Most Recent Reviews
I began a search for an inflatable two years ago. I wanted a boat that would pack small enough to fit in a reasonable size car top cargo box. for extended travel. It folds to 25x9x21. I discovered the Aquaglide line and was impressed with the drop-stitch construction claims about the hull rigidity bow the Chelan HB 1. It inflates to around 6psi and is as rigid as any inflatable paddle board, easily holding my standing weight..
I am 6',#210, and the boat tracks well with the 7" detachable skeg and scoots along better than I thought it would. I do add about 10 lbs in the bow to help a slight zig zag. I come from about six years of sea kayaking at about an intermediate level with a 17' WS Tempest. I realized I could not get into as shallow water as the Tempest with its retractable skeg. This took some bumping into logs to develop a feel for the skeg. which is actually a bit awkward to install and remove, and probably something best not done after enjoyment of an adult beverage.
At 36" wide, I discovered I could not use my Greenland paddle, which I had grown fond of. Either you need to use a quite long paddle for low angle technique, or go to more high angle stroke. I use a 215cm, high angle paddle, which works fine.
The boat is so rigid I discovered it travels very well upside down on my car rack when inflated. With the rocker design of the hull it rides well aerodynamically. Properly strapped down, I have gone on the highway with it with no issues. I leave it inflated in J-racks in the garage. It does not lose pressure. I check inflation every few months.
The seating system is nice to use and very adjustable to suit the paddler, same with the foot rest. The partially enclosed bow and stern are also nice. It nicely manufactured. No issues with the quality.
I quite liked the 2012 boat, basically because it felt relatively light weight. I believe it was about 52 lbs. The sub-par construction was not that evident, maybe some gelcoat cracking in a couple places.
It was with great anticipation the day I went to pick up my new boat. There a time of denial, because I could not believe how much heavier it was than the other boat. I estimate it to be around 58 lbs, not a great weight for a composite boat. I find I don't carry it more than a few feet by myself. But using a caddy is easy to do and allows loading everything into the boat and making one trip. The rear hatch will just fit the caddy if I need to bring it along.
One reason I bought the boat was the excellent seating system WS offers in their touring boats. But the cockpit size is a bit short. They advertise it to be 34" long, but measured to the actual opening, it is only 30 1/2". Many folks, including myself have moved the seat mounting location to the rear by 1-2". I actually met the boat designer, Steve Scherrer, once and he said that was fine to do it. But it is still a bit tight at the shins when exiting. Wet exit/re-entry has not been a problem at all however. The boat feels great when seated in the cockpit with all the wonderful seating adjustments available. The boat has the best seating, outfitting hardware, and lines of any I have seen on the market.
The design is beautiful and the boat handles well. I wish it was closer to 50 lbs in weight. It is a bit sluggish on acceleration but maintains pace easily. This model is no longer available from WS.