I suppose SE may be faster as it takes less air, but needs more effort to reach pressure.
      As for speed, i would guess they are the same is calm conditions.
      All I know is you can’t go wrong with a SW – a traditional European-style IK.

      Try and test both before dishing out a grand ;-)


      1. John Thompson

        Thanks for your quick reply. Good points about the handling. And I like the Nitrilon fabric better, but I am leaning towards the SE. One reason is simplicity. It seems a lot simpler, easier to setup/take down, pack, floor is replaceable. I am from California, but live in Italy, and am going back to CA in a few weeks for a visit, so thinking to pick up the SE when I am there. One thing I’ve always wanted to do is kayak in Venice, which I saw you did. I was there about a month ago with a small dinghy and motor which was a lot of fun also. If I end up getting the SE I will try to post a report here about my impressions. Thanks!


  4. Martin Proctor

    Very impressive blog site and info. Very happy with my Solstice Flare…now I understand better why. I use it on flat lakes and running rivers, so the smaller/shorter/slower/rougher drawbacks are not a factor to me.
    I need to add some D rings for overnighters…what adhesive do you recommend? Seems all I can find is the HH-66 (Amazon and others). Seems the right stuff…as stated in the blog…prep will be a vital step.


    1. Chris S Post author

      Not heard of it before but HH-66 looks like good stuff – and the fact they sell it with D-rings makes you hope it’s well suited to that.
      Get a good roller too. Glad you like the blog.


  5. Hrvoje Pernar

    Once beam floor tubes get skewed, how to reposition them? I had this issue with multiple kayaks that use floor tubes – many times tube in the middle gets bumped which makes it hard to sit on the floor


    1. Jason Hamrick

      what you’re describing is a blown ibeam. you’re over inflating your inflatable kayak to the point that you are blowing out the ibeams. once it’s blown, you’re done, there’s no fixing that. drop stitch floors are nice in that they are replaceable, and unless you’re using a high end high pressure pump, you likely can’t over fill the floor. and if you do damage your floor in a drop stitch boat, you can replace it easily.



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