Pro cons of a inflatable raft/boat Zodiac style ?

J

JeepsAreBuilt

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Ok, I've been looking at these type of boats for a little while now. I was wondering what you guys think of this type of boat ?

What I'm looking at is a: Zodiac boat - Google Search

So, I want to take this boat down the river santiam, willy or something. Also be able to go though shallow stuff and over rocks(not big). I'm thinking this type of boat can do with a whitewater raft could do.. but also be able to add a motor to motor up rivers and across lakes and troll. I could make a platform with raised seats for fishing. I'm thinking a 12' size would do good.. as it'll handle more weight and bigger motor and be more stable in the water as well. I could even add a electric motor for those non gas motor lakes.

Well, any cons of these boats that I may have overlooked ? I do remember a member posting pics of his.. but can't find that thread again.

Anyone own/owned one of these style of boats, and how did you like it ?
 
F

fishy4

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the portability would be nice. prices arent bad either. one con i suppose would be that they are made of a rubber like material. may wear down over time. also look out for sharp objects to your boat sides. a puncture while drifting a river does not seem all too fun. i also hear that you can put a good sized motor on one of those suckers. good luck with the search.. check portland craigslist. a lot of nice ones.
 
J

JeepsAreBuilt

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I have my eye on a couple on craigslist. I am thinking of getting one without a motor for now. Good point about possible puncturing an air tube while floating. I am wondering.. are these boats the same as float tubes and pontoons ? where they have a air bladder inside a canvas ? This would help prevent puncture. Or are they just like cheap rubber rafts as they just blow up and nothing on the outside.
 
F

fishy4

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i believe they are similar torafts.but a tougher material thicker rubber or whatever materialit is.the bottom of those boats seemto be a harder material though.
 
J

JeepsAreBuilt

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I wish I knew more about them.. and could find info on them. I am wondering.. if it works like a self bailing raft ? As the water drains out the bottom though holes or something.

Does anyone remember that member that posted pics of his a while back ? It was black..
 
N

nwkiller

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can fit in a car, can holds a 25 horse motor, can hold a lot of gear or plenty of people, super durable. I have one that is 9 ft, that gets me into a lot of spots, i popped it once in a bad situation took it for granted" and it finally gave and got a hole in it, got it fixed though, works just like new. ive never taken it down the river, i have access to a drift boat, but am sure it will make it
 
G

Growbug

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Had a 12ft Avon way back. These are almost exactly the same as the Zodiac. The quality is FANTASTIC and the larger ones are used by Coastguards and Marines. The plastic/rubber covering for the tubes is really resilient, we routinely beached our hard bottom one over sharp rocks with only one puncture over 7 years use. Our Avon also had multiple bladders, two at the back of the tubes, one across the front and two down the middle of the sides. We popped the front side one on the right and the boat stayed afloat !
 
T

Thuggin4Life

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make sure you get the multi chambered one. and would be nice to have one with an inflatable keel. they can take a good sized motor as well. if you are trying to get one due to saving space then thats the answer. look into getting one that has a removable floor that you could customize. downsides are that there isn't a lot of freeboard and the are made strong but will wear over time and one mistake could eave you looking for a patch kit. also without adding raised seats it wouldn't be the most comfortable ride and when you do add them it could be easy to fall over. I bet you wont be disapointed if you get one. but for the price of one and a decent motor you could get a mokai if you arent worried about having passangers. If you did get a mokai you could troll it in lakes. and use it to get around. and would be great to take up a river. do a google search if you dont know what they are. i would love to have one to play in.
 
M

mudslinging79

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i have a 12 foot zodiak, rated for 49 horse, has an 18 on it now. pro, portability, toss it on top of the rig (bronco 2) and no messing with a trailer. con, heavy for one person to do it, but can be done. pro, floats like a cork, con, tubes cut back on some space. pro, quick lil thing, con, inflatable keel doesn't beat a rigid keel, some drag in very choppy water. pro, softer ride in rough water, rubber has some give.
i love my zodiak, fact i picked up a smaller, 10 footer at a local marina for a song. the older ones are a rubber over cloth, the newer ones are pveover cloth or something called hayplon. patching them is easy, bout any shop has a patck kit, depending on model and brands, accesories are available, though jyst went with a fishfinder and rod holders.
 
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J

JeepsAreBuilt

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i have a 12 foot zodiak, rated for 49 horse, has an 18 on it now. pro, portability, toss it on top of the rig (bronco 2) and no messing with a trailer. con, heavy for one person to do it, but can be done. pro, floats like a cork, con, tubes cut back on some space. pro, quick lil thing, con, inflatable keel doesn't beat a rigid keel, some drag in very choppy water. pro, softer ride in rough water, rubber has some give.
i love my zodiak, fact i picked up a smaller, 10 footer at a local marina for a song. the older ones are a rubber over cloth, the newer ones are pveover cloth or something called hayplon. patching them is easy, bout any shop has a patck kit, depending on model and brands, accesories are available, though jyst went with a fishfinder and rod holders.

Nice boat.. thanks for your input. I'm still looking to buy one. I like how you can beach it in very shallow water. Can you do that with a drift boat ?
 
M

mudslinging79

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oops, meant to sat 40 horse, anyway with the 18, ive had to turn the idle down on calm water, i would look around at marinas where people moor and live on their boatsm thats where i picked up my 10 footer for a whopping 50 bucks. downside is its 65 bucks to get it tagged, title change and all... might find someone looking to upgrade, or clear up some space. then your not out a lot if you find it doesn't work for you
 
S

SALTYFISH

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I used to use a zodiac in the ocean for going out for abalone. We used them cause if a wave flipped it, it wont sink. don't know about rivers though I think a drift boat would be better. And you can beach a drift boat in shallow water they are made for shallow water!
 
Troutski

Troutski

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Magic carpet..

Magic carpet..

A magic carpet is a magic carpet, any way one can get off the shore and on the water increases your odds of catching fish. The size and style is mostly dictated by money, pure and simple; one thing stands true "the larger the hole the more money one can throw into it". I have a toon that is the cats meow, but it is so big and you have to put it together then take it apart then get home and put it away. Yes I am lazy, so what I am doing is converting a drift boat trailer into a toon trailer....oh yea, It is getting its maiden voyage this weekend.
My point is do what ever it takes to get on the water, as time goes by you will realize that this won't be your last Craft:cool: .

Chuck
 
C

Coho Kid

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They definitely have their place. I've been considering one because of the haul weight being so light. I would run it down in tidewater and to troll or anchor on non windy days in the Willamette Basin. I wouldn't expect an inflatable keel boat to do tremendously well in rapids or small rivers but I could be wrong.
 
K

kaimuki49

I have my eye on a couple on craigslist. I am thinking of getting one without a motor for now. Good point about possible puncturing an air tube while floating. I am wondering.. are these boats the same as float tubes and pontoons ? where they have a air bladder inside a canvas ? This would help prevent puncture. Or are they just like cheap rubber rafts as they just blow up and nothing on the outside.

RE: Zodiac or similar type boats. I was born and raised in Hawaii and have extensive experience with zodiacs. They were developed initially as a safe and stable diving boat - easy to get in and out of, and impossible virtually to flip. Any ride in a zodiac type boat is not gonna be high and dry - its a working, go for broke type of craft. My concern for you to ponder is this - Zodiac type boats were not intended to row. They are made to motor, and pretty much motor in any adverse condition, thus, using it as a river drift boat (where you have to maintain some steerage by oars) is a very big question mark with me.

The recently popular pontoon boats on the other hand were designed for the kind of thing you have in mind.

Stay safe and hanapa'a, tom
 
K

kaimuki49

In fact if anyone has got a good pontoon boat that an old man can buy to fish from let me know!! It should be able to take an electric motor as well as oars. I am limited is the use I can get out of my larger alum fishing boat. Mahalo, tom
 
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