12 Foot Raft
I'm in the market for a new 11 to 13 foot inflatable raft. I've looked at some used ones but as I want to use this in some remote areas I will most likely buy new. I would like to cruise the coast line in search of bear and also be able to fold and fit in a 185 with two people to fly into lakes. I don't see myself using it to float a river but it would be great to use it to dipnet the Kenai or Kasilof. I plan on buying a 10HP 4 stroke for the boat although I will have to see the weight comparisons for a 15HP.
I know there is a lot of differences in raft but I'm looking for opinions or experiences on which one to buy:
Right now I'm leaning towards to Zodiac, had one before that always treated me good and the price is right, but I'm waiting until the winter boat show to see if they have any specials.
Thanks for any replies
zodiac is my choice
after doing a lot of research and a few rides //years ago// i bought a used 14' zodiac and everyone thats been in it has loved the load capacity handling and capabilities. i also have a three other rafts but all are float rafts, i attempted to make my cat a motor raft with no success and probably never will again after buying the zodiac. the zodiac is rated for i believe a 55 and at one time i used to have a 40hp on it but it scared the heck outta me, wayy too much power. even loaded my 25hp yamaha is more than enough motor for it now.
i've been in water bigger than most open hull and flat bottom boats could handle and taken it places a lot of prop boats normally wouldn't be able to go.
i've yet to have a moose aboard but i had two big blackies and meat on it with all my camp gear and although it was a beast to get on step and ride across very rough water //3' waves// i never was too concerned.
the previous owner told me a story of having him, a hunting partner gear, and two caribou on water that was coming well over the top of the boat. he said everything in the boat was floating with water all the way to the top of the tubes and due to not being able to bail fast enough or make landfall decided they'd just keep motoring till they got near their base camp. a miserable trip i'm sure but sure speaks loads about the raft.
by the way the zodiac in question is a 79' boat. it leaks a little but very few patches //guess i need more but it drains super fast//. i don't think i'd trade it in for a solid hulled boat unless i planned on being in big open water a whole lot more often.
I have a 10' rugud series Delphin with a drop in aluminum floor. Got a 2 stroke 10 hp yamaha...just bought it but have taken it out on the Chena and got up to 20mph with myself and gear aboard...going upstream. I like the portability and wanted something I could put on a 185...tow on my four wheeler and get to some remote spots and float lakes rivers etc.
I am plannning to do some drop off float hunts etc in the future...I figured it would be good enough for two people...light gear and if done right....boned out moose.....I was looking more for portability versus load capacity...figured I could always go light on the gear....which I have doing a lot of high mountian hiking.
Anyways good luck..I bought mine from Marita Sea and Ski in Anchorage....got a good deal on it.....the only down side is it is PVC and is a little hard to fold etc...but it works :-)