There’s an old saying that the best two days for a boat owner are the day you buy a boat and the day you sell. Now this mostly applies to bigger vessels but the first part definitely was the case today – this was freaking exciting! We had looked for a suitable boat for over a year, with an emphasis on functionality and compactability, but nothing had totally fit the bill. So, reluctantly, we departed on our journey without any form of watercraft. Then, while camping at Buttle Lake in Strathcona, we met ‘Larry’ from Powell River. Larry and his wife had just purchased a new inflatable kayak – the Airis Tandem. We saw them paddle in, then carry it over to their site with ease. So we went over and chatted to Larry, who literally gushed about his new boat, saying he had searched for the perfect kayak for “five years.” Well, an inspection of the boat along with Larry’s ringing endorsement was all we needed. A few days later, we picked up the last one in stock at Steveston Marine in Vancouver. (Note: don’t buy a kayak from Steveston Marine unless it’s on a Sunday when ‘Bert’ is working. Apparently he’s the only staff member who knows anything about inflatable kayaks. Good thing we got all the info from Larry…)
The Airis was extremely stable, it tracked well with its fixed skeg, and was a pleasure to paddle. After a tour around Haynes Point, we practiced the ‘Bear overboard’ drill with ease then crossed the lake.
The Bear made a terrific figurehead and lookout at the bow.
So Larry’s review of the Airis Tandem was pretty much bang on. The only minor complaint was about getting it back in the bag. It was a bit of struggle trying different folding techniques (the downloadable manual was useless) and these things never seem to easily fit again once they’re out of the box. But other than that, it was a fantastic first outing.
To celebrate our newfound access to the continent’s waterways, we decided to put on a full Sunday dinner: bbq’d sirloin tip roast, potatoes, carrots, broccoli and gravy, complimented with some local wine. Cheers Larry!