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Small boat/dinghy for occasional use?


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We’re off to Keswick in August and seeing as the site is on the edge of the lake, my daughter asked about getting some sort of small inflatable boat to use. It would only be used occasionally so something cheap, capable of seating at least two for us to row around the lake would be good.

 

 I know nothing about boats so wondered what’s suitable and what sort of price I would be looking at.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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My daughter has a two man blow up kayak which she uses every year with one of her sons. Super boat but not cheap. 

They use it every year on Windermere and Coniston. 

If you want I'll look out some photos. 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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IMG-20190802-WA0022.thumb.jpg.15237233b0b46731843726e2da2420ad.jpg

With an extra boy. It packs down and goes in the boot. 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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We had an inflatable with an outboard motor.  Its been on Windermere, Coniston, Carrick Roads(?) (at the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall, near to Mawes) and Annecy in France.  Had some great times.  However, on some waters, including Windermere, you may be asked to register your boat.  You'll need to find this out at the Council Offices or similar

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Hi Babs and you are right in that Windermere would require registration if it has a motor on it. 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Brilliant thanks. I have seen some of the cheap new kayaks on EBay, reading the feedback they’re awful so I’ll keep my eye out for a decent used one. I’ll also enquire about permits/registration.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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Hi Gary, we have had for several year a Z pro tango inflatable kayak, go it 2nd hand been great at Llanberis. Very well made.

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Hi make sure you get good buoyancy aids or like jackets 

keep safe 

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Hi Gary. Buying a small kayak,  canoe, boat or similar is like buying a caravan it does not stop with just the craft. Remember that water even the calmest waters are a killer so make sure you have good quality life jackets etc to keep your loved ones safe...

After that word of warning, messing about on the water is a great way to have fun and there are several websites that will help you out. The likes of RYA (Royal Yachting Assoc.), British Marine, there are several sailing type clubs at places like Rutland Water that could help you with information and point you in the direction of a reputable supplier of both the craft and suitable safety equipment.

As a family it will be great fun playing on the water, its also addictive so be warned, what you have will never be good enough..... Says he speaking from expensive experiences....

2018 Volvo XC60  D4 AWD + Penshurst Premier Plus (AKA Elddis Affinity 550)

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I assumed that anything spent on a boat will require a similar amount spending on equipment/gear etc and from experience, I have also assumed that buying known names/branded second hand will be better than buying cheap/unknown from EBay.

 

Boats/water sports are something that have never really interested me but over the last year or so it's something that has started to attract my eye.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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Don't buy the cheap ones. They are no better quality than the cheap lilos you buy at beachfront shops and won't last long apart from being less stable. Sevylor are well made. I've got an Aquapro which has a double skin but I think they only make a one man version. If you can find one with a skeg even better although the skeg for the s Sevylor can be bought separately, it makes a difference to tracking. Get decent paddles as well. Buoyancy aids are preferable to life jackets. 

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My photo is of a Sevylor. Bought 2nd hand for approx £200

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Yes Wispman I saw that. I had one for many years bought 2nd hand, and used it all over the south coast. Well built and stable. I only traded it for the Aquapro because my wife wasn't that keen so wanted a single man kayak.

As an aside an inflatable dinghy is very difficult to row in any sort of straight line unless you spend enough money to buy one with an inflatable keel and if it's windy they go sideways. Great with a little outboard but then don't forget to use the killcord.

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43 minutes ago, Ukuman said:

If you can find one with a skeg even better although the skeg for the s Sevylor can be bought separately, it makes a difference to tracking. 

 

What's a skeg?

 

The Sevylor make seem very popular on the second hand market, some of the reviews of the El-Cheapo ones show they're a waste of money, the likening of them to a beach-shop lilo is spot on.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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A skeg is a fin on the keel of the boat to aid directional travel, rather than being blown in the wind direction.

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44 minutes ago, Brecon said:

A skeg is a fin on the keel of the boat to aid directional travel, rather than being blown in the wind direction.

 

Thanks for that.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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There are loads of dinghies to chose from here in Dover at the moment and lots more coming in each day.

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Bailey Pageant Series 6 Champagne 2007    Tow Car Toyota Rav4

 

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The Decathlon inflatable kayaks a re well worth a look. Their stuff is always good value and well designed and made.

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I started off with a roof topable small plastic (double skinned) dory type dinghy. It was about 10ft long and 4ft wide and light. I used a seagull outboard with it. I joined the Camping and Caravanning Club Boating Group so not to be alone out on the sea. It was pretty clear that at that time sailing boats were the the expected craft so I learnt to sail and bought a Miracle Dinghy which is about the biggest you can roof top. Funny now at club meets inflatables with outboards are the order of the day. Nothing compares to sailing on the sea. I got into racing at my home sailing club which really hones your skills. I've even taken part in a racing series on the sea at Newport Boat club with moderate success. (most tourists cant sail for toffee). These days I cant be bothered to take the dinghy so have resorted to an inflatable canoe. Makes my back ache though.

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3 hours ago, daveat92 said:

The Decathlon inflatable kayaks a re well worth a look. Their stuff is always good value and well designed and made.

The last time I went into Decathlon they had a wide variety of blow up Kayaks including the Sevylor which has a good reputation too!

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Getting out on the water is great fun! :)

Think about what you want from it and look at inflatable boats (more stable) and kayaks  etc.

Safety first, so budget on 2 bouyancy aids from about £30 each.  A decent marine shop will sell you a decent boat - one here for £350 including oars. https://www.force4.co.uk/item/Windward/230SL-Inflatable-Dinghy/E13

If you have fun this year then that boat has a strengthened transom at the back to mount on an outboard for 2022.

You might want to invest in a length of rope to tether to the shore for safety (if your daughter wants to play in it and best not go out if the wind is blowing away from the shore.

If that sounds too much, you can hire row boats at Keswick from about £15 an hour and a little motor boat from about £30 an hour. Oh yes and have fun!!

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Not that it should deter you but if I remember correctly the Keswick site charges a small fee for craft launching from the site.

Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel & Knaus StarClass 695. Previously Audi S4 Avant & Elddis Super Sirocco

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I just remembered another place for messing about on the water.  Me and OH went to stay at Houghton Mill (used to be a member of the C&CC).  Its right on the bank of the River Ouse.  You can paddle along on this river.  However, you will have to take your boat out of the water as the river (never heard about it before) has locks (usually only canals have locks).  So just take the boat out of the river and put it back in past the locks

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Thought about a paddleboard?  If its an older child or teenager, they might prefer one of them.  Prices range from £200 upwards.

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