Rafts on the Ohio River

Discussion in 'OHIO RIVERS TALK' started by CatBobJimFish, May 2, 2009.

  1. CatBobJimFish

    CatBobJimFish New Member

    Messages:
    155
    State:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Let's pretend for a second that I'm a complete boating noob(which of course I am)..... would a small 9 to 12 foot inflatable raft be safe/legal on the Ohio river? I'm sure it would be far from ideal.... but would it even be safe? What about during night time? How would you go about rigging navigational lights on an inflatable raft?

    My plan was to buy a low to mid priced inflatable(that way I wouldn't need a trailer, just throw it in my car and inflate it when I get to the water), cut some floor boards for it out of MDF, stick with the oars for a while and then maybe later on buy a motor mount for it and a small trolling motor....... this setup would be used mostly on lakes, but I'd occasionally like to toss it in the river..........anyone else went this route? How's it working out for you?:confused2:
     
  2. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    Once upon a time, I tried a small inflatable and just did not care for it. Had to be sooo careful with hooks, fish spines, and such, caught the wind badly, tough to row, not very good for standing.

    Now, perhaps one of the larger and more high dollar ones might be more suitable, but at that $$ point, why not just get a used boat?

    It's not too difficult to pick up a 14 ft-er, motor, and trailer for $500 or so. Older fiberglass runabouts 14 to 18 ft can be had for not much more.

    And if you are just into rowing, you can get by much cheaper.
     

  3. CatBobJimFish

    CatBobJimFish New Member

    Messages:
    155
    State:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Well, my problem is mostly about storage, I have a garage I could keep a small boat and trailer in, but it's already pretty cluttered.

    Also anything that requires more than one person to setup/hitch/load/unload/launch probably would'nt be the best idea for me, because alot of times, it's a one-man show.

    In my mind I would think a smaller lighter boat would open up a few more options.... launch wherever you choose, can get into the smaller holes and nooks, etc.


    But then again, I'd hate to be out in the middle of the Ohio and spring a leak, LOL!:eek:oooh:
     
  4. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,456
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Small inflatable with oars on the Ohio River?
    Mmm, let's see, wind, current, barge wake and prop wash, floating debris and sharp items of tackle.....

    What would you like on your headstone, assuming they find you?:roll_eyes:

    Please consider an alternative...W
     
  5. CatBobJimFish

    CatBobJimFish New Member

    Messages:
    155
    State:
    Dayton, Ohio

    So what you're saying is taking a raft out on the Ohio river is better left to thrill seekers than to catfishermen??? This is sortof what I expected, just wasn't sure.... I still may end up getting the raft, probably just use it for lake fishin' though
     
  6. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Ain't worth it bud. There is not a fish in the world worth your life. I have seen to many bad things happen on the river to boats that are more than cabable to handle it. Chances are you would probably get a visit from water patrol also. I am not sure of the size regulations, but the Ohio river being "federal" waters from what I understand, you have to have a certain amount of safety equipment on board to be legal. So when you factor in all of that, which may not be as much as is required by a power boat, plus the weight of tackle, lots of equipment that would not get along with a raft. Don't do it man, I would be more than happy to help you look for something small but safe, a raft is not!:wink:
     
  7. corklabus

    corklabus New Member

    Messages:
    359
    State:
    West Virginia
    Ditto; DON"T DO IT. I got my 19ft starcraft for less than $800.
    It needed some minor refreshing and works great. As far as one man operation and storage.......I have no one to help me do anything. I launch load and everything else all by myself. You just need to learn a few simple tricks. Storage : My boat stays outside all winter under a tarp that's jacked up to form a tent over it, Haven't had a problem yet. Taxes on boats are dirt cheap and so are license. You won't regret the safety of a decent boat.
     
  8. CatBobJimFish

    CatBobJimFish New Member

    Messages:
    155
    State:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Thanks guys, I kinda thought that's what the answer would be, just thought i'd ask.

    If I do get a raft(which is probably about the only thing in my price range right now), I'll keep it strictly on the lakes.
     
  9. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    I have had my ten ft jon out there a few times, even all the way across once, but it is not something I could recommend to someone else in good conscience. I am just a nut.

    If storage is a large problem, you might speak to one of our kayak guys, but I really think you would be better off with a larger craft if you intend to do a big river.

    Do you have a pickup truck?
    With a bit of imagination I reckon you could cod something up to make launching and retrieving a 14 ft jon or V bow from the bed, a one man show.
    Something for a ramp, a winch?
     
  10. Hoopie

    Hoopie New Member

    Messages:
    818
    State:
    Ohio
    Loading and unloading alone isn't bad once you figure it out. I do it all the time in the dark with a 16 foot starcraft. I would say no to the raft and spring for a used boat. Good luck.
     
  11. slimdaddy

    slimdaddy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,603
    State:
    Nelsonville, Oh
    Name:
    Keith
    id no to the raft on the big o to much crap float down probaly put a hole in it
     
  12. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    I'd say go fer it! Huck Finn did years ago only his was wood, but you get the picture...actually a driftwood raft would be the way to go just build a new one from floating debris each time you go out, and voila! no storage problems!!!!:0a17:
     
  13. rogers7

    rogers7 Member

    Messages:
    42
    State:
    Stanton, KY
    If you want something small and easy to get around, then a sit-on-top kayak is your best bet. You can mount a trolling motor on one and get up river with ease, and drift / paddle back down. They are stable, and even that can be increased with out-riggers. I fished canoes and yak's for a long time. I have had yak's out in rough waves of the Atlantic for sharks (4-5 footers) and have never had issues. Just be prepared to get pulled around by the big fish (which is FUNNN).

    I have a regular boat now and it's great for me and the family, but I LOVE my canoe and kayak fishing.

    Remember on any small craft you need to ensure you learn the proper skills and techniques to get the safest and best experience.

    Check out the kayak fishing forum.
     
  14. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    "Huck Finn did years ago only his was wood, but you get the picture"

    LOL! A couple of years ago one of my regular bank fishing spots "inherited" an 8x8 piece of boat dock from a couple of young drunks who were doing just that!

    Alas, we only had it for two months before a flood sent it on down to the next folks. :smile2:
     
  15. CatBobJimFish

    CatBobJimFish New Member

    Messages:
    155
    State:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Well I have to admit, I've done crazier things, my luck though I'd pick out some termite infested driftwood and have my "boat" eaten right out from under me.:eek:oooh:
     
  16. kitsinni

    kitsinni New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Ohio
    If something goes wrong and that thing goes down the Ohio is the last place on Earth I would want to be.
     
  17. Desode

    Desode New Member

    Messages:
    185
    State:
    Ohio
    Well , you could do it but you would want to buy a nice inflatable. Make sure you get one thats cleared for class 5 rapids or at the very least class 3. I have friends that use them on the new river gorge when its class 5 , so I wouldn't be scared to go down the ohio on one of those. There are also some out there like the Azzurro Mare (supports 15hp motor) by saturn that you can put some nice size motors on. If you don't mind spending the money you can even get some that you can put huge motors on. There are even some inflatables that can do 90+ mph. :eek:oooh:

    Now I wouldn't recommend going down the Ohio on a $300 inflatable, cause thats just crazy ! But for $1000 to $1500 there are some inflatables that are really nice and very safe to use on the ohio.

    I have looked into it a lot over the last 2 yrs , because I don't have a truck and I have been thinking about the same thing you are.

    I know it sounds crazy to alot of people but do the research and search around the web, and you will find that todays inflatables are not any where near, what most people think of when they hear the words inflatable boat.

    Matt AKA DESODE
     
  18. bigfish08

    bigfish08 New Member

    Messages:
    375
    State:
    ohio
    well my buddy sam got this one two thurs ago, used it friday on a lake and sat on the gmr and it was great, awesome setup, super stable with the floor moved great with the trolling motor, definately no problem on the ohio as long as you stay out of the way of larger boats. upon cleaning the inside after use on saturday we discovered a small hole in one of the chambers! 600 dollar raft and we got two uses out of it, luckily they are giving my buddy a full refund and he getting a john boat instead.. stay away from the rafts they are trouble..
     

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  19. rainman442000

    rainman442000 New Member

    Messages:
    20
    State:
    ohio
    stay off the river in a raft its not a good idea