Thanks to everyone for all the help!
I keep eyeballing these things and thinking hard about them. Then I think about motor maintenance. And all the redfish I’ve found tailing mere yards from the launch. And the smell of gasoline. And the sound of an engine. And the $$ for registration. And insurance. And a trailer. And a pole. And lights. And I cast a long gaze at my kayaks and realize...I love them!!!
I completely agree. Kayaks are awesome and I still own 4 of them. For me personally, there's almost equal routine maintenance and labor involved in either boat or kayak. Granted, there's certainly more expense in maintaining a boat. Keeping things in perspective, most folks will spend more on booze every year than the expense of maintaining a Solo Skiff. I don't drink, so fishing is my vice.
Rather than an old 2- smoke, I strictly run 4- stroke outboards, where the smell doesn't bother me...and I'm someone who is extremely sensitive to gas fumes. With modern 4- stroke small outboards, the sound is also negligible...and again, I'm someone easily bothered by loud engines such as sitting next to the wing on a commercial flight.
The key issue for me becomes fishing pressure, at least in my neck of the woods. If you're finding tailing reds mere yards from the launch without 20- kayaks + a nest of power boats being all over you potlicking, I envy you b/c those days are long gone for me. Consider yourself extremely fortunate and savor these moments, at least while they last.
I personally don't want an external tank taking up space on the deck and the 5hp Tohatsu only comes with an external tank. Maybe you can find another brand that has both internal and external tanks. I spoke to Tom Mitzloff about the motors, kind of worried about the weight. Even the 5hp Tohatsu is over the weight rating for the transom.
Excellent point. Looks like I'm back to the 52lb Suzi 6hp and foresee a "5" cowling decal in my immediate future. Back when the fiberglass version debuted, I actually called and spoke to Tom at length about the Solo. He gave me the Tohatsu 3.5hp pitch, but later changed his mind and actually recommended the 5hp after discovering I was literally twice his size.
Concern over oyster rash kept me away from the original fiberglass version, but weight considerations made me hesitant on the rotomold and wanted to wait and see how everything panned out. Out of curiosity, which 1- gallon fuel tank do you use and where do you store it?
The internal tank will hold .3 gal and that will get you 5-6 miles. So between the internal tank and my gas can I could run the skiff 20-24 miles. I have run it a long way before but never that far in one day. I will commonly run 5 -6 miles to get to a spot.
This was one of the biggest question marks I had and really appreciate the input. This is actually better than anticipated and another reason to get the internal tank.
It does take more effort to have a motor (maintenance and care) and a boat-skiff on a trailer (maintenance and storage) than to own a kayak. I personally think this is why you see some people buy Solo's then put them up for sale.
Makes sense. Plus, I've noticed quite a few folks want the ability to carry along a passenger. I've owned a number of skiffs over the years and found kayak maintenance to be equally labor intensive...primarily b/c I've owned heavier kayaks and kayak trailers are typically not salt water resistant.
The mfg's try to claim they are, but my Malone MicroSport rusts like crazy unless I wash and lube the heck out of it every time it hits the salt. This means I'm required to pick the kayak up off the trailer and walk it over to the water...times two with my wife's kayak. Granted, if I didn't have to worry about my wife's kayak, I would have just bought a McClain small boat trailer from Academy, launching and retrieving my kayak just like a boat. With a power boat, it floats on and off without busting a gut. And, the trailer doesn't require constant scrubbing + Corrosion X...just periodic maintenance in critical areas and annual hub regreasing at the same time I have the engine maintenanced.