Pros: Light weight, low price, maneuverability
Cons: Flexy motor mount, need the motor and other accessories
I was turned on to this type of boat at an early age - seeing Jimmy Houston wreaking havoc on fat farm pond bass from his little tiny plastic bass boat. I was (forgive the pun) hooked.
I really hadn't thought much of them lately until one of my coworkers told me about all of the places that he could go that are beyond the limits of larger boats (shallow, smaller bodies of water). For me, that meant smaller lakes, ponds, and backwaters of the Mississippi near my home in western Wisconsin.
So, I started doing the research. I found two local retailers who sold them and did as much reading as possible on the web. One of them had a truckload sale and I was able to get a discount on any accessories.
I ended up with the Bass Raider 8, basic model. I also bought a Minn Kota Turbo 47 (47 lb.) trolling motor. This might sound like overkill, but this thing is anything but efficient in the water. You could get by with less, but this gives you both improved mobility and extra torque to bust through when it gets weedy.
A quick note on accessories - this is where the venture gets more spendy - you need a trolling motor, battery, life jackets (USCG Approved), paddle, and whatever else your locality requires. Registration of the boat is not required in my state, but some states may require it.
The boat loads very easily with two people into the back of a pickup. I would imagine that putting it up on top of a wagon or SUV would be similarly simple. I put the motor and some other gear in the boat during transport. You have to bolt the seats to the seat stands which fit in grooves on the hull. Overall the seats were quite stable.
Now to the lake... It carried like a breeze to the water's edge. We put the gear on and mounted the motor. The mount for the motor flexes a little and if it's not mounted very tightly it will tend to swing itself up and off of the mount if you're not careful. One note about the motor - you'll probably want to turn the head 180 degrees so that the handle points the same side as the propellor/rear would normally. It was only one screw to undo on my motor.
I was pleasantly surprised at the stability. I weigh about 240lbs and my girlfriend is about 125. It's certainly more stable than a canoe, but I wouldn't stand up in the boat for more than a moment unless I was flying solo. I put the battery in the back with her to better balance the craft. the boat moves along well and is quite maneuverable. You won't set any speed records and I think I'd be afraid to mount a gas 3hp motor on the transom - I don't think it'd be stable enough.
The boat only drafts a couple of inches of water and plugs along nicely. It is easy to navigate around stumps or shallow spots. The hull material promises to be extremely durable - I had no reservation about dragging it across sand or gravel for a few feet during launching and landing. I believe that this boat will last many years.