I have a 13 foot zodiak. Does your raft have a floor and was made for an outboard? or a flat bottomed raft.
I have used my zodiak for almost 30 years. I no longer put a motor on it but I usually float the upper kenai river every year.
The raft is getting tired but still holds air and 5 people can ride it it without a worry. It's rated for 1500 lbs.
The point is bring it if its good for rivers it can also be used for some close to shore fishing without too much rowing. My raft oars like a pig so watch out for the wind. have an anchor with you even if only a rock.
It does have a floor and an inflatable keel. It's supposed to handle a 25HP outboard which I can't imagine. I have a 8HP that I was thinking of putting on it.
Had a 12.5' Zodiak with floor and a 30 hp Mariner which was same size and weight as a 20hp.(100lb)
Used it for years in BC on lakes, rivers, inshore protected ocean. As already stated, the salt chuck is very hard on the bottom ,read barnacles, dog shark spines so bring a patch kit.
Several lakes you can fish on the Kenai are Engineer, Hidden, Stormy, Johnson. Some of these do not allow motors. In Homer you can launch off the beach either on the inlet side or the bay side. There is dry camping on both sides of the spit. Fish on the inlet of the Fishing Hole for salmon or if you are careful up the bay for Halibut or on the inlet side up to several miles out. Just watch for building seas and beat if back if it starts chopping up, usually in the afternoon. You may want a wheel kit for launching.
Fishing the Kenai River you can launch at Centenial, Pillars, or Eagle Rock and back bounce for Kings or if the Reds are in find the places where other boats are tyed to the shore and twitch for Reds standing on the shore in hip boots. Not sure how well the 8hp will take you back up river.
I do see inflatables on the Kenai River, out of Deep Creek, Ninilchik, and Homer so it is doable. If you fish bring it.
The OP's question, to me, is one of personal preference. Just like the questions of "should I take a boat, a bicycle, an ATV, etc. While many of these toys are fun to have and use in Alaska and northern Canada, to me, the hassle factor of hauling them is not worth it to me. The 25+ years I lived in rural Alaska, I normally kept 3 boats, a 24 ft. aluminum jet boat driven by a 460 Ford, driving a 3 stage Hamilton pump, a 12 ft Achilles inflatable and a Greenland model Fol-bot. The Fol-bot got the most water time as it was easy to pack, haul, and I could tie the bags on the wing struts of my Super Cub when I wanted to fish the remote places in Alaska.
Wow, the Folbots have sure gotten pricy since I bought mine. Great boats though, IMHO. http://www.folbot.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?S........tegory_Code=KAYAKS&Product_Code=KYK-GREN
Now that I use my truck camper to run back and forth to Alaska from Florida, I would have to haul an inflatable on a trailer which somewhat defeats the reason we use a truck camper, i.e. it is small, maneuverable, easy to park, easy to find a spot for overnight, etc.
When we had a Class A, I used the inflatable as a haul along some but was still a hassle to me. The boat took up most of one compartment, then the 15 hp kicker and a gas tank. While living in Alaska, I usually would leave the inflatable aired up most of the summer and just haul it in the back of my pickup or throw it on a trailer I owned to pull behind our RV. (most often a Class C in those days)
I don't do as much fishing as I did while living in Alaska. It is easier and probably cheaper to just charter a boat now if I want to go out. Also not much of a fan of salt water fishing, as I much prefer a steam, river or lake for my fly fishing. For me, it is the experience of being outdoors, not so much "what" or how much I catch. Staying away from crowds is also high on my list.
Many of our forum members seem to spend a lot of time fishing on their trips to Alaska, and most report good success fishing from shore. I noticed the OP shows his RV is a truck camper also, so that would raise the question of how to get an inflatable and engine to Alaska?
* This post was
edited 04/01/12 07:04am by joe b. *
Formerly of Colorado and Alaska
2016 Fleetwood Flair 31 B Class A w/bunks http://www.pajbcooper.com web site
Alaska-Colorado and other Trips posted
"Without challenge, adventure is impossible".
When I went to Alaska in 2006 I took a 3 man rubber raft reinforced with fabric. My traveling companion took his kayak, and another fellow that we met on the way up had a Zodiac with a gas motor. We were all in our late 50's at the time. What I learned from this is that the zodiac took time to set up and took a lot of space and weight. Once assembled and blown up it was great on big lakes. The kayak was stored on the roof of the M/H and took 2 people to load and unload and was somewhat difficult but faster and less work than the Zodiac. My raft was stored in my basement storage at took 15mins to set up. We ended up using my raft most of the time because it was the easy to use. We had our wife's with us so fishing was not the the primary purpose. That being said I fished anyplace that we stopped that had water for a short time and caught a lot of Rainbows, Grayling, and Dollyvarden as well as Salmon. The lesson learned is think of how much time you will use it.
I was also thinking of bringing my Zodiac with a 15 HP motor. I would bring the Zod in a trailer, along with a scooter. But now I think to bring a Canoe and an electric motor on top of the TC. I am pretty sure this will be the set up, but I a still debating, will I regret?
The trailer is more wheel on the road, more prone to damage, more thing to think and woory about, rough road, frost hole, more room needed to park, hard to slow down going down a hill, etc.
The Zod would take me further of course, but how often would this be. The canoe is pretty fast to put up or down the camper if I have a good set up. It will take me on small lakes and rivers just enough to see a little more.
Monaco Cayman 34 2003, Cummins 300HP
Bigfoot 2008, 10.4, F350, 2006, Diesel 6.0, Black, 4x4, long box, Air lift, Rancho 9000, Rear sway bar.
While I think one could certainly go to different (maybe even more) places with the Zodiac, the canoe would provide access to lakes, streams, small rivers, etc without the risk inherent with a trailer. I think you'd find the proposed canoe/TC trip very enjoyable.
On the unfortunately infrequent road trips I take within the state anymore, it's very enjoyable to throw the canoe on top of the topper and just head out.
My plan with a canoe is usally going Up the stream or against the wind with an electric motor, then if anything goes wrong, I can come back with the flow. And I allways keep a safe level of batterie power.
I have a 14 foot Aluminum Sportsman and it is very stable. Thouch wood, I never flipped, but I would not try it in rapids.
When you say rivers with a canoe just remember you may not be able to paddle back up river.
If you roll over there may not any way to save you if you get swept down river. Many of the rivers have many sweepers, rocks and trees coming down. A river may be gently flowing and a mile down class 4 or 5 rapids like Six Mile on the Kenai. I would also recommend you stay off the Kenai River.