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Which model of intex for a shallow river?

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  • Which model of intex for a shallow river?

    I'd like an inflatable boat for the river near my house. It's the River Raisin in SE Michigan, not much in the way of rapids. It has a lot of bends and gets pretty shallow in a few spots. I'm looking at the intex models and am wondering which one would work best for me.

    Would the slats in the bottom of the Mariner work or would they cause it to get caught up on the rocks more? I'm wondering if it I'd be better off with a non rigid bottom like the Seahawk so the boat would flex more. I'm not that worried about the strength and tears, I think any of the models will hold up. More so I'm trying to avoid the frustration of getting stuck in the shallow spots.

    I do have to carry it about a 1/2 mile to the entry point so the extra weight of the Mariner is less than ideal.

  • #2
    As an owner of a Mariner 4 I can say that the boat has plenty of flex with the slat floor. It is not the slat floor that would cause it to get caught up on rocks, it is the inflated keel since it makes it more of a v-hull shape (some people had mentions using it without inflating the keel, this is not a good idea since that changes how the floor presses into the seams) increasing the draft. I have gotten onto a couple of large rocks using my M4 but it was easy enough to get off. I would still recommend it except for that 1/2 mile portage.... You could go with the M3 as it is only 65 pounds vs. 85 but that can still be taxing. If you are set on Intex then something like the Seahawk series might be right for you. The Excursion is pretty big and I have seen reviews indicating it is not the easiest to row/control in current. And one thing to know about Intex - their customer support is about as bad as you will ever experience. The products are pretty good for what they are, customer service is next to non-existent though.

    If you are going out solo then maybe consider some of the inflatable pontoons out there like the Classic Accessories Colorado Inflatable Pontoon Boat. Some of them come with transport wheels so you could set it up and pull it versus carry it. Cabela’s used to sell one that came with a backpack to carry it in to the launch site (did not see it on their site when I checked it just now though). Many will also allow for trolling motors for when you are not lugging it 1/2 mile to launch.


    • #3
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      It will probably always be me and one kid and depending how well that goes maybe more than one kid.