Research Kayaks in the Buyers' Guide!
Select Kayak to View in Buyers' Guide
If you're having trouble with a slow leak, Inland Marine sells a product that will fix them from the inside. Just pour it into the air chambers, then inflate and move the boat around to make sure the product gets to every part of the inside of the tubes. You'll get enough to treat all the air tubes in your kayak.
A few add-ons/upgrades are necessary for a richer experience:
There are better inflatables out there for sure, but for <$150, the Tahiti goes in the smallest of trunks and rides confidently in large bodies of water.
I bought the skeg to try to make it track straighter, but there are no instructions on how to install it. In the position suggested by the inadequate photo and drawing that came with it, it is too high, barely breaking the surface of the water. It has a spike molded into it that would fit in the hole in the cleat that anchors the spray skirt tie-down, but the spike is ten inches higher than the cleat. Ridiculous! I hope the boat would not be ruined if I cut a slit between the two pontoons right at the tip of the stern, so the skeg would ride low enough to be attached to the cleat.
It is definitely not robust. OK for paddling in clear water, but hopeless for launching/ recovering from a pontoon. It also gets new holes when deflated and rolled away.
looking for a more expensive more robust inflatable now.
Fantastic price - I paid £110. Plenty of space for me (6'2", 200lbs), my 8-year old boy and coats, bags, etc.. Quick to inflate - 10 mins with a foot pump. Really pleased with the product.
The Tahiti is hard work upstream even in a mild current, mainly because the bow is a bit "blunt" so it doesn't cut the water. But in the stills or downstream it's fine. As everyone says, you need the skeg (unless you stick a couple of skegs on like I have).
At the end of the day, in my humble opinion you're not going to beat the Tahiti for smiles per buck, I got a superb deal on mine from sk camping... paid £79. The only thing I can really dis are the seats... they're shite. I paddle solo & wedge the seat back against the stern spray deck.that supports the backrest but the sit-on bit is too small even if you ain't a fat arse.
Trust me, if you're considering a Tahiti then look at the nearest competition, compare the prices, then order a skeg & buy a Tahiti!! Hope this helps & remember: have fun but be safe.
Believe it or not, I got the boat from a cigarette promotion back then, 15 years ago. Smoke up a bunch of cigarettes and turn the proofs of purchase in for a kayak, a tent, a sleeping bag, or an iron lung! I picked the first 3 and still use all 3 to this day (and quit smoking).
This boat absolutely sucks as a sea kayak. It is twitchy as heck. It is supposed to be maneuverable like it is, though. I have not tried the skeg, but I am going to do that after seeing the reviews here, since it's only a few bucks. It does take some getting used to in order to get proficient at steering it, and it is especially frustrating in even moderate winds. Compared to a proper Kayak, this is the worst option...but for the price! If you are on a limited budget, don't need anything professional quality, have easy and frequent access to water you'd like to float about on, and no place to store a larger boat, then this is an easy and usable solution. I have had no end to the fun I have had on this boat, even just exploring harbors. It's a great, no-cost way to go out and enjoy a nice day on the water, and it holds plenty of gear to paddle out to someplace to camp or fish, or to bring a (reasonably small) friend along with you.
For the price and what it tries to be, you really can't beat the Tahiti.
I got the slightly longer K109, which is about 12'8" but otherwise identical to the K79. I have had it three months and put four holes in it - all my own fault and not one of them has occurred on the water (all were done through clumsiness on my part when transporting it). If you have to carry it any distance, get a folding upright trolley for it.
It doesn't track well sadly, but nor is it supposed to - it's a white water boat that is intended to be able to turn on a sixpence, which it does. Get the optional skeg, it's worth it. However, I also made a 75cm long by 20cm deep fin to strap to the underside of the hull like a false keel. It now tracks brilliantly - I'd even go so far as to say that it tracks better than a hard shell with my homemade fin.
It is rugged, and can take some abuse. You will get punctures, that's inevitable. Odds are, though, that they will be slow punctures. Punctures are easy to fix using seamseal (don't bother with patches for small punctures - save them for if you get a tear or large hole).
The seats are useless. I kneel to paddle, as if you sit on the floor you will sink into it and find that your legs are a few inches higher than your hips - so you are basically trying to paddle while holding a crunch, which is painful to say the least. Kneeling is very comfortable though.
It is extremely stable too. I use mine to fish from, and often anchor it in the river with a folding anchor and stand up in it to fly fish.
There is one small issue. In direct sunlight the PVC will expand and you will lose air pressure in the side chambers. DO NOT TRY TO ADD MORE AIR IF THIS HAPPENS. You will stretch the PVC and weaken it. The yellow Tahiti looks silly, but the yellow colour reflects more sunlight than the green one, so is slightly less susceptible to this phenomenon.
I found the seat to be entirely too small to sit on. I had to keep trying to get my butt back on it. The side tubes are quite big so you expend more energy trying to reach over them. I had to paddle continually. Every time I stopped, the boat immediately did an about-face so I was facing backwards (no relaxing float here).
But the worst thing is that by the end of a 2 hour trip, one side tube as quite low on air. Obviously, I had a leak. I have since tried to find the leak but to no avail. I have emailed Sevylor twice to see what they can do for me. I'm still waiting for a response.
Need less to say, I'm not thrilled with the boat. Only two uses out of it and I'm ready to sell (if I can fix the leak). Maybe it would track better with 2 people in it, but I still would worry about it holding air. I'd much rather have a kayak with the nylon cover.
Other nice features of the Tahiti are as follows: It blows up in about 8 minutes start to finish. It holds me and one of my children perfectly, it draws very little and it deflates quickly. I haven't had it long enough to speak as to its durability, but for family fun, and as a launching point for riversport, I give it a big thumbs up!
I took the Tahiti to a campground near a local reservoir and paddled it like a kayak every morning. I know it sounds shallow, but I was embarrassed by the yellow plastic boat when fishing and ski boats passed by. I purchased the skeg, but it still does not track well at all--it's like paddling a raft.
I don't want to go into a lot of bad detail since many people seem to like it, and I guess it's not bad for around $100, but it's still a single-walled inflatable pool toy that's too big for a pool.
Also agree that the skeg is an essential extra, and should be standard equipment with the boat, IMO! Our teen and her friends love the thing, and though they like the stealthy green and tan color boat and seats, we can now see that yellow might have been a better choice so we can easily SEE those teens way off in the distance on the lake!
Wish Sevylor would upgrade the valves to something like on the AE Dragonfly line, but the Tahiti is at a different, much lower price point and thus is more basic.
Just take care to loosen the "shoelace stitching" in the aft cover before putting in the skeg - the boat we bought used (but only in the water once) had a small tear in the aft cover where the skeg was forced in place. Easily taken care of with some GE Silicone2! In fact, I agree with the former owner, GE Silicone2 works well for patching this thing if patch kit isn't available. Patch in eve and ready to go next morning.
That said, I have taken my little Tahiti Pro through some fairy hairy Class III whitewater and it is very stable, and rides the waves confidently. I have found it to be an excellent introduction to paddling. I particularly like the ability to roll it up, put it on a frame pack, and hike to wherever I want to paddle. Or I'll take it camping, or boat camping, and it takes up very little room. Of course, that is the beauty of inflatables in general. In response to a previous post about it being tippy, I found that to be the case as well, when I first got it, but after I started not filling the floor up as much, it became much more stable. I leave the floor just a bit soft too the touch, and pump the sides up until they are about as rigid as they'll get, and it works pretty good. I have no problem taking this boat through big water, but not through rock gardens or anywhere super shallow, because of the material thickness. I think it'd be fine on flat water as well if I use the skeg. The self-bailing feature works, but is a little bit on the slow side, and if you are flat water paddling with it, you will be sitting in a permanent puddle. But hey, for $150, you really can't go wrong with this boat. I love it. I'm looking to upgrade a bit right now for something a little more whitewater specific, but plan on hanging on to the old "Orange Torpedo" for many more years to come.
On the plus side it is light, incredibly compact (the whole thing fits into one sports bag), very stable if you are new to the water and above all comfortable. I have a bad back but find the inflatable seats really supportive. As Gary mentions below, if you are on your own you can stop, stretch out, lie back in comfort and let the world drift by.....
On the negative side, in windy conditions or on a lake where a stream enters it can feel like you are trying to paddle an inflatable elephant and is rather embarrassing as you rotate round and round to the amusement of all and sundry. The skeg does help to maintain a straight line and I would recommend you buy one with the boat. Also, don't bother with a fancy electric pump - the basic footpump has the boat up and running in less than 15 mins.
Don't expect the performance of a thousand pound (or dollar) touring kayak. Itís cheap, fun and got us both into kayaking. If you're unsure about kayaking and don't want to shell out a fortune for a hard kayak with all the associated extras then for the price it is a great buy. Having now been properly bitten by the kayak bug we are moving on to get hard kayaks but we will be keeping the Tahiti for those times when you need a boat that will fit into one sports bag.
Buy one and enjoy yourselves!
Iíve actually bought a second Tahiti for my wife. Now we can take the whole family out on the water in two boats and for less than $300. Best feature to me is that 2 boats, PFDís, pump and skegs all fit in one Rubbermaid container. Itís a lot easier to toss it in the back of the van or in the tent trailer than strapping boats to the top of the car. Each boat weighs 25#.
Be sure to get the Skeg if you want to go in a straight line.
120,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!