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Inflatable Boat For My First Vessel.

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Alright guys so I have been looking into getting my first boat. I am very close to pulling the trigger on an inflatable. 

I need something cheap and portable. Right off the bat, I don't think I can for a kayak. I feel claustrophobic just looking at them. So my next option was a Canoe, but those are heavier and require me to get a roof rack.

 

So I am thinking Inflatable might just meet my needs. What do you all think of this set up?

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A Minn Kota Trolling Motor Power Center (If I need it??? Not sure)

Intex 40lb Thrust Trolling Motor (Fresh&Saltwater)    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005QIB7K8/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

 

Deep Cycle 27 Marine Battery  http://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-27DC-6-Marine-Battery/16795212

and maybe a smaller 24 as a backup.  http://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-24MS-6-Marine-Battery/16782694

 

I plan on making a custom standing platform with hinges to make foldable and portable in my car. I've seen several on youtube made of plywood. Which could work, but I would like to go as light as possible while being able to hold my weight. This vessel holds 880 lbs which should be plenty for 2 along with all equipment. 

 

Though I seem to have my mind made up and everything is in my amazon and walmart carts, I have not pulled the trigger and would appreciate any feedback, advice on any of these items.

 

But keep in mind I am on a budget and would like to stay close to the price of these items. I've considered a minn kota trolling motor, maybe with more thrust. Not sure...

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Theyre cool but I could pull a small john boat or pond crawler with a prius. I would much rather be in that than deal with a blow up. Float tubes are cool but if im getting a boat it will be rigid. Also for 2 people I am for sure looking at something rigid.  You can find the crawlers on craigslist for $100. Check out this thread http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/25442-any-pelican-bass-raider-owners-out-there/  and good luck. 

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Theyre cool but I could pull a small john boat or pond crawler with a prius. I would much rather be in that than deal with a blow up. Float tubes are cool but if im getting a boat it will be rigid. Also for 2 people I am for sure looking at something rigid.  You can find the crawlers on craigslist for $100. Check out this thread http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/25442-any-pelican-bass-raider-owners-out-there/  and good luck. 

Yeah only thing is my car is a lease, not sure if putting a trailer hitch on it will be a problem. 

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Yeah only thing is my car is a lease, not sure if putting a trailer hitch on it will be a problem. 

 

You can just take the hitch off when your lease is up. I think some of them are bolt on to existing holes.

 

I have Mariner-4 with custom floor. I really hate setting up / taking it down. If I were to do it again, I would make the floor so that I can just drop in without deflating it, so that I can carry the boat on the roof of the car inflated. Something for you to think about.

 

If you get the variable speed trolling motor (Digital Maiximizer or something), it will just sip the juice of the battery when you are on low speed. 5-speed one use the same amount of juice no matter what speed you are on, therefore less time on the motor. Although they are more expenisve.

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Yeah that's one of the things I considered. I guess you really don't think of it much before having to inflate it and deflate it over and over again. I could see how that can eventually turn into a pain. I'll take that into consideration.

I'll also look into a variable speed motor. I did not know the 5 speed would just suck up the juice. I figured on low it would drain less.

Good info to have. Thanks loop

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I have that exact setup.  Been fishing it weekly for 3 months now without issue.

 

Here's the deal-  The pump that comes with it- Throw it away with the box.  Use an electric inflatable matress pump and a power inverter in the car.  I'm fully inflated lake-side in 2 minutes.

 

Notice closely-

The ice chest/ seat is also my live-well.

The storage bin up front holds my supplies (vest, anchor, etc)

Rod holder attached to storage bin holds 3 rods, plus the raft has 2 built in.

MK 30lb thrust moves this thing with the quickness!  I have fished 8 hours on a walmart battery and still have 1/2 power when I get home.

Humminbird 130 Fishin' Buddy sonar- attached simply onto the arm of the motor mount.

My battery box is placed up front to displace the weight of me and the motor in the back.

As far as the floor goes- go one solid peice of plywood, covered with marine carpet.  No need for hinges.

 

All of this fits in the back seat of my Nissan Maxima.

 

 

When I set this up Sat morning at a very busy launch- first I get crazy looks...maybe a few laughs...but after 10 minutes of setup i get comments from everyone - "Huh....wow...ok...not too bad"

Do I want a "real" boat?  Yes- badly.  But.... this will do until I find the right deal.

 

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I bought a Sea Eagle SE-8 Fisherman's Dream package this winter (http://www.seaeagle.com/motormountboats.aspx) which looks to be along the same lines as the one you're looking into. I think you would be happy with your choice.

 

I haven't yet bought my motor/battery, but everything else is ready to go, now if this darned ice would thaw out! I don't know about the motor you've selected, but I've heard good things about that battery, it's probably the one I'll go with as well. If you could go with a Minn Kota they've got a lifetime warranty on the shaft, and the 30-lb version at Wally-World is $99 bucks.

 

But I'm in the same boat as you, I don't have a car that I'm willing/able to put a hitch on so I needed something stow-able. This fit the bill perfectly. Packs up in my trunk about the size of a suitcase. Total weight - 35lbs. As suggested above, do yourself a favor and buy a mattress inflator. You can find them on Amazon for less than $25 all day, and they'll inflate it in 5 minutes. Heckuva lot easier than a foot pump.

 

It's a solution for those of us who are limited by our vehicles but still want a way to be out on the water. Until I've got a truck/SUV I won't be able to get a bass boat, which makes my wife okay with my inflatable obsession for now :)

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I started off with 2 of the same inflatables. Speaking from experience, dont get one. They aren't boats, they're rafts that you need a motor & battery to push, plus a pump to inflate & deflate every time you hit the water. I would take a stand up paddle board over a raft any day. The raft is only gonna last you one season at the most if you use it more than once a week anyway

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I kid you not:

5 minutes to completely pack everything in the car before I leave the house.

10 minutes setup upon lake launch arrival

10 minute takedown upon return to launch

5 minutes to unpack once back home

30 minutes total

I'd bet more than half the guys here spend more than 30 minutes taking out and returning their $30k+ super-boats.

Not sure why an inflatable gets such a bad rep. It is what it is: and not intended for the Big O here in Florida... But I will say this- when I hit any lake I purposely hit all of the tiny inlets that no boat could ever enter. No matter how many tournaments are held, or if there are hundreds of boats in the water that day, I will fish pressure-less waters due to the convenience of size.

The boat I displayed above costs around $40 on Amazon. Add a $99 MK 30lb thrust, a $60 battery, a $30 battery maintainer/charger, life vest and an anchor... and you are instantly no longer restricted to bank fishing all for less than $250. (Most everyone already has an ice chest, and even an electric inflator). Let's say the inflatable only lasts one season... $40 and you are back in business. Less than 1 tank of gas...

I know there are a lot of "budget" fishermen here. I think for $250 this is an absolute killer bassin' outfit. Not sure why inflatables get no love.

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I have that exact setup.  Been fishing it weekly for 3 months now without issue.

 

Here's the deal-  The pump that comes with it- Throw it away with the box.  Use an electric inflatable matress pump and a power inverter in the car.  I'm fully inflated lake-side in 2 minutes.

 

Notice closely-

The ice chest/ seat is also my live-well.

The storage bin up front holds my supplies (vest, anchor, etc)

Rod holder attached to storage bin holds 3 rods, plus the raft has 2 built in.

MK 30lb thrust moves this thing with the quickness!  I have fished 8 hours on a walmart battery and still have 1/2 power when I get home.

Humminbird 130 Fishin' Buddy sonar- attached simply onto the arm of the motor mount.

My battery box is placed up front to displace the weight of me and the motor in the back.

As far as the floor goes- go one solid peice of plywood, covered with marine carpet.  No need for hinges.

 

All of this fits in the back seat of my Nissan Maxima.

 

 

When I set this up Sat morning at a very busy launch- first I get crazy looks...maybe a few laughs...but after 10 minutes of setup i get comments from everyone - "Huh....wow...ok...not too bad"

Do I want a "real" boat?  Yes- badly.  But.... this will do until I find the right deal.

Yeah thats kind of the set up I was going for. I wasn't really planning on the rod holder but that is a great idea. I was actually planning on putting the battery in the cooler, but making it a live well also works! Displacing the body weight with the battery up front is a great idea too. It's good to know that a 30lb thrust moves it pretty good. I do plan on getting something with more thrust. 

Thanks for the set up info and advice.

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I kid you not:

5 minutes to completely pack everything in the car before I leave the house.

10 minutes setup upon lake launch arrival

10 minute takedown upon return to launch

5 minutes to unpack once back home

30 minutes total

I'd bet more than half the guys here spend more than 30 minutes taking out and returning their $30k+ super-boats.

Not sure why an inflatable gets such a bad rep. It is what it is: and not intended for the Big O here in Florida... But I will say this- when I hit any lake I purposely hit all of the tiny inlets that no boat could ever enter. No matter how many tournaments are held, or if there are hundreds of boats in the water that day, I will fish pressure-less waters due to the convenience of size.

The boat I displayed above costs around $40 on Amazon. Add a $99 MK 30lb thrust, a $60 battery, a $30 battery maintainer/charger, life vest and an anchor... and you are instantly no longer restricted to bank fishing all for less than $250. (Most everyone already has an ice chest, and even an electric inflator). Let's say the inflatable only lasts one season... $40 and you are back in business. Less than 1 tank of gas...

I know there are a lot of "budget" fishermen here. I think for $250 this is an absolute killer bassin' outfit. Not sure why inflatables get no love.

You make a great point, even better with your 40 dollar set up. You have sea hawk 2, and I am looking at the 4 just because I am a big guy and if I want to get a buddy to come along 2 can fish it. But I thought the same thing, its 129 with the motor mount. If it turns out to be crap, well I'm out 129 bucks but I still have the battery, the motor, and everything else.

I do think about the darned thing deflating while I'm on the water and it's the only thing keeping me from pulling the trigger on it. I don't mind being on top of water, but not really interested in being IN the water. 

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I understand the more thrust concept, felt the same way... at first. When I got on the water for the first time, naturally I wanted to get to the other side of the lake faster.

I have a different opinion now.

With the 30lb on even the lowest setting it is almost too fast to "drift and pitch". You certainly don't want to move from spot to spot on any speed less than 4 or 5, but when you are ready to get into the business, too much speed becomes an issue.

Think about it- 40lbs plus can move (as it is intended) a heavy boat... This inflatable boat is super light fully loaded.

I am now glad I got the 30lb thrust. Any bigger, and using it for technique would be out of the question.

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Deflation on the water- It has 3 separate air chambers. One gets punctured and you are still floating. Either way, I keep a roll of gorilla tape and a piece of sandpaper in the basket up front. The hand pump I told you to throw away in an earlier post- I take that back and was only saying that to really prove a point. I keep the hand pump in the basket as well. If ever it get punctured, a quick sanding to the vinyl, followed by gorilla tape, and I bet I will make it to shore. (You not going to go too far out anyway).

The seahawk 4- if this one craps out, I'll go to the 4 as well. Not because I would add a friend in the boat, more so I can have more room for myself.

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Good point. I do figure though, I would have more weight on the boat, mine will be bigger than yours and I am close to 300 lbs myself. 

The main reason I am considering the intex 40lb thrust is because it is rated for saltwater and freshwater. On occassion I may take it out to some flats. For example snake bight down in Flamingo Everglades to do some redfish and snook fishing.  Those flats are a no motor zone and require only a trolling motor, push pole or oars. It would be like fishing a lake with maybe even shallower water. I'd love to go with a Minn Kota that is rated for salt and fresh but they are far more expensive. 

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Yup- you must go with the larger one. And with that said you will also have to hinge your floor in it. My floor fits across the back seat with maybe 1" to spare.

I'm excited for you. Quit procrastinating, and get on the water. Do it!!

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I've been doing this for over two seasons now. As you can tell, I am not very excited about inflatable as Vzwire. At the same time, I know inflatable can get the job done. I just want to tell you what I know so that you can make informed decision.

 

When you are deciding motor size, do condiser the condition of the water you fish. If it can get windy, you'll be glad you got the bigger motor. Actually the same goes with choosing the boat. Where I fish, I would not consider anything smaller than what I have.

 

http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/gallery/image/7866-sany0669/

 

Set up time for me is,  if I hassle, it can be 20 minutes. But that's only if I want to be soaking sweaty. Typically it takes about 30 mintues for me. Taking down is faster, probably 20 minutes. Pakcking and uppacking is very time consuming too. I often leave stuff in the car becaue it is just too much work.

 

Good luck and be safe!

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I recently got my Sea Eagle out of the shed to get er' ready and I did some purposed timing on inflation/deflation.....

 

Set up, including the floorboards and seats was average 12minutes

 

Deflation all the way to the point of what would be my trunk shutting was average 7minutes

 

With the size of the Boston valves, the air comes out very quickly, so deflation is very speedy.

 

But in the vein that you're thinking, I too am not all that interested in fishing on the middle of a giant lake. I want to get back in coves and such, for which the Sea Eagle will do very well for as well as the one you're considering. I don't know about the one you're looking at, but the Sea Eagle, fully loaded (950# capacity) drafts only 3inches of water. That's pretty shallow.

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I've been doing this for over two seasons now. As you can tell, I am not very excited about inflatable as Vzwire. At the same time, I know inflatable can get the job done. I just want to tell you what I know so that you can make informed decision.

 

When you are deciding motor size, do condiser the condition of the water you fish. If it can get windy, you'll be glad you got the bigger motor. Actually the same goes with choosing the boat. Where I fish, I would not consider anything smaller than what I have.

 

http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/gallery/image/7866-sany0669/

 

Set up time for me is,  if I hassle, it can be 20 minutes. But that's only if I want to be soaking sweaty. Typically it takes about 30 mintues for me. Taking down is faster, probably 20 minutes. Pakcking and uppacking is very time consuming too. I often leave stuff in the car becaue it is just too much work.

 

Good luck and be safe!

The mariner 4 was my first option then i started looking at cheaper options. I really like the mariner and I guess I wanted to know how stable it is for fishing standing up? 

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The mariner 4 was my first option then i started looking at cheaper options. I really like the mariner and I guess I wanted to know how stable it is for fishing standing up? 

 

With the custom hardfloor, I can honestly do jumping jacks on it without worries. It has enough width which I think helps a lot. What is the typcial condtion like where you fish? In addition to the wind, the other hazards for me are the wakeboarders. When they come near, I sit until they are gone.

 

I thnk I paid mid $200's for the boat itself. I don't know how much the one you are looking at, but it might not be much difference if you look at it over the life of the boat.

 

If you have relatively small boat for the size of your car/truck, it is faster to load and unload. You can just toss things in any order you want. For me, I have the boat with hard floor, motor, two batteries, tackel bag, anchor, 7 rods, fish finder, net, oars, cooler box (= chair), dry bag and other safety equipment...my car is full. When it is full like that, loading / unloading needs some planing so that everything fits and not damaged, and that means more time.

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With the custom hardfloor, I can honestly do jumping jacks on it without worries. It has enough width which I think helps a lot. What is the typcial condtion like where you fish? In addition to the wind, the other hazards for me are the wakeboarders. When they come near, I sit until they are gone.

 

I thnk I paid mid $200's for the boat itself. I don't know how much the one you are looking at, but it might not be much difference if you look at it over the life of the boat.

 

If you have relatively small boat for the size of your car/truck, it is faster to load and unload. You can just toss things in any order you want. For me, I have the boat with hard floor, motor, two batteries, tackel bag, anchor, 7 rods, fish finder, net, oars, cooler box (= chair), dry bag and other safety equipment...my car is full. When it is full like that, loading / unloading needs some planing so that everything fits and not damaged, and that means more time.

How is the stability with the floor it comes with?

About $269

Wind is sometimes a factor, sometimes not. Sometimes the day is fairly nice and then starts to rain and becomes nice again within the hour. Other boats are always a factor on canals and lakes with boat ramps. 

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How is the stability with the floor it comes with?

About $269

Wind is sometimes a factor, sometimes not. Sometimes the day is fairly nice and then starts to rain and becomes nice again within the hour. Other boats are always a factor on canals and lakes with boat ramps. 

 

You cannot stand on the slate floor that comes with it. However, once I had an idea about laying thiner smaller floor on top of that original. I never tried this idea. You can roll the slate floor, which cuts the set up time.

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if you'd like to take it from someone who did exactly this, DONT DO IT….  i had the inflatable 4 man, made a hinged floor of plywood covered with marine carpet to fit in the back of my camry.  got the battery, box, trolling motor, pump EVERYTHING already mentioned….  after one season i'd had about all i could take.  i got a kayak and NEVER looked back.  if your size is the concern, it shouldn't be…. you can find many kayaks big enough and made for larger guys, especially when looking at sit on top models.
another thing to consider seeing that you're in south fl is that when out in the heat, this boat will GREATLY expand then in the afternoon as it cools it will retract and deflate slightly, not a huge deal but greatly impacts the way it moves with the motor….

not to say this won't get you off the bank and having fun, but for the amount of money you will eventually invest in it you could have found a decent quality kayak on craigslist….

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Thanks for the advice and help with the photos of your setups. I went ahead and pulled the trigger. Made a few changes but I did go with the following:

Intex Seahawk 4 for $129

Newport Vessels 55lb trolling motor for $199 rated for fresh and salt water

 

Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA 1.5 Amp Speed Charge Battery Maintainer for $20

Intex 12v electric pump $10

Onyx life vest $20

 

Now I just need to buy a battery and a few small items. I'll pick those up at Walmart.

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Sweet. Show us a pic of that setup when you get it all put together. Sounds like a great way to get out on the water.

 

We're expecting some hawg fish pics along with it too :respect-059:

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Sweet. Show us a pic of that setup when you get it all put together. Sounds like a great way to get out on the water.

 

We're expecting some hawg fish pics along with it too :respect-059:

Sure thing! I promise you it won't be much originality. With so many people already doing this and youtube videos I might just take what I think is best from each and do it. 

 

I'm expecting some hawgs as well! I've yet to get me one of them.  2.8 lbs is currently my PB, I'd like to change that with my new "bass boat".

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