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Old 11-17-2014, 11:40 AM
SoCal Refugee SoCal Refugee is offline
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Advice on Canoe vs Sea Eagle Inflatable?

By way of introduction, I'm a C&R fly fisher recently retired to Tucson. This forum has been a terrific resource for an AZ newbie like me and I look forward to contributing once I learn the ropes and have some trips worthy of reporting on.

I have a float tube but am looking for something with more range for bigger water (Woods Canyon, Patagonia, Big Lake, Greer reservoirs, etc.) and especially to travel a few miles upstream from Lee's Ferry. I plan to use the backhaul service once it reopens in spring, but I'd like to try fishing upstream this winter.

I'm trying to decide between a 14-6 foot square stern Sun Dolphin canoe with a 40" beam and a Sea Eagle 124 SMB inflatable, both powered by a 40-55 lb thrust trolling motor. Does anyone have experience with similar setups (or any different ideas)? Are these realistic options for the flow at the Ferry? Or would I be at a standstill in the current at full throttle?

My thinking so far is that the canoe is more durable but less stable. I have a small SUV and could haul it on the cartop bars. The Sea Eagle costs about $200 more than the canoe, is easier to transport, but requires a half hour or so to get ready to launch. It seems very stable with the wood floor inserts but I'm concerned about punctures. I've not considered a pontoon due to the cost and needing room for 2 anglers plus gear.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer some advice. I really appreciate all the great info you so generously share on this forum.

Tom from Tucson
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Old 11-17-2014, 04:57 PM
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Chadders Chadders is offline
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I would go with a canoe over inflatable any day. I'm assuming the canoe is rated for 5hp max which would get you upriver (very slowly) depending on how much gear you are carrying.

Check out this discussion:

http://www.azflyandtie.com/flyforum/...ht=canoe+kayak
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Old 11-17-2014, 05:58 PM
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DrLogik DrLogik is offline
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Go with a canoe. A shallow "V" hulled canoe is probably more stable than an inflatable. I have a 16' Mad River Explorer shallow V and I can lean it over until water is spilling in the gunwhales and it still won't flip. That sure comes in handy when leaning out to net a fish! That said, a shallow V hull will seem "tippier" initially.

Stay away from a flat-bottomed canoe as they can flip without warning even though they seem more stable initially.

Go for a hull made from Royalex as is will handle the occasional rapids without puncturing, although fiberglass may be a tad bit lighter.

Also, go for a large canoe, 14' minimum. I can navigate my 16 footer with ease when I sit in the bow facing the stearn. The shallow V is also a pretty easy hull shape to steer.
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Last edited by DrLogik; 11-17-2014 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 11-17-2014, 06:12 PM
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Warrior63 Warrior63 is offline
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I don't have much to offer in the way of advice about canoes or other inflatables, but I did see one of the neatest little contraptions at the ferry last time I was there that may fit in with what you are looking for.

I have no idea what this thing was called, but it was clearly professionally made. It essentially looked like a pair of surfboards with a small outboard motor in the middle in the rear. It has a small canopy and seating for two. Couldn't have been more that 12-14' long, and moved along fairly well. The guides boats was a little faster, but not by a whole lot.

It was very basic looking, but very sturdy and stable at the same time. You probably could fish from it if the canopy was folded back, or just taken off. I saw it in the middle of summer and I'm sure its operator had no intent of moving back the canopy. The first time I saw, the older guys in it had it pulled all the way up onto the sand bar, so it wasn't too heavy either.

This would have been a lot easier if I knew what the damn thing was called, but I have never seen anything like it before or since, and have wanted one since that day!

Good luck with your AZ adventures!
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Old 11-18-2014, 05:46 AM
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Chadders Chadders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warrior63 View Post
I have no idea what this thing was called, but it was clearly professionally made. It essentially looked like a pair of surfboards with a small outboard motor in the middle in the rear. It has a small canopy and seating for two. Couldn't have been more that 12-14' long, and moved along fairly well.
Sounds like a Craigcat.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:10 AM
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Warrior63 Warrior63 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chadders View Post
Sounds like a Craigcat.

Yup, You nailed it, that's the thing I saw. Kind of an interesting alternative to canoes or inflatables. I bet it would be pretty easy to take the gas powered outboard off and put in a trolling motor for the lakes that don't allow gas motors.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:14 PM
SoCal Refugee SoCal Refugee is offline
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Thanks for your posts, guys. Very helpful advice!
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:38 PM
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Drake Side of The Moon Drake Side of The Moon is offline
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Also check out the inflatable gear from the company Sevylor'

I have seen a few online with 2 or 3 HP outboards mounted on a transom or a trolling motor too if you want.

They come with built in rod holders, room for transom motor mount like I said and 9 or 12 feet in length for the big models.

You can put in a wood floor and some seating and they can be solid craft in my opinion.

(* this one is really nice with flood lights, stereo, even cup holders etc. and its from AZ) ^
^ (this has the out board motor)

Last edited by Drake Side of The Moon; 11-24-2014 at 04:54 PM. Reason: links
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Old 11-28-2014, 03:28 PM
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aztip aztip is offline
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I had a Sevylor Fish Hunter some years ago. It had a motor mount and wooden slats in the floor. They will hold more weight than you'd think and move along pretty good because of the flat bottom, but mine leaked water intermittently the whole time I owned it. The air chambers never leaked but you would get water somehow in through the floor. I was just never happy with it. Fit on top of the jeep pretty good though:



I like the trailer idea though. I also like the inflatable cat concept. Years ago when I was married we used to take my father-in-laws grumman aluminum canoe down to blue ridge to fish and paddle around all the time. They can be tippy, but a canoe is a much better choice for fishing in my opinion.
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Last edited by aztip; 11-28-2014 at 03:30 PM.
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