Author Topic: Recommendations - Inflatable Zodiac Style Boat  (Read 1347 times)

Offline Creatura

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 200
Recommendations - Inflatable Zodiac Style Boat
« on: May 27, 2020, 10:41:09 AM »
Hey all,

I am starting to do my research on boats.  Not looking to break the bank with the higher end models.  I have seen a few folks roll up to the beach with an inflatable boat with a outboard.  This would be great for storage if I didn't have to invest in a trailer.  Any thoughts or recommendations for these?  Not looking to go far out, but I would like to at least be able to hit a few coves, or do some rod n reel fishing. Something comparable to those skiffs you can rent off the Santa Cruz Boardwalk Wharf.


Offline ryang85

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 641
Re: Recommendations - Inflatable Zodiac Style Boat
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2020, 09:00:58 PM »
Im thinking about selling my 2001 zodiac futura. Its a pretty awesome norcal dive zodiac. You can beach launch from places like Russian gulch in mendo and shallow trailer launch in places like ocean cove and Albion in nearly any tide. Ive done a few launches from pacific city in oregon crossing 4 foot breakers so with some practice you can punch through the breakers on your sandy beach launches. Its a soft bottom so its pretty light weight and can fit in a pick up when rolled up so you can pack it down to baja without messing with the trailer. I have a 2 stroke 30hp Yamaha so it cruises about 35 knots and on flat days you have a ton of range.  Its only 14 feet but if your looking to cruise around with only 3 guys its pretty comfy and I built a removable speargun rack to keep the guns out of the way.  I used to use it constantly when  I lived in norcal full time, now I go back and fourth to Oregon and always seem to have the boat in the opposite place of where I want to dive.

 Feel free to PM me if your interested or need any other info about zodiacs.  Ive dove off zodiacs from southern baja to Washington and am familiar with a lot of the older models and some of the common issues.   They are a unique boat and if you know how to operate them they are extremely good boat for getting to inaccessible dive spots. 

Offline MauiBen

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Recommendations - Inflatable Zodiac Style Boat
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2020, 09:33:36 PM »
I have a TrueKit Discovery. It's awesome for spearfishing. The open bow really makes it easy to get in from the water. Two people can beach launch it, and I can launch it solo from a boat ramp. I used to pack it up into a Acura ILX, which is based on the Honda Civic. Motor in the trunk, boat on the back seat. With a 10HP motor, does about 15-16 knots with two people in it. I've launched it at Monastery and went south, all the way around Pt Lobos past the MPA. It's the perfect tool for trips that are too long for a kayak. It does have downsides though. The setup and teardown are a bit of work, so there is no such thing as a quick trip with the boat. Like you said, the big advantage of an inflatable over a regular boat is that you can easily store and transport it. No trailer, no monthly storage fees. You can also typically launch closer to where you want to dive, since you don't need a boat ramp. With a regular boat, you may have to motor for a long time to get where you want to go, burning gas and money the whole way.

The TrueKit is a high end option. I chose it because of the open bow, the light weight, and the high quality German fabric they make it out of. Weight is a crucial spec on an inflatable boat. My TrueKit is just light enough for me to move into and out of the car by myself. Any heavier and it wouldn't be manageable for me, but I'm not a big guy. I originally had a 6HP motor on it, but it couldn't get up on a plane with more than one person in it, so I upgraded to a 10HP. Any bigger than 10HP, and the weight of the motor would be too much to move in/out of the car. My Tohastu 10HP weighs a bit over 80lbs, and it's the lightest 10HP on the market.

I originally got the boat for spearfishing, but I've actually used it more often for hook and line fishing. I've trolled for salmon and halibut in the ocean, bay, and delta. If you have any questions, ask away.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 09:36:22 PM by MauiBen »


noob spearo podcast

THE SPEAR Spearfishing Podcast

Support the NCUWH Website

Help support the NorCal Underwater Hunters Website by donating today.

Your decision to contribute is strictly voluntary. If you see value in this website: meeting new dive buddies, posting dive reports, a place to post your pictures, sharing great fish stories, plan out of town hunting trips, etc..., then please contribute. All proceeds go towards supporting the costs to host and maintain this awesome website.

If you prefer to send a check or money order, please PM me, MATT MATTISON, for the address.