Best Pontoon under 1200.00?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Flyfishsteel, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. Flyfishsteel

    Flyfishsteel New Member

    Doing this for a buddy. Was wondering which is more superior, the Dave Skadden Skykomish Sunrise at 10 1/2' length or the Outcast Pac 900?

    Has anyone out there had experiences with either or? I have the Pac 800 and works for me, but my buddy is looking at the 10 1/2'r Skykomish or 9' Pac 900 both at under 1200.00 or so.

  2. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

    check out the classifieds, a nice one is for sale
  3. Bill Douglas

    Bill Douglas blue collar dirtbag

    I have the Scadden boat. In hindsight, I should have sent it back. The welding is shoddy, and they made no attempt to grind down the splatter. Some of the holes don't match up quite right. The lean bar for the casting platform is especially bad. The casting platform has metal support pieces that just ride on the frame. Every time you move it in and out you take powder coating off of the frame. They advertise attaching a motor to the cargo platform. This doesn't work so well. There is too much flex in the platform itself and in the tubes for it to be effective. It doesn't even handle the little two horse I have very well. The anchor rope is routed through the foot rest. The little detent pin that holds the foot rest in place is not strong enough to withstand much tug on the anchor line. If you have to pull on the anchor rope very hard at all, the foot rest pops out of place. Oh, and the tackle and gear bags that come with it get in the way of rowing.

    The boat works okay for a lot of applications. It does handle quite well on the water, but given what I paid for it, I would go a different route if I could do it all over again.
  4. Josh Benjamin

    Josh Benjamin Member

    isn't the scadden boat the one with the standing platform that slides out???
    does the pac900 have that??? i'm not up on all the pontoons but if the skykomish had that and the other one didn't that would make the difference for me.
  5. FlyShopKristin

    FlyShopKristin Going Online

  6. Josh Benjamin

    Josh Benjamin Member

    OK...well nevermind on the scadden boat. sounds like it needed a little bit more time put into the design.
  7. Turtle soup

    Turtle soup New Member

    In my humble opinion, Skookum boats are the best pontoon on the market right now. You can find em' @

    Heres why...
    * 4 layer, multiple chamber pontoons w/ super thick skid pads (thickest in the market)
    * Great design with the long waterline! Gives you excellent tracking, stability, & maneuverability
    ***** Halkey Robt-style valves - They're strong, reliable and extreamly durable
    * lightweight
    * Massive Load Capacities
    * Flip Down Padded Swivel Seats
    * Large standing platforms
    * Effecient & out of the way anchoring system
    * First rate welding on frames

    Just my two cents...

    If you do decide to go with a steelheader, tell Bill he still owes Bob a trip on the Deshuetes!
  8. leifand

    leifand Member

    Sounds like an infomercial. Skookums are great but there are probably 5 companies that all produce 'the same cataraft / pontoon' in the northwest - they use the same tubes, frames, etc. I have one, and every time someone sees me on the water they ask - hey, is that a Skookum? But what turtle says is correct - try to get one like a Skookum - I'm just letting you know that there are many others that are nearly identical so don't feel limited.
  9. Turtle soup

    Turtle soup New Member

    Damn, I knew I should have gone into marketing!!! LOL

    Leifs right though, there are a few simliar boats out right now. However, whats seperates the steelheaders from the others out there are the valves and pontoon density. Skookums' got em' beat, hands down!!!!.....

    Draw back - $

    Just my 2 cents...

  10. leifand

    leifand Member

    When I say similar - I meant same. And all the good companies use the H-R valves and the same pontoons (unless you step it up to NRS / SOTAR / etc tubes). It seems like the only difference is the frames, which they must make in-shop.

    If you're looking at spending this kind of dough, check out a 12' model that could be used for 2 people made by a Skookum or one of the companies that's a mirror image of them. Lots of these companies offer frames that are 2 pieces, one for your single-person outings, and an add-on frame if you had someone tagging along. That's something I wish I had checked into more before buying.
  11. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

    * 4 layer, multiple chamber pontoons w/ super thick skid pads (thickest in the market)

    -I'm sure any of the boats in that class have quality toons.

    * Great design with the long waterline! Gives you excellent tracking, stability, & maneuverability

    -They all have the same shaped toons. Many use the same pontoons.

    ***** Halkey Robt-style valves - They're strong, reliable and extreamly durable

    -That's not unique to any company. They all use them.

    * lightweight

    -Not really. And all the boats in any size category are close in weight.

    * Massive Load Capacities

    -Again, all the boats in the 10' range have similar load capacities. Some might be less than the Steelheader, but they are more than adequate. I had a different brand 10' model with a 600lb capacity. That's more than enough for one person and gear.

    * Flip Down Padded Swivel Seats

    -They all have flip down swivel seats. Many have the padded version standard. If they don't have the padded seat standard, it can be upgraded very easily.

    * Large standing platforms

    -They all have that. The Steelheader's is actually smaller than many of its competitors.

    * Effecient & out of the way anchoring system

    -Many other models have that too.

    * First rate welding on frames

    -That's true. Many competitors have quality welds also.

    Have your friend check the sportsman's show next month. Many different cataraft makers will be there. He can look at them side by side.
  12. bigtj

    bigtj Member

    There is no comparison between the Skookum products and most of the other products out there i.e. outcast, creek co, scadden. Skookum is better quality. Don't take my word for it, try to get in one you'll see for yourself.

    Not all 'toons are the same. My pac 1200 are much more "swept" good for whitewater not so good for tracking or a fishing platform because there is less surface area on the water. Skookum 'toon are some of the best, track good and more stable on the water. There are substantial differences betwen the 'toons for the 2-man catarafts on the market and this translates directly in terms of performance. Again don't take my word for it, try the different boats you will see the differences for yourself.

    Check the Skookums out, they are a great product. I might try to adapt one of their frames to my pac 1200 'toons I think their frames are a lot better. If I had to do it over again, I would buy a Skookum or an Aire w/ NRS frame.

  13. WT

    WT Member

    The problem with the Skookum type boats is the built in standing platform. The best thing about a pontoon boat is that you are able to control it with your fins while you are casting to shore or wherever.
    You can probly anchor some of those boats in heavy current and cast where you want to but you have to stop everytime you want to cast. The skookum type boats might be better for heavier water but, in my opinion, are not as versatile.
    I have an abel Travel Craft which is very similar to the Watermaster and it is an awesome boat for what I use it for.
    I also recomend that you go to the Sportmen's Show and look at the different offerings.
  14. Pat M

    Pat M Chasing Tiger Trout

    How about this one? Comes with a trolling motor.:thumb:
  15. Flyfishsteel

    Flyfishsteel New Member

    Thanks for all the replies guys, but my question was the best pontoon UNDER 1200.00, not best pontoon. I'm aware of the Steelheader and was almost going to buy one myself, but looking at the 14-1500.00 price tag, I thought twice and didn't go for it.

    Bill Douglas gave some honest feedback, which was really informative. From what I researched and from the looks of my Pac 800, the Pac 900 (9' pontoons) is more superior over Skadden's Skykomish Sunrise. The welds on the Pac frames are awesome and flawless and are made in USA by Aire.

    Thanks again and will con't the search for my buddy for the best pontoon UNDER 1200.00.
  16. Dirk Pitt

    Dirk Pitt New Member

    There is a guy in Tukwila that sells pontoons that are darn near the same as a Skookum, pontoon wise anyway. The frame isnt as nice, though, but it does have a standing platform, just no upright support. I think the 10ft goes for around $1100. I don't think you could tell a Skookum pontoon from one of these, the frame is a different story. I beleive the place is Xstream fly fishing or something along those lines. I might buy one of these myself, but will wait for the sportsmen's show to look at more boats first.
  17. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

    I would take Kristen's advice and go with the watermaster. They are so much more portable, and wayyyy easier to fish out of. I have used one a fair amount and love it!

  18. Big Tuna

    Big Tuna Member

    Outcast makes the nicest boats in that price range in my opinion. I've not seen the recent editions of the Buck's Bags Bronco's, but my brother has the Outcast Pac 9000 and it is a sweet boat. It's a little on the heavy side, but it is put together very well. I think it's in that price range. If not, I'd look at the Bronco.
  19. In_too_deep

    In_too_deep Member

    I picked up a PAC 9000 for under 1200 last year, and that's Can$. Never being one to leave well enough alone, a bunch of accessories have been added for lake fishing including a standing platform.

    Here is my webpage:
  20. Flyfishsteel

    Flyfishsteel New Member

    Wow, I like the idea of your homemade deck for your fishfinder! I have been trying to figure out the best way for my rod holder forever.. Nice!