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Old 03-23-2005, 03:29 PM
Moonlight Moonlight is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: North West
Posts: 884
I have been using inflatables with Jet Pump OB for twenty years and chose that set up for the same reasons that you are, portability and ease of portage. I have flown boats in Beavers on floats to fish steelheads in some pretty remote areas of Alaska. Actually carried them around impasses and continued on upriver into the land of Notrax and Grizzly Bears, they do have advantages for being lightweight.
When you go above 20/25 hp you are going to jump substatially over what I figured was a sensible weight for each componet, 100 pounds. A 20 hp Mercury Jet weighs just shy of 100 I used to have a Metzler Juca LS with an HP (high pressure) floor that was very flat and pretty stiff it too weighed just under 100# pumped up and ready to go. It would carry three adults and a Lab with a rod apiece and a lunch! I would gladly pay top dollar to replace that boat because I haven't found a replacement that was as good or even close since.They don't make them anymore!
Mine just got old and the HP floor delaminated which made it worthless.
I have now an Achilles that is about 11.5" and it gets two people and a very small lunch if the gas can is full up on step and performs well under most conditions. Like the Metzler it has the HP floor I usually keep it at 10# which I beleive is a pound or two above the manufactures suggestion but it gives much better performance with that extra stiffness.
There is a German outfit called Grabner that make something that looks interesting but I do not know anybody who owns one.
I have a small light weight aluminum skiff and an automatic cartop loader for my pickup truck that just might make my inflatable a thing of the past. As a matter of fact my wife asked me if I was going to sell it now that I do not need it, and then she laughed knowing that a guy can never have too many boats until you run out of storage room. Lots of room still in the barn.
I'd be happy to share further information with you if you are interested.
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