Car topper dinghy

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013 at 20:44
ThreadID: 101478 Views:5334 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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Hubby and I (and kids) are nearly ready to take off on our big lap, and are debating whether to fork out and get a dinghy to put on the top of the car. Something like a Quintrex Dart or so... The big debate isn't so much the price, but will we use it?
Sooo... chasing comments on who used/uses their dinghy and where. Is it a waste of money (purchase and fuel), or is there a chance we'll get to use it?
Also, if you do had/have one, what brand, size etc was the choice?
Thanks heaps
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Reply By: Member - silkwood - Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013 at 21:07

Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013 at 21:07
Yes! It's amazing how often you'll be glad you took it (or disappointed you didn't). I have dragged my Porta-Bote all over the place- it's coming up to the Cape later this year- I never regret taking it.
All of this is presuming you and the family fish! If not, you will probably still get great use out of it. Just remember the rest of the family may not be happy in croc country in a small tinnie. Another thing to keep in mind is- where do you carry the motor, tank and all the accessories?


AnswerID: 508111

Follow Up By: Member - kym111 - Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013 at 21:23

Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013 at 21:23
Thanks Mark.
Hubby is a mad keen fisherman, I don't mind wetting a line (when the fish are biting...), kids love it! Our biggest fear is the kids are young, and one will NOT be told, so worried she'll hang a hand over the side and will get taken by a croc....

However, I'm sure there are more places in Australia than just the northern expanses where a dinghy can be used without the fear of crocs.

How big is your Porta-Bote? As for the motor, tank etc, I'll leave that one up to hubby... lol I'm having a hard enough time condensing a house into the caravan without over packing!! I know I'll need more than just 1 pair of shoes..... ;-)
FollowupID: 785520

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Thursday, Apr 04, 2013 at 07:32

Thursday, Apr 04, 2013 at 07:32
My Bote is a 12' version, weighs around 35kg and folds to a thickness of 200mm (max). It takes around 10 more minutes to set up ready for the water than a tinnie (depending upon how you get your tinnie to the water) but I find the lower weight on the roof, ease of setting up by one person and the ability to carry it down tracks or slopes where you'd never get a tinnie outweigh the (small) extra set up time. Like everything they have their pros & cons. I've had mine for around six years.

Most people go for a tinnie. The Bote is quieter in the water, practically unsinkable and more comfortable in rougher water- obviously within reason, like a tinnie it is designed for use in mild and sheltered waters. Porta Botes take some getting used to, they flex as you stand in them and as they are underway. Ths actually makes them a little more stable than a tinnie but feels a little weird.

Regardless of what boat you get I think you'll feel justified in taking one.


FollowupID: 785550

Reply By: sam h6 - Thursday, Apr 04, 2013 at 05:36

Thursday, Apr 04, 2013 at 05:36
Hi Kym,
We are just like you with kids ect and worried we are taking far to much stuff we will never use. Dont stress we went from tas to cape in 2010 with no boat and spent the whole time wanting one.
We just spent Easter setting up our boat loader and tinnie and very happy with it. Easy to load/unload and other than a bit more fuel usage should be well worth it. We have a little Stessl 3.4 edgetracker only around 70kg, got it second hand with motor trailer ect. I looked at heaps of new ones and was very unimpressed by some brands being very shallow and narrow. Obviously that's what a car topper needs to be smaller the better but I tried to find one with the widest beam I could fit on my loader as it will offer better stability when on the water. Try to avoid flat bottom punts as anymore than a ripple will hit very hard and the kids will soon get sick of that and then it's game over!
AnswerID: 508138

Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Thursday, Apr 04, 2013 at 07:31

Thursday, Apr 04, 2013 at 07:31
We don't always carry out roof topper, but really enloy it when we do, A lot of our trips are now 3 - 4 months at a time and we include lake and river fishing as we go.

Most roof toppers of 3.5 to 3.7 will suit you. Some of the 3.5 are only suitable to carry 3, so check with the compliance plate if you want 4 up all the time.

We have a 3.5 Nomad Sea Jay, which has a semmi flat bottom with a V bow. A very stable boat with good freeboard. Along with a 15hp motor it will run for a couple of days fishing on a full tank. We use a Auto Boat Loader for ease of getting into the water, a one person operation.
AnswerID: 508142

Reply By: Member - sparra - Thursday, Apr 04, 2013 at 08:06

Thursday, Apr 04, 2013 at 08:06
]G'day Kym,i have a 3.7 quintrex explorer and 15hp yamaha,a great little boat that i carry on top of my kimberley camper. For a rooftopper you could probably better off with the 3.5m version. I am very happy with the boats performance in a bit of choppy water.

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AnswerID: 508146

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