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Little boats

Stephen Crowhurst

Senior Member
Been thinking and trying to bribe the wife into the idea of a small boat. We had one when I was a kid but I don’t even remember it and I know it cost a fortune, spent most of its time on the driveway and I think my dad lost that argument... so I’m not really even sure where to start.
What I’d be looking for is something for inshore and harbour work. Something I can potter about and fish from or simply get out and about on. I don’t want a big thing that sits on a trailer or needs a mooring, something I can store down the side of the house on it’s side, that can be put on the a roof rack of the van but can seat 2 adults and a child at a push. Personally I’d be happy with a sea kayak but I’d never get her out on it and then it would just collect dust.
Any advice greatly appreciated, maybe I’m pipe dreaming due to lack of knowledge.

Gavin Hoe-Richardson

Senior Member
As a professional mariner I'd say that anything that doesn't require a trailer probably isn't big enough to be in saltwater unless you go down the sea kayak route. A lot of my colleagues are RNLI and spend a disproportionate amount of time collecting people in small boats from inshore waterways.

I've had a few boats on inland rivers, smallest was 10'. Anything on water controlled by C&RT will need to be licensed and insured, away from their areas on non-tidal waters you'll generally need the landowner's permission to use the water.

Andrew Burt

Senior Member
I’ve got a 16ft on a trailer and it gets plenty of use. Although you probably don’t need a 16ft I cannot see you getting something to do what you describe that does not need a trailer.

Steve Arnold

Senior Member
My Spearfish inflatable kayak might do for the good days. Folds into a smallish package, you can get the boat and outboard into most car boots. Not used mine yet in the sea, but advertised as capable. Check this link https://www.spearfishboats.com/

Spearfish Christened.jpg

Steve Arnold

Senior Member
I just mentioned about said boat to the wife. Word for word...
“Are we talking about boats?”
“Yes” I replied.
“I have zero tolerance for boats today Stephen” was the response. I just laughed.
Fortunately I am retired now, and having been without a boat for several years I was surprised when my wife suggested something for the river might be a good idea. The Spearfish fitted the bill and takes up no space in the garage, we have had a fine time discovering the river!


Although it was not cheap it is a lot more cost effective than any other boat I have owned. Wonder if my wife could be attracted by a little cabin boat? 😅

Cliff Turner

Senior Member & Supporter
Hi Steve, the Spearfish looks great, is it stable enough to fish from ? How long does it take to inflate ?

Steve Arnold

Senior Member
Hi Steve, the Spearfish looks great, is it stable enough to fish from ? How long does it take to inflate ?

It is stable and I have been known to stand and fish in it. Not recommended though, maybe when I was younger it would be safe but my balance can be an unknown quantity these days!

The main deck compartment is inflated to a higher pressure than the tubes. It has internal cross-stitches that then make it almost rigid. Same arrangement as these inflatable paddle boards you see nowadays.

From boot to fully rigged on the water takes me less than 30 minutes. That's outboard (either electric or petrol) fishfinder and rodholder fitted.


My only gripe with this outfit is I get a bit stiff sitting after a few hours, getting old! But it is excellent as transport along river or lake to find shore spots others will not reach, and then fish there.

Nick Coulthurst

Senior Member
If it’s going in the sea it will need a trailer. I started with a 10ft ally car topper but quickly moved onto a 15ft trailered ally boat due to concerns about safety, and I only fish rivers and lakes. I did actually manage to sink my 10ft boat on the river once due to horrendous weather. It was both amusing and scary at the same time. My current boat is rated category C which is ok for inshore work. but it’s not been out yet due to covid. Be warned though, boats eat money.

Ady Brayshaw

Senior Member
That’s for that Gavin. The option of inland waterways like rivers and canals isn’t an option locally. It would primarily be around Christchurch and Poole Harbour.
Stephen for Poole Harbour you could 'get away' with a 12 foot sea nymph aluminium. I've been on a friends and its OK for small tidal rivers. You will still need a trailer. Better a 14 foot sea nymph. That takes it to a whole new realm. Kayaks, dependent on age, will probably not be good for the lower back :(. I had a 16 foot Orkney for many years. A good inshore sea boat, and, also in rough weather on the Irish loughs and Lake District waters. Better go larger and fish safer in comfort and confidence.