View Poll Results: Recommended Inflatable for Expedition Travel in AK

Voters
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  • Inflatable canoe

    5 13.51%
  • Round Raft (either bailer or non bailer)

    17 45.95%
  • Cataraft (any type)

    11 29.73%
  • Zodiac-style Sportboat

    3 8.11%
  • Hybrid Round Boat (AIRE Puma, Maravia Spider, etc.)

    1 2.70%
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Thread: Boats for Expedition Floats

  1. #1
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Boats for Expedition Floats

    This might be an interesting thread. We've talked a lot here about "the right" inflatable for float hunting in Alaska, or for just any kind of expedition trip up here. Lots of opinions on that subject. So I thought a poll on what inflatable you would recommend for someone on a tight budget, that could only afford one. What would you recommend?

    This poll is only for folks who either own at least one inflatable boat or have been an owner in the past- no tire-kickers please!

    You only get one choice, so make it count!

    This should help some of the folks out there who are trying to sort through all the info.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  2. #2
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
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    Smile rafts for romote trips

    For several years I used an 18 foot AIRE Leopard for remote trips, both personal and professional. Last year I switched to an AIRE 156D, self bailing "round" raft. The 156D is basically an oversized super puma. But at 170 pounds it is a "two Man lift", where the Leopard pontoons are only 56 pounds each. I feel the 156D tracks better regardless of how balanced or unbalanced I load it, and it clearly rides higher in skinny water. The 156D with frame is about 40 pounds lighter than my 270 pound completely assembled Leopard also. Friends keep asking me if I'm going to sell the cataraft now that I switched to the "round" raft. Of course I'm not selling either boat. I still enjoy that motor mount and motor on the cataraft when I am going to cross open water.

    As every rafter and boater knows, there is no one-perfect boat for all rafting or boating applications. I really enjoy all four of my boats for similar, but different conditions. Next, I'm considering that catacanoe option. Too bad our rafting weather isn't longer!

    Dennis B.
    Alaska True Adventure Guide Service

  3. #3
    Member
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    Gakona Ak
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    Thumbs up Hi Mike:

    I have lots of boats and a few different styles to choose from. I like a bucket style raft. They allow you to do both easy water family floats, whitewater trips with confidence and are the way to go for float hunting and long fishing trips. I have the problem of having to keep my wt. down, as all of my boats have to fit into a 185 or 206 aircraft. Quality is more of an issue to most of us than any other issue. It has to be durable and has to haul a lot of wt. The Pro Pioneer is also an easy choice as it is the best of both canoes and rafts and haul a ton of gear and meat. I have added some to my rental fleet and will add some more soon.

    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Backcountry Rentals
    Your best bet in Rafts and camp rentals
    www.northwestalaska.com
    Kotzebue, Alaska
    33 miles north of the Arctic Circle
    907-442-3944

  4. #4

    Default best

    Hard to argue the all around versatility of a round boat. It hauls a good load and is easier to manage on constricted waterways than a big cat but will float big stuff too, just pray it is not windy. If/when I suggest watercraft for a first time buyer it is almost always a round boat.

  5. #5
    Member sbiinc's Avatar
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    Smile cat all the way.

    out of 5 rafts here in Alaska i'm down to only two, and i'll never sell my 16' lion cataraft w/custom frame... first raft i bought in Alaska (with Moose's advice and help) and by far the best i've owned...

    it is a bit big for some skinny creeks up here and is a quite a barge with the big frame on it. i've probably done more with two of the other rafts i owned (sold now) but i always went back to it... whitewater, hunting, leisure, or a full blown expidition its my favorite, light enough to go solo but big enough for moose, or up to 8 people (ok so it was a little tight with 8 ).

    one extra bit though; its also my most expensive after two frames and all the extras so if i were super tight on my money i'd save till i could afford it with one nice frame.

    b


    ok, had to edit my post... if i were to "recommend for someone on a tight budget" for hunting i'd say go with the inflatable zodiac style boats.

    i believe if you buy a raft then you are sooner or later going to come out of pocket to fly out somewhere remote.

    with any of the zodiac style inflatables a lot more hunting areas (interior and coastal) can open up to you, and much cheaper than a nice river boat.

    my experience to date; 2 round rafts (super bug and an old bucket raft when i was young, can't even remember the name of it), the one cataraft i have now (16' lion tubes), a zodiac (mark IIc), an alaska outfitters (zodiac style raft currently owned), a seyvlor fish hunter 6 (big mistake that almost cost me dearly), and other cheesy one person rafts that amounted to no more than toys (most i owned in the lower 48 where an inner tube would have served as well).

  6. #6

    Default zodiac... no takers?

    Quote: ok, had to edit my post... if i were to "recommend for someone on a tight budget" for hunting i'd say go with the inflatable zodiac style boats.



    Soooo..... why is there only one vote up there for a zodiac? It seems to me that one would be ideal for road system hunting, motor upstream... hunt slow floating down.

    For a guy who doesn't want to pay air charters or water taxi's wouldn't a zodiac work best?

    Input is apreciated as I will be moving up and have concluded my little 12ft jon boat won't be hauling any alaskan moose.
    Last edited by need2leave; 11-27-2008 at 18:43. Reason: quote looked wrong

  7. #7
    Member sbiinc's Avatar
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    Default

    my zodiac (the mark2) hauled a moose (cow) once with one other person and not too much gear, but it wasn't a fun trip, we sat on top of the meat and gear and the passenger had to lay accross the bow to help get on step (25hp)... but heck it did the job (especially if you're on a tight budget).

    and i've used both of my zodiac style boats to travel to SE Alaska and hunt black bears, think there's even a pic in my album with one in the background, and much cheaper to get on the ferry system with a zodiac folded up in the back instead of my 20' boat on the trailer.


    Quote Originally Posted by need2leave View Post
    Quote: ok, had to edit my post... if i were to "recommend for someone on a tight budget" for hunting i'd say go with the inflatable zodiac style boats.

    Soooo..... why is there only one vote up there for a zodiac? It seems to me that one would be ideal for road system hunting, motor upstream... hunt slow floating down.

    For a guy who doesn't want to pay air charters or water taxi's wouldn't a zodiac work best?

    Input is apreciated as I will be moving up and have concluded my little 12ft jon boat won't be hauling any alaskan moose.

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