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In the last few years I've been getting out much more with my kids as they grow up and are able to do more with me outdoors. We visit the mountains often and stay with friends at their lake place. We all enjoy fishing and getting out. I've thought about buying a decent inflatable boat so we can get out on the water, lake and river. Do any of you water and cottage guys have some solid recommendations on what to look at?
 

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My only experience with inflatables is with my stepson's Zodiac.
It is/was 8-10 ft that he had a 9.9 hp motor on.
Very tough and stable boat,big enough for him his wife and two girls to go for a ride,lots of room for 2-3 fishing.
the coast guard uses Zodiacs , so that says something.
 

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I actually have two Zodiak inflatable boats. I bought my first one in 1988 and have used it to go fishing with my family. Make sure you buy something similar in construction, not some plastic tube covered with a mesh type material. They are expensive (mine cost 1800.00 back then) but will outlast any of the cheaper inflatables. My 10 ft. model weighs about 70lbs all in. Easy to transport either on your car top or in your trunk. I bought the Zodiak trailer wheels and mounted them on the transom. This makes it easier to pull and you can put all your gear in it. Easy to assemble (about 15 minutes including blowing it up with a foot pump) These are very durable and very safe. I have had two repairs done by a professional in almost 30 years. Keep them stored inside and not in the sun when not in use. I have had a 9.9, a 6hp and now have a 2.5 cause of the weight. With the 9.9 these really fly!!! What sold me on these was the video they had at the time about putting a Renault car on the boat. Even with one tube deflated, they float. I actually have done this and like i said, very safe. It has resisted rocks, sand and even a few flying fishing hooks no problem. They are great for jumping off into the water and easy to get back in. Look on Kijij for a used one. Best of luck and if you need any more info, please feel free to contact me.
Happy fishing.
 

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Costco had one on display at their Peterborough store a couple of weeks ago. I was pretty impressed with the display model. Not sure of the price but under $1000.
 

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Its a great concept especially if space is an issue. No trailer needed, or it's licensing, maintenance, storage space etc. considering moving to one also. I have 2 boats on trailers, a tent trailer and a utility trailer and it's getting stupid.
 

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Its a great concept especially if space is an issue. No trailer needed, or it's licensing, maintenance, storage space etc. considering moving to one also. I have 2 boats on trailers, a tent trailer and a utility trailer and it's getting stupid.
Space is a big issue for us too. We live in a town house with a single laneway and no access to backyard except walk through. All good points that you shared. Best of luck getting one soon.
 

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I like the Zodiac option and I found Seamax as a similar product comparison. We have some dealerships around here I'm going to stop in at and check things out. I definitely don't want the Walmart or CanTire special in this case. I'd like something rugged enough to take on the rocky shore of the Bow River in the mountains and be portable enough that I don't need a trailer to haul it around on.
 

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I like the Zodiac option and I found Seamax as a similar product comparison. We have some dealerships around here I'm going to stop in at and check things out. I definitely don't want the Walmart or CanTire special in this case. I'd like something rugged enough to take on the rocky shore of the Bow River in the mountains and be portable enough that I don't need a trailer to haul it around on.
Yep, any Zodiak type made of special woven mesh will do the job. There are a lot of makers out there. My last Zodiak i found on Kijiji at 350.00 it was a bargain considering it was about 1600.00 brand new.
 

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You may find it tricky to find something suitable that won't need a trailer. My sister & her hubby had a small, maybe 10'-er, that was a knockdown style. This was really just suitable for 2. I'd think you'd want something a bit bigger for kids and dogs.
 

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I may have to work to find it but I'd like to avoid a trailer at all cost. The 10 footer would be a max size for me..., hopefully.
 

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There is one nice thing about a trailer, and that's that you can store all your gear inside while the boat is in storage/transit and it minimizes your set up and load up time at the dock/launch. I store one in the garage, and literally the only thing I do when I put it away after a day of fishing, is tidy up my gear and charge the batteries.

Convenience costs space however.
There's always a trade-off isnt there?

Want a Les Paul but like three single coils too?

Blondes brunettes redheads ?

Always trade-offs
 

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In the last few years I've been getting out much more with my kids as they grow up and are able to do more with me outdoors. We visit the mountains often and stay with friends at their lake place. We all enjoy fishing and getting out. I've thought about buying a decent inflatable boat so we can get out on the water, lake and river. Do any of you water and cottage guys have some solid recommendations on what to look at?
Hobie Kayaks . they do a fishing inflatable as well.
 

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If you have the space, and the vehicle, embrace, don't fear the trailer. They are so useful in many ways.
You're going to be short on space in your vehicle once you fit the inflatable, paddles, outboard, tank, pfds, etc. Might make your vehicle smell gassy....there's always drips.
I'm personally an aluminum boat guy, along with millions of others. So practical and durable. But I can appreciate that not everyone has the space for one, or might have some issues with the trailer they usually require.
 

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If you have the space, and the vehicle, embrace, don't fear the trailer. They are so useful in many ways.
You're going to be short on space in your vehicle once you fit the inflatable, paddles, outboard, tank, pfds, etc. Might make your vehicle smell gassy....there's always drips.
I'm personally an aluminum boat guy, along with millions of others. So practical and durable. But I can appreciate that not everyone has the space for one, or might have some issues with the trailer they usually require.
I agree if you have the space to store the trailer by all means. You can also leave it blown up and put it on top of a SUV or wagon no issues. I drive a Honda Element and thats what i do. It saves time on setting it up once you get to the water especially when the bugs are out!!! Another thing about inflatables is that you can portage them if need be.
 

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There are a lot of pop-up importers for chinese made zodiac look a likes, you'll see them on Kijiji just about anywhere. I've been considering picking up one of these new but I can't come to pull the trigger. They have a .9mm PVC while the Zodiacs use Hypalon which is apparently much better long term, doesn't break down in the sun etc. They look very convincing though, aluminum floor, a few different chambers, nice looking transom, good accessories. They start around 11-1200 for about a 10-12' boat. New zodiacs are in the thousands even used if they're in good shape. This is all from my own research which usually ebb and tides around May of every year.

Im waiting to move an amp and I'll be buying a canoe, maybe even a flat back for easier fishing. I now have the garage, house and a custom camping trailer to haul the crap so I don't really need an inflatable anymore.

Good luck.
 
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