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Thread: ATV or a Zodiac type raft? I need a hand??

  1. #1
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    Default ATV or a Zodiac type raft? I need a hand??

    Hey all,
    I am debating buy one or the other and thought I would post here to get some opinions on why one would be more benificial than the other.

    I am looking to purchase the one that will open up the most outdoors options to me as far as hunting, camping, hiking and fishing goes.

    Which one would you buy if faced with choosing and why?? If choosing the raft what type of motor would you look at and how would that benifit over others?

    I don't have the option now to buy both and that is why I am coming to the best source of Alaskan creative thinkers there are. All of you

    Thanks in advance.
    Jason

  2. #2
    Member akguy454's Avatar
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    Default i have both

    i have both
    4 wheeler gives you more places to go
    raft gives you places to go that 4 wheeler can't
    most people have a 4 wheeler
    less people have a raft
    killed alot i mean ALOT of bears using my raft
    4 wheeler can help around the house for chores and for play
    raft opens up more places that most hunters can not go

    pm me with phone number and I will call back with pros cons and details of both and what I use the most and options each have given me

    Robbie

  3. #3

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    I own both, forced to choose between the two, I would opt for the inflatable.

    Really not much of a challenge even though I may like being on a boat more than most people.

    If you can go up to a 17ft raft with a 4stroke prop that would be very versatile and open up quite a bit of water if you have the tolerance and endurance to take advantage of its capability.

    ATVs are more limited IMO and more often limit one to going the same places others can go.

  4. #4
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Default

    A Zodiac holds more than one person plus your gear. The earth has more water than land so thats also a plus.In my area anyway my truck can go where the wheelers can go and then everybody has to walk up hill through thick stuff or down hill through thick stuff. The wheelers fish the bank and I can fish the middle. I can spend weeks hopping between island even in a small Zodiac as I have nothing but time and don't push the weather. If I could have two it would be a Zodiac and a sno-go.Just what works for me but all areas are different.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I was looking at a very large (wide) Alaska Outfitters inflatable boat today at Frontier Outfitters in Fairbanks. But didn't look at the price tag. Was impressed by the very thick tubes (or whatever they are called) at each side, but was surprised at how easily the water drain plugs can be pulled out. The bottom looked very strong (some thick PCV material), but I don't think it's inflatable.

  6. #6

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    Trying to do "it all" with one piece of gear is kind of like designing a horse by committee: You'll have a camel when you're done.

    Even trying to get a single zodiak that does all things is going to turn into a camel. Too big, too small, wrong floor, etc, for some situations while just right for others.

    I've been on the coast almost 40 years and have never been tempted to buy and ATV. But that would be different if I lived in the interior.

    As for the zodiak, I've had 13 footers with floorboards for most of those years. A 25-horse easily planes four people and gear, but that's not saying there's room for 4 people to do much in it. I've fished 4 from it, but it's much better suited for 2. Floor boards make it heavier and bulkier for loading on a float plane @ around 200 pounds, but you can get up and walk around in it easily. Outboard and gas for a week bring that up to about 350 pounds for your plane ride.

    A rigid hull inflatable (RHI) is much more capable and comfortable, but it's going to live on a trailer. I trailer my 13's too, but at least they can be dismantled and put on a plane. If I was going the RHI route for best service on the ocean, I wouldn't go any smaller than 16 foot and a minimum of 40 horse.

    Best solution for me on the coast is the 13 foot zodiak AND an 18-20 foot aluminum skiff and stuff the ATV. In the interior I'd shop around and get a used zodiak and outboard in the 13 foot/25 horse range on a trailer AND a used ATV. You could probably pick up both for what either one will cost you new. Really forced to pare it down, I'd probably get the used ATV since I can put it to work year round, but be saving for that 13-foot/25 horse zodiak on a trailer.

  7. #7
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    Default

    thanks again for the input.

    I am very aware that one piece of gear will never be a do all. Just looking to see which piece of gear will be better at "doing more" right now.

    again thanks and if any more of you got some input I would be glad to read.

    Congrats to all of you out there filling the freezers right now. Looks like the caribou on the steese and the taylor are huring a little bit from all the hunters!!

  8. #8
    Member AK DUX's Avatar
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    Default

    Tough question. I'm going to assume you're primary purpose is hunting. I'm going against the grain a bit, but having owned both (and still own ATV's), I would opt for the ATV (I'm also in the Interior).
    Although true that a lot of people own ATV's...the places that are accessible by boat are just as crowded during hunting seasons. In fact, if you're thinking about motoring into a hunt in a raft, you don't have nearly as much range as a boat, so it'll be even more crowded. You won't get into any more remote areas with a raft and motor than you would a boat and motor. In fact, I can get into a lot more places with my Predator with a 200hp than I ever could in my Zodiac with a 25hp short shaft jet (net 18hp); especially loaded. The only difference is, the raft was much easier to get unstuck. But I had to pull that raft through areas that I can now zip right through in my boat. If you could get more horsepower, that may help but you're now talking more weight on the transom...and possibly the rating of the raft.
    Also, I can just hop on the ATV and go for a ride...or get together with friends for rides, etc.
    My best rafting was when I had a Metzler that only weighed 85# and could be packed in a plane. I could fly-in and float out.
    No need to start harpooning me raft guys...just my opinion based on my experience.

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