Another pontoon question for a newbie

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Dave Evans, May 21, 2012.

  1. Dave Evans Active Member

    Posts: 548
    E. WA / N ID
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    I have been reading through all of the older threads on this, but still have some questions. I live in the Pullman – Moscow – Lewiston area and am shopping around for a pontoon boat for local lakes and rivers. Besides local lakes I would also like to float rivers in western MT, the Ronde, and maybe the Clearwater. I may also make the occasional trips to the coast or Deschutes. I have a Scadden H3 freestyle tube and it is great for the lakes, except I am getting tired of using fins to get from one end to other, and I do not want to use it in rivers. I also fish by myself a lot so need to be able to handle either loading it in the back of the truck or on a roof rack. I have had a chance to get out of the Palouse and visit some fly shops and they recommend the Outcast Pac 900 or 1000FS. The advantage of these is that they are light enough to handle, and I also trust the guys in the fly shops.


    My problem is that I sprained my back last fall and sitting in a tube for 6h causes some problems; I just need to stand up and stretch every now and then and I do not think I can do that with the Outcasts. I have also been talking with Dave at Catchercraft about their 1-salt or All-american and have been looking at other catarafts. The advantage here is that I can stand up to fish or stretch, but the boats are heavier so may be harder to load and unload. They also look like a better fit for some of our rivers.

    Anyone want to offer some advice on the pontoons versus catarafts and the advantages/disadvantages of each? How about experience with the Outcasts or the Catchercrafts?
  2. Guy Gregory Active Member

    Posts: 452
    Spokane, WA.
    Ratings: +44 / 0
    I think you'd be a lot safer pulling over to the shore and standing up, stretching, etc, than you would standing on a 'toon in moving water. I saw a guy standing up on his 'toon on a windy lake last year, his anchor dragged and he was off to the lee shore of the lake tring to sit down without losing his rod, oars flailing, boat rockin'. It was quite the water-borne rodeo.

    Take a break, pull over and stretch.

    All 'toons you mention are quality craft, I've experience with the Outcast PAC 900, excellent boat.
  3. jumbo215 Jasper hickman

    Posts: 331
    lake forest park, wa
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    In my experince if you get a boat you can stand up and move around on its gonna be a little heavy just to pick it up and toss it around. There are a few that " advertise" stand up platforms on a small boat, but i wouldnt be caught dead trying to double haul on one of those.

    From what ive seen if you want a solid boat you could saftely stand up on expect to pay $1200 for a used boat and around $2200+ for a new one. Also it seemes that the smaller outfits make a much better pontoon boat, i.e catchercraft, bad cat, skookum, etc. But the down side is they will be pretty heavy.
  4. Driftaway New Member

    Posts: 29
    Scranton Pa
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    some have a wheel assembly to help you get it down to the stream and back. Im sure Catcher can build one. They are site sponsers.
  5. Dave Evans Active Member

    Posts: 548
    E. WA / N ID
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    Good advice. I was not going to stand up in rivers, but maybe not in lakes either based on Guy's experience! Catchercraft also sells the Kamloops which seems more like the Outcast. Was also over at NRS this afternoon and gave a good look at the gigbob.
  6. bkerbs Member

    Posts: 188
    seattle,washington
    Ratings: +22 / 0
    My friend stands up on his platform all the time. He has a ten foot sadden with a sliding platform. From what I've seen he cast just fine and looks comfortable peeing in the middle of the lake. Saw that from a distance though. I think his boat is cumbersome to load and unload from my truck, partly because my pontoon boat is lighter and partly because his platform is separate from his frame. Most nine or ten foot pontoons are fifty to seventy pounds. My family has a week steel heading every year and we all have nine to ten foot pontoons. Two outcast, one sadden and three creek company pontoon boats. Loading and unloading the boats each day the outcast boats are the lightest and seem like the better boats. I have a creek company, love it but would have bought an outcast if it was in my price range. Good luck in the search for a boat.
  7. Plecoptera Active Member

    Posts: 622
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +28 / 0
    Like others have said, when you step up to a solid stand up style boat a couple things are sacrificed. One is weight, and the other is the ability to use fins. Some manufacturers like Outcast and Scadden make boats that offer retractable platforms, but from what I have seen they are a compromise, in that the platforms are small and they are not overly maneuverable with fins.

    I have back problems too and can't sit for long periods of time. I couldn't really find a pontoon I liked that I felt was a solid stand up boat for a decent price so I decided to make my own. Just used some 10' Aire (Outcast) pontoons and built my own frame.

    IMG_0262.JPG 10.3.jpg

    Its quite a bit wider that most of the manufactured frames, and as a result is very stable. I don't even have lean bars and I've almost never felt like I might fall out (exception is one time when my anchor slipped). The only disadvantage with going this route was that its no longer a light weight boat I can just throw on top of a car. By myself I need to take off most of my gear and the floor if I need to pick it up and lift/carry it. Overall though its been a great boat for both rivers and lakes.
  8. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,238
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +220 / 2
    Plecoptera, nice looking do-it-yourself frame. Looks very professional.

    Dave, if you are not in a big hurry, I'd love to bring over a demo boat once the Idaho rivers around your area drop into shape and let you take it for a ride. What the others are saying is spot on, once you get into the stand-up class, you do jump up there in total weight. There are some things that we can do to reduce the overall weight but to really get a boat that anchors well (safely) in some current, there are some things that are more difficult to compromise.

    The one thing about most of the boats you are looking at is while they can be deflated and broken down small enough to get in the back of a truck, SUV, etc. you still have the chore of setting them up and taking them down at the beginning and end of the day, which is a bit of a pain. It will be challenging finding a stand-up boat that you will be able to load by yourself on top of a roof rack.

    That is an extra, extra large man in the picture below playing a fish while standing up on a 1-Salt Steelhead with a deluxe anchor system in the mainstem of the Yakima during pretty high flows. Yeah, it is probably a 125 lb boat but is very stable and comfortable for that kind of fishing. By adding a lean bar on the front, you add an additional safety feature.

    I saw a Gigbob at Big Twin last week. Though I wouldn't trade my pram for it, the owner was very pleased with its performance.

    Attached Files:

  9. atomic dog Jive Turkey

    Posts: 488
    Pasco
    Ratings: +319 / 0
    I have a question regarding pontoons that I'm thinking maybe I can slide on into Dave's thread. Like him I'd love to have a boat that would be used mostly for lakes, but the ability to use on occasion in rivers. I've seen some boats listed as rated for class 2 water. I know that's not very much, but what sorts of water would be considered class 2? I'm guessing a summertime float in the lower Yak near the Tri-Cities would be fine, but what about higher up in the Yak?

    I did a google image search for class 2 rapids, but didn't learn much.
  10. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,357
    .
    Ratings: +1,205 / 0
    This will tell you a lot about the upper Yak. It is mostly class 1 with some class 2 rapids: http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/2276/ For a description of river classifications, click this and scroll down to section 4 and it describes the classifications. Click through to the links and you'll find even more info. http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Wiki/safety:start?#vi

    More important than what the boat is rated to handle is what the rower can handle. Throw a float tube in a class 5 and will probably come bobbing out the other side unscathed. The angler would have a different story to tell - if he lived.
    Robert Engleheart likes this.
  11. jessejames Flyslinger

    Posts: 1,862
    Show Low, Arizona
    Ratings: +348 / 3
    Freestones post is right on. Classifications of rivers are a good way to judge their difficulty, but they change often at different flows. The rowers ability means alot.
    In addition class ratings don't take in to consideration debris in the river. People end up in trouble on class 1 and 2 rivers because of sweepers an other obstacles.
    Be careful get local knowledge.
    jesse
  12. Loteck Joe Over The Hill Gang Member

    Posts: 266
    Liberty Lake, WA.
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I'm not sure what your budget is but Outcast makes a pontoon with a standing platform that slides back under the seat when you're not using it. Jesse can tell you which one for sure. I saw one in his shop. As for carting a heavier toon around, I have one of these trailer kits from Harbor Freight and it's the cat's meow. I even use it for going to the dump with yard waste. I used it to haul a heavy pontoon to my favorite lakes. Harbor Freight has them for $280.[IMG]
  13. Robert Engleheart Robert

    Posts: 1,147
    Lemoore, CA
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    Lotek Joe, What size is that trailer?
  14. Loteck Joe Over The Hill Gang Member

    Posts: 266
    Liberty Lake, WA.
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    The deck area is 4' X 8'. Lowes will cut a 4 X 8 piece of plywood in half for you for nothing.