Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Inflate-a-Yak

By the way, that's what I decided to call it, the Inflate-a-Yak. 

I got the Sea Eagle 370 Pro Package back on November 25th, and it's sat on the back porch until this morning. I wanted to make sure I had lots of time before I did the test run. By test run, I don't mean putting it in the water, just putting it together.

Out on YouTube is the "how to" video. All the comments said 8 to 10 minutes and you're on the water. Not the first time.

The first step is to put the Retainer Ring on the air valve. Sounds simple enough. What they forgot to tell you is putting the Retainer Ring on the valve is like putting an O-ring the size of a dime on a valve this size of a silver dollar. Then to do this function mentioned above, you have to FIND the air valve. I was kind of concerned when I could only find three holes for the air valves and had nine air valves. Don't concern yourself, I figured it out.

Now that I've spent three hours putting the Retainer Rings on the air valves (OK, maybe an hour), I was ready to inflate. First inflate the bottom. Hook up the foot pump and start squeezing. Fifteen squeezes into the inflation, screw that, I'm getting an electric air pump.  The instructions (Yeh, I read them. I know it's not a very guy thing) say absolutely no air compressor. Kill joys.Could have had that sucker blown up in fifteen seconds.

OK, got the bottom filled, now the sides. With the pump on the floor, I leaned on the pump (Kind of like doing push-ups) and WOW it was a bunch easier. Once one side was filled, I used the little handy dandy tester to check inflation. Pretty cool, can't over-inflate with that gizmo. Second side was a snap. Maybe I don't need an electric pump after all.

All that is left is to inflate the spray screens. About four pumps and they were full. Then the seats. Two valves each and about six pumps each. Slide the seat into the boat, put the paddles together (no inflating there) and you're ready to rock and roll.

Now, about five hours into the inflation of the boat (Hour and a half max. My wife always calls me Mr. Exaggeration.), it's time for a picture.     

The Inflate-a-Yak in our living room
The cats thought it was kind of fun that Dad was doing stuff in the livingroom, nosy as they are.

Now it was time to deflate. Unscrew the valves and it's flat in about a minute. Roll it up from the front to the back and stuff it into the bag. The picture shows a guy carrying said bag and he has plenty of space left over. WRONG, barely fits into the bag with the seats and the paddles, but it does fit.

Now, next item is the specs say the Inflate-a-Yak weights 32 pounds. They must have inflated it with Helium, because that thing weighs A LOT more than 32 pounds. We decided to store it down stairs (for lack of storage upstairs) and I had to slide it down the stairs. I could barely lift it up. Probably need the hand truck to get it to the truck when we head out in the Spring.

So, Ladies and Gents, that is the Inflate-a-Yak.

Today is the Winter Solstice. That means longer days and shorter nights from now until mid-June. It also means the next three to five months (We've never had snow past May 15th) are going to be the wettest and coldest of the year. Our first trip of 2015 in the clipper (and now with the Inflate-a-Yak) is in Mid-April. Don't know if it will be warm enough (we will be at a lake) to be Yaking so we'll just have to see. The next trip after that near a lake won't be until August.

Stay tuned.  


  1. Chapter one in the next book Mark? You follow directions ike all we men do. Your wife could have put it together in 15 minutes tops but she enjoys the entertainment like mine wife does.

  2. Looks good, Mark! There's gotta be some superstition of inflating a boat/kayak in a house. ha

  3. Mark, looks like it should be a lot of fun once you get used to using it a few times. However, I think I will forever a Float Tube Cumberland kind of guy........