Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Thoughts on using an inflatable as an all purpose boat on a budget?

  1. #1
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Anchorage/Soldotna
    Posts
    1,176

    Default Thoughts on using an inflatable as an all purpose boat on a budget?

    Since the Kenai changed to 4 stroke only and I moved to Anchorage I have not been king fishing and I'm really missing it. I'm looking at a Alaska Ranger 500AR as an all purpose boat that I can use for the following activities:

    Back trolling for kings on the Kenai
    Running the middle Kenai for trout and reds
    Hunting Skilak and Tustemena Lakes
    Hunting PWS and Kachemak bay

    I know there are guys out there that use inflatables like this, but I searched the forum and couldn't find much.

    As for my back ground, I drifted the inlet commercially for 5 years, have fished the Kenai for 20 years and have been on PWS out of Whittier 3 times. I'm comfortable on boats, but have almost no experience with inflatables. I'm not concerned with the lack of comfort and more interested in the sea worthiness, range, fuel economy and aspects like that.

    With the 500 AR is it necessary to max out the motor with a 50 HP or would a 25 or 30 work?

    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2

    Default

    My first thought is you`ll want all the power possible if on the ocean. 4-strokes get great mileage so it shouldn`t be too much of a concern. In big water you`ll be forced to slow way down but on glass it will run like anything else. Inflatables get on step quickly and don`t really need the power for that but they are soft and when loaded can plow quite a bit and reduce the power/speed ratio. To do it all you may want a jet foot or lift. Still de-buggin mine.


    Heavy Hitter Fishing
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heavy...54441957966186

    Kodiak Custom Fishing Tackle Pro-Staff


  3. #3

    Default

    Many year ina Inflatable!
    My last one was a 18' achillies with a 25hp H18 foot 35hp.jpgonda tiller, it would go 80 miles on 6 gallons, I changed the 25 out for a 35 Honda Remote, so I could sit up at my home made windsheild and Bimini Top.Console.jpg

  4. #4
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    4,835

    Default

    I use an old zodiac (1985). I still am getting the bugs worked out. Since purchase I have had alaska raft connection put a eurethane coating on the bottom. We initially had some chemical problems so they re-did the bottom and it is working great right now. They took very good care of me and I give them kudos for that. I also had a new transom installed that seems to be failing....the installer is going to look at it once the season is over and I am hoping that I can get my money back and re-do it myself.

    I have found that I often have issues with the boat trying to fold in half...I mostly think that it is a pressure thing - but still working that out. I am running a 40 hp 1986 zuki on it don't get near the mileage as indicated above....I have an onboard 26 gallon tank that is really 24 gallons and I can get about 100 miles out it...not great, but not bad either. I really want a 4 stroke - probably a 40hp - not sure that my boat can take a 50hp...though it is rated for 65.

    I have a top for it, but it is so low that it is not useable so we are going to raise it up this winter if can makethe time......

    The boat will do almost everything. I have had it in Homer, skilak, whittier, deep creek, seward, and deshka landing down to the deshka. I am running a prop with a long shaft so it sits a bit lower than I would like in the water. A jet unit would be good for the rivers if you can get it low enough not to cavitate.

    We have taken it 20 miles out of whittier with 3 people, chocolate lab, and a whole short bed truck full of camping/fishing gear - just watch the weather and wear your raingear and lifejacket.

    It is light, easy to put in and take out - but what I would really prefer is a 24 foot hewes with a 200 on the back........and a river boat......for now the zodiac will do okay.

  5. #5
    Member russiarulez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    202

    Default

    I would recommend looking into the Naiad/Solas rigid inflatables (4 or 4.8 meter ones). They are aluminum, and great all-around boats. Spendy though and they don't come up for sale very often, as their owners love them.
    I have an Avon 14 foot rigid inflatable (fiberglass bottom) and do everything - ocean and rivers occasionally, but wish I had an aluminum bottom for the rivers. Mine has a very deep V (I think around 24 degrees), so it cuts through chop very nicely and I can usually pass much larger boats out in the ocean with only a 40 hp engine.

  6. #6

    Default

    LOL
    He said on a budget!
    I would recommend looking into the Naiad/Solas rigid inflatables (4 or 4.8 meter ones). They are aluminum, and great all-around boats. Spendy though and they don't come up for sale very often, as their owners love them.

    I had a total of $3000 in my 18'

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    Inflatables and especially ribs are great boats, but as we've discussed many times before, when you limit yourself to a 50 hp kenai legal boat, you have a boat that has limited use in saltwater. Figure out what use is most important for you what is the use you'll put the boat to most and what you can compromise with. Honestly 50hp is just marginal for any boat with the amount of gear and fuel you'll take with you and the distances you'll run hunting in PWS. If you're looking for an adventure, a small inflatable with lots of gear in the sound will provide that, but it's akin to commuting on a moped, the apeal will wear off real fast.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •