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 Post subject: Shuka Inflatables
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:45 pm 
My brother's family is interested in a very large folding or inflatable kayak. Anyone had experience with these boats? I think the website for the North American distributor is http://www.emkodar.com.

Thanks,

Chris


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm 
For what waters? If large folding (double) works for them, then GII or AEII are large, durable and quite seaworthy. Used GII will cost more than new low-end inflatable, but not much more (I believe you can get one for USD 600). If they need two singles, then again it would be Folbots in the USA - either Yukon or Aleut - depending on what they consider to be "large" - Aleut is a barge, but a very short one :-)... I'm afraid, double inflatable will have too much windage in open areas; but for low-category whitewater (let's say, just fast rivers), or for very short fishing trips in protected waters this could be an option.

Shuka is a very basic boat. Good PVC hull, backpacking cloth deck, terrible seat without backrest (at least in singles), no rudder or skeg (therefore poor tracking), non-inflatable bottom (therefore lighter than other similar low-end models), no footrest, at least in early models (therefore a pain to paddle long distances on flat water), no protective patches on tubes/boards (where paddles rub against the skin). One unusual detail is that permanently attached deck covers the top completely, leaving openings with sewn-in sprayskirt funnels (similar to those in Folbot optional spraydecks). Otherwise, it has all the pros and cons of inflatable kayak (Michael has a comprehensive review of inflatables on the main page http://foldingkayaks.org/inflatable.shtml ).
One of the most important differencies (to me) are low volume payload of inflatables (despite high mass payload) and high wind resistance, compared to skin-on-frame boats. Technically, single Shuka has same payload as Innova Safari (200 liters - sounds impressive, doesn't it?), but in reality it has barely enough cargo room for a a weekend overnight trip (and most of inflatables have very limited cargo room, some more, some less). So, the area and type of trip really matters.


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 Post subject: Use
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 6:50 am 
They have a large family and, I think, intend primarily to goof off in calm lake waters relatively close to shore or use the boat for easy river floats. I doubt they'd attempt a serious camping trip with the boat. It's not something I'd buy, but may be suitable for them.

BTW, the four-seater looks as if it would twist or jack-knife in rapids - flexible and 20+ feet long.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 8:09 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Posts: 1712
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
If you look at the Fujita catalog I posted under Photos, Fujita makes a huge folder.

Seriously, though, how about the offerings of the river raft companies? Doesn't NRS make inflatable catamarans? (i.e. lots of deck space and capacity)

_________________
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: '84 Hobie 16; early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift.


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 Post subject: Re: Use
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 1:54 pm 
Christov_Tenn wrote:
BTW, the four-seater looks as if it would twist or jack-knife in rapids - flexible and 20+ feet long.


It could, and not only 4-seater; there were reports that these flexible 2-seaters did this too in rapids, twisitng like some corkscrew. For short and easy paddling in protected waters close to shoreline they would be better off in a wider boat (relative to length) with more rigid (inflatable) bottom. "Framed" folder probably wouldn't make much sense to assemble and dissemble - but if they could get some old Klepper AEII, - I think, it would work for them too, relatively fast to assemble by two people - should be easier than older versions of GII, and with a lot of potential (even if they don't need that much).

Shuka, as I recall, has less beam width than other inflatables of comparable length (that's why very poor cargo capacity and possibility of twisting - and permanent deck also makes cargo loading difficult). If they will go out altogether, they will want to carry a lot of gear anyway - to have a lunch on the other side of the lake or on some close island, even if they are not going to stay overnight. People doing such short outings often carry more items (and more bulky items) than regular overnight campers. Camping chairs, coolers, disposable plates, cups, napkins, toys - if there are any kids, etc, etc, you name it... Overnighters and expeditioners have their gear minimised in size and quantity (without sacrificing safety and functionality - and this costs a bit). If all they want is just a few hours on water without lunch stops, then again wider inflatable with better seats would be a better option than Shuka.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 4:22 pm 
If it doesn't have to be a folder then I would suggest you to look at gumotex inflatables (http://www.gumotex.com/index.php?typ=GUK&showid=135).
Boats have good quality and are much cheaper than foldables at least in Europe. They are selling them as INNOVA brand in USA.

Link with prices in EURO:
http://www.nafukovacicluny.cz/english/index.htm

Zoran


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 2:08 pm 
chrstjrn wrote:
Seriously, though, how about the offerings of the river raft companies? Doesn't NRS make inflatable catamarans? (i.e. lots of deck space and capacity)


On the photos (not on NRS website) rafts and catamarans are mostly shown in some sort of whitewater environment; this is what they are for (and for fishing close to shore, of course). I wouldn't like to paddle a raft across some calm waters without any current for more than, say, 1 mile.

I also wouldn't like to be in a raft in unprotected areas like wide river mouth, with some tidal current or wind from unwanted direction. People had to be rescued (towed back to safety), when they were trying to do such a paddling in those "Sea-Do"s - you know, a sort of raft towed behind a power boat, for fun in wake waves. Rafts are very ineffective to paddle, being wide, slow and with a lot of wind resistance; but inflatable boat like Gumotex/Inova or similar, is a different story; or - Shuka, for that matter (I just don't think that Shuka meets the needs of this family). Brands like Inova are very common , there might be a lot of them on e-bay for half-price or less, if money is a problem. Inflatables depreciate faster than folders - probably due to shorter lifespan.

Alex.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:11 am 
They've decided not to buy anything. Bummer.

Some of those Fujita folders (http://www.fujitacanoe.com) look pretty interesting.

That big Gumotex Colorado boat, although apparently less paddleable in a lake environment, looks like it might suit their needs as they have several youngsters.

Thanks for the advice and replies,

Chris


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 3:49 am 
ztkavc wrote:
If it doesn't have to be a folder then I would suggest you to look at gumotex inflatables (http://www.gumotex.com/index.php?typ=GUK&showid=135).
Boats have good quality and are much cheaper than foldables at least in Europe. They are selling them as INNOVA brand in USA.

Link with prices in EURO:
http://www.nafukovacicluny.cz/inflatableboats/inflatableboats.htm

Zoran


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