Recommendation on a "family" friendly craft

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by SeanM, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. SeanM

    SeanM member

    I have a friend who is looking to get into fishing - likely on lakes only.
    He would like to buy a watercraft, but as he will only be able to go if the wife can (and possibly other friends) can join him, he needs a water craft that is in this range - $500 - $700.
    He owns a truck with a super king cab and a short bed with a roof rack.

    I am personally partial to pontoon boats. But anything with more than 1 seat quickly gets into the $1k range.

    I suggested a Pelican style canoe or even a drift boat, but anything that is too heavy or requires a trailer he isn't much interested in.

    What would you folks recommend?

    I thought a simple row boat might be the answer, but (again) anything too weighty is likely out of the question.

    To summarize: he is looking for something reasonably light weight, affordable, and can hold more than 1 person.

    Any advice or input is much appreciated!
  2. Guy Gregory

    Guy Gregory Active Member

    And I would also like it to make martinis promptly on the hour, beginning at noon.

    Ah, the perfect boat for under a grand. It does. It's the used cartopper aluminum, virtually indestructable, not particularly comfortable, easily rowed, fairly easily stuffed on a roof rack assuming you're hale and hearty, and well suited to being thrown upside down in the flower beds for several years to serve as hornet habitat.

    Smokercraft, alumicraft, harbercraft, mirrocraft..the list of brands is long and distinguished, and account for more fishmeat in the freezer (sorry: I meant Angler-days) than you can imagine. They all work fine, they all leak a little, and they all squeak when you row'em. They're all less, but not much less, than a hundred pounds, and if they're more than 12 feet long, they're getting too big. They'll carry you, your one-who-must-be-obeyed, your stuff, anybody else like a stray kid or two, and best of all,your dog.

    They are like today's savings accounts: never appreciating in value, but always worth what you put into it originally. Keep it simple, without a lot of accessories, no motor, some throw cushions and a whistle, a cooler full of your favorite beer and gramma's gingersnaps, and it's the boat you're asking for.
    Bill Aubrey likes this.
  3. isaacfab

    isaacfab Member

    I would get a used 16ft+ canoe. It fits the truck and is the most versitile craft in your price range. You can even mount a small motor later.
  4. neuf

    neuf New Member

    I'll add my two cents. We're a family of four and for a number of years have used an 11' Avon inflatable. It can take up to a 9 horse motor, rows easily, weighs 100 lbs and rolls up into a bag that fits into the trunk of a car. It takes 15 min from bag to lake ready. I like them over aluminum boats for family purposes for a variety of reasons and particularly because they can carry far more weight and are more stable than just about anything out there. My 13 and 16 year olds can literally stand on the same side tube of our boat without flipping it. Also, there are always some good ones available at good prices on Craigslist as many people use such boats for yacht tenders. There are a number of good brands IMO Achilles and Avon are pretty much the top of the heap. If you're looking for one the hypalon ones are longer lasting but PVC is fine too it's just more sensitive to UV light and thus doesn't last as long.
  5. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology


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