Boat Launch Day

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…)

Now, a few great features with the Airis.  It’s super quick and easy to inflate (3 separate chamber valves in less than 10 minutes), it can be inflated to 6.5 psi making it very rigid, and it has a low profile for easy entry and exit.  It’s almost like a hybrid kayak / stand up paddle board.  The specs are: 27 lbs total weight, can hold 2 people and/or 450 lbs, and is just under 12 feet (3.6 meters).  It was on sale at Steveston for $999, which seemed to be a good deal because we looked it up on the company website (Walker Bay) and the Tandem was listed at $999 (USD).  It comes with the backpack bag, high pressure pump and repair kit.  Paddles were not included.
The inaugural launch was from Haynes Point (we did move over to a great waterfront site the following morning – see last post) into balmy Osoyoos Lake.  The Bear watched the whole set up with much interest.  She’s always game for new things but hadn’t been in a kayak before.  It was like a duck to water…

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.

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The Bear made a terrific figurehead and lookout at the bow.

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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!

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2 thoughts on “Boat Launch Day

  1. Congrats on the purchase! We also did a lot of research before purchasing our first kayak recently, and we had considered an inflatable (unfortunately, there are a lot of oyster beds in our area that can damage inflatable ones). The Bear looks right at home!

    Liked by 1 person

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