Bote Lono advice?

marty mcfly

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I have been looking at the Bote Lono inflatable kayaks for the better part of this last year but can't seem to convince myself to pull the trigger. Does anyone fish one or have you tried one out? If so, I have a couple of questions. I would use it mostly in (1) rivers and (2) shallow saltwater destinations/flats (thinking I would ship it). My primary concern is that it is going to get shredded on barnacles and/or oysters on my first outting at any saltwater location. Can anyone speak to the durability of construction? I realize I won't be able to scooch myself across oyster beds with the bottom dragging but some contact with oyster and barnacle covered mangrove roots, seawalls, etc. is inevitable. My other concern is about structural support, rigidity, and whether I would be able to stand up in it. I have seen a couple of videos on that last point but I would be interested to hear additional reviews. I am pretty big at 6'3"/235lbs, so I am worried it would just kind of sag in the middle where I sit. Any advice or insights are appreciated.
 

bigreddog

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I don't have that particular model, but I own one of their inflatable paddleboards and just picked up their Zeppelin kayak. I have no concerns about their stiffness or durability, even being about 210lbs myself.

I can't speak to its ability to withstand scraping against barnacles and oyster beds, but I'd say that its build quality is much more along the lines of a Zodiac than a less expensive inflatable. Definitely not a pool toy. The one thing I have heard about the Lono is that it does ride up pretty high in the water, so it may be a little more prone to getting buffeted by strong winds (although that may solve your oyster bed problem). Definitely use the skeg for better tracking -- you can also purchase shorter skegs that can go as shallow as 6".
 
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