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Shallow river inflatable advice

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  • Shallow river inflatable advice

    I'm looking for an inflatable with a power source to use as an alternative to a ~13' swiftwater raft for rivers with intermittant shallow sections.

    In most areas, these rivers are deep enough that an outboard works fine, but then has sections that are 1-1.5 feet deep and maybe the most basic type 1 rapids. The area is often used by tubers and kayakers.

    While normally much calmer, there was an instance where 6 people paddling upstream on the raft was only able to keep their station against the current

    Instead of the swiftwater raft, I was looking at the Saturn / aleko / bris type inflatables with aluminum floor and transom to mount a small outboard.

    It doesn't have to be fast, but being able to make at least walking-pace headway (3-4 mph) against a moderate current (faster than you'd want to simply hop out and walk it across) in the 1-1.5' sections is what I am curious about, with 2 or 3 people onboard.

    Is there an inflatable / motor combo out there that could fit the bill? Could I simply lower transom wheels into the water so they'd hit the bottom before the prop does?

    Last edited by Refleks; September 14th, 2017, 12:15 AM.

  • #2
    Too much hassle and precise timing involved lowering wheels before lower leg hits bottom and rising them back when there's enough water bed and so on. All engines have shallow water features, that's pivoting OB to ride at an angle way higher than 90. Much faster is pivoting OB than raising/lowering 2 transom wheels.

    Will need minimum a 12-13 ft Sib with at least a 9.9 HP, 2 strokes are much faster and lighter. Can prop it right to run max wot range with 3 up and gear to perform much better up current.

    There's an inflatable keel to consider, some Sib brands have deeper ones, won't know if will hit something when passing through shallow parts while engine is working adjusted to shallow water boating ?

    Happy Boating
    Last edited by Sea Rider; September 15th, 2017, 11:49 AM.
    Sea Rider 320, 380 Sibs, 450 Rib, 2 Strokes Tohatsu 5,18 & 30 HP Proud Smokers


    • #3
      Thank you! Will look into one of the ~13 foot ones and into some motors


      • #4
        If 2 strokes are still available, might look for a 15 HP, usually 9.9 & 15 weights exact same, a 15 will deliver more power when up current..

        Happy Boating
        Sea Rider 320, 380 Sibs, 450 Rib, 2 Strokes Tohatsu 5,18 & 30 HP Proud Smokers


        • #5
          You will need to fabricate a shallow water jackplate if you want to stand any chance against a current in a shallow river. Maybe a design like this will give you some ideas.


          • #6
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            OK Boyz.... can you say MUD MOTOR??? (Mud-Skipper) Sometimes called "Surface Drives" I am going to get one of these long-tail mud motors for my QuickSilver Inflatable. If I wasn't just a Cadet here or otherwise I would attach a pic. Maybe a link would do? I'll try to attach a link. (Sorry about the music, it's a little over the top.)
            Good luck with your quest!
            Glen in New Hampshire.
            Last edited by comstox; October 16th, 2017, 04:06 PM. Reason: spelling
            Glen in New Hampshire ~ The 'Live FREE or Die' State!