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Thread: Help a newbie - going from square stern to inflatable, a few questions

  1. #1

    Default Help a newbie - going from square stern to inflatable, a few questions

    Hi all,

    I'm going from a MacSport 18 square stern to a 14' inflatable with a 6' beam, 20" tubes. Protected waters, easy rivers and large lakes only. No offshore. A few questions for those in the know:

    - I'm looking at a Chinese made soft bottom PVC boat with 1.2mm tubes and 1.5mm bottom, Korean PVC. 5yr warranty from established company. Looks like it comes from the same factory that does most other Chinese inflatables. Most other PVC boats are 0.9mm. Anyone have experience with these? If it lasts me 6-7 years I'm happy.

    - Although rated for 30hp, looking at putting an 18hp Tohatsu 2 stroke to save some weight. 2 adults 2 kids gear for a few days. Will this do it?

    - Beaching - plan to beach on all kinds of shores, including rocky/barnacles. Would a set of beach wheels work? The rig will weigh about 350 pounds - not sure how easy it would be to haul to shore with 2 adults? Are leaks inevitable while beaching? Like I said it has an extra thick bottom (I heard military boats are 1.8mm thick).

    - Seaworthy - assuming an inflatable is the most seaworthy cost-effective 14ft boat out there?

  2. #2
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    The barnacles are really tough on rubber dinghys (I can say this because I have one..)....

    I had alaska raft connection put a coating on the bottom of mine and am very happy with it's protection level on the barnacles in PWS.

    What are the measurements between the tubes? 2 adults and 2 kids is doable - but these boats are far from roomy. Camping gear especially with kids on top of that and I feel you would be pushing the limits for space but probably okay on weight.

    My 15' 5" zodiac has 38 inches between the tubes and I think 9 feet of length - - not much for a 16 footer.

    I anchor using a 1/4 inch bungie cord 100 foot long tied to anchor and clipped to boat, this stretches 300 foot of anchor rope. I then run 100 foot of rope off the back of the boat to tie to shore. It has kept me from going dry when I use it.

  3. #3

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    3 feet between the tubes, 10 foot deck. Next size up is 16.5 with a little wider deck, 12ft long, but would need more HP.

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    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    years ago had 14 foot zodiac 25 hp motor was marginal always wished i had 30-35 hp light load it was ok , couple guys for day trip . I would get at least 25 hp. advantage of the 25 vs 35 for me was i usually deflated boat to transport and could put the 100# motor on my shoulder for a ways or wife and i could each grab it to carry it. that was 30 plus years ago too old for that now adays. i went all over cook inlet, resserection bay, gulf of AK and prince william sound in either my 14 or 16 foot zodiac. good quality ones will go anywhere.

    GOOD LUCK BE SAFE
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
    MASTER BOWHUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR; MEMBER UNITED BLOOD TRACKERS; POPE & YOUNG MEASURER

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    That size boat for 4 of you will be very limiting/crowded and 18hp is too little to get it all on step. If a larger boat is not an option but more hp is get at least a 25 if not the 30hp, (inflatables do not ride the water like a hard bottom and therefore have significant drag by nature of the material/design), they still only weigh approx 100lbs, I have a 25 2strk for my 12.5ft inflatable that I carry like a suitcase.. in one hand. If you can get a bigger boat , which I recommend, get a 16.5 or 17 foot boat and a 50hp motor. Drop an anchor on a loop, beach, unload and pull the loop and boat back out, offshore over ancho,r and enjoy .

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I agree on the power. I have never wanted less running a 40 horse old skool Zuki on it..but I have wanted more a few times. I load her up heavy though when we go camping, fishing, and hunting for a 3 or 4 day weekend.

    Takin her our duckin here the next weekend or two - hope she busts ice good...LOL!

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