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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:38 pm 
Hi,
I am new to kayaking although I have canoed all my life. I recently started looking for a folding or inflatable kayak. I live very near a river, but I don't have any boats of my own, nor do I drive. I need something light enough to carry just a mile or two to the river. I have narrowed my choices down to a Citibot or Oru, or (on the inflatable side) an Innova Sunny. I wouldn't be traveling on anything trechorous, just calm rivers for a few hours at a time on nice weekends, with maybe a little fishing thrown in. My main concerns are setup/deconstruction time, stability, and durability. Any thoughts on which of these boats might serve me better? I am particularly drawn to the Oru, but I haven't been able to find out how it compares to more traditional folding or inflatable kayaks in the same price range.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
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Location: Southeast Michigan
I haven't handled an Oru yet, but based on description and materials i would consider it to be the least rugged of the boats. It's light, yes, but lacks secondary flotation chambers, can't easily be repaired, and an impact that a Citiboat or Sunny would bounce off will probably dent it. It's novel for its simplicity and lightness, but the other two should long outlast it.

Between the Innova and the Folbot, the Sunny will be easier to assemble (just inflate) and have greater capacity, but the Citiboat, being smaller, lighter, and stiffer, will have better performance and be easier to carry. The Citi will be much easier to handle in stiff winds. The Sunny will be able to carry more weight, and might be easier to fish from. I've only owned one inflatable, a quality one-person inflatable cataract around 12' long. I enjoyed the stability for fishing but in the end much preferred kayaks for their ease of paddling.

The one place an inflatable has a strong advantage is in swift rivers with a lot of rapids and rocks. An inflatable will happily bounce off rocks and be much easier to navigate in these conditions.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:49 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Location: Oakland, California
No matter what boat, I would not want to carry any for a mile or two.
The solution is a nice kayak cart! Then somewhat heavier kayaks cease to be a problem as well!
I swear by my little cart -from Cabelas I believe. My back thanks me profusely...

Chris

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:47 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 am
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Location: Coastal New Jersey
I think that the Citibot would be the best choice especially if weight is a consideration. The Citibot, though, with a 34 inch beam is very wide relative to length and might be a bit of a pokey paddler.You might consider the Gremlin which has the same beam but is 12 feet long and would likely be a better paddler and not much heavier than the Citibot. Also agree with the suggestion about a lightweight kayak cart. Even though the boat is relatively lightweight, you need to consider the other things you'll need to schlep along with you: PFD, paddle, lunch, fishing gear. So much easier to pile everything on a folding cart that you can then stow in the boat or on the aft deck.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:54 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:15 pm
Posts: 121
I spoke with a women who talked about giving up kayaking because she couldn't load/unload her plastic recreational kayak from the roof of her car anymore. First boat I thought of was Folbot's Citibot and I gave her some information...didn't want to see her give up paddling. It's light, stable and easy to assemble. Her situation was different than yours but the qualities you want in a kayak seem similar.

The guys have given you good advice. The Folbot Citibot/Gremlin and a folding cart. You can assemble your kayak at the comforts of home, strap it to the cart and then place all your gear in the cockpit. I would suggest getting a cart with the type of wheels best suited for the terrain you are traveling.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:52 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 3:00 pm
Posts: 139
If you only live a mile or two from the river you might try a bike trailer. I leave it set up in my garage, hitch it to my bike, ride to the launch site, unhitch, wheel it the water. When done, I reverse the steps. Here is a picture of me with my Folbot Cooper.


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Folbot Cooper, Pakboat Sport, Innova Sunny, Epic GPX, Oru Kayak, Wike Bicycle Trailer


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
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Location: Southeast Michigan
My 115 lb girlfriend and a tall but lightweight female friend served as my testers when I had a Citiboat, and both liked it and found it responsive. Definitely a boat for lightweight paddlers.

If you're looking for a really light boat, there's always the Pokeboat. The standard Poke Boat runs 18-22 lbs depending on layup and has a capacity of 450lbs. I watched a tiny Japanese woman, around 4'10" and perhaps 60 years old, remove one from a roof rack with no difficulty at all. Not cheap, but the lightest flat water boats around. http://www.poke boat.com

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:55 am 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
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Location: Anchorage Alaska
Seijun wrote:
Hi,
I am new to kayaking although I have canoed all my life. I recently started looking for a folding or inflatable kayak. I live very near a river, but I don't have any boats of my own, nor do I drive. I need something light enough to carry just a mile or two to the river. I have narrowed my choices down to a Citibot or Oru, or (on the inflatable side) an Innova Sunny. I wouldn't be traveling on anything trechorous, just calm rivers for a few hours at a time on nice weekends, with maybe a little fishing thrown in. My main concerns are setup/deconstruction time, stability, and durability. Any thoughts on which of these boats might serve me better? I am particularly drawn to the Oru, but I haven't been able to find out how it compares to more traditional folding or inflatable kayaks in the same price range.

The upside to the Sunny is you can paddle solo or tandem. If you only want to go solo, take a look at the Safari. It is a bit slow on flat water but great on creeks and rivers too. A cart is not really an equalizer. Still would be a real pain taking 2-3 bags on public transportation by yourself or find yourself in the BWCA where carts are banned on portage trails... Bigger is not necessarily better

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:22 pm 
faltbootemeister
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Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:36 pm
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Location: west burbs of Chicago
Two questions should be asked.
How tall are you?
What do you weigh?
The Citibot is just a tad tight for me - I'm 6' 0" and 185 lbs.
The Gremlin is a perfect fit.
It's highly manoueverable, easy to assemble and you'll pass it on to your grandchildren.
You can fish from it, paddle creeks and back waters and take it just about anywhere by car, train, bicycle, motorcycle or plane.
The boat and all necessary gear will be too heavy to carry two miles. The list has already been given above.
And don't forget lots of water - it's also very heavy. You'll need a cart for that distance.
Folbots are guaranteed as long as you own them.

Folders tend to be more stable, more directionally stable and dryer to paddle than inflatables.
You do pay a small time penalty for assembly and for drying off and dis-assembly. To me, it's worth it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:41 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:19 pm
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Location: Oakland, California
Chuck,

Excellent points on the limitations of a kayak cart! There is always a trade-off. And indeed bigger is not better... (well, except bank balances and such). I hope that is not what I came across as suggesting. Actually a smaller kayak can be just the ticket: For example my little Nautiraid Miniraid. 12'-6" long, weights less than 40# and packs in a single bag. I can toss it into the car trunk. It is my go to kayak for about 80% of my paddling. Perfect for salt water paddles in the smallest sloughs, just right for a quick paddle in the harbor or estuary. But I would not want to carry it a mile or two for each paddle...

Continuing on:
A good kayak cart simply takes the limitation away to be able to use only the smallest/lightest kayaks. My cart ( Cabelas aluminum) has 12" bicycle type wheels instead of the more common tiny beach types. Great for pulling it longer distances on firm surfaces. And a cart is not just for pulling an assembled kayak, just toss the kayak bag(s) and paddle on top and lash them down. You can always leave it at put-in and lock it to a tree etc.

OTOH, if the criteria is to have a kayak which can be routinely carried (yes, busses etc.), a good backpack type bag is essential. Sturdy padded shoulder straps, waist belt etc. As an example, the original Klepper 2000 had just that (one was available locally recently), I was tempted!
So I am wondering, what are the carrying bags like for the Citybot, or for that matter Longhaul Ute or Feathercraft? Actually, the Feathercraft ones look very nice!

Chris

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:10 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Location: Anchorage Alaska
Have used the Feathercraft ones. Still real heavy and bulky. I can put my Helios or Sunny in an overhead compartment on a plane and take the whole kit in a military duffle bag for long walks. I find myself using my 13.5 ft NW kayak for most trips and the Safari for rivers and creeks these days.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:19 am 
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Hi Seijun,

Many of the kayakers have shared some of the considerations you should have when picking between the few kayaks that you have mentioned.

If you are very sure you will only be paddling in a calm lake (and no where else later on), and you will have some fishing thrown in occasionally, I think an open deck sit on top kayak is a better choice. In this case that would be the Gumotex/Innova sunny. It is a long kayak so you can even have a friend along with you. If not, you can always use the extra room to store your fishing gear and some cooling boxes. Definitely a lot more convenient than a sit in kayak.

The set up process is also simpler but the pumping might be more tiring compared to setting up a citibot. The pump will also require extra storage space which is something you should consider. On the other hand, the citibot is slightly more complicated to set up compared to the gumotex.

For your needs, I think the sunny will be a more fitting choice. Depending on how much each cost you, the sunny might be an even better buy (=


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:00 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:05 pm
Posts: 1398
Location: South Salem, NY
Take a look at the Pakboat Saco, at 20 lbs it's super light and it's an open boat so you can fish easily and looks pretty maneuverable. The Folbot Aleut is nice too but a little heavier.

I built a kayak cart for using in my neighborhood from a double wide jogging stroller. It's got 21"? bicycle tire wheels and rolls like a dream. Even with the fully loaded for sail Klepper Aerius II on it you hardly feel the load - until it's time to climb a hill. If you have a wide enough path it is pretty manageable off road as well. You just need to lash the boat to the cart well because that's where the power transfer is. You wouldn't be able to take it with you... mine folds but even just the wheels are too big to take along comfortably...

d

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:30 am 
flatwater: I am 5'3", 140 lbs

Thinking about it more I decided I would rather have a boat that I can paddle both solo and tandem, so I am looking at the Pakboat saranac. I have also been looking into kayak carts, although in the end that would open up a ton of possibilities (if I am no longer limited to just what I can carry on my back). I could even just get a canoe and use a cart to transport it to the river. Originally I had wanted a canoe over a kayak but decided on a folding kayak because I didnt want to have to deal with something I couldn't carry. I will only be paddling on slow moving rivers.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:28 pm 
faltbootemeister
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Be sure you have enough friends/family who will paddle with you to make it worth getting a tandem. I paddled a tandem alone for four years before finally realizing nobody wanted to paddle with me.
Sigh.
So I bought a single.
And then a second one.
The tandem hasn't been on the water for four summers now.

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