New Pontoon Boat... Now what?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by chadk, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    My wife and I just ordered a matching pair of Fish Cat IR 9 pontoon boats. (isn't that cute :rofl: )

    I plan to use it in the salt a few times per year, lots of lake fishing, and 5 or 6 river trips a year (mainly class II or lower unless I'm with someone more experience).

    I noticed that while they are excellent quality boats - they are skimpy on the options... everything is 'ala carte'.

    So what are some of the options I should look into upgrading first?

    Brass oar locks?

    Better oars? Spare oar?

    Anchor system? I'm thinking a lead ball and rope tied to the frame will do for now. Not planning to anchor in moving water at this point...

    Rod holder?

    Saddle bags?

    Dry bag?
    (kinda obvious that i'll need saddle bags and\or dry bags I guess....)

    Patch kit? (is there a certain kind I should get or avoid? Duct tape? ;) )

    Wheel system? (I may try to make something)

    Motor mount? (I have a motor - I may try to make something)

    Anyway - thanks in advance for the tips!
  2. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Oh, I should add that I'm especially interested in the thoughts of those who have the same boat or very close. But also interested in just general 'pontoon boat' ideas...
  3. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,569
    Quesnel, BC
    Ratings: +323 / 0
    I dont think any extras are really worth paying for on a pontoon. They are merely a casting platform or transportation in my mind and therefore fall into the bare bones category.

    On the water that toon is so light that (in my opinion) I dont think you really need bigger or better oars.

    I would just run it as is and then you can always get something you are just unable to live without having as an extra later. You may find that you dont need any of them.

    My version of a wheel system is grabbing the oars by the tips and dragging it across the beach one handed. If I am not holding something in the other hand I just pick it up.
  4. dp ~El Pescador

    Posts: 719
    .Renton, Wa
    Ratings: +91 / 0
    the back plate behind the seat is really nice for storage.
    Get a good padded seat.
    all the other accessories, you can get locally and attach yourself.

    my .02 cents worth.
  5. Chris Scoones Administrator

    Posts: 3,590
    North Bend
    Ratings: +302 / 0
    LVM pump, if you plan to deflate or even partially deflate the toons for travel.

    Most pontoon boats have d-rings at both ends of the tubes. Build a rope with your clip preference at both ends. The rope comes in handy with dragging your pontoon over / around obstacles.

    I don't like anchors for pontoon boats due to the added weight and that it's just dangerous to use them in moving water. But, some sort of lightweight (alum?) large hook would serve well when "parking" in skinny water, where beaching it isn't an easy option yet you would like to leave it unattended. Something large enough to bite deep so it holds well.

    The saddle bags are nice to have.
  6. gbeeman Active Member

    Posts: 343
    Kennewick WA
    Ratings: +35 / 0
    If you’re going to do much in rivers you need good oar locks, I've got the brass ones that Outcast makes on my Buck's. I’d also recommend that you get at least 7’ oars if you don’t all ready have them. The extra length really makes a difference in both rivers and lakes. On lakes you track much better with the longer oars and the extra leverage on rivers can keep you out of trouble. I would also recommend oar-rites. They help keep you squared away.

    An anchor system that incorporates a pulley really helps when you’re trying to get that anchor off the bottom and it’s stuck in the weeds or muck.

    I usually carry two or three rods and I would definitely recommend rod holders. Scotty makes one for fly rods that I really like.

    I’m not sure what type of bladders you have but Outcast makes an excellent patch kit. I would suspect that Fish Cat does too. Make sure that you get a wrench that you can use to remove your valves if you need to.

    Have fun,

  7. Snake tryin' not to get too comfortable

    Posts: 621
    between the mountains and the sound
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    A rod holder would be my first upgrade, for sure. You can't row and hold onto a rod at the same time.
  8. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Thanks for the tips so far. Much appreciated.

    I checked the specs again, and apparently it looks like it comes with some kind of anchor system and motor mount if I read the specs page right.

    And 7' oars come with it.

    And based on the pic - looks like the seats are padded.

    They should arrive in a few days :)
  9. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Outcast is the maker of Fish Cat. I'll look into that patch kit...

    Oh, the bladders are vinyl. Sewn. Covered with 600 PVC Denier top and 900 bottom.
  10. Snake tryin' not to get too comfortable

    Posts: 621
    between the mountains and the sound
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Since you don't seem like a reckless guy, and you didn't mention it, I'm assuming you have good quality PFDs for yourself and the missus.

    If not, that would be the very first thing I bought.
  11. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Good point. I'll need to get my wife a better vest for sure...
  12. Jon Borcherding New Member

    Posts: 535
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    iagree On that note, I bought a couple of the S.O.S.penders a few months ago and I liked them cuz they're easy to wear, easy to cast with. When the weather got warmer I noticed that they become uncomfortable when wearing with a collarless shirt. The rubberized material in the collar area chafes my neck pretty bad when I'm casting all day. The only remedie I've found is wearing a shirt with a collar. They definitely didn't make these PFDs for a guy with an 18.5" collar. Those of you with skinny necks might fare better.:rofl:

  13. Sloan Craven Active Member

    Posts: 2,465
    NoSho, ma
    Ratings: +32 / 0
    I think for some reason, that since you are technically out of the water when riding a pontoon, that you are required by law to have PFDs when on most Washington waters.
    I'm certain that you'll never be checked, but? for what its worth.

    I would get a rod holder. I always hate trying to tuck my rod somewhere then hope it stays there after some lite rapids.

    Dry bags. Cheap and great to have.

    One little trick that Steelie Mike taught me is to use some bungee cords to secure a rubbermaid type plastic storage box (the big kind) to the little deck behind the seat. It increases storage on the boat and keeps things dry.
  14. Gary Thompson dirty dog

    Posts: 3,891
    East Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +131 / 0
    What about a live well and fish finders, GPS, etc.
    Just being a smart ass.
    I would think rod holder and patch kit/first aid kit.
    Have fun with yer new toy.
  15. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,790
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,722 / 0
    I was wondering why you didn't get them when I was in Washington. Gee whiz, we could of taken them out and I could of shown you some new water. Instead I just gave away my marked up maps. :beathead: :beathead:

  16. Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

    Posts: 3,763
    Ratings: +451 / 1
    I don't have a pontoon but I have a Watermeister and the same things apply.
    In addition to a good PFD, I'd consider a rod holder and spare oar mandatory.
    Stripping apron might not be feasible on a pontoon(?) but it's sure nice on the WM.
  17. Bob Bartlett New Member

    Posts: 17
    North Bend, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I've had 8 ft Fish Cat for 7 or 8 years, with majority of use on rivers like Yakima. Do get the brass oarlocks AND Oarrights--they make orienting oars automatic. You're getting an anchor mount, and should consider a small pyramid anchor--10 pounds max. I very much agree you don't want to anchor in current, but I've found the 10 lb pyramid secure to anchor in very mild current just outside or above a drift, etc.--something I couldn't do with lighter weight anchor. You're getting side bags which work great for tackle, x-tra clothes, but you may want to consider Outcast's seat-back "saddle bag" too. I have serious envy fishing with a friend so equipped. It keeps lunch, water, etc. out of the way of the side bags, and seems to work very well. You'll also want a hand pump to go with repair kit. When/if you have leak while on the river, you need pump with you to inflate after repair! All this stuff is available on-line, but a lot of it is also at Outdoor emporium by Safeco field in Seattle, or Swiftwater out in Shoreline. Good Luck!!
  18. J Nordwell New Member

    Posts: 56
    Camas, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    good cheap anchor. Beer can with the top cut off and filled with lead works great, I would try to make as much as you can yourself you will enjoy it better. Go out a couple of times and see what would work better for you. Its all a game of inches, in a small boat. Have fun
  19. nomlasder Active Member

    Posts: 1,322
    Ratings: +113 / 0
    I noticed a lot of the Canadians had small fish finders on thier pontoons, with built in thermometer.
  20. Omar Quiroga Member

    Posts: 140
    lake forest park, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    What I found to be really helpfull on my toon is the rod holders. The next would be the saddle bags on them. It allows you to keep most of your stuff close by instead of behind you on the platform. Anyways good luck with the toons and maybe we'll have to get out and do some lake fishing.