You don't need several thousand dollars for a decent boat.
The Sit-On-Tops I'm looking at to replace my inflatable are under $500!
This one is the front runner for me: https://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_10051_751757_-1__?color=Sand&N=670787849 Toss on some thigh straps and I think you would be better off than in the inflatable you are looking at.
Mind you, the lakes around here are nothing like you have up there. But, still...
I have no roof rack on my car. I plan on picking up a set of the $50 shaped foam blocks with cam straps and bow/stern bumper lines.
And, like I said, I'm a big guy with a bad hip/back. I find this inflatable I have IMPOSSIBLE to get in and out of if swamped. Heck, it's a pain to get in and out of when launching from a ramp. You have to keep the bow on the ramp, straddle it and FLOP down into it, hoping to not flip. And, getting out means rolling over on your hands and trying to get one leg on the ramp without turning the whole thing over on you.
Pull-Up Strap Handle Kit
Heel and Pegpads™
Touring Kayak Paddles
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