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I'm thinking about getting a boat. I'm not sure of what kind that I need. For the most part, I don't fish. I want it to access my hunt'N area. I just want to use it to get to my area to hunt...not hunt out of it. One of my former Marine buddies, for whatever the reason thought that I want to duck hunt out of it. Then, he finally got the idea that I want to use it to get to my honey-hole...correct, I want it for clandestine insertion (that he understood).

Preferably, I want to be able to go back up stream, but it could also be used to get wet (put it in the river), float down, hunt the other side of the river, and then float down to a dif spot to get out.

Also, I'd use it to float down the river, once in a blue moon. That brings us to another issue, fluctuation of flow. The thing will possibly be used in high water, to dragging on the bottom. I want be running rapids, per se, but 2-3' swells. My Marine friend says that I want to avoid a john-boat (which he has, and swore that it was what I need, until I got it through his thick head of what I wanted it for).

I'm looking at an aluminum or fiberglass boat 12-14' and probably V hull. Orrrr, a canoe. I wonder if those types could be used on the river, and how much motor it would need to go back up stream.

I talked to another guy, a canoe purist. He has done the Grand Canyon, twice and has otherwise canoed just about every navigable stretch of water w/in 300 miles of here. He is pretty much an expert (if you don't believe it, ask him) and he is even an expert on stuff that he has only done once. He says they they run the river all the time on regular boats. At first, he said that is what I should get. Then he said a standard canoe w/a motor adapter and that a 2-4 HP motor would move it just fine. He also said that I should avoid a square stern canoe (and based on what he said, I think that it is what I should be looking for) as they are a pig in the water (I want to stay dry, I've been thrown out before), are heavy (15# extra, whoop-dee-doo) and are wider (all reasons that a purists would hate one, but reasons that would make it more desirable for a goober, like me, that is using a motor). He says that plastic is the way to go (actually, the new high-tech stuff, that is a plastic-laminate-plastic sandwich). I tend to agree w/that. He also said, AL drags on rocks. Now, that is data that I can use. But, my Marine friend says Al can take a lick'n (like a Timex) and keep on going. He said that fiberglass is more fragile.

At the moment, I'm thinking of a standard plastic Old Town canoe, w/a motor attachment and out riggers to keep it from tipping. I note that Cabelas has em in their catalog for $220 (and I can't imagine why anyone would buy something of such a simple design). They would keep the thing from tipping.

So, what do yall (youse guys) think? V-hull, or canoe? AL, fiberglass, plastic? Square stern.

As a side note...how is trolling motor power measured? I see them listed from 30-50# of thrust. What does that mean?
 

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Quite the quandry, no???

Aluninum is probably the least expensive, but a fiberglass boat, such as a Boston whaler is a hellova boat.

If in shallows, stay away from a V hull. They tend to draft deeper than a flat bottomed.

Do you want an engine on it? are their restrictions on size of engines you can have on a boat in your area. Can you have gas engines, or only trolling motors.
Do you want an engine at all?
What game will you be transporting back AFTER a sucessful hunt
If you do not fish now, I'll bet you'll start....:p




I went thru all of this when we bought the NH house.
Our 150 acre pond will not allow any more than electric trolling motors on it. We looked at canoes, but decided on kayaks.


Kayaks are much more manuverable than a canoe, can travel thru much shallower waters, but have weight carrying restrictions. Kayaks sit lower in the water, and are effected by the wind much less than a canoe.
The kayak you choose must be rated for your weight, PLUS any gear you choose to bring along. Ours are designed for up to 275 pounds. The kayak itself only weighs about 40 pounds, which make it easy to bring ashore, stow or transport. Then there's paddles....
Another thought is a kayak sitting in the Nov. waters [and you in the kayak] is cold on the posterior.

If you consider a kayak, I'll let you know what brand we chose.

Canoes on the other hand can carry alot more capacity, but you'll suffer handling abilities. You sit ABOVE the water, which is warmer on a longer trip in Nov. waters, but becaues it sits higher, is more effected by the wind. Also, because of a narrow beam, a canoe full of gear is more likely to be unstable as compared to a row-style boat or kayak.

Let us know which direction you go.
 

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Sounds like what you need is something only handcrafted nowadays. An Old Town freighter canoe, 22', wood and canvas, would be perfect. Or, one of the old Alumacraft 17 aluminum canoes. Both were heavy gauge and yeah, heavy. Stable to a fault. But either would do what you're asking. Likely the ONLY place you're gonna find such a beast is on e-bay or Craigslist.

Personally, for me now, I'd choose a Jon Boat, inspite of what Jarhead says. It would take an electric motor a lot easier, or even an outboard motor, 3 hp would be great. By the way, THRUST is a term describing how powerful an electric trolling motor is. More is better. I used to use a Jon Boat up in Canada, hunting and fishing. I had a 17'. Nice and wide, very stable, would haul me, another big man and a moose carcass across a lake. I've also done it with a freighter canoe. As stable as that canoe was the Jon Boat is better though.

In order to use one though, you have to learn HOW to use them. You learn to read water and wind. You may have to go 5 miles to go 500 yards. Instead of crossing the lake in bad weather you learn to hug the shoreline.

At any rate, good luck with your search ... and your upcoming education. Have fun. It's still supposed to be fun. ;)
 

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> I want be running rapids, per se, but 2-3' swells.

Not that into boats, I just like working on them (replacing V-8s in 32ft cabin cruisers etc.)

Double pontoon, bow thruster with two marine batteries, electric prop in back 2-3 batteries with a small pull start gas engine with an alternator. It will not be big enough to charge a deep cycle battery, never mind 2-3, but, it can recharge one 1/2 drained battery for a bow prop or the house battery.

Because the AGM and those type batteries can weigh 60-70 pounds each, you might start with one on each end and only increase if you need it. I think my last red top cost $180, so they add up fast. The inferior Diehards are $99 at Sears.

If you don't know how to weld, don't get aluminum if you are going shallow and rapids.

Low draft and the bow and rear electric prop will allow you to go quiet and shallow.

For the bow you can buy a cheap electric Johnson (all over E-Bay - where I sold my last one) and move it around where needed and even hold it just below the water so you don't drag it. The older cable ones with the foot controls are fine, the newer ones with the remotes look swell :)

Another reason for a pontoon is you put your water tight rifle case in the middle and sometime in the future when you want to hunt from it, you are all set or when you want to take a whole animal aboard without dressing it.

The other thing is you sit up high, can grab limbs easy, and get on banks easy, because you are not climbing out.

Many disadvantages, the major one is you are higher so you can be seen. But, because your draft is so shallow, depending on size, you should be able to float down stream and get as close as possible, maybe even without the electric motors going and you can steer with a paddle or pole once close to shore.

If you are getting a fairly small boat, you don't need 50 pound thrusters.

> I just want to use it to get to my area to hunt...not hunt out of it.
> I want it for clandestine insertion (that he understood).

I have an acquaintance that is big into the nature and undisturbed thing that kayaks every where and she hits the big lakes and such. In many places canoes (her kayak) are allowed where motors (gas or electric) are not. She is very small (100 pounds?) and can carry her kayak almost anywhere. Plus, she has a doo-hickey like a hand truck that lets her roll it down to the stream while holding the other end up.

The seat almost looks comfy, plus, you get the storage for weapons.

Very quiet and very low to the water, pretty much unsinkable. Great disadvantage is trying to make it upstream against a strong flow. Though if you threw it on a pontoon motor boat and used the canoe for the last couple of hundred feet in, that would be cool. You could go where only ducks tread.
 

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The thing will possibly be used in high water, to dragging on the bottom.
My only piece of advice will be that you should avoid aluminum. My experience is canoeing too, and aluminum has a habit of really sticking to rocks. I have seen some aluminum canoes do very bad things once stuck on a rock in moving water.

The modern "plastic" boats, whether canoes or kayaks, can slide over rocks that are hardly even wet, and suffer minimal damage. Fiberglass is better than aluminum, but it scrapes and tears easily. Kevlar is very similar to fiberglass in its wearing and ability to slide over obstructions, but it is way more expensive. Its advantage is in any given thickness it is stronger and you can build thinner, lighter boats as a result.

Kayaks are seaworthy but you can't carry much and they can be hard to get into and out of in tough situations. Not my choice.

Avoid cedar/canvas. Way too expensive and fragile for what you describe.

I would be looking for a big (20 ft) "plastic" (polyethylene or Royalex is a proprietary name) freighter type canoe with a square stern for motor mount. Fiberglass would be my second choice.
 

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I'd get a Zodiac inflateable with a hard transom for a small outboard. They're very stable, won't sink, (multiple chambers) and last a long time. Very shallow draft capabilities.
http://www.zodiacmarineusa.com/
 

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From what I've gathered reading you're post, you have never messed with river currents, especially trying to go upstream, and then you throw in some possilbe rapids. I would stongly suggest you find someone that has a canoe, kayak, or anything else that has to be paddled. I would also suggest when you do try this, you try going upstream for you're test run. Also, don't take anything with you you do not want to loose or get wet.

Aluminum is going to be a whole lot safer than a thin glass or that canvas and stick thing you described. The plastics they are making some of the kayaks from will do very well also.

If I understood everything you were saying, my choice of boats would be something like an aluminum deep side 1442 or 1648 tunnel hull with a jet drive motor mounted on a hydraulic jack plate hung on the back and go with the maximum HP the boat is rated for.

Going down stream is no problem, othe than the rapids might dunk you in a canoe and loose your gear. Not many Kayaks allow for gear. It's the getting back up stream is where you're going to have problems.
 

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For drifting and working down river, a good drift boat or raft is great. If you are looking at hunting and the need for hauling an animal out, a good self bailing raft is hard to beat. A cataraft as well. Very stable, very quiet, easy to handle with a little practice and fun with the family and kids as well as for hunting.

The downside is they arent light and the wind can push you around.

Kayaks and canoes are good and the guys have mentioned the pros and cons there. The same two wheel tow rig works for canoes as well as kayaks. Lay the stern in the "V" bar and buckle the strap over the hull and go.

All the above choices have a drawback. Unless you have good motive power, you are not going back upstream or far against the current. Or into a stiff breeze for that matter.
For a 12' or 14" raft or cataraft a 3 or 4 horse outboard works just fine. In a pinch you can row as well and that can help augment the motor when its slow going.
Remember, you have to factor in the weight of the motor and fuel system against capacity and this is what can hurt a canoe.

Getting into boating is a learning process with a steep curve. Go with someone you know in their boat a few times. Learn as much as you can about where you want to go, the water conditions and what it will take for you to navigate them. Your canoe expert buddy is helpful with canoes, but that is his area of expertise. Go with him, and go with other guys in their boats. Decide from there.

I do have ot say though that I really think that Hewescraft makes some of the best small boats afloat, ocean or river.
 

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Boat

Having read through the whole thread, I'd say borrow/rent some different craft and see how you like them. I would imagine you know people who have a john boat, a canoe, a kayak and just give it a go.

At least that way you can get an idea on what you can handle or like.

Good Luck
 

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I have a Mad River Explorer 16" easy to handle by my self. I also have a small short shaft electric trolling motor. It runs the canoe very well and is very quite for sneaking into hunting areas.
It will haul two people, gear and a deer with ease. The trolling motors can be picked up in the spring as repaired or rebuilt at sporting stores many times for under $100.00.
A Kayak is a sports car and a Canoe is a pick up truck on a river or lake.
You should find a Kayak and Canoe to try out. Many liveries on a pond or river will let you try out different craft.

Kevin
 
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