Dave Scadden Pontoon Boats, proper business practice? You be the judge!

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by davec, May 17, 2010.

  1. On January 31st I visited the North Fork Outdoors display at the Puyallup Sportsman Show. I was interested in the Outlaw Renegade. This inflatable is a "U" shaped frameless boat. Its advantages are light weight and easy assembly. However, I was concerned about the built-in Water Master type oar system. I planned doing Class III and IV waters such as the lower Deschutes. Dave assured me that the boat had a Class V rating and that I should place an order and "lock in" the Show price. He said I could think it over for a week. I placed an order with accessories for $1268. I had a "7 day right of refusal" notation placed on the order form.
    After thinking it over, I could not get past my concern about the oar system and decided to check out frame boats thinking that I could apply better control with the oars in heavy water. On February 5th I called Dave and cancelled my order.
    Time passed....... in fact about 2 months passed when a box was delivered to my door from North Fork Outdoors. I refused delivery and the box was returned. I checked my VISA statement. Sure enough about 2 weeks earlier I had been charged $1268. I called NFO and Dave said he "did not know how that could have happened". I asked for a refund on my VISA. He said he would not credit my VISA but would send me a check that I would receive "in a day or two".
    Well here is where it gets interesting! Yes, you guested it, over a week later, NO CHECK. The following week I emailed NFO and asked for my money. No response from NFO. Again the next week I emailed NFO and asked for my money. Again no response from NFO. On April 19th I called NFO and Dave said he had mailed the check and did not know why I had not received it. He said he would find out what happened and would call me back that afternoon. No call back received.
    Two phone calls, two emails, two months, NO MONEY. I am now talking to the VISA people.
    Lessons learned.... so far: You have 60 days from the date of the transaction to file a complaint with your credit card company. The card company will investigate and it can take take up to 6 to 8 weeks for them to resolve the dispute. NFO does not have to credit your card, they have the legal right to issue you a check. I don't know what kind of fix I would be in if I had used a debit card.
  2. I think most of us are sorry you are going through this mess and for the fact you had to make a post about it...I'm not taking any 'sides'...I just hate to see this. It's long after the fact but after your Feb.5 conversation with Dave, it would have been prudent to call Visa and cancel. I guess it's a lesson to be learned for all of us on any transaction from anybody?! Hope it works out for you.
  3. I have read a lot of painful posts about customer service relations with NFO (and mostly Dave's previous companies)

    I (excited to get a toon) ignored them and purchased my boat last year.

    since then I have had to replace the frame once (wheel receiver hitch broke off the frame, now I use a ramp on my trailer and no issues)
    I called and they had another one on my doorstep in 48 hours.

    However, this one was 1/4' narrower then the previous frame and my standing platform would no longer fit.
    called Dave and they had another frame on my door in 2 days.

    so far I have been very happy with their customer service, even if things haven't been the smoothest...
    I doubt that they want a charge back on their business... I would just call him and explain you have not received a product and are about to report this to Visa
  4. My brother bought an Outlaw Renagade at the Puyallup show and I bought a MacKenzie Two man a few years ago at the Bellvue Show. He and I have had nothing but great dealings with NFO. My brother is planning to get a two man frame like mine to fit on his Renagade, which will allow him to take his son with him and also use conventional oar locks. I love my boat and have used it all over the western US with no problems. Scadden certainly designs the best pontoons IMO. Rick
  5. What's this have to do with DaveC's post/issues?
    Steezn290 likes this.
  6. Agreed, I love my Skykomish Sunrise. it is a bit on the heavy side, but it is an awesome boat. and I would buy another scadden in a heartbeat
    FYI... get the composite oars, you will love them, but dont buy their wheel. just get a bike from a coop or a garage sale.
  7. I have the composite oars and they are great. My brother was going economy and went with the standard oars, but then, we both use fins way more than oars on both rivers and lakes to get around-that way I always have a rod in my hands instead of oars! Rick
  8. Well, Bank of America notified me that my account has been credited $1268 for the unauthorized charge on my VISA by Dave Scadden, North Fork Outdoors. What a shame that I had to go to this length to get my money back!!!
  9. Sorry your experience was so rough. Now you've got your boat budget back what are you considering?
  10. Ive been seriously looking at buying one of the Renegades but my concern is the same as yours, this rack n pinion built in oar system doesnt look class 3 worthy much less class 5 like they advertise. Any feedback from frameless scadden owners who have ran some bigger water ie Sol Duc, Calawah etc...Cheers
  11. Judging from photos of the Renegade, the way the oars mount appears to use the same glue-on oarlock system as used on the Watermaster. I've never heard of one coming undone, but that's not a bet I'd want to take on some serious whitewater. Was me, I'd damned sure want oars that had a mechanical connection to the boat, ie. conventional metal oarlocks that were pinned to a sturdy frame. The glue-on mounts require that the oar shafts be drilled so that they'll fit over the pins in the mounting system. Seems to me that a drilled oar shaft is a weak oar shaft.

    I've found that even the short 6-foot oars on my WM can really distort the side tubes when I'm pulling hard on them. That makes me suspicious about how effective or safe a similar system on the Renegade might be if you really had to reef on them in some serious whitewater. I noticed in the video on the NFO web site showing the Renegade, the composite oars really flex, making me wonder exactly how sturdy they really are. If I was planning on doing some Class III or higher water, I'd damned sure be taking a sturdier boat with a metal frame with conventional oarlocks and three oars.

    IMHO, many companies toss around phrases like 'Class IV or V' in their marketing materials as a way to convince potential buyers that their boat is safe. The average guy would take one look at a Class V chute and shit himself before he'd take any boat down it, let alone a lightweight inflatable with no frame. Most of the folks I've met who really do run water that big would probably never consider doing it in a Renegade or Watermaster (unless they were being paid to do it in front of a film crew!)

    muknuk likes this.
  12. I noticed that oar flex as well and all I could think of was pulling hard someplace you didnt want to miss a stroke and those snapping in half...I want the lightweight and portability but not at the cost of safety or performance. A hybrid watermaster/alpacka/outlaw with a solid but light rowing frame might be a pipedream but that seems like what I would want ideally...
  13. My Brother has a Challenger X and it works fine with the fixed oarlocks in a lake or mild river like the Yakima. It can also accept the Scadden xxx frame, and then you will be using oar locks. So essentially you have the best of both worlds-a pontoon boat with no metal frame, making it easy to deflate and transport, but with a very rigid inflatable floor that you can actually stand on, or convert it to a frame boat for two (or you can ad a third person on the bow/stern) with a standing platform and leg brace for the front angler-great for river fishing. With my Makenzie Drifter, I frequently "row" my boat with my fins so both the oarsman and the front angler can fish the river-very effective! The Renagade is a smaller boat, but it will still accept the rowing station of the XXX frame, so you can navigate harder rivers with an oar that you can feather etc in an oar lock. BTW-the composite oars are designed to flex, kind of like a pole vault pole and they give a real "kick" at the end of the stroke-really a nice oar to use, although my favorite oars, which I use in my wooden drift boat, are a pair of "Lindy Feather" Sitka Spruce oars-very light and a very nice flex pattern. Rick
  14. Check out the You Tube Videos. Just type in Dave Scadden. It has some white water stuff that they're taking the Renegades down.
    Good luck
  15. Big Sky Inflatables has a 2 man boat with a frame. I haven't seen any claim of taking class III or higher rapids. It kind of looks like it has a high center of gravity with where the guys sit.

  16. Hummmmm, wonder what ever happened to the check he sent you?????? Another of life's mysteries?
  17. I chose a frame boat over a frameless, and here is why!
    I purchased an Outcast Pac 900 and couldn't be more pleased with the boat. I recently floated the lower Deschutes from Macks Canyon to the mouth, a four day fish and float. For those of you who have done this float you know there are several big rapids to negotiate. Washout, Gordon Ridge, Colorado, Rattlesnake and Moody are rated Class III or IV depending upon the publication.
    When You plan a trip you "take what you get" and due to the weather conditions the river was up at about 6700 cfs. In addition we had up river winds to 50 on the last day. Well, these rapids get very interesting with all that water going through those squeeze points along with the wind! In addition, the water temperature was in the 40's, no time for a swim. Rescue or self-rescue in fast moving, big, cold water is, well ???
    The Boat: The PAC 900 is one of the most expensive and in my opinion one of the best in its class. The boat and "I" handled the water fine. However, I had to use all of my strength to keep out of trouble. You need a solid connection between the foot rests, yourself, the oar locks, the oars and the water. You get that in a good framed boat. I think some boat marketers rate their boats on "flotation" and tend to de-emphasize the handling aspect. This is to bad as as it can lead to misleading and dangerous conclusions by the purchaser.
    Recommendation: I chose the PAC 900, (400# rating), because I plan on using it on rivers and lakes, and I have a gear raft to carry my stuff on a four or five day float. If I was doing multi-day trips in "heavy water" and carrying my stuff , I would go "back pack light". If you are doing multi-day trips in heavy water and carrying lots of heavy gear you might think about a ten or eleven foot boat.
    My PAC 900 came with two piece 7' aluminum oars that have heavy walled tubes and very good connections, no upgrades needed, these oars can take it! Plus, oar keepers and an extra oar should be included.
    One last thought, as I was facing the angry waters, I was glad I had good equipment, "how much is your life worth" is a question to be asked when contemplating a purchase.
  18. Outcast makes a good boat and very stout frame. I have the PAC 9000, which was a double pontoon version of the PAC 900 and it has served me well. Of interest is that Dave Scadden worked for Outcast (and Bucks before that) as a pontoon boat designer before he went out on his own. Rick
  19. The Scadden saga continues, they won't stop! About a month ago I received a wheeled duffel from North Fork Outdoors from an order that I cancelled February 5. I returned the duffel.
    Last week I received a set of oars from an order that I cancelled February 5. I called by phone but their recorder was full and would not accept my message. I emailed them and asked for a return label that they could mail, email or fax to me so I could return the package. No response to my email. I included my phone number in the email, no return call. Today I sent the oars back UPS. I hope this is the last time I have to deal with those folks. At first I was mad, now I am sad that they can't get their s..t together.

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