It’s no secret we love fishing! In fact, if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ve probably seen quite a few fishing pictures already this summer! I am even considering bringing back Fishing Fridays just for the summers. If you’d love this, be sure to let me know! I digress.
So when we got settled here in Ohio my husband wanted one thing – a boat. We were kind of spoiled in Texas having access to my grandparents’ lake house with a great pontoon boat, but now we’re here in Ohio with very little access to significant lakes without a drive, but he wanted a boat nonetheless, so our search began.
We started looking at used boats as the prices were a little easier on the budget, but we were running into one problem – the motors were too big. You see, we discovered we could do some boating (and fishing, of course) right here on the Findlay Reservoirs, but they have a 10HP limit. So the question was – do we want to spend quite a bit on a boat and then buy an additional motor just for the Reservoirs? We went back and forth on this for a while!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Regardless, I’m only sharing as this is the boat we bought, and we enjoy it, so I would share regardless.
After much research and discussion, we discovered something we surely hadn’t considered before – an inflatable boat. When I hear “inflatable boat” I think of a raft like the kind we used for white water rafting. Little did I know an inflatable boat could be just what we were needing!
Here is why:
- It is budget friendly. For under $800 we have a boat that works for us plus everything else we need – the trolling motor, marine battery, etc. The boat has two bench seats, fishing pole holders, a solid bottom (you can seriously stand up in it without any issues), and oars.
- It fits our family. The boat is recommended for 4 people. We do have three kids, but they are still small, so all three are able to ride on the boat with us without any problems. For bigger kids (and, of course, adults), I wouldn’t recommend having more than 4 total people in the boat.
- It is flexible. We can take our boat anywhere. We can use it on the reservoirs or we can take it on bigger lakes. It’s totally flexible.
- It’s great for trolling. We have been using it frequently at night for trolling, and we have caught a bunch of fish this way. We will use it for hours, and when we come home the battery is still over 50%. Not only do we catch a lot of fish at night, but it’s so peaceful on the water at night!
- It’s Portable. Another reason we were iffy about buying a boat is because we’d probably have to buy a trailer, too. Not with this boat! We simply roll it up and put it in the back of our SUV! Set up and take down takes less than 30 minutes, and we always have it with us, so if we want to go out on the boat randomly, we can just go!
- It’s fun! It has been so much fun taking the family out on the boat. Not only do we enjoy fishing, but now we can spend time together out on the water, and it’s so nice!
Something to note is that we did have to get the boat registered because we are using a motor, though it doesn’t require the more in depth things like a title, for example. Of course, it’s important to be sure you have required items like your PFD’s (life jackets) and, of course, a fishing license if you’ll be fishing. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option with a lot of flexibility an inflatable boat is the way to go!
Will you be doing any boating this summer? What kind of boat do you have?
Cathy Jarolin says
We used to Have a Cabin Cruiser with sleeping and cooking quarters below. We loved that boat. We used it more for pleasure rides not fishing. We stopped fishing along time ago. We loved it and did our fair share! Lol! My husband started scuba Diving for awhile than we went to the Cabin Cruiser. We sold the Cabin Cruiser a while ago too! It got to be Too expensive to store for the winters. But we did enjoy it for several years. I enjoyed your post about your inflatable Boat. Good way to go.. Just make sure you have life Jackets for safety reasons. Your Post Brought back some Good memories! Thankyou~
That sounds like so much fun! Yes, we are required to have life jackets and, of course, always do!
Sandra Watts says
That is awesome! My husband and I were talking about getting a canoe but they are so expensive. Let me know how this works out. I might consider one.
We have been loving it! We considered a canoe as well as that worked well for us in the past, but the kids are too big now, so this was a great option for us!
Not doing any boating this summer unless something changes. This inflatable boat looks great, and I’m glad you are emphasizing all the safety and laws to be thinking about!!
Definitely. Safety is important!
Hazel Owens says
That’s awesome! Your kids look like they’re having lots of fun in the boat. Plus, as you said, you can take an inflatable boat anywhere without the need for a trailer. You said you were able to buy the motor and the battery for cheap too, which is great. My question is, is there a big difference between a trolling motor and an outboard motor for such a boat? Thanks.
Many inflatable boats can be equipped with various small outboard motors – either the smaller outboard motors like the electric trolling motor we use or gasoline powered motors. If you choose too large a size (it’s actually noted on the boat itself both hp max and weight) it will greatly affect the balance of the boat. We like the trolling motor because we actually do troll for bass so it’s the perfect speed, the battery can be used to both inflate the boat and power the motor and many places around us have a 10hp limit. Plus it’s just light and easy to carry. We ran it for 5 hours one night and didn’t use more than half the charge of the battery, so it’s power efficient as well.
Great choice, so great to have something so easy to take with you, no need for a big trailer on the back of your car! Great fun with kids too!
Such a helpful article.i have purchase inflatable boat last year and its still very good condition. much appreciate your blog!
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Hi Emilee, Happy to see your kids on fun. It’s pretty awesome! Yes, safety is very important because i am thinking about to joining you very soon with my kids! Let me know how this works out.
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Tom H says
I’ve considered a small boat before, not inflatable, but like a tiny jon boat. Looks fun. Question for you, what kind of battery box are you using to protect the trolling motor battery? I couldn’t quite see from the pictures. Thanks!
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Kenny Wilson says
This type of boats is best for fishing. But one can use it for adventure in water. You enjoyed many looks like. And the most important thing is safety. Overall a great article.
Larry Wilson says
Such a helpful post , thank you Emilee for sharing with us this informations , lovely family Emiliee
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Larry Wilson says
Hi Emilee, thank you for sharing with us this inflatable kayak I was like you When I hear “inflatable boat” I think of a raft like the kind we used for white water rafting, but last summer we bought one and its fantastic for fishing.
Nina Bowers says
Thanks For sharing this Superb article.I use this Article to show my assignment in college.it is useful For me Great Work.
Chhayrath Tan says
I love this sharing article. It is very helpful and I love the outdoor activities.