Here are a few pics of the boat that I have owned for a short time now, the SP seal 3.2 Ark Inflatable. Instead of writing an endless post of my thoughts I thought I would break this one down into a short Pros and Cons list, obviously regarding its use for fishing.
- The boat is surprisingly stable. It is very easy to stand and fish from this boat without falling on your but.
- With a 15hp motor such as mine, the boat moves at a hell of a pace, once it begins to plane. This means that you can get quick access to more areas, and fish more spots in a day on larger dams such as Rust de winter and Witbank.
- YOU DON’T THEROETICALLY NEED A SKIPPPERS LICENCE FOR THIS BOAT ON FRESH WATER. But due to the idiotic ignorance of most dam management personnel I get hassled almost every time I take it out because it has such a devilishly powerful 15hp motor, even though motors of 15hp or less are exempt from this law, they just haven’t actually read the marine notice.
- It is easy to manage when kept on a trailer. Especially when only utilizing an electric motor instead of the petrol powered 15hp (which can be bloody heavy to carry around).
- Less maintenance than larger boats.
- Cost friendly. I paid around R11 000 for mine and that was over a year ago.
- Excellent workmanship. There are lots of inflatable boat manufacturers on the market at the moment. I have seen many of these first-hand. Many of these are good but none that i have seen even come close to the quality of workmanship such as that of ANY ark inflatable product.
- Carrying capacity. Although it is marketed to carry 4 people, this is not advisable. The boat only fishes 2 people comfortably, and even when simply taking a ride around the dam, with 4 people the boat is cramped and definitely slows down to a crawl, even with a 15hp motor (which is the maximum motor capacity). In fact it will not plane with more than 2 reasonably sized individuals on board.
- Space is limited. Where larger bass boats have hidden compartments under the deck, here we have no such thing. This means that all rods, lure bags, cooler boxes, etc. all shares valuable floor space with you. This leaves you limited on how much tackle can be taken out on the water.
- The boat CANNOT be “packed and stowed into your car boot with surprising ease” as stated on the website. In fact I cannot conceive how they can market the boat in this way. It does, however, fit easily and neatly into the back of my Corsa utility, which is good enough for us.
- The boat is fairly awkward to handle. Putting the boat up and down becomes a heavy task once the novelty has worn off, and does prove daunting at times. I suggest a motorized inflation mechanism of some kind as using the manual foot pump becomes an exercise. Regardless of what they tell you, it is a heavy product to carry around, and with a heavy petrol motor thrown into the mix you will be on the phone to your nearest trailer shop in no time, trust me.
Over all the boat is perfect for me. Despite the cons, I love it. It has revolutionized my fishing experienced and upped my strike rate ten fold. I would suggest that one purchase a small petrol powered motor to go with it though, as this makes all the difference with regards to getting to spots quickly on large dams. The Pros definitely outweigh the cons here and I think this model is a good buy. Enjoy.