The Infinity Odyssey (Children not included)
We started canoeing in 2011 after going out with our friends Jo and Adrian in their Canadian canoes. Given that we could not fit a canoe or kayak in/onto Argie, we decided to opt for an inflatable. We purchased an Infinity Odyssey 375.
On first arrival, the tubes in the enclosed floor were faulty. we had misgivings, but they were replaced. The boat was good-looking and handled well, but inflation and deflation could be problematic due to the valves jamming against the outer cordura shell. The boat also held a lot of water when deflated.
On a trip to Arisaig, the tubes in the inner floor again failed- while Ian was at sea! The boat was returned for a refund.
Despite its shortcomings, the Odyssey had given us a taste of what we could do, and a clearer idea of what we needed.
We had already paddled on lochs, rivers and the sea and made an overnight camping trip.
A New Inlatable
The Sea Eagle ready to tackle Loch Veyatie, Sutherland (Grumpy old man included)
As a replacement we bought a Sea Eagle Fast Track 385, with the package of solid (as opposed to inflatable) seats.
The boat is very sturdy and it's even possible to stand up in it. This is due to the "drop stitch" construction of the floor. Stability is created by a drop-stitch keel and a large skeg.
The single-skin construction means that it dries very easily for storage in the van. There have been one or two niggles with peripherals, and we've added a couple of D-rings, but overall the craft is stable, manoeuvrable, sturdy and fast. We're very impressed with it. We've had numerous trips of varying lengths from an afternoon potter on Loch Voil to Friday-Sunday overnight adventures in the West Highlands. We like it a lot!