Frameless Inflatables: Looking 4 nitty gritty on NFO & Watermaster

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by stripntwitch, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Bill Aubrey

    Bill Aubrey Active Member

    I have one word for standing on a WM, WS, or Assault--SPLASH! There just is not enough room to do it safely, in my opinion. And, fishing from my Assault or my Wilderness Access (think Water Strider), you do not need to.
     
  2. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Sorry so long before responding. I'll address the things you shot my way.

    I'm going to say the Kodiak might weigh 28 pounds or so, naked. It takes some time to get either boat folded and put into the bag, but both bags hold the boat and necessary accessories. That ups your pack weight as you add stuff, of course.

    Bottom line for both boats. If you pack it and its accessories into a bag, that bag will be heavy. I'm no wussie, but I'm not Mr. Universe either. A full bag with all your gear will be heavy and will not treat you well on long hike ins. My suggestion, get the boat that suits what you want. Getting it where you want to go is another issue. I'll digress for a moment...I have a two child stroller that is state of the art, top notch and even comes with a rickshaw waist strap, two bars back to the buggy and I can take the wheels off and put on skis when it is snowing. I'd put my heavy stuff into this contraption, walk it easily to where I was fishing (lake presumably) and fish without having to kill my back. There are probably other creative ways that will be cheap, functional and good for your back if you must hike in such a boat package. If you know you are going to hike in a lot, choose a different craft...much lighter if you can find one.

    Not to be disagreeable to others...hell yes, my cheeseburger eating not exceptioanlly well balanced ass can stand and fish from either the Kodiak or Assault. Orangeradish witnessed me spey casting on the Kalama in slowly moving frog water while standing. Why the budding photographer did not digitially document this remarkable feat is beyond me. I have stood on both. Standing on the watermaster platform is better than standing on the scadden inflatable seat. Splash never happened, but one should expect that if you stand on a craft with a seat that falling is a true possibility.

    I like enclosed because I think that I get more floatation, maybe some additional safety feel. I've fished out of toons and love them. Tubes (not the death donuts, but U/V tubes) and love them. In a close comparison I was slightly more in favor of the Assault, so I sold my Kodiak to a gent from the site that, so far as I know, is very happy with his new boat. I have friends with both, and there is not one of us disappointed.

    Try one from the gear program (watermaster) and see what it is all about. I think the rocker of the Assault is the tipping point for me. It added some nimble moves that I could not pull off with fins alone in moving water. With less water contact it might be less stable in heavy water, but I'm looking for some fun rowing increasingly challenging water anyway...the fishing in the slower sections in the middle of two tough rapids is usually pretty worth all the splashy stuff to get there!

    Spend your money, our economy needs it and you seem motivated. Best of luck.
     
  3. Wayne

    Wayne Member

    I have the assault and yesterday I went fishing with a buddy that has a fish cat 8 with a 28lb thrust trolling motor and I could keep up to him using my litespeed oars and I am about 50lbs heavier than my buddy and not a good 50lbs if you know what I mean. This boat moves really well with the upgraded oars.
    Wayne
     
  4. Brian Miller

    Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    I am not superhuman and like Kent I use my real name. In my younger days I carried heavy loads at altitude for hours often on skis but in early summer tended to go bouldering instead of alpine climbing to avoid post-holing in rotten waist deep snow as much as avalanche hazzards. At 58, I stay in fair shape. There are lakes without excessive elevation gain where I don't expect solitude but it helps to go during the week. I'm able to pair down my Kodiak expedition kit slightly using lighter oars. Using flyweight waders, minimalist fishing gear, being willing to divert to a drive-to backup if the weather forecast is manky or looks questionable, and leaving the ice chest in the car I'm able to keep the weight down to about 12 lbs of stuff besides the WM kit for day trips. 53-55 lbs is a grunt but is doable on maintained trails without a lot of elevation gain but I'm going to use the Cruiser pack frame. If I were looking at much elevation gain or bushwhacking I'd be packing a tube.
     
  5. Uboatman

    Uboatman Is it possible to fish, surf and golf all at once?

    I have a rampage and love it. One thing not mentioned is the 5 chamber design of the scadden rampage. This is huge. Regarding standing on it...ah maybe if you want to go swimming. Framed may be a different story. My position on the open front vs water master style depends on how heavy a river you are going to run with big boulders to high center on. Unless you plan to do long iv runs bouncing around through tight chutes, scadden is fine. In bigger water, I would take the rampage any day. The volume of air just seems more floaty. Regarding packability, it is nothing you would put on your back, but loading up a cooler for multi day is totally in bounds. Love my scadden and I hand pump it very time in a matter of minutes.
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Active Member

    So, you have tried the Assault? Respectfully disagree. Scadden boats are very stable. Watched that video of a man that just BOUGHT the Renegade. Fished a little then stood up on it with no problem.



    Remember all, Dave helped with the design of the WM. I am thinking he improved on a design that has been around for awhile. Not saying it was a bad design to begin with, but I see the rockers AND the inflatable floor/seat area being such a big plus.

    Oh forgot, I had an Outcast Alpine Pontoon, an Echo Pontoon and a Cardiac Canyon, I can tell, they are all effected by wind even the Cardiac with small 12" diameter pontoons. I don't get this less effected stuff.
    I can say without question, when wind picked up, my pontoons wanted to turn sideways and even do circles. This is not the case with my H3, my Navigator II (NFO), My Escape, My Renegade, My X5. The U shaped boats are more stable and do not twist and turn like a pontoon ( and I am referring to stillwater, not rivers)
     
  7. stripntwitch

    stripntwitch New Member

    thanks folks for the continued posts(& video!)...I keep checking back and reading them. Haven't been able to make contact with Dave Scadden and my ride home from a fishing trip was prolonged today, preventing me from calling before his closing hour. Cabela's does not actually stock his product (it ships directly from him) despite their website reporting the models were in stock. So, my chance to actually see them became nil. Rowed my buddy's framed NFO toon yesterday, & I will be excited to own a frameless which, I believe, will take less effort to row on a day trip in high heat/humidity.
     
  8. Brian Miller

    Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    I am not superhuman and like Kent I use my real name. In my younger days I carried heavy loads at altitude for hours often on skis but in early summer tended to go bouldering instead of alpine climbing to avoid post-holing in rotten waist deep snow as much as avalanche hazzards. At 58, I stay in fair shape. There are lakes without excessive elevation gain where I don't expect solitude but it helps to go during the week. I'm able to pair down my Kodiak expedition kit slightly using lighter oars. Using flyweight waders, minimalist fishing gear, being willing to divert to a drive-to backup if the weather forecast is manky or looks questionable, and leaving the ice chest in the car I'm able to keep the weight down to about 12 lbs of stuff besides the WM kit for day trips. 53-55 lbs is a grunt but is doable on maintained trails without a lot of elevation gain but I'm going to use the Cruiser pack frame. If I were looking at much elevation gain or bushwhacking I'd be packing a tube.[/QUOTE]Packed the Kodiak into an alpine lake yesterday. Had it all to myself. Total carry weight was 58 lbs on the scale. Landed a 12” wild Rainbow and a just shy 11” Brookie that slammed a streamer and fought like it was posessed. Missed several. They were taking just about anything I threw out. Admittedly the Kodiak is a beast to pack in even using the pack frame. I'll be honest and say this thread did come to mind as I neared the lake, and as I scouted for a beach with unobstructed access to open water I wished had the money to get a new lightweight tube to replace my vintage and thread-bear Wood Creek (before the split) 1st gen Uboat. Anonymous? Sort of, but honest. Superhuman? No. Do-able? Yup. Do again? Yeah, but I know this thread will come to mind again.
     
  9. Brian Miller

    Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    The video gives some scale... I notice the Renegade is a much smaller boat than a Kodiak, and I'm not saying that's a negative
     
  10. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Admittedly, it's a tough choice between the Scadden Assault and the Kodiak. I have two Kodiaks, and really like the upgraded oars, additional "goodies" that came with the package. However, I vastly prefer rowing over the fins. If I'd seen the Scadden first, I probably would have gone with that one. Having used tubes, toons, and the WM, I'd say you need to define what the top-level useage will be: will you be targeting lakes, slow-moving rivers and the like for day trips, or will you plan multi-day floats, camping along the way? I purchased the WM's primarily to let me float rivers I wouldn't want to take my drift boat down, primarily due to narrowness or shallow bottoms. The WM allows me to easily carry enough gear for a comfortable camp along the way, and I found I can use the little wheeled kayak carriers to transport the WM over trails if they're wide enough.
     
  11. Blue

    Blue Active Member


    Huh? the WM Kodiak (if this is the right one) is 8’ 10” long, 52” wide, weighs 43 lbs, and has a capacity of 750 lbs
    The Renegade is 9' long, 56" wide, weighs 28 lbs, and has a capacity of 800 lbs.

    Or are you talking about the big 2 man framed Kodiaks. If so, then yes, they are almost twice as big at 16' and 18'. Apples and Oranges LOL
     
  12. Brian Miller

    Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    Obviously I didn't check the specs. In the video not knowing how tall the owner is but I'm just shy of 6' and I don't think my legs are bent like his, but then I can rest my feet on top of the footstrap and up against the bow to row. Perhaps all that combined with the closed bow of the Kodiak without the rocker gives the illusion the WM is longer. From where the owner is sitting the cargo deck on the Renegade looks shorter but that may be an illusion too. Again I didn't say shorter was a negative.
     
  13. Blue

    Blue Active Member

    I hear ya. I have the Renegade so very familiar with that...but haven't a clue on the Kodiak. For my type of fishing, I prefer the open end, that is all.
    Just answered the question of standing on one too, although, I have yet to try it...maybe this weekend. It could be really cool...or could be really wet...LOL
     
  14. stripntwitch

    stripntwitch New Member

    Hi all,
    Dave and I finally made contact! No, still no concrete decision, but maybe by tomorrow. Before I forget: I would love to hike in to an Alpine lake someday. What an experience it would be! And landing a Brookie would be frosting on an already great cake. Thx for posting pics. I agree, that a float tube would be the way to go. BUT, if I had a Kodiak I could and would still go....
    Now back to what I've learned. Between the Rampage, Renegade and Assault, the Ramage is immensely more stable to stand on. Staggering your legs around a strapped down cooler increases this. All can be stood on, but Renegade isn't as recommended d/t its smaller surface area and open end (vs. the Assault). On Assault, if you fall forward, you may still land on the boat in some fashion. I would stand on any, but bet greater risks are taken with the smaller boats. Each boat uses the same size roller duffle. So, if you get a smaller boat, I imagine you have more room and easier packability. The duffle weighs about 12#. There is also a backpack/dry bag version which weighs about 4.5# The Rampage is much faster/more maneuverable than the Renegade. One could do a 2-3 day float trip on any of the 3 boats. A 2nd person could sit on the front of the Assault, but not comfy very long. On Rampage, it is more doable. Dave said the Assault is just a very fun boat. He said something about kayak moves and mentioned a few times about what fun it is. Another Assault advantage is one can lay the front of rod on front of the Assault and fin backward and troll. Of course Renegade and Assault are most easily packable into the backcountry. I like all the boats, including the Watermaster. If I could try them out or even see them, perhaps my purchase would be different. I think I'll decide between the Rampage and the Assault. If I'm out on the water for 1 day and don't like it, I can work with NFO and get a different style of boat. The Rampage may be more boat than I need, but I will never need to buy a larger boat. I'd guess a float tube would be the next purchase to have all my bases covered if I need to take a big hike with watercraft. IF I buy smaller, I could still want a float tube and a larger boat.... Now, figuring out the cost difference between the two boats and if it is worth the extra $$ will be another factor.
     
  15. Blue

    Blue Active Member

    stripntwitch, you are right about that Rampage being more stable for sure. It is 10'6", same as my framed X5 (which does have one of the largest standing deck)
    But you said "The Rampage is much faster/more maneuverable than the Renegade." I question that one as it is a bigger boat. I know my Renegade is by far faster and more maneuverable than my X5 and I have the top of the line oars on both.

    Then you mentioned, if you fall on the Assault you have the closed end to help your fall, so, stand backwards on the Renegade facing the closed end....

    I am a thin woman (older) and stand 5'8"....I have no problem at all packing the 28 lb Renegade. If I can do it, anyone can.

    The reason I bought the Renegade is because we have the Uinta's with thousands of remote lakes. Hike ins for sure, but I like the room on the Renegade and the oars are the icing on the cake.

    And for trolling, I have actually hooked some darn nice fish by putting the rod in the built in holder on the side of the bag and the sort of jerk of the oars rowing.

    Not trying to sway ones choice, they are all top of the line boats, just giving some hands on info.
     
  16. stripntwitch

    stripntwitch New Member

    Hi utahflygoddess. Thanks for responses and the education! In time, I hope to pass it along as well. One of the reasons why I'd initially considered the Renegade over Rampage was due to it being more packable. Sounds as if we are built similarly. If I can portage 70# packs at BWCA, I'm sure I can do these boats. However, I realize that what fits in the NFO bag isn't all that goes on the trip. There is probably much more than I realize not having the experience yet. While I can carry decent weight and getting the job done is satisfying, I can't honestly say it is always fun. That being said, I should buy the Renegade or Assault, right? But no, I will probably get the Rampage. Again, there would be no regrets about not going lrg enough. I may complain that it is too much boat? But, a mistake in that direction is less costly(maybe getting a float tube) than wishing I'd purchased something larger. I'm balancing taking the advice of another poster who said to get the boat to fit my needs and make transporting it a 2ndary issue.
    Also, I'm trying not to directly quote Dave while still trying to be helpful to others who may find these posts. My hope is others will find our posts useful, and contact Dave or Watermaster for added info. I was also surprised to hear about how the Rampage moves on the water vs. the Renegade. It has something to do with it having more floatation but I didn't write down everything he said. (I guess the frameless x5 is also a little heavier than Rampage as Rampage has inflatable seat. Maybe something to do with what u mentioned about x5?) On the flip side, I'm told each of these boats is quite maneuverable. From what I learned, any boat will do fine for me on the waters I will visit. Another nagging thought is that I'd like the opportunity to temporarily have a passenger on the boat. So far, my friends load their boats on the trailer or vehicle and take me fishing. I'd like to be able to reciprocate, if even on a short trip, simply travelling hole to hole. It would rarely happen, but the Rampage is my best option. Oh, and the comment about the Assault/falling, etc: some folks feel more secure having both ends enclosed. I understand that. While looking at video I understood more clearly the comment that if you fall you may come into contact with the Assault boat more readily than with open water. If I'm standing on a toon-shaped boat there is always one side open to possibly fall toward, no matter which direction one faces. For some folks that will be important and others, no biggie. I like the trolling/rod holder idea.....Still have to figure out the roller duffel vs. the backpack and which fins to get, and Also debating the lighter oars, but will probably reach my my max $ limit before that becomes a serious possibility. I don't have a spouse to get mad at my spending, but I do need to have the gas money to take trips with my cool new boat!
     
  17. stripntwitch

    stripntwitch New Member

    Well, it's done. I want to thank everyone for the input! I think I'd like any of the 3-4 boats, but knew I would never want a larger boat if I went with the Rampage. I still have time to decide if it would be worth it if I wanted the larger/lighter oars, and if I get an anchor set-up and which fins to purchase. Went with the roller duffle in lieu of the drybag backpack. I'll buy a larger verson of the latter when I find something affordable. As others say, Dave has been great to work with, patient and very accomodating. He actually steered me away from an accessory as I may not need it for my water uses. I appreciated the honesty. When I get my blue toon on the water, I'll provide some feedback. Thanks again! Lisa
     
  18. stripntwitch

    stripntwitch New Member

    Utahflygoddess & others:
    What are your thoughts on the Litespeed oars vs. the standard oars? I've read the Litespeeds are faster. Are the standards that much heavier? Is one pair of oars more durable than the other? (wonder if this should be a new post). I'll call and firm up one or the other early half of next week. thx. Lisa
     
  19. Brian Miller

    Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    If I could afford them I'd love to have a pair of 3-piece (to fit in the bag) carbon fiber oars that are about a foot longer than the Caviness oar upgrade I got with the Kodiak expedition package.

    And just a thought... a spare oar is a good thing to have if you are doing extended trips, but that adds to the expense.
     
  20. Blue

    Blue Active Member

    I love the lite speeds. Mine are 6'5" and perfect. I have mine licensed and have the motor and motor mount, but I rarely use them with this boat. Just fly with ease. The hubby did a video of me rowing this last weekend, and man I was flying with little effort. Rowed a whole lake for three days and feel great.

    Plus as mentioned, that three piece is awesome. I have a bag for my Omega's. I put them, the broke down oars, my foot bar all in this nice little bag.
    Sweet!
     

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