Point me in the right direction for a 2 person pontoon please.

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Jeremy Floyd, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,557
    Quesnel, BC
    Ratings: +318 / 0
    I have never been in a two person pontoon so I really have no expertise in this area so I came to the group of guys I can trust. This would be a spring time purchase so I have a while to price shop and look around.

    I have come to the realization that a pontoon is a lot easier to transport around than my drift boat. Plus I can take the pontoon on top of the drift boat and have two vessels for extra people or so we can cover a couple of different drifts in one day when several buddies want to come along for those umpqua or john day multi day trips.

    I want to be able to take my wife, who just started her flyfishing journey this summer after her three year tenure as a drift boat rower and occasional fish reeler-inner (which was completely her choice) for the past couple of years, or my 4 or 6 yr old out on the water with me.

    Most importantly I want a safe product because my children will spend time on it with me. I am looking for one that is reliable. I dont want some cheapo that is marginal. I would rather pay more for a company that stands behind their product.

    Thanks for the responses.
  2. NewFlyLady New Member

    Posts: 200
    Roseville, CA & Cameron, MT
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    We have an Outcast 1200 2 man and the quality is excellent with a great warranty. I talked to other that have gone with cheaper models but they are not as comfortable with the seating. I would never take a a younger child out on a two man pontoon boat though. There is just too much chance for them to fall out. Even with the stability of the Outcast I still would not chance it. Just my opinion.
  3. Tony Mull Member

    Posts: 832
    Lake Stevens, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Take a look at the waterskeeter guide pro 2. After a lot of research it was my choice of those i considered. dave scadden puts out a two man also which would warrant a look. Outcast and Bucks are other possibilities and offer a high rise seat in front. Otherwise you can step up to cat's but you'll step way up in price also. There's a guy in Tukwila who custom builds and actually seems pretty reasonable on prices. Creek company also makes a 2 man but I'd be leery of it on a river. The other four all run 2000-2600 with probably not much real difference in quality but with different features that would make one or the other your preference.
  4. BertBrehm Two hands, baby.

    Posts: 28
    Fort Washington, MD
    Ratings: +0 / 0
  5. Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

    Posts: 3,729
    Doo-vall
    Ratings: +422 / 0
    Might also take a look at the 2-man Watermaster Kodiak.
  6. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,483
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +786 / 0
    After doing some research, I bought a used Outcast 1200 last spring. My wife found it for sale on the web from a fly shop in Montana that buys them at wholesale for guiding or to rent each summer and sells them at the end of the year for what they paid for them; it was in fine shape and saved a bunch of money. I've only used it a few times so far, but I like how it handles and it seems very well made and stable.
  7. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,337
    .
    Ratings: +1,172 / 0
    I also love my Outast 1200. Great quality and exceptional service. Most fishing cats aren't in the same league as ww cats but in this case it's only the frame that isn't; the 'Outcast' tubes are actually Aire Wildcat tubes. I have a NRS frame to use on the tubes for whitewater.

    With the price of gas, I really like that I can haul it with my Saturn. The frame goes on my Yakima racks (tied down well with cam straps) and the deflated tubes go in the car. For short shuttles, I put the whole thing up on the racks. It's not as comfortable as drift boat to fish from but it's more fun to row and way more portable. I agree with NewFlyLady though, I'd be careful with little kids; you might look at getting a mesh or hard floor for it if you really want to take them.
  8. cnaka New member

    Posts: 56
    Seattle
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I'm also looking for a 2-man something. I say something because I started looking at catarafts, but am now thinking of a fishing raft. I've talked to Skookum and to Swiftwatersports in Seattle. A raft seems to hold more and you can drop things without worry. I also want to take a dog, which will probably have an easier time on the raft. Downside: probably a little more bulky. Dunno. May be some one else has experience with both catarafts and fishing rafts and can chime in. I'll probably rent a fishing raft from Swiftwater next week to see how I like it.
  9. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,557
    Quesnel, BC
    Ratings: +318 / 0
    Wow I cant belive that a lot of these cost more than my alumaweld drift boat.

    Can you just buy the pontoons? I have a shop and a TIG w/ spool gun. I bet I could make a great frame out of the diamond shaped aluminum tubing.
  10. halcyon Hallelujah, I'm a Bum!!!

    Posts: 491
    Vancouver, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    My preferred pontoon boat maker is Dave Scaden Northfork Outdoors http://www.northforkoutdoors.com/. But no matter who you choose if you are going to purchase in the spring I would strongly suggest you go to the fly fishing shows in the early part of the new year in Bellevue, Portland, etc. as the pontoon boat makers come to many of these and they usually offer show specials which can save you several hundreds of dollars.

    Regards,
  11. FLGator Member

    Posts: 646
    PNW
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I highly recommend you try one BEFORE you buy one.

    I borrowed a friends Outcast and was able to float and fish two different rivers using two different methods for steelhead and trout. We used the boat for river transportation steelheading and for float fishing for trout. Personally, I found that it didn't work well for either application. Getting in and out of the rower's compartment was not convenient at all and fishing from the rowing seat was about impossible.

    If you're set on a two person pontoon type craft I'd recommend you take a look at some whitewater pontoons and then have a custom made rowing frame with solid flooring built for your application.
  12. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    design is everything about cats. the commercially built ones that folks like NRS carry are designed for the white water folks. they are extremely wide and carry huge tubes because most of the users do multiday trips.

    i worked with an established frame builder and the originator of plastic welding for the tubes. my cat is only 58" wide, has two frames which can be used together or not, has a mesh floor 'cause i am always dropping stuff, tractor seat for rowing, mesh bags here and there for stuff, an aluminum dry box, place for an 80qt cooler, anchor system and so on.

    with one frame attached, i can, at 65yoa, lift the boat on to the yakima rack on my 4wheel drive PU! but i keep it on a small utility trailer because its more convenient.

    having had drift boats, this cat, like any boat, is a compromise. if you really like to fish out of the boat, a cat is not the answer for you. if your prefered method is to use the cat for transport, unass, and wade, this should be seriously considered. if space is an issue, the cat wins hands down.

    a raft is really the freighlliner of floating craft. it's carrying capacity is HUGE, way more than any driftboat out there. they are slow to handle, require slightly different rowing techiniques but will haul everything including the kitchen sink. they are equally difficult to fish from as the cat but lots of people like them as 'dual purpose' boats doing long multiday floats in the summer and using them for winter fishing, pretty versatile.

    if you are in small rocky rivers, think of the sol duc, the cat will win hands down day after day, followed by the raft. if the waters you enjoy are wide open, then so are the choices. without a question, the cat has less carrying capacity, but is the ferrari of downstream bound floating devices.

    BTW, my cat, custom built, was WAY less than what you see from folks like NRS. shop around and do some talking, there are some quality frame builders out there who have been around for decades. or, if you have a hydralic tube bender, you might want to do your own. aluminum only wins in LARGE diameter tubing. steel tubing at 1.25 is what you will see instead of 3.5 aluminum, that is the trade off.

    boats like those from outcast are great if you are intersted in the soft waters of MT or the like. if you are getting into harry hydralics, then think again. a cat, raft or DB should take precidence at the point the difficulty of the water increases.

    take your time, learn about the choices and make an informed purchase.
  13. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,544
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +714 / 2
    GT, won't a cat such as a 12' Steelheader draft a little more water than say a Super Puma? Just curious what you think about that.
  14. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    carry capacity has to do with tube diameter. larger tubes are typically used to increase carrying capacity. i really don't know how much deeper in the water my 20" tubes sit as compared to say 24" tubes, but its probably not very much. now if you are trying to load up for a 5 day drift, my boat will NOT work very well at all, too narrow, tubes too small. that is why serious thought needs to be given to where and how a boat is going to be used. that is also the reason many folks opt for a raft. a 12' raft is going to have way more carrying capacity than my 12' cat, way more.

    my needs were/are for an easy to handle, easy to store, lighter weight inflatable. my fishing style is to use the boat for transport only. i don't side drift, i don't back bounce, i don't use plugs. so my needs are obviously a comprimise to what i like to do. of course, my thinkng is not universal at all. thats why you should think through how, where and why you are fishing before you invest in something like this.

    but, shop!!!!!!!! talk with established frame builders, they have really great ideas of how to improve on designs. also keep in mind there are very few domestic tube builders. perhaps the best discussion on tubes can be found at JPWINC.COM under the FAQs section. it is interesting reading and you should digest this information before you write that check.
  15. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,557
    Quesnel, BC
    Ratings: +318 / 0
    I am not planning on going huge with the pontoon boat. I already have a 16' drift boat which is used for most big water and longer river trips. I would like a boat though that I dont need river access to launch. Being able to carry/drag it 50 yards from the road would be what I am looking for.

    I just thought that a nice 2 person raft would be good in lakes or whatever so I could take jr along and he could fish too without having to use the boat launch or tow a trailer etc..
  16. EJO Member

    Posts: 31
    Mount Vernon, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Try the NRS website. There are always rafts and catarafts for sale either new or used
  17. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,471
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,610 / 0
    Since you already have a driftboat, I'd second the suggestion that you take a look at that Kodiak Watermaster, set up for two. Tough to beat a Watermaster for launch/retrieval where there is no formal riverside access for launching.