one man boat reccomendations?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Arthur Vakulchik, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Arthur Vakulchik

    Arthur Vakulchik Young Gun

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    i am planning to by a boat within this summer so i can float down some rivers. i want something that is not to huge (10ft being max) but would prefer it being smaller. im a fairly small guy (125lbs) so i dont need anything that is made for those "large-er" people. i want to be able to handle rivers like the sky, snoqualmie, skagit, and some rivers on the OP.

    what should i be looking to buy? a toon? watermaster or something similar? unknown watercraft? and wich one should i be getting if i get the reccomendation from an item above? (ex: get a toon, and i would reccomend a pac 900...) and it would be great if it was on a lower budget, but i am willing to spend money if need be.

    thanks all,
    arthur
     
  2. colton rogers

    colton rogers wishin' i was fishin'

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    ed call, i can't remember for the life of me what toon you bought.....do you like it?
    didn't you float the hoh in it?

    i love my colorado 9footer but its not OP river worthy
    dave scadden makes some pretty sweet looking toons and there not super large
     
  3. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Colton, good memory on the Hoh! Arthur, I bought a FishCat Panther, a "quad" tube pontoon. The 9' panther is great for bulkier guys like me at #225 and has about a 400# capacity. I would recommend that you look hard for a FishCat Cougar. That is the little brother of the Panther. It is 8' and likely would be easier to handle if you are worried that a 9' pontoon that weighs about 65# outfitted would be too much for you. I have had my 9' Panther down the Hoh for three consecutive days and it was awesome. Before that I had an 8' Pac by FishCat made for Sportsman's called the Sportsman's 8. That had a slightly lower total capacity but I have had it down the Bogachiel, Satsop and Wynoochie with my limited oarsman skills. Best of luck finding one and if you want more info on my toon let me know. You'll see by the look on my face and excitement in my voice that I'm a fan. With the Cougars being closed out in many locations you might find one for a pretty good deal.

    Others will have ideas based on their experiences, I can only tell you about the two fishcat boats I've had. Both have been fantastic.
     
  4. Riverman

    Riverman Member

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    Water Master
     
  5. Calvin1

    Calvin1 Member

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    You can go to any river in a Smart Car with a Watermaster.
     
  6. Rick Todd

    Rick Todd Active Member

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    Ditto Watermaster. It is light, super easy to pack into a vehicle, and very river capable. In traditional pontoons, Dave Scadden makes a great one man boat, the Madison with 9' toons, with his "X5" frame which allows you the stand up to fish or slide it back so you can use your fins. I have the Northwest Express 11' two man, which is awesome! Rick
     
  7. sroffe

    sroffe Member

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    In addition to Water Master, check out the Wilderness Access.
     
  8. Arthur Vakulchik

    Arthur Vakulchik Young Gun

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    alright, ive been looking at the watermaster for a couple months, and i know how great it is. but whats bad about it? also, based on the rivers i plan to fish... wich WM should i be getting? It doesnt hurt as much if its the Grizzly, but the couple hundred dollars makes me scared of the Kodiak. im only a teen so i havnt spent that much money on anything and i want to know if im making a good investment. And are there any other places were i can get them cheaper? and one more question.... if i do buy it, what color do you think i should get? gray or olive? :)

    thanks,
    arthur
     
  9. sroffe

    sroffe Member

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    Both models of Water master are well build. However, if you are pinching pennies, a Wilderness Access, which is very similar to a Water Master, will save a even a little more.

    The larger WM is built for longer expeditions down a river, so, it will carry more. Or, if you're a 350 pound dude, you might want it too. But, for day trips down a river, or a nice row on the lake, you'll do just fine with the smaller WM or Access.

    Sam
     
  10. Itchy Dog

    Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

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    Arthur,

    My brother has the Grizzly; I have the Kodiak. The Kodiak is a little longer and the tubes are larger in diameter so you site a little higher- not much, but a couple inches. Not a big deal honestly, and if money is the issue, you'd be real happy with the Griz. Take care of it and it will last you for many many years- certainly until you're old enough and making regular money enough to replace it. My bro's boat is gray. Mine is Olive. Get Olive. Olive is cool.

    You might call the manufacturer and ask if they have any reconditioned boats. Their website doesn't currently list any, but that doesn't mean they might not have one in.

    I honestly cannot think of anything I don't like about my boat.

    Get Olive.
     
  11. Arthur Vakulchik

    Arthur Vakulchik Young Gun

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    thanks to all for all the reccomendations! i believe im going to be getting a WM, but im not exactly sure witch one yet. ill talk to a couple people and maybe try some out. but thanks for all the great rec. and rev.

    arthur
     
  12. nz trout bum

    nz trout bum Member

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    I have several Watermasters most of which are Grizzly but one Kodiak. I only bought the Kodiak for wilderness expedition trips. Mine is hypolon and much heavier than PVC. I would not buy one at your weight and budget. Bigger is not always better. There is no better one man inflatable in my opinion. They are light, quick to set up, safe and packable if you want to hike into something not too challenging. You will see a used one every so often but be careful. The older ones did not have a screw in the shaft that held the oar post and it could work its way out giving you an oar waiving in the wind. not too bad in a lake where you just shove it back in but could be fatal on a river. Also, they do seem to last 10 years plus with proper care but the glue/welds do not last forever. They are tough to puncture but friction on a sharp corner will create a leak. Pin hole leaks will appear over time but you can buy a liquid latex and "shake and bake" them. Kind of a hassle so talk to one of the repair shops before you try it yourself. They will charge a fortune if they do it and it really isn't that hard.

    Just one guys opinion. Good luck. W
     
  13. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    I used to own a Tote n Float, the predecessor to the Watermaster. I sold it to get a pontoon. I miss the Tote n Float at times, but I only miss the convenient assembly aspect. For western waters, in my opinion a good pontoon is superior to the Watermaster. That's based on owning both types of craft but, again, it's an opinion.

    The positives of the Watermaster and similar boats:

    1) Portability. It's pretty cool that the whole she-bang can be a placed in a bag that can be taken as checked baggage on the plane (Mine went on a couple of trips that way), or just tossed in to the trunk of a car and not take up that much space. However, how often does one really 'need' to take a raft/boat with them on a trip involving a plane?
    2) Convenience of assembly. This is where the Watermaster shines. Pump it up, and you're ready to go. Assembling a pontoon frame in addition to inflating pontoons takes much longer (like 15 minutes). I just keep my pontoon frame assembled, and either toss it on top of my Jeep or it goes inside if I'm on my own.


    The negatives:

    1) Slow in stillwaters. It's a small raft no rocker, and you 'push' water when rowing; it's not hydrodynamic. The pontoon leaves these in the dust. It's a lot easier/quicker to get from one end of Nunnally, Lenore, etc. at dusk, or rowing against the wind (pontoon MUCH better here).

    2) Not set up for more skookum rivers. The oar setup on pontoons, say a PAC 800 or Ed's Fishcat, are MUCH more robust than on the Watermaster. Yeah, yeah, guys take trips down rivers in their Watermasters, but they are relatively mild rivers. Pontoons like my PAC 800 use bronze oarlocks, similar systems to what river raft frame systems use, which are WAY stronger than the pinned oar systems on the Watermasters. The oars are way more robust on my PAC 800 that on the Watermaster.

    3) Less storage than on a pontoon. It's just the way it is; no explanation needed.

    4) No anchor setup (major issue, in my opinion). I floated the Clark Fork River years ago, and some guys in single person pontoons were anchored up over rising fish and were spanking 'em. I couldn't fish those areas in my Tote n Float/Watermaster. I sold my Tote n Float right after that.

    As noted earlier, from time to time I miss the setup convenience and the portability of the Tote n Float/Watermaster, and consider buying another. However, in my opinion, based on owning both types of craft, the functionality/fishability of a pontoon is far superior, and outweights the portability and convenience aspect of the Watermaster.
     
  14. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey Chik, I'm considering bringing my pontoon to the Jimmy Green Memorial Expo this weekend. If I do the purpose will be to have a way to take my kids out on the water with the "lido deck" that I created for them. I'm not sure I want to lug it all the way there for that brief purpose when there is such a cool playground where the kids will likey spend more time. Should you tell me that you are coming and want to check out my boat I might be more inclined to toss it atop my truck and bring it along. Let me know.

    Regardless of what you decide (I only have limited pontoon use and experience, nothing with the watermasters which I think are pretty slick designs) you will be floating. That means more gear, setup and such. More importantly that means more access and more access means more fishing in places that you can't reach. I love that I invested in a small saltwater boat, pontoon and float tube. I can fish a lot of places that were inaccessible or beyond casting reach before. Best of luck young man!
     
  15. Arthur Vakulchik

    Arthur Vakulchik Young Gun

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    thanks all for all the advice everybody. ed, if you do bring your boat, then id like to try it out but i dont want you to bring just for me. i found (chris actually did) a brand new never used WM. it is selling for $1000 with some excessories. so ive decided to get that. and dont worrry itchy, its olive. :)

    thanks again everybody! now all i need is to leanr how to float a river. cant wait to get out their,

    arthur
     
  16. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Good score on the WM. Congrats.
     
  17. Arthur Vakulchik

    Arthur Vakulchik Young Gun

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    alright, back to the drawing board. my dad, my bro, and a hard core steelheader sat me down today. they were going out at me all day and were like why would you buy this boat?!?! i told him how great it was, but they would fight back saying that i cant see anything down river and im gonna get hurt. they also said sinse the oar locks are on a rubber frame, then ill have no power on the oars when i need to get out of a log jam or anything. what should i do? im gonna be fishing with obsticles with this and need to know what will suit me best. also if anybody has ever had trouble getting out of something because the oars are on rubber. aslo they told me i need to atleast see in person, let alone try these two out before i set my mind on one.

    so ed, if you do bring your boat id love to try it out. and im gonna have to try one of chris's before i buy one.

    thanks again,
    arthur
     
  18. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    You need to listen to your brother and dad and the hard core steelheader; they are right to a large degree, in my opinion.

    See my comments I made earlier about the oar system on the WM vs. the pontoon (I used my PAC 800 for comparison). There is no comparison.

    To counter your brother and dad, though, whether you need to worry about the strength of the oar system or not depends on your intended use. Not just 'hope-to' use, but actual intended use. If it's going down skookum rivers, well, I'd worry about the oar system. If it's going down the Yakima or Skagit or similar river from time to time, I wouldn't be as concerned. If you will probably use the craft in stillwaters most of the time, I wouldn't be concerned.

    What will suit you best? Only you can determine that. Realistically assess the likely conditions and situations of the waters you intend to fish, and make your boat choice accordingly for those types of water you will fish the majority of the time.
     
  19. chile66

    chile66 New Member

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    Before I bought a Water Master, though highly recommended, I'd check out the Water Strider.
    I checked them both out and ended up buying the WS.
    Fco.
     
  20. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Chik,

    I can't weigh in on WM at all. Family camping will commence in a couple of hours and if I have room to toss my gear into and on the truck I'll bring the Panther. No guarantees at this time for this weekend, we've been way overpacking. I'll try to slim down our stuff if I can.
     

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