Outlaw X5 vs Pontoon boat

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by SpeyFitter, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. I got a buddy who's got a Scadden Madison River 9' Pontoon boat. He was thinking of getting the X5 for the added length (10'6" long), increased stability, and carrying capacity. We float some rivers with some technical pocket water/boulders and I'm wondering if the raft portion 'U' style end of the X5 will be ok in this application, or a hinderance, compared to a similar sized pontoon boat like say the Scadden Skykomish Sunrise for example (where you would have a channel between the pontoons). He was considering just maybe buying the 'toons which is an option and using his existing frame on his Madison River on either the X5 U style toon or a set of toons like the Skykomish toons as an example. Thoughts?
  2. Personal preference when it comes to boats. Easy enough to just buy some 10 or 11' pontoons and use the existing frame. The U style end won't cause any problems floating white water if that is a concern.
  3. It's not overall whitewater performance that concerns me about the X5 - I'm just wondering how it would fair in technical pocket water compared to a traditional pontoon boat. Would it be ok, or would the toons have a bigger advantage here?
  4. The shape won't affect it. the rocker will
  5. I have a set of the Scadden 12' tubes that I'd consider selling at a fair used price. For should be perfect on the current frame. U shape had load carrying benefit, and rocker keeps it nimble.
  6. The increased surface area will make him float higher and draft less but one of the nice things about pontoons in technical, shallow water is being able to float over/straddle rocks, which you won't do as easily in a raft or the X5. However, the shallower draft could also make it float right over rocks that pontoons hang up on so it really depends on the rivers you're floating.

    As for buying bigger pontoons, he'll have to be careful to make sure the radius of the frame fits the new pontoons. A frame meant to fit 15-16" diameter pontoons may not fit 18-20" correctly so be sure to try his frame on your PAC1100 before splurging on bigger tubes. Keep in mind, if he starts running technical, heavy whitewater though, that Madison frame is shorter and narrower than your PAC frame and hence even on bigger tubes, a narrower frame will result in a less stable boat. Plus, the frame is not as burly as the frame on your 1100 or real whitewater frames so in the end, he may find he'd be happier with a whole new boat from the get-go if he wants to start running serious water. For more casual but rocky rivers, it should be ok though.
    SpeyFitter and Ed Call like this.
  7. Freestone make a great point on the straddle move. One I use often with the rockered rear of the Scadden, unless really heavily loaded.

  8. What you say about being able to straddle rocks was what I was thinking, but I wanted to hear from real world users and gather some opinions is why I asked. I think some increased pontoon surface area over his 9 foot Madison River would help him in general with longer toons or the X5 toons to help distribute his weight more evenly, have better draft (not sink as far into the water), more stability, etc.

    The thought of trying my toons on his frame crossed my mind. His frame however is comparable to mine in both width and sturdiness I'd say or close, at least as far as the seat/mount is concerned, BUT, the thing his frame lacks is his rear deck is not integrated into his frame like mine so he loses a bit of sturdiness/stiffness that way - his rear deck is a separate piece with separate D ring mounts but mine is part of the frame which is a better design in my opinion as it adds more effective cross members to help reduce overall torque of the toons on the frame as you move through water. Also, his seat seems to sit slightly lower than mind like for like (regardless of pontoon diameter) to the point it's almost in the water.
  9. Just to give you guys an idea of the water I'm talking about, this is a drift we did yesterday on the Chilliwack River from Tamihi down (some of you may know about the Tamihi rapids - they are well known up here - when the river is low they are a litle easier to deal with, but still technical boulder strewn pocket water at times with some waves mixed in) that he took with his waterproof digital camera with a Scotty camera mount on his 9' Madison River pontoon. The guy in the Green Outcast with Red PFD that he has some slo mo of is me in my Pac 1100. Towards the end of the video, around the 3+ minute mark, he hits a hole. You can tell he hits a hole because the camera goes into the sky and he stops moving. Luckily he got out unscathed. He basically plunged into the hole, and the hole stopped him and then the rear plunge of the water started pushing down on the rear of his toons causing him to pop a wheelie. I was a bit concerned when I saw it but I didn't have time to react as I had some technical water in front of me I had to turn and concentrate on. Part of it also was he was slightly misloaded - he was back heavy a bit which didn't help. I try and bias my frame relative to my toons so I am slightly forward heavy. I was taught this by a whitewater guide who said to slightly bias your you so you are more front heavy than back heavy which helps when pushing through big waves as long as you square up to them.

    Have a look
  10. Here is the video I took - I know my body blocks it off a bit - I've been slowly evolving my camera mount system, but you get a good perspective of my actions relative to what is in front of me :

    I think Cataract Oars/Advance Composites might like the video? You can up the quality to 720 P as well if you are so inclined.
  11. I Have not float the rivers you are talking so have no experience to offer. As an X5 owner I can offer some of what I have experienced. The U shape is more secure and stable than two individual toons. It tracks straighter.
    As for the enclosed back area, I have been on white water (although Stillwater) and the waves "will" hit the back area. It can slow you down and even get you wet.
    Hope this helps. Oh and the frame on the Madison and the Sky are the X5 frame, hence, the name of the U boat.
  12. Blue I appreciate the time you took to offer some input. Can you tell me what you mean when you say the U shape is more "secure" than a set of toons? There are lots of guys who run cat's and mini-cats (pontoons) while drifting whitewater rivers and they have specific advantages over rafts - most of which I understand, but it's a long debate you'll find on whitewater enthusiasts forums (the main ones as I understand it are less of the river's hydraulics/waves are able to act on the surface area of the craft over that of a raft, and the reduced surface area also helps some slow things down). The X5 is a pontoon on one end, and a raft on the other. The raft end I can see certainly offering benefits in carrying capacity as that's what rafts are good at over toons. Also, where does it "track straighter." Can it somehow defy current hydraulics and whitewater - all you have to do is just point it in the direction you want it to go? I would imagine it's straightness would be from the fact that when you inflate it and then sit a frame on it, the inflated portion should be fairly homogenous - (I used this term connotatively - I mean there aren't really any variables that can influence how the toons sit) where as a toon can track slightly differently if you don't pay careful attention to strapping the toons to the frame the same as each other, having them oriented the same, etc.

    You can clearly see in the two videos shown that we are floating down some technical boulder strewn pocket water. Would the Raft end of the X5 be a pitfall or hinderance in this application, or would it offer some form of benefit, or effectively be neutral?

  13. For me to talk the big white water rafts versus a pontoon is like using a Cresent wrench versus closed end wrenches, they both do the job, but one much better. Never floating your rivers, I would look for Large diameter pontoons and no less than 10' plus a lot of training on my end for my first try then take it from there. I would also prefer the closed end.
    By more secure, you have six straps holding the frame on the U pontoon, no chance of loosing or having one side come loose. We use to run the two pontoon boats and this happened to my partner. His pontoon slid out from under the frame. The waves were 4' high, but he was close to shore at the time. Managed to make it in one piece loosing just a custom made net.
    When I made the first transition from a 11 ft 12" diameter pontoons to the X5, I was not convinced I made the right move. But it didn't take long. On the Cardiac when the wind kicked up, the boat wanted to turn side ways into the wind. The U shape didn't. I don't know if it is the flexing of the individual toon or what, just my experience.
    I have had several U shaped boats so this is not a isolated experience.
    In this video at around :47 you notice the water hitting the joint and splashing up.

    For me, there was a noticeable difference between two pontoons and the U and I will never go back.
  14. I have yet to personally have issues with, or hear of others with issues with, with pontoons shifting or moving during river drifts. But then again I make sure my straps are tight and my straps are not sh*t straps!

    Also, comparing a Large Raft to a Smaller length Pontoon boat is not a fair comparison and not where I was going. I'm talking about similar length craft - For example a 14' Cataraft has performance attributes that differ than that of a 14' raft. One is not necessarily better than the other, they are purpose built craft for certain applications with specific benefits over each other depending on what the end user is looking for. If Catarafts in whitewater applications were inferior to rafts, no one would buy them. I mean why would someone want to buy a craft with way less carrying capacity - both people, and gear, than a raft, or attempt to outfit it almost like a raft, if it didn't have specific benefits over a raft?

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