I have owned a fit for the last 3-4 years. I didn't start boating till after I bought the car- otherwise I would have looked for something like a pontiac vibe/toyota matrix with integrated roof rails.
IMO the fit is an awesome car with great cargo capacity due to the maneuverable seats in the back- however there is one main concern for kayakers. The roof is made of very thin sheet metal which isn't very suitable for carrying heavy loads of more than one boat or so. My solution to this was to have rackattack install yakima tracks to my roof while I was in Boston on a roadtrip. The tracks disperse the weight over a larger surface area which helps some, but I would say my safe carrying capacity is still 2 boats. With 3+ boats the roof will start popping and denting from the weight of the boats. I would not recommend using q towers. Towers such as thule that rest closer to the gutter line on the roof will be resting at a more structurally sound location on the roof (though I have never used them).
My recommendation would be to look into other cars that have integrated roof rails and inspect them in person to determine whether they are capable of holding a decent amount of weight.
FWIW my next paddle car will likely be the newest generation of the Ford Escape. Has integrated roof rails, relatively low cost used, good mpg, decent cargo space.
I feel like IR doesn't get quite enough love for their dry gear, so I figure I will share my experiences. First of all, there customer service is the best. I can call and get a person in sales that is a boater that understands my needs, and I can talk directly with the repair department if I need to. Their products are really awesome. I have an arch rival drysuit that is going strong and I have slipped and busted my ass more times than I would like to admit. I have also hiked through my fair share of thorn bushes and it is still dry 3 seasons later.But perhaps best of all, they will replace all gaskets on a drysuit for $60. That's a damn cheap gasket repair for wrists,neck, and booties. Also their 7figure suit is made out of a polyester shell fabric, which just seems to be the logical fabric to use for something that is going to be in contact with water so much.Oh and the warranty is the same lifetime warranty as Kokatat. That being said, Kokatat makes a great product too. I just like spending substantially less on my IR gear for a product that I consider just as good.
Looks like the zg will be a good boat. My initial impressions are that I want something a little slicier, but everyone says that it has no problem with stern squirts. I first started paddling a fuse 56 (my first beginner boat, so I used it for river running and playing in tiny features) and now I have a medium loki. I am looking to sell the loki and buy a cheaper playboat so I can put more money into a creek boat.
Hey I am looking to buy a mid-2000's playboat, and I don't know much about them, so I came to get advice. What are some of the best playboats from the mid-2000's? I am looking for something that is comfortable all day, slicy enough for stern squirts, and around the 6'5 foot range (maybe 6'-7'). Ideally, said boat could be acquired used for around $250.
I am partial to outfitting along the lines of dagger, wave sport and pyranha. Would like to give my size 10 feet a reasonable amount of room to rest. I am 160 & 5'9
Thanks for the feedback so far. Will take the advice of putting in below Sandstone falls. Any beta on a shuttle service in the area? I called New River Dories, but their phone number isn't working, so I sent them an email. Going to call some of the other commercial operations later today to see if they know of anyone.
I am looking to do a multi-day trip on the New this March. Planning on putting in at bluestone dam or the public access at mile 4 and taking out Fayette Station. I know this stretch is damn released but is there usually a reliable flow during mid March? We will be taking a 12ft oar rigged raft and a playboat. Also looking for info about side hikes from the river that we can do.
Most of the runs out west won't be running yet as far as I know. I am not a rafting pro by any means, but if you are looking to raft the southeast around late march/early April there are some good class IV dam released rivers. I don't have the release schedule on hand, but you may want to read up on Tallulah, Cheoa, Ocoee, Chatooga, and maybe Upper Nantahala/Nantahala Cascades. You will need a smaller raft (especially for Tallulah as they technically have a max length of 11.5')
MountainBuzz.com has a more active rafting forum but is is mostly for rivers out west.
I recently picked up a 12 foot tributary raft and I am looking for some ideas for where to place the thwarts in the raft. There are only two thwarts, so no matter how I place them there will be some extra space in one bay (making it difficult to brace in the raft). I got two footcups to glue in. I plan on using the raft for R2-R5, so a setup that is good for R2 that will also accommodate a full boat would be great.
I was originally thinking that I would leave the extra space in the middle bay and add two footcups there. This would work good for a full boat, but for R2 both paddlers would be sitting behind the center of the raft. Does this matter if the R2 paddlers are seated off center?