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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some ideas on small boats and how best to transport them.

For several years I've been flyfishing from a float tube. Now my son is getting old enough (9) and he wants to join me. I've looked at the options of getting him into a tube and don't think that is practical at this time. I think I will need to upgrade to a small boat and I'm looking for recommendations and ideas on how to transport it.

I have a F150 with canopy, but also pull a travel trailer, so a boat trailer is not an option. What do the rest of you do?

I've been looking at the Spratley 10' or 12'. Does anyone else have one of these and cartop them? If so what rig do you use to carry the boat?

Some people have recommended going with an inflatable instead - anyone have any first hand experiences with specific makes or models?

Thanks.
 

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I have to mention that I've been fairly impressed with the newest version of Portaboats. They're a bit pricey, but may be an option. Spratleys are great...but the heavier gauge aluminum they use makes them a bit heavier than other boats.
 

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You can get an external frame that will attach to the truck with the bars going over the top of the canopy. You can then slide your cartopper up and onto the carry bars, tie it down solid, and off you go.....There are plenty of options out there for boats, but you main goal is have enough room for two and stability of the craft for safety...Last consideration would be the weight, however getting it on top of the canopy should not be a problem......You might also attach it vertically on a frame on the back end of the travel trailer, and I would check with the dealers with that one.
Ortho 8)
 

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I think I still have an old manual car topper frame that fits on top of a truck...similar to what ortho describes...also has a winch device for lowering the boat...

I'll take a look around, maybe get it to you for a song and dance... ;)

A
 

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Flyfisher said:
Some people have recommended going with an inflatable instead - anyone have any first hand experiences with specific makes or models?

Thanks.
I will recommend an inflatable, too. I bought an 11' Aquamarine off ebay (w/3yr warranty). The seller is in Richmond, so you can pick it up to save a bit on shipping. It's not a Zodiac, but I paid under CAD$800 (after taxes+fees), when a Zodiac would cost you over $2K.

The boat is great on water, very stable. It won't lean over to one side even if you completely disbalance it and put all of your weight on one of the sides. You can also deflate it for compact storage/transportation (takes 20 minutes to set it up). I'm planning on taking it into saltwater once I get an outboard.
 

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my wife works at a fab shop as an office manager. they built me a rack for my f 150. i can put my 12 ft. aluminum on by myself. you should be able to do it with an over canopy job. it sure is nice to have the boat up out of the way.my rack has p.v.c.pipe across the bars that act as rollers. works great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Darcycote, do you have a canopy on your 150? All of the recent canopies for the 150, including mine, have a lip that goes over the edge of the truck to give a clean line look. I think this would get in the way of a frame. If you have a canopy what did you do, jack it up 3/4 of an inch to avoid the lip or notch the lip for the frame?

I would love to know the name of a good fab shop that has done this before. Would you like to plug your wife's shop if they do this type of work.
 

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I recommend the inflatable. I have fished out of a 10' Achilles for years, in both salt and fresh water. I can troll on a lake with two other full grown passengers. Three of us can jig cod no problem. I have hauled traps too. It is very stable. Also, easy to transport. I used to haul the boat and an outboard in a civic hatchback, now in a santa fe. A couple of years ago I picked up a 12' aluminum, which I still have, but it is just not in the same league.
 

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ambler said:
I recommend the inflatable. I have fished out of a 10' Achilles for years, in both salt and fresh water. I can troll on a lake with two other full grown passengers. Three of us can jig cod no problem. I have hauled traps too. It is very stable. Also, easy to transport. I used to haul the boat and an outboard in a civic hatchback, now in a santa fe. A couple of years ago I picked up a 12' aluminum, which I still have, but it is just not in the same league.
I'm another for the inflatables. I've got an 8'6 zodiac zoom. Very light, you can stand on the tube and not dip period :eek:. I have a travel trailer so it gets semi deflated and goes in the truck but can be packed up in a rubbermaid ;D. You can go fish in a storm if you want to :naughty:. If you happen to put a hook in it (which is hard to do) its very easy to fix :beerchug:. I'm rated for an 8hp but i have an electric, 68 6hp and 73 9.5hp. All very fun on this boat. I am curious to see how the aquamarines hold up as thats a great deal. A boat my size might be to small for you. The 10' might be better. I fish with my girl in mine and it works good. The stability is unmatched :thumbup:. You can even waterski :happy: off one with a 20hp if you wanted too. Power to weight ratio is great. Or just row around in lakes or rivers with ease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Arnold said:
I will recommend an inflatable, too. I bought an 11' Aquamarine off ebay (w/3yr warranty). The seller is in Richmond, so you can pick it up to save a bit on shipping. It's not a Zodiac, but I paid under CAD$800 (after taxes+fees), when a Zodiac would cost you over $2K.
Arnold, sounds like the inflatable may be the way I should go. What model do you have? What type of floor did you go with - wood, Aluminum, or air? How small does if pack up.

BTW, did you bid for it to get it for that price or did he just have it listed low?
 

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flyfisher,i dont have a canopy.my wifes shop fabs railway equipment,fortunately the owner is an avid outdoorsman.when she asked if they could build her one,he put half the shop to work desighning one.it even dissasembles into 4 pieces. i can ask at my work(g.v.r.d.)who supplies our racks.i know its a local company,and they are solid racks that fit over canopys.they may be a little pricey,but are heavy duty aluminum.
 

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Not that I have an inflatable, but I do carry my boat on top of the truck. No fancy loader, just a plain rack. I use a 1436 jon boat from crestliner and load it myself with no problems. I use that little boat from the Fraser and Harrison lake all the way tyo the backwoods of the interior. Unfortunately an inflatable was out of my budget, and wouldn't stand up to my abuse ;D
 

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I would also go aluminum just for the durability, have you thought of adding bars to your canopy and simply stapping it down?, or would your box be to short? maybe one of those boat tote's would be the ticket.
 

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Go get yourself a 12' aluminum (plenty of them out there) with a 10hp outboard and an electric troller.. if you have a canopy, build yourself a roof rack and strap the boat down on top. Simple and effective!

How old is your son? Mines 5 and I find his attention span is way too short to be taking him out on the lake... I took him out last year and he only lasted 1/2 hour before he started to complain.

Cheers & Good Luck!
 

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I can't speak for all of them, but my inflatable has no durability problems. It has been dragged and ran up on countless mussel and barnacle beaches over 15 years. As for anchors, in lakes I anchor off the sides, tied to two small davits. In the sea, I use the forward davit, but drop it over the bow. I have just picked up a bow roller though, to reduce the wear when hauling anchors and traps. In all these years, I've only had two small punctures. One from a hook and one from a dogfish; obviously both the result of carelessness.
 

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Flyfisher said:
Arnold, sounds like the inflatable may be the way I should go. What model do you have? What type of floor did you go with - wood, Aluminum, or air?
I went with air floor, because I wanted the boat to be as light as possible and comfortable to sit on (unlike a hard floor). These boats are all the same and only differ in size and floor type.

How small does if pack up.
It comes with a bag and I put it on the back seat of my 2dr Civic ('03). It takes up the whole back seat and there is about a foot or less of clearance to the ceiling (remember, I have an 11' model). Since you have a truck, it will be even easier to load it up in the bed.

BTW, did you bid for it to get it for that price or did he just have it listed low?
I bid for it. The "Buy it now" auctions are overpriced, so just wait for one where you like the price and bid. My winning price was something like $600-$610.

Flyfisher said:
For those with inflatable, how are you attaching a bow anchor?
I don't have an anchor yet, but there is a ring there that you can attach an anchor to. This is what I'm planning on doing once I get an anchor. Attaching it on a side should work well, too.
 

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Hey man, 1 week earlier i Transport my boat across alabama. Most boat shipping companies will require removal of any boat snap-on canvas covers. This is because they can easily get damaged or lost during shipping, so it is better to prevent such by keeping them in the boat’s storage sections.
 
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