Advice, if you please, advice.

I'm likely to make the plunge to a cataraft this spring, after selling my beloved drifter last fall to a most deserving young couple. I most often fish 1 plus the rower, fly, on inland streams, and I'd like to take my dog from time to time, and maybe row around a lake or two. If I could van-top, that would be good, but if not (and I am getting older) that's OK. I'd consider myself an intermediate boater, not ready really for extended class IV's, and extended class III's give me the willies. I'm old enought to be clear about my limitations, and I know or otherwise have opinions about the basics.

So, advice. Length...12, 13, 14? Brand, sure, but I'm not going down the Colorado twice a month, so I'm pretty comfortable with off-brand stuff...I'm looking hard at Kootenai River Inflatables. Trailers...any that do double duty? How to rig? Seats on coolers or not? Seating for two or 3? Accessories, yeah I need a spare oar, spares for breakables, tools and toilet paper and first aid kit, what else?

Maybe I should just get a boat?

Ah, midlife. So many alternatives. I appreciate any advice you have.


Active Member

You'll want a pump to go along with the accessories for sure.

If you go much bigger than 12 foot, it will be hard to put up on and carry on top of a van but you might need some special racks for it to sit on. A boat that big is starting to get pretty wide. A 12 foot pontoon boat is big enough for two people and a dog, depending on how its designed.

When you ask trailer that "do double duty", what do you mean? Obviously you are looking for a trailer that you can haul your boat but what about the other function? Looking for it to double as a utility trailer with side boards?

Lots of knowledgable people on here that can give some feedback.