I have the Mallard's big brother, the Cargo. I use ballast in the front (preferably a friend) and put everything else in the rear where it is handy to reach.
As far as trim, ballast. Usually rip-rap rocks picked up at the launch site, and replaced at the end of the trip. But I'm considering purchasing some collapsible water containers and filling those with river water. At 6 gallons each, that's 48 pounds per. With three of them, I can simulate a 150 pound friend in the front and move them around as needed.
I love my Cargo. It's maneuverable, takes power VERY well, heavy but not as heavy as the boat it's replacing, and very easy for fishing. I think you'll really like that boat, so long as you're not looking for high performance, low drag, light weight perfection. If what you are looking for is high initial stability, comfortable, easy to stand and boat scout riffles or fish, and long lasting boat, then I think you've made a good selection.
- Big D
Overstock Outlet Foods
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