fishing tinnies

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 17:31
ThreadID: 3041 Views:3389 Replies:7 FollowUps:2
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Howdy all. I am planning a trip around AUS next year and a wondering if it is worth taking a boat with me? something like a 3.75 or there abouts. I am a pretty keen fisherman and want to try to get amoungst the action but am usure if the potential dramas of carrying a boat (if any) are worth the reward.
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Reply By: OziExplorer - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 20:12

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 20:12
Ben T - phew, difficult question. I just *love* fishing and it depends on what you are forsaking or going to take in place of the tinnie.

I am an advokate of the Porta-boat, but at current prices from the US they are unaforable to most in Australia. The Australian distributor is trying to make annual wages on each sale or something like that.

If you have a 4WD and you do your reserach when you arrive in an area, you can get to amazing places if you hook up to the locals. No better information than local information.

In my case, I am going over to the US in March and havel already organised to bring with me on my return a Porta-bote.
I just love my previous Porta-bote for all the right reasons, and find it hard to believe nobody has started manufacturing these in Australia.
AnswerID: 11644

Follow Up By: Paul - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 11:53

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 11:53
Hi Oziexplorer

I have done some research into the porta-bote boat etc etc.

Just wondering what size you have and what size you are intending to upgrade to. The two usable sizes at the moment seem to be the 3.27 and the 3.7. I spoke to one guy that has the 3.27 and he and his wife (self described as "big people") go out birdwatching on the 3.27 using a 2.5hp. They say they motor along very happily (can't imaging they get it up planing though). Just wondering if the 3.7 would have any benefits other than space given the drawbacks of increased weight, needing more power to plane, less manageable.

But this guy as i said does not fish in it so wondering your opinion and what size you would be goin for - i understand the older models are lightly larger.

Also, final query. I have a boat ramp just down the road but not really within walking/wheeling distance. As the beam of the porta-bote exceeds the width of my roof racks, am thinking as it is a flexible flat bottom hull i could theoretically tie it up on the roof racks rights side up for an 800m 50km/hr drive down the road - does this sound feasible to you ?

FollowupID: 6607

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 13:30

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 13:30
Paul I had the previous model, which was not all that much different, it was 11' which would be the 3.27mtre unit.

I had a 2hp Honda outboard on it and was fine for the purpose the majority of the time. In Northern Australia on some of the large tidal difference creeks, you had to time your comings and goings with the tidal flow. At times I would have preferred a 4hp outboard, but did not like the extra weight and size.

As for transporting it like you want, no idea at all, never tried.

We always just unfolded it at the waters edge it was so quick and easy.
FollowupID: 6610

Reply By: David - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 00:41

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 00:41
Gid ay Ben, Im pondering on the same question at the moment. I have a 3.8 tinnie that fits onto the top of my camper trailer & Im a mad keen fisher. We intend travelling through the centre from perth to Darwin, Kakadu then back through the Kimberlies ect, mid year.
Question 1. Is it worth the wear & tear on the car, trailer, tinnie & outboard traveling all those miles. At the moment I think not.
Question 2. Do the places you intend travelling to have hire boats.
Question 3 Will the money you save on your fuel comsumption not having all this extra gear & weight pay for the hire. Maybe.

However theres always those special places you visit where your own tinnie would be just the treat.
Can any one else help???????????????????
AnswerID: 11660

Reply By: paul - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 11:25

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 11:25
try this question on the chat forum at

you know, scattergun approach
AnswerID: 11672

Reply By: bruce.h - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 15:50

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 15:50
easy ask your self am i going to regreat it when your looking over a great fishing spot & dont have your boat then hook up the boat & deal with any problems as they come up, worst comes to worst you can all ways ship it home if its not working out
AnswerID: 11682

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 19:13

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 19:13
Hi Ben,

My husband and I have until very recently, always owned a 12 ft tinny with 15hsp outboard and previously had a larger runabout. We have used these in central & NQ, NT, Kimberley and much of the WA coast. Gotta be honest though and admit to being keen, but lousy fisherpersons except in the Whitsundays where anyone can catch a fish. However, we do love to do a bit of crabbing when up north and love just exploring our waterways.

Talking to other people and our own experience over the years, my recommendation is keep the boat thing as simple as possible. We have found that if it is too hard to handle or too time consuming to set-up, we tended to not bother and opted for fishing from the shoreline instead.

Make sure it is easy for you to get the tinny on and off the roof (perhaps a boat loader?), outboard stowed somewhere relatively easy to handle because lets face it, they can be pretty heavy. To that end, while a 12ft tinny will get along very nicely with a 15hsp, next time I think we'd go with a smaller outboard which although slower would be lighter and easier to lift etc.

As for tinny size, I can honestly say there is no way I would venture out on croc infested rivers in anything smaller than 12 ft. Mates in the Top End wouldn't even do that. A flat bottom punt has a lower profile on the roof and while they are great in sheltered rivers and estuaries, I don't feel comfortable using them off the coast.

Another thought...for many years my Dad used a small tinny to go to and from his cruise boat which was moored overnight. He used to leave the tinny about 200 metres from the shoreline so he fitted a pair of small wheels to the back. These were mounted on arms which when down allowed him to "wheel" the tinny to the water's edge. When in the water, he simple folded these arms 180 degrees so the wheels were out of the water. If you are camping near the water, this might be an option you could consider between uses, save having to pack up between trips or risk leaving unattended on the shoreline.

Having said all of that, there is no doubt in my mind that having a boat you far more flexibility and access to some of the best spots. If you are a "sometimes" fisherman, perhaps just hiring a tinny when possible is a better option.

Hope my comments are of some help.

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 11694

Reply By: viking - Friday, Jan 24, 2003 at 22:05

Friday, Jan 24, 2003 at 22:05
There are heaps of boats coming into town here all through the dry season (Cape York). Some come on roofs, some on trailers and some upside down on top of a box trailer or camper. I towed a 3.1m tinnie from Darwin to Sydney on a box trailer, with no problems.

Trailers need to be tough for dirt roads, and 4wds are so tall it must be a drama getting them up and down. My person preference would be for a camper with the boat on top, but then there is an upper limit on size and weight depending on the size of the trailer, and of course you need a secure and safe place to mount the motor. I've often wondered if it would be worthwhile making up, or having made, or buying, a light trolley for the motor. I suppose then the problem would be, where does the trolley go!
AnswerID: 11827

Reply By: Jim - Monday, Jan 27, 2003 at 16:42

Monday, Jan 27, 2003 at 16:42
If you are still refering to this query.....
I have owned & used a 10ft 8in Porta-bote for 2 years. Started with 3.3 OB with reasonable performance. On recent trip to Cape Melville got left behind by the tinnies & 15HP Obs. Now have 5Hp Tohatsu with rool good planing!
Hull only weighs 26Kg, & easy for even me to roof rack, & I'm 5ft 6in & 68 years young.
I consider well worth the extra time on the creek bank/ramp/whatever. Takes me about 20 min.
I did roofrack it once unfolded - used aluminium tubing through Rhino rack bars & securedthem with plastic tubing rings split & jammed in. Worked OK. Made a noise. I find it easier to carry folded.
Not keen on carrying on trailer - still have to get it to waters edge, & take it off at night.
Good fishing.
AnswerID: 11928

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