Small boat questions


Hooligan86

New member
I'm looking into getting a small boat. Something small enough that I can throw it in the back of my truck, but that I can mount a small trolling motor on and can carry my wife and I and 2 small kids. I'm looking at these 2. Anybody have any experience with something like this? Any reason why I should go with one over the other? Or something else entirely that I should be looking at?
 

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rogerdodger

Well-known member
Moderator
If the boat can fit in the back of your truck, it's too small for your family!!!
agreed, tough to get one in the bed but over the top and hanging out the back a few feet, maybe....we (myself, wife, 2 elementary school age sons, labrador retriever) used to fish and weekend camp out of a 17' Alumicraft canoe, with a trolling motor and sonar, in large N. Idaho lakes (Priest, Pend Oreille, Coeur d'Alene, and lakes in Glacier NP), but you can't toss a long boat like that in a truck bed (It rode on top of a minivan real good).

you could go with 2 inflatable kayaks and put an adult and kid in each, these are good ones with a rigid floor:

Aquaglide Chinook XP Tandem XL Inflatable Kayak | Next Adventure

CHINOOK 120 XL

it would be easy to connect 2 of these sort of kayaks together side-by-side to make a super stable raft with 1100# weight capacity and have an easy place at the back between them to mount an electric trolling motor:
 

Hooligan86

New member
agreed, tough to get one in the bed but over the top and hanging out the back a few feet, maybe....we (myself, wife, 2 elementary school age sons, labrador retriever) used to fish and weekend camp out of a 17' Alumicraft canoe, with a trolling motor and sonar, in large N. Idaho lakes (Priest, Pend Oreille, Coeur d'Alene, and lakes in Glacier NP), but you can't toss a long boat like that in a truck bed (It rode on top of a minivan real good).

you could go with 2 inflatable kayaks and put an adult and kid in each, these are good ones with a rigid floor:

Aquaglide Chinook XP Tandem XL Inflatable Kayak | Next Adventure

CHINOOK 120 XL

it would be easy to connect 2 of these sort of kayaks together side-by-side to make a super stable raft with 1100# weight capacity and have an easy place at the back between them to mount an electric trolling motor:

I'll check those out, thanks. My problem is I tow a camp trailer so I can't tow a boat trailer, but I want to get out on the water and fish.
 

rogerdodger

Well-known member
Moderator
I'll check those out, thanks. My problem is I tow a camp trailer so I can't tow a boat trailer, but I want to get out on the water and fish.
I've seen lots of people carry normal canoes and kayaks on top of trailers, especially easy with pop-up camping trailers, no need to limit yourself to inflatables. I think a pair of easy to carry/move tandem canoe/kayaks is what I would be thinking of, with some method of connecting them together.
 

4labs

Active member
Small boat with more than 2 people is tight . have seen 3 guys in a 12ft . the jon boat are good just don't get caught out in the middle of a lake in the wind.
The smallest I ever did was a 13.6 gregor and a 15 hp Johnston and it would fit in the back of a longbed but couldn't tow anything
A longbed truck with a loader can handle up 16ft on the rack plus tow anything but they are a pain.
I've had just about ever camping type rig from motorhomes to cabovers,tents to campershells and finally just have the wife tow the boat and I tow the trailer.
Cabovers are great but loading and unloading can be "thrilling" especially when a jack collapses and down she goes.
Good luck, your young you'll find what fits
 

fish4life

Active member
I would get a 15' smokercraft Alaskan, those other boats you are looking at are too small. As the kids get bigger you will most likely have to get another boat. I can fish three adults out of mine but that's max.
 

rogerdodger

Well-known member
Moderator
I would get a 15' smokercraft Alaskan, those other boats you are looking at are too small. As the kids get bigger you will most likely have to get another boat. I can fish three adults out of mine but that's max.
I have a feeling he would need to tow that boat. lol
 

Aervax

Active member
Tandem kayaks sitting on a rack in the back of your truck could be a good solution for small calm water. Here is a pic of a temporary solution I built out of $35 of 2" X 3"s. It is a temporary solution until it becomes a big enough priority to build or buy exactly what I really want. The middle shelf holds 2 full size coolers leaving room in the bed for other essentials. The whole thing sits in the bed of my truck of course and is strapped down using ratcheting tie downs. Quick and easy to remove or load. Takes me about 15 minutes to load and strap two kayaks down by myself. Just one of many ideas on how to take boats and tow the camper.
20180728_185232.jpg
 

Hooligan86

New member
Tandem kayaks sitting on a rack in the back of your truck could be a good solution for small calm water. Here is a pic of a temporary solution I built out of $35 of 2" X 3"s. It is a temporary solution until it becomes a big enough priority to build or buy exactly what I really want. The middle shelf holds 2 full size coolers leaving room in the bed for other essentials. The whole thing sits in the bed of my truck of course and is strapped down using ratcheting tie downs. Quick and easy to remove or load. Takes me about 15 minutes to load and strap two kayaks down by myself. Just one of many ideas on how to take boats and tow the camper. View attachment 615192
You have any more pictures of that? Looks like a pretty simple design that might work well for me
 

4labs

Active member
The loader on a rack like fish4life said is great and the hole setup inc boat could be had for 5000 or less and look at a westcoaster widebody 15 ft
they may fit.
Saw a guy with my size boat 17ft with a 90 on it on a rack that fit in the back of the truck and the boat pointed up over the cab plus pulled the trailer. The best is the ca rigs that can pull a boat behind a trailer if under 65ft.
 

pinstriper

Active member
Probably the best thing would be to upsize the truck to a 1 ton so you can put a camper with bathroom and slideouts in the bed and pull a 19' boat. I think you could probably swing all that for less than....oh, $100k.
 

rogerdodger

Well-known member
Moderator
yeah, or spend about $2K total for a pair of tandem kayaks, PFDs, MinnKota, AGM battery, Sonar, and a rack to carry them on either the trailer or truck..:D
 

bass

Well-known member
Besides my Hobie Outbacks I have a couple of other small craft. I have a Coleman Crawdad (11' plastic jonboat that is ~30 years old) and a NuCanoe Frontier 12 (12'). I throw whichever of them I am using for the day in the bed of my truck. I use both of those craft with a 55lb thrust electric motor. The crawdad is great for two people (my son and I) and we fished out of that together a lot of times. I would not take a 3rd. We have been out on Hagg when the wind waves are kicking up pretty badly and it is a wet mess ride.

I bought the Frontier to fish with him as well since it can be set up as a tandem paddling kayak or be used with the motor. It works well as a tandem paddle kayak but I found it a little cramped with two and the battery. However, it is a much drier ride since the bow cuts through the waves instead of being slapped by them.

In agreement with most folks on here. A boat needs to be in the 15' range with a trailer which conflicts with your desire to camp in a trailer. I think an inflatable boat might still be what you really want:
 

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