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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I want a new fishing craft for the summer and I'm hoping to get opinions from people with experience. I'm looking at something tandem for my fiancée and I. What do you guys think... is a kayak better or is a dinghy/raft better? I want to use a trolling motor and have enough room for some gear. I also want to be able to take it on larger lakes, as well as smaller ones. I'm hoping that someone here has a kayak they take on larger lakes because I'm concerned with choppy waters and stability. Obviously a dinghy will keep you dryer and have more room, but maybe a nice wide/sturdy kayak is better on large lakes than I'm expecting.

Just fyi....If I go with a kayak I'm considering the 10' 2person lifetime fishing kayak which is not inflatable but seems stable and let's you stand up on it. Another option I've considered is an inflatable fishing kayak, probably the sevylor Coleman Colorado.

If I get a dinghy or raft I'm looking at probably getting a sea eagle or Saturn. These are all inflatables obviously, so what do you guys recommend? Are there any other brands that are durable and don't cost an arm and a leg? I'd love to hear from somone who has used an inflatable for years and see how well they've held up.
 

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My wife has and loves the intex inflatable. It was a great way to try with no real $. She takes it into bigger water than makes me comfortable. At 11 mile the plan is that if it gets bad she'll just go with the wind and I go get her.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thenewguy,

Thanks for the input. Does she have a motor mounted on the intex? If so, how well does that work?

Also, how would you compare the material if the intex to a sea eagle or other brand? Is it super rigid and durable? Or does it give way and feel somewhat soft if she was to lean against the sides of the boat? I'm assuming this is the intex mariner btw...
 

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I'm not much of a fan of Kayaks, my back can't handle sitting that long and I like to be up above the water to see better. As far as how they are in rough water.
I was in a very remote bay in Alaska waiting out some rough water when 2 Kayakers came in to fill there water bottles. Some Kayakers travel from Anchorage to Seattle through very rough water conditions.
If you go with a kayak and want to fish off it I would try to find a Hobie with foot pedals.
 

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no motor on the intex, I'm not sure what model, it's all put away and is really her deal. it's firm-ish but I absolutely wouldn't stand up in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Newguy,
It's definitely not the same material as a sea eagle then. You can stand in one and it feels like a real boat

As far as the kayaks go, I'm assuming the ones you saw in Alaska and the ones people in the ocean are "sit inside" styles. I'm more interested in a "sit on top" model to have some freedom with my legs and to be able to stand up and not feel so confined. I wonder if those are are sturdy in choppy waters? Hmm...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A plywood floor would work. Only thing is, most good quality inflatable seem pricey and seem like they'd be crowded with 2 people. Not that a kayak would be any better lol
 

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My dad has a Sea Eagale inflatable pontoon raft. He built a plywood floor. It fits two comfortably, it has chairs with a back that rotate 360 and it has a mount for a trolling motor. I forget the exact model but does everything you ask for. In real choppy water/ high wind it does blow around a lot. Maybe look at those. He is very happy with it.
 

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I happen to have an older Sea Eagle 9 sitting in storage I would let go if you are interested. It is about 13-14 years old if I remember but they haven't changed in 20 years except for the parts packages. I used it for about 3 years until I graduated to a regular boat. They are nice to start in, learn for a couple years then move up or continue using if that is what floats your boat! Mine has a wood floor which could use replacing soon, edges warping and starting to separate. I built 3 wood bench seats for it, front, back and one in the center. I have rod holders mounted to these seats, also a spot to mount a fishfinder and will include an older small Lowrance with it. Also it has the motor mount with it for an electric trolling motor. I have one foot pump and one electric pump that goes with it. I had it tricked out pretty good for fishing, had it on Spinney, the Mile, WF and Lake John. I would leave it aired up ready to go and just strap it to the top of my old popup trailer, get to the lake and drag it right off and head out fishing! Let me know if you might be interested, if so I'll drag it out and air it up to check for any leaks.
 

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You get what you pay for when you buy an inflatable skiff. Personally, I would not buy a skiff with a pvc fabric, hypalon is the way to go. We probably have about 30 inflatables and have tried them all Zodiac, AB, Caribe and Achilles. I am currently buying the Achilles 10 ft HB-AL, it is about a $3500 boat but worth every penny. It has a fully formed/welded aluminum hull, and wide enough inside the tubes to move around a bit and still have room to sit on a folding camping chair for comfort. A bit over 100 lbs w/o motor and fuel tank. We put a short shaft Merc 15 on them speed and tracking are very good. My 2 cents.
 

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Santiago, does your dad's look like this? If so, how does the floor work on that? With no sides like a raft, getting your gear to stay put might be hard.
Yep that is the one. He runs a bungie cord under one section of the plywood to keep the battery for the trolling motor in place. He has four pieces, one for each gap in the deck. He designed the floor so it snugs into place between the side beams, if that makes sense. Once the plywood is on the whole deck is pretty level. We just rest our equipment up there, don't really tie down. The thing is not tippy at all. It will blow around in the wind but doesn't rock side to side at all really. I'll see if I can find a picture. I think there are some YouTube videos on how to make the deck. I have been very impressed by that boat.
 

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I have the following gear filling my garage, let me know if interested:

12 foot porta bote, $800 - 10-15 years old, but light use
8.5 foot West Marine raft, $400 - 2014 or so, light use, bought for lake superior boat dinghy.
30 ftlb minkota $80 2014 or so, basically new, bought for lake superior boat dinghy
4 hp Suzuki 4 stoke $800 - 2014 or so, basically new - bought for lake superior boat dinghy.

PM me if interested.
 

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You get what you pay for when you buy an inflatable skiff. Personally, I would not buy a skiff with a pvc fabric, hypalon is the way to go. We probably have about 30 inflatables and have tried them all Zodiac, AB, Caribe and Achilles. I am currently buying the Achilles 10 ft HB-AL, it is about a $3500 boat but worth every penny. It has a fully formed/welded aluminum hull, and wide enough inside the tubes to move around a bit and still have room to sit on a folding camping chair for comfort. A bit over 100 lbs w/o motor and fuel tank. We put a short shaft Merc 15 on them speed and tracking are very good. My 2 cents.
I went with the 10'6" AB, checked them all out at the Seattle sports show a few years ago. Almost got the Achilles but after finding out the 20hp Zuk was about the same weight as a 9.9 or 15. I upgraded to the AB that was rated for a 20.
I can plane out with 3 people, nice and stable standing up.
 

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I have the following gear filling my garage, let me know if interested:

12 foot porta bote, $800 - 10-15 years old, but light use
8.5 foot West Marine raft, $400 - 2014 or so, light use, bought for lake superior boat dinghy.
30 ftlb minkota $80 2014 or so, basically new, bought for lake superior boat dinghy
4 hp Suzuki 4 stoke $800 - 2014 or so, basically new - bought for lake superior boat dinghy.

PM me if interested.
Damn, you weren't joking when you said you had a boat problem.:biggrin1::biggrin1::biggrin1:
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