Pontoon Boats: Most Bang For The Bucks?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by ceviche, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Wally New Member

    Posts: 33
    Lynnwood, Washington.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I agree it does depen on what you are planning to use it for. If you are looking for one that is river rated and does great on lakes you should check out water skeeter. If you and a buddy are both getting a boat there newest version of the "River Tamer" has the ability to hook up with another river tamer so one can fish while the other guides down the river.
  2. Oneweight Member

    Posts: 251
    Seattle, Washington.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Seems it hasn't been brought up yet but how do you also intend to transport the boat? I have an SUV for my PAC 800 and it goes fine on the top or broken down inside.

    Jerry can better attest to this but it is my understanding that the Steelheaders by Skookum are rather large and warrant a trailer of some sort. Please confirm if I'm wrong.

    Just thought the transportation thing is another key to remember.

    1wt
  3. luv2fly2 Active Member

    Posts: 1,569
    .othello
    Ratings: +29 / 0
    the watermaster weighs only about 26 lbs. that is about half a pontoon. it also fits in a bag with straps for backpacking. the big disadvantage is it has no anchor system. also if you are oaring into the wind you will get wet. it costs about $1000. i paid $500 about 10 years ago. it is not worth more than 500. abel copied it with one minor change and they want $1200 which compares to paying $695 for a fly rod. hope this helps.
  4. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,688
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +651 / 5
    Ah, no. Only the BIG ones should use a trailer (they have 14' steelheaders). But the 9' boats are same size/width as outcasts and the likes. But, all of these boats can be broke down and put into back of a vehicle (my old steelheader fit in the trunk of my old Mercury Comet taken down lol). What's easy to do if you have a smaller SUV, is to just deflate the tubes still attached. Then pull out when you get to the river and pump up. Only the bigger boats (steelheader II/III which are 12 and 14') need to possibly be trailered. But hey, I put my 16' Aire custom cataraft on the roof of my full sized blazer. lol. I should post pics of it.
  5. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,095
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +562 / 0
    I just bought an OUTCAST PAC 900 yesterday from WATERS WEST in Port Angeles. He has a new shop in Gardner (25 miles from the Hood Canal Bridge). Sale for $899.00!!!! Last years model I believe. 1300 Denier.
  6. ral Rich Layendecker

    Posts: 199
    .Redmond WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I will share my experience. I have a boat with 8 ft pontoons and have used it on the Sky, the Skagit, the Yakima, other rivers and many lakes. I would advise against 7 ft pontoons for rivers. A prime consideration is how will you transport & store it? Mine fits INSIDE my Explorer SUV with the rear seat down and some air let out of the tubes. Very convenient being inside for both security and avoiding lifting it on top. I worried about the ability to take it apart quickly since it uses nuts and bolts and no quick release. I doubt I take it apart twice a year and then only we we want to put three boats into the back of the Explorer. Since I never take it apart storage is easy: it hangs on a couple of 2x4s sticking out of the garage wall. Just lift it off the wall and slide it into the back of the SUV.
  7. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,688
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +651 / 5
    I will add this since Ral brought it up. If you have a take down frame, you would be best advised to take it apart a few times a year and treat the seams with bag balm or similar type solvent. Especially on a steel type frame. If you don't, the time you will want to take your frame apart, it will NOT come apart. I think I took mine apart at least 7 times a year and rewaxed up the connecting pieces. If by chance you have a boat that uses bolts, check and see if you can use quick release tabs to replace them. Like the pins people use on their trailer hitches and the likes. If they work, substitute them. They work great and with the rounded piece that swings around helps lock it down. So no worries about it popping off. But this is ONLY if you have a takedown frame and plan to pull it apart. I've seen guys who have literally WELDED their tubes together on their frames from dirt, grit, and rust on some frames from leaving them put together. Especially wet. Just an FYI for those out there with takedown frames. Even aluminum can do this, so just a warning. That grit can act like cement over time.
  8. ZugBug Member

    Posts: 213
    Castle Rock, Colorado
    Ratings: +0 / 0
  9. backcast Born To Flyfish

    Posts: 23
    Powell, Ohio
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Versa Vessel-Great

    I own a pontoon boat made by "Outdoor Engineering" it's called a "Versa Vessel".... I looked at a lot of them before I bought it.. Some I saw were nothing more than a glorified kick boat. I can truley say that it is of the highest quality... I am surprised that they have not become main stream yet....
  10. Jason Trout Bum

    Posts: 666
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You are about 4 years behind the times there backcast :thumb:
  11. Derek Day Rockyday

    Posts: 567
    Olympia
    Ratings: +146 / 0
    I would keep an eye out for used boats on craigslist. I picked up a used steelheader for $600. And I can transport my steelheader in/on my forester, no trailer needed.
  12. clarkbre Member

    Posts: 49
    Everett, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'll 2nd that idea about Craigslist. I just picked up an 8' Bear (about 5 years old) for about $100. It came with a duffle bag and an aftermarket pump. I figure for the money I can't go wrong. It's just too bad the weather's so cold. I wanna get it out on the lake.

    My big question is, do any of you guys tie them down to your Yakima roof racks? I've got a Subaru sedan and I'd really rather not take down/set up every time I go out.
  13. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,454
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,574 / 0
    Clarkbre,

    I don't, but I've seen 'toons lashed to the roofs of many cars, trucks, and even a rag-top Jeep. Shouldn't be a problem, but the wind drag will take your fuel mileage down a scoosh.

    Sg
  14. clarkbre Member

    Posts: 49
    Everett, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I figured that much about the gas mileage. I think my only other options would be to purchase a small utility trailer. As I'm trying to do this on a budget I think the trailer can wait. I was very impressed to see how small the pontoons pack down. i can always just strap the frame on the rack and put the pontoons in the trunk for a long haul.
  15. backcast Born To Flyfish

    Posts: 23
    Powell, Ohio
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Your right as when I bought mine there wasn't much out there.... Acually I would love to sell it as we do more fishing out of fishing kayak now.... now I I can paddle back up steam to get back to the ones I passed over....
  16. MasterAnglerTaylor Member

    Posts: 749
    Poulsbo/Pullman, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I strap my 9' creek company classic to top of my focus hatchback....inflated. It works. I wouldnt go more then like 20 miles with it like that. Went to eastern washington and just strapped 2 pontoon frames on top of car ( with little padding on contact points of frame and car). Didnt move even at 100. Just folded pontoons and put in car.
  17. Tony Mull Member

    Posts: 832
    Lake Stevens, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    i strap mine on top of the tacoma all the time. best to use nylon straps for the front but bungies work fine for the back. Make sure the seat faces to the rear. Haven't even noticed a drag on fuel economy. Never had a strap come lose or break. Make sure to let some air out when traveling though mountain passes. I commonly drive 70-80 mph and I've carried pontoons like this for thousands of miles. I have a Yakima rack on my truck.
  18. Mike (Doc) LaCombe Member

    Posts: 417
    Port Orchard, WA
    Ratings: +11 / 0
    I cant recommend a boat, but I can tell you what not to get. A couple years ago I bought a TU Colorado 9. I used it for about 5 months before one of the pontoons sprung a leak in the seam. The distributor, Classic Accessories, have replaced the bladders three times and now the new right bladder has sprung a leak in the seam on the first trip out. I am waiting to hear back from Classic Accessories. I have to say they have been very nice, but it is clear to me there must be a problem at the factory.

    So I recommend you stay away from this boat.

    Mike
  19. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,688
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +651 / 5
    Yes, you can easily strap down your pontoons to the roof. But like someone said, the drag is outrageous. If you have a smaller vehicle, be prepared to lose some MPG, and will feel your vehicle being pulled a bit. But if you're already towing a travel trailer behind you, this is an awesome way to go (and you don't need a trailer). And yes, you can put a bigger toon on the top. Take a look at this.
    [IMG]
    This was my old 16' cataraft. I loaded and unloaded this boat by myself. I don't have the blazer or the boat anymore. But this was a combo I used when I would bring my old travel trailer with me. Worked like a charm. BUT, when I'd do my long distance driving, I'd deflate tubes and put in the back of the blazer or in the trailer. No drag with just the frame up there. But when I got to where I wanted to fish. I'd put the boat together and toss on the roof. And, I would do this with my steelheader too. In fact, had a steelheader and an outcast up on top of that roof at the same time. Worked great.
  20. djzaro New Member

    Posts: 218
    gone, bs
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Go for the longest potoon you can transport. Just a foot matter quite a bit. I have owned several boats and I always get a kick out of how frustrated someone on an 8' gets when he has to work so hard to keep up with a 9'. Just one foot saves you alot of energy rowing the river. My fav is the fish cat 9'. Easy to transport, cheap and will last forever.