Submitted: Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:32
ThreadID: 54137 Views:2680 Replies:9 FollowUps:4
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We are heading north to the top end for winter and are considering taking a boat. We currently have access to a 3.3 m tinny and motor but are also considering buying an inflatable boat and motor. However there has been some concerns raised about using inflatable boats in waters where large crocs may be present.
Any comments on the pros or cons of inflatable boats would be appreciated.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:52

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:52

If you plan to take anything mate, take the tinnie.
Some of those lizards will still be longer than the boat.

I took my 3.4 m Stessl with a 15hp OB up to the Top End and used it twice. However, it was no problem as I had it on a trailer, which I also used to carry the camping gear.

Must have looked a little funny in some places (like Ayers Rock) where there is no water.

We fished the Mary River and caught a couple of good sized Barra.
Also launched it in the Roper River but had no luck.

I had no problem with the "splincter valve" being in the same stretch of water, in a 3.4 metre tinnie, with those crocks.

It may be different in river sections frequented by crock tourist boats where they actually feed the things.
There I would be somewhat worried methinks.


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AnswerID: 285075

Reply By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:59

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:59
I think the low sides on an inflatable would be very scary in croc water . I use a 3.75 m Dart for safety reasons - nice high sides .

Cheers ,

willie .
AnswerID: 285076

Reply By: The Rambler( W.A.) - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 11:47

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 11:47
Last year I rescued a guy on the Roper river who had fallen out of one of those fold-up boats.He fell out in the middle of the river and the boat was still circling at full throttle near the bank when I grabbed it and went and picked him up from the other side of the river.After driving that boat for the short trip Iwould never reccomend those boats far less a blow up boat for the rivers up North.Stick to the tinnie.
AnswerID: 285096

Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 12:52

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 12:52
Tinny or inflatable probably doesn't really matter as it's the size that counts. A small flat bottom aluminum boat would be no safer in fact than an inflatable with it's multiple air tanks which would be far more stable and less likely to be swamped. The little Zodiak doesn't feel as secure sitting on the edge rather than inside but was far easier to launch and could be strapped to the roof easily.
We used a Quintrex Hornet on the last fishing trip and was a nice sized tinny for security & venturing out onto bigger water on a quiet day.
Cheers Craig............
AnswerID: 285110

Follow Up By: T-Ribby - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 13:52

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 13:52
Hi Craig.
I've been looking around for an 8' plywood pram or ali dinghy to carry on top of my campertrailer but can't seem to locate one here on the sunny coast Qld. Not keen on an inflatable as I fly fish a lot and would end up with more holes in it than a pollies promise. I have a 3.5hp Johnny. Any knowledge where they can be found?

FollowupID: 549914

Follow Up By: Crackles - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 14:35

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 14:35
This car topper may be a good place to start.
Not familiar with plywood boats or where to source them up in Queensland.
Cheers Craig.............
FollowupID: 549927

Follow Up By: T-Ribby - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 16:59

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 16:59
Nice looking boat - close to what I'm looking for. Was going to look at Quintrex and Stacer to see what they offer.
FollowupID: 549965

Follow Up By: T-Ribby - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 18:47

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 18:47
Spent most of the day on Google and found the
Walker Bay injection moulded boats made down there in Victoria. There is an agent on the Gold Coast about two hours from here and they have the Walker Bay 8 (feet). I'll have a look at that as well as calling in at the Quintrex factory on the Coomera River. thanks for your info.
FollowupID: 549986

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 16:19

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 16:19
Daryl, I would always go the tinnie, but I will admit I have no experience with inflatables.

I spent several weeks in the Gulf last year with a 3.5m tinnie and 15HP outboard. We are heading back in a few weeks and I've upgraded to a 3.75m tinnie (Quintrex Dart) and 20 HP outboard.

When in croc territory, I like a nice deep boat that I can get on the plane quickly.
AnswerID: 285143

Reply By: Member - Steve NT - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 17:12

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 17:12
On occasion I take tours to Shady Camp on the Mary river, This place is recognised as the largest population of Estuarine crocs any where in the world.

I use the 3.5 tinnies provided by Shady Camp Boat Hire, the punters can drive there own boat under instruction by the guide.

I would never ever ever put a inflatable in any river system above the 26 parallel.and I have lived around Crocs all my life.!MPG:17!!MPG:15!!MPG:19!

Cheers Steve.
AnswerID: 285154

Reply By: giffo - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 19:18

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 19:18
Look at the Polycraft 3m they are roto moulded polyethelene,look like a inflatible and have the same bouany, and near indestructible.I have a 4.5m and can't fault it!
AnswerID: 285184

Reply By: tonysmc - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 21:26

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 21:26
Daryl, I would take the tinny, not because of crocs, but because of the big tides and snags which sit just under the water line, you are at a big risk of getting a hole in it. Many of the rivers are tidal and you may zoom down a river and all is fine, coming back up you may find many exposed rocks (oyster covered in the sea) or trees that have washed in during wet season floods. Also you will find that you will more likely use the tinny as it is just a matter of chucking the motor on and away you go. When you have to inflate/deflate then pack it away you may tend not use an inflatable so much. If you are planning alot of fishing I would be inclined to put a shade canopy on a tinny as well.
Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 285211

Reply By: Member - andrew B (Kununurra) - Sunday, Feb 03, 2008 at 08:24

Sunday, Feb 03, 2008 at 08:24
Gday Daryl

I used to have 2 fishing boats, a 12 fotter and a 17 fotter. Last time I took the 12 footer on the Ord there was a very large crock smashing into a bloated cow carcuss not far from us. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen with my own eyes (ie not on tv). It was almost lifting the carcuss (400kg??) out of the water and tearing large pieces off......hence it was the last time I took the 12 footer out, I feel much better in a bigger boat, even though the chances of being attacked are very slim.

The tinny served me well, as similar boats have for countless people, and I have not heard of people being attacked in boats (there has been the odd incident in the past, but IMO most of these would be due to people feeding or hasstleing the crocs)

I just no longer felt comfortable in the little boat, and the 17 footer has a bigger beer esky!

I'd take the biggest boat you can in your circumstances.

Cheers Andrew
AnswerID: 285251

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