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Boat not moving very fast

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I inflated my seahawk 2 today and put it out on a still lake. The good news is I got it inflated and I did not see any leaks. The bad news is I am finding it very difficult to move the boat on the water. It seems to take a tremendous amount of effort to go anywhere in it. Since I am new to paddling, I am not sure if it's because it's an inflatable boat, the paddles it comes with are not good, or if my expectations are unrealistic. I have paddled canoes in the past and I do not recall it taking this kind of effort to move about the water. Curious if anyone has any expereince with inflatable boats like this?
 
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No experience but looking at it online, I would expect very sluggish. Good to get a little ways off shore to fish. Nor good to travel far.
 
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Inflatables are not designed to be nearly as efficient as a canoe. For one thing there is a larger footprint in the water so more drag/resistance. Shape is a contributing factor also.
 
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Not tied i just dropped it in the water and jumped in. Would an inflatable kayak be any easier to drive since maybe the shape is more effecient. Unfortunately, I don't have anywhere to store a hard shell kayak/canoe.
 
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Wife and I purchased one similar to that. We took it out for pleasurable morning on a local river. Left a vehicle down stream a couple of miles for the take out. Inflated for the first and put it in the river. Wife stated it look a little small. It said it was a 4 person raft, so she got in front, my teenage daughter got in the middle, and I plopped my big ole self in the back. The 2 little paddles were junk. Whenever we would paddle the raft it would just go in a circle. It wouldn't go any faster then the current. I couldn't move either. It turned out to be a hot miserable drift for 4 hours. I'll never do that again. In a canoe it takes an hour at a leisurely pase. No idea about the inflatable yaks.
Roy
 
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Thnx, I have come to the conclusion these things are only good for pool toys. I am going to try to find some rentals I can use until I have a place I can store one.
 
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Well I ended up finding some used Sea Eagles. Since I don't plan to keep it long term I just picked up the 330 with pro seats. From all I've read they are slower than a hard shell but should be useable under good conditions. I'm hoping it's good enough to at least get me started, it's a little bit heavy and did not come with a carrying bag but the foot pedal is very good and it inflated quickly. There was one of the fast track models for a good price used but it was a 2 hour drive to get it, probably should have went that route. By next year I may have a place to store a hard shell if not I'll look into a higher quality inflatable or folding kayak.
 
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Well I ended up finding some used Sea Eagles. Since I don't plan to keep it long term I just picked up the 330 with pro seats. From all I've read they are slower than a hard shell but should be useable under good conditions. I'm hoping it's good enough to at least get me started, it's a little bit heavy and did not come with a carrying bag but the foot pedal is very good and it inflated quickly. There was one of the fast track models for a good price used but it was a 2 hour drive to get it, probably should have went that route. By next year I may have a place to store a hard shell if not I'll look into a higher quality inflatable or folding kayak.
I paddled with a fellow on a multi-day downriver trip who was paddling a Sea Eagle. He said he had used it on Class III water and it had performed well. His was a tandem model in which he had positioned one of the seats centrally for river tripping.

He seemed to keep up pretty well in that boat. It looked like it would catch a lot of wind and he said that indeed that could be a problem at times.
 
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Just a thought. I've watched people running around in this area with kayaks on top of their vehicles. Some never remove them. Maybe find an inexpensive solo canoe and store it on top of your car? If you park in a garage, it'll be protected. Stylish also.
Roy
 
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That's a good idea especially if the inflatable proves to be too slow to use effectively. I don't have a garage but perhaps I could make some kind of cover to limit the sun damage or just accept the fact that it won't last as long. Do you think it will have a big impact on my gas mileage?
 
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So I was able to test the sea hawk inflatable and a real canoe last week. The seahawk is very, very slow and takes a lot of energy to paddle. It is slightly better than the 70$ raft for several times more, but it's still essentially un-usable unless you want to paddle very, very hard to go a very short distance on flat water. The hardshell canoe on the other hand felt like I was moving extremely fast and effortlessly in comparison. I was able to go several times as far in the same amount of time and with less effort. I'm updating this just in case it helps anyone else in the future but for me only a hardshell will do.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Do you think it will have a big impact on my gas mileage?
Yes. I have driven thousands of miles over the same roads with a canoe on and off the roof of my sedan, which has a computer to compute MPG. I just did it again this month with a canoe on the roof on a 1,300 mile trip from Connecticut to Florida and then back the same distance with no canoe on the roof. Having a canoe on the roof drops my MPG by about 20% in that vehicle.

You are discovering the difference between what I call platform boats vs. paddling boats. Platform canoes and kayaks are wide, stable crafts that are designed to be used primarily as platforms for water activities other than the act of paddling, such as fishing, hunting, photography, diving and floating—although one can, of course, paddle such crafts slowly and inefficiently. Paddling canoes and kayaks, on the other hand, are designed primarily for efficient paddling for speed and long distances—although one can, of course, use them for platform activities with a lot more instability, balance challenges and tip-over care.

You have to choose between paddling efficiency or platform stability depending on your primary use or, as many of us end up doing, get more than one paddlecraft for different water sport purposes.
 
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20% sounds aweful high to me Glenn, maybe there were other variables involved. I got some of my best mileage with a boat on the roof, but that was also about the only time I'd burn a whole tank of just highway driving. I recently read that for every 400 lbs. you add to your vehicle it decreases mileage by 1mpg. At any rate I always check my feul usage and never noticed much difference. I assumed that since the canoe is pretty aero dynamic it doesn't affect it much. My most recent rig of about twenty years of trips was a 6 cylinder 2002 Ford Ranger that averaged about 15 city and 18 hwy. One long trip with a boat I got almost 19. YMMV.:)
 
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In terms of fuel economy it really depends on the vehicle, the boat, and how many boats, as well as the average speed driven. Obviously, the cost of aerodynamic drag is dependent on relative air speed.

For myself, I have found that carrying a single canoe on my truck or my wife's car typically reduced gas mileage from 3-4 mpg (approx 15-20%) when most of the travel was done at Interstate highway speeds.
 
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When we haul a travel trailer we get a significant decrease in mileage maybe 30 percent , Boats on the roof help that probably cause the air is not hitting a mostly flat faced shoebox.

Our old Forester went from 29 to 21. Our V8 Tundra said What Boats.. Still at 21 mpg,
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Driving the same Mercedes sedan on the same 1300 mile route at mostly interstate highway speeds, I got 27 mpg with a Nova Craft Bob Special on my roof and 34 mpg with no canoe (and no racks).

Obviously, it's not the 40 lb. weight of the canoe that drops gas mileage; it's the aerodynamic drag caused by the short (15'), pudgy (35"), deep (14") shape of the canoe. I suspect a canoe's aerodynamic MPG efficiency on top of a car would be a reasonable surrogate for the hydrodynamic paddling efficiency of that same canoe in the water.

Speed on this trip did slow dramatically on the 32 mile Newfound Gap Road through the Smoky Mountains.

Merc canoe Smokies.jpg
 
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