Cheap, Light, Portable Rowboat for A Dinky Little Pond
April 30, 2015 1:46 PM   Subscribe

There's a small pond a ten minute walk from my house. I'd like to do some breezy fun rowing, but it would be too expensive and too hard to transport a full-out rowboat, kayak, or canoe there by myself. Is there a not-too-expensive, easily-transported option that's really fun to row around in?
posted by Quisp Lover to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've been hankering after an inflatable kayak for a while now.
posted by Solomon at 1:52 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Yeah- inflatable kayak, light sit-on-top kayak or maybe even a pack raft might be the way to go here.
posted by charmedimsure at 1:55 PM on April 30, 2015

You do know that canoes are designed to be carried (portaged) for many miles?
I've been portaging my own canoe and pack since I was 12.
You just flip it over and onto your shoulders.
You might want to build a canoe rest so it's always in position to be picked up. You can also wear a backpack while carrying your canoe.
It's actually a good distribution of weight. I'd rather carry weight in this manner than mess around with a box of uninflated plastic or worse yet inflated plastic.

Google "how to portage a canoe" if you just can't work it out in your head how to get it on your shoulders.
posted by littlewater at 2:24 PM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

Have you looked at those fold up kayaks? I amazed when I saw them on Shark Tank!

* Link
posted by tealcake at 2:30 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Is the walk relatively flat? If so, you can get little dollies for a wide variety of boats that will let you pull the boat behind you to the pond like a trailer.
posted by craven_morhead at 2:36 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Never knew about inflatable kayaks. Solomon, is there anything especially important about the model you linked to? Same company makes other highly rated models; why's your eye on that one? Also, it's way way cheaper here in US....just $70!!! That solution at that price will be hard to beat...

The folding Oru is amazing, but at over $1000, it's too expensive. As are, I'd imagine, canoes (portagable or not).

Thanks all!
posted by Quisp Lover at 2:47 PM on April 30, 2015

Response by poster: Reading reviews, it sounds like the paddle which comes with the Intex inflatable kayak isn't great ("I do highly recommend buying a different paddle, the one included isn't too comfortable and efficient since it's on the short end").

Can anyone recommend an upgrade? I'm tall, if that matters. And I'm going to paddle lazily, not competitively.
posted by Quisp Lover at 2:56 PM on April 30, 2015

The Aquabound Manta Ray is a good entry level paddle, its usually the one you find kayak touring companies using. It breaks down into 2 pieces for easier storage and transport. I have the lighter weight upgrade so my arms don't get as tired, but if you're a guy that shouldn't be as much of a problem. Here is a size guide so you can find the right one.
posted by Requiax at 4:47 PM on April 30, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks, but that paddle would be way more expensive than the whole kayak. Anything for like $30? Amazon seems to like this one.
posted by Quisp Lover at 4:58 PM on April 30, 2015

I've never tried an inflatable, but I'm very fond of our inexpensive sit-on-top kayak, although I don't know the brand because I didn't buy it and we've had it a few years. You can get a strap to carry them with that's more to help with the awkwardly-shaped than with the weight. I find the sit-on-top kind to be very comfortable to use, and I suspect they might be more inclined to last.
posted by Sequence at 7:43 PM on April 30, 2015

Stand-up paddling has gotten rather popular around here. (Also called SUPing.)
posted by stormyteal at 8:10 PM on April 30, 2015

Response by poster: stormyteal - cool. But SUP boards seem to cost >$500, and I have my $70 solution already.

Alas I'm not that handy, Kid Charlemagne!

Sequence, it sounds viable, but I was looking for cheap and easy, and I've surely got it. If I ever decide to upgrade, though, that sounds great.

Oh, also: it turns out the paddle that comes with the inflatable has been upgraded, and is now better than the one everybody complained about! There's a new revision of that model as of 2014, so a lot of the earlier Amazon review complaints no longer apply.
posted by Quisp Lover at 9:47 PM on April 30, 2015

Inflatable kayaks are pretty sweet. I met someone who did an entire Southeast Alaska trip in one, crazy motherfucker. I am not so fond of the folding kind. On a kayak trip, the one person in the folding had to work super hard to keep up with the rest of us and we spent a lot of time waiting for them to reach us. I think the fabric created a lot of drag or something. You know, you could get a plastic kayak and get a set of wheels for pulling it around. It might be too much but you can really kick the shit out of a plastic kayak.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:34 PM on April 30, 2015

I've never used it, but it's pretty highly rated. I first got the idea from a chap on Youtube, who seems to like it a lot.
posted by Solomon at 1:00 AM on May 1, 2015

Response by poster: "I met someone who did an entire Southeast Alaska trip in one "

I don't get these ambitious stories. What if you're far from shore and spring a leak? I'm assuming they're useless if any one chamber deflates.

I didn't know about inflatable kayaks until this thread. I just bought one, and my buddy Dave did, too. He owns a folding bike, and he's delighting in the thought of owning a folding bike equivalent for aqueous locomotion!

As for plastic, that would be the worst of all worlds. I actually really like kayaking, and wouldn't mind having a nice one (i.e. better than plastic) one day, if I ever had appropriate waterways nearby. But for this purpose, what I really need is a $70 pool toy. So....perfect.

Solomon, the video is AWESOME. Thanks so much!
posted by Quisp Lover at 8:59 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

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