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Old 15 January 2021, 02:10   #1
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Casual Lake Fishing - Do I need a keel?

Thanks in advance for any help. After being land locked for too long i decided Iím going to buy an inflatable.

My simple question is: Iím mainly planning to use the boat for lake fishing, some relaxing outings with the wife. Generally just to have a good time.

Iím planning to buy a trolling motor to get around, so I think reaching a plane it out of the question for my purposes.

This said, if Iím mainly using a trolling motor and not rowing for long distances, is there any reason to spend the extra money on an inflatable with an inflatable keel? Iíd save close to $500-600 having a flat bottom Saturn SD365 thatís caught my eye.

Thanks again for any guidance.
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Old 15 January 2021, 08:48   #2
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You need a boat that's big enough, stable, and with a firm enough floor underfoot, so that you can use it a platform.

One job of the inflatable keel is to help the boat to ride up an go faster. However, another job it does is to keep the shape of the boat rigid.

You don't want to stand up to fight and land a big fish and find yourself on a spongy trampoline-like surface.

There are plenty of reasonably priced new or used boats with inflatable keels.

Remember that a trolling motor will give you limited range and limited power. At the end of a long cold day, traveling any distance at walking pace into a headwind or even against a current can be a glum experience.

I have 3 outboards, one of which is a good quality electric (Torqeedo) and I have ended up rowing back when the battery has given out. It's easy to carry a spare can of fuel for a small petrol outboard.
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Old 15 January 2021, 09:31   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikefule View Post
You need a boat that's big enough, stable, and with a firm enough floor underfoot, so that you can use it a platform.

One job of the inflatable keel is to help the boat to ride up an go faster. However, another job it does is to keep the shape of the boat rigid.

You don't want to stand up to fight and land a big fish and find yourself on a spongy trampoline-like surface.

There are plenty of reasonably priced new or used boats with inflatable keels.

Remember that a trolling motor will give you limited range and limited power. At the end of a long cold day, traveling any distance at walking pace into a headwind or even against a current can be a glum experience.

I have 3 outboards, one of which is a good quality electric (Torqeedo) and I have ended up rowing back when the battery has given out. It's easy to carry a spare can of fuel for a small petrol outboard.
All good advice I'd say....especially in the U.S. When bigger species may be encountered...inflatable keel boats get a premium for a reason
If Budget is a big concern,the used Market can often produce a low use bargain or two.
Good luck
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Old 15 January 2021, 15:32   #4
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What maximum sort of size are the fish you are likely to catch?
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Old 15 January 2021, 16:38   #5
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What maximum sort of size are the fish you are likely to catch?
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Old 15 January 2021, 18:41   #6
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You need a boat that's big enough, stable, and with a firm enough floor underfoot, so that you can use it a platform.

One job of the inflatable keel is to help the boat to ride up an go faster. However, another job it does is to keep the shape of the boat rigid.

You don't want to stand up to fight and land a big fish and find yourself on a spongy trampoline-like surface.

There are plenty of reasonably priced new or used boats with inflatable keels.

Remember that a trolling motor will give you limited range and limited power. At the end of a long cold day, traveling any distance at walking pace into a headwind or even against a current can be a glum experience.

I have 3 outboards, one of which is a good quality electric (Torqeedo) and I have ended up rowing back when the battery has given out. It's easy to carry a spare can of fuel for a small petrol outboard.
Thanks for the reply!

I should have probably shared this before but I live in a major city, no garage but fortunately enough storage space in my apartment, so size and weight is a big consideration when out of the water as I’ll be deflating it between uses. I’d love an outboard gas motor, but between the weight and storage of it, I’m leaning towards an electric motor (and if my pockets are deep enough a lithium ion battery to keep down the weight and power the thing). I fear that with a gas motor that storage will be more of an issue.

Totally makes sense about the rigidity. Since weight is a factor, I’d like to keep it fully inflatable (avoid aluminum floors). If my floor is inflatable regardless, is the keel going to make it more stable to stand on?
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Old 20 January 2021, 15:01   #7
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Thanks for the reply!

I should have probably shared this before but I live in a major city, no garage but fortunately enough storage space in my apartment, so size and weight is a big consideration when out of the water as Iíll be deflating it between uses. Iíd love an outboard gas motor, but between the weight and storage of it, Iím leaning towards an electric motor (and if my pockets are deep enough a lithium ion battery to keep down the weight and power the thing). I fear that with a gas motor that storage will be more of an issue.

Totally makes sense about the rigidity. Since weight is a factor, Iíd like to keep it fully inflatable (avoid aluminum floors). If my floor is inflatable regardless, is the keel going to make it more stable to stand on?
I have only ever used plywood floored boats. I know others have had very good experiences with inflatable floors though.

A small petrol outboard (I've got a 3 hp 2 stroke) is light enough to carry easily with one hand and barely takes any space. My Torqeedo is probably lighter, but no less bulky.
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Old 20 January 2021, 16:56   #8
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What maximum sort of size are the fish you are likely to catch?
Nothing too crazy. Biggest thing I could imagine catching would be a 10lb lake trout (a boy can dream).
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Old 20 January 2021, 20:03   #9
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That would be a nice fish!
No need to stand up to play it, be absolutely fine sitting down.
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Old 20 January 2021, 20:28   #10
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That would be a nice fish!
No need to stand up to play it, be absolutely fine sitting down.
Indeed There's some massive lake trout in New York state.

So i suppose having an inflatable floor would make standing easier but not sure if alone it's worth the cost and weight for my purposes. The fact I have to lug the boat, motor and battery in and out of my car after each trip makes me lean towards the budget boat and use the money for a better motor setup.

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Old 21 January 2021, 04:14   #11
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I also have reservations about the wisdom of standing up in a small boat with low freeboard unless it's absolutely necessary esp when one or both hands are occupied & your concentration is on something else.
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