Hello everybody. This is both an introduction and a request for advice. I'm considering buying an inflatable. I have searched the forums and found much useful information, but would be thankful for any further input. Sorry in advance for the long post.
I live about 3 miles from the sea. The family goes to the beach most weekends, either for walks in winter or splashing about in summer. I have two children who are enthusiastic about the possibilities for boating and are now (8 and 10) old enough to be sensible-ish. We want to try boat fishing, not least because as a family we eat a lot of fish. Also, there are many coves and beaches around here that can only be explored from the sea.
I have no experience in boats except that I used to occasionally enjoy going out on a "proper" 19-foot boat that was moored locally and owned by a family member. What I didn't like about that was that we were completely at the mercy of the tide. That is one reason I'm thinking about an inflatable.
The kind of usage I'm envisaging is popping down to the beach for a few hours in fine weather at weekends or even after school, so portability is crucial. Would something like a 3+m inflatable that could be left inflated and then put on the roof rack of the 4x4 (which is rated to about 70 kg) be the right approach?
Transom, wheels, outboard and other bits and pieces would go in the back of the 4x4. Boat would have maximum two adults and two children, and I would also like to go out on my own sometimes.
I like the concept and the positive reviews for the performance of the Takacat 340 catamaran (here, for example: https://www.powerboatandrib.com/2017...kat-adventure/
) and the fact that it is so light and packable. An equivalent Honwave (say) would be cheaper, but would seem to be at least twice the weight of the Takacat, so it would need to be trailed if I wanted to keep it inflated. I particularly want to avoid a trailer because the roads around here are very narrow near the beaches, and when they are crowded in summer one often has to do some reversing to get back to a passing place.
I am thinking of pairing the inflatable with a Tohatsu 9.8, which seems to be the lightest 10hp outboard on offer. Could I even perhaps get away with a 6hp for the Takacat?
Of course I can spend less, but my concern is that if I try to save money and buy the cheapest possible combination of boat and motor, I will find it too time-consuming / difficult to transport or to get on the water. Then it won't get used at all. I'd sooner spend a bit more for convenience in return for an improved overall experience.
Any thoughts much appreciated.