Pontoon Modifications

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Ed Call, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,357
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,324 / 9
    Jerry, this one is a Fish Cat Panther. Dual tunes on both sides with not much rocker. It likely will track well and be more stable than a fully rockered pontoon with 20 or more inches of tip rise. All I'm able to do is compare it to my 8' boat that I just sold. That one was a blast, handled great but had a lot of rocker. I've straddled that one's seat and cast (not recommended of course). I can't afford much more than that. I know the shape of the tubes with minimal rocker will present some shortcomings in the rivers but so far my fishing has been more in lakes so there is a trade off. I'm also told it tracks well in the rivers but will take a bit more line setup and will drift a bit slower. I'll have to deal with that too but I'm excited to get a bit larger boat that still will be managable. Not sure what all I'll do to it, if anything, but I have visions.
  2. Jim Speaker Active Member

    Posts: 2,205
    Mill Creek, WA
    Ratings: +481 / 0
    I like the idea of it, and considering your current schedule you could use the home project. Do the slider, man, you must be able to get something like the hardware in the seat of a car so you could just slide that sucker back and -click- to reveal your grip-tape laden casting deck that you plant your feet in and deliver that cast. There are plenty of times fishing stillwater that the hatch comes off and you really want the advantage that (we all know) the added height gives us. Do it man.
  3. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,357
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,324 / 9
    Precisely what I'm thinking of using Jim. Know any good auto yards where I can get a car seat slider cheap? I just have to make sure that the range of motion to the rear is enough to expose a nice standing area. I'm thinking some sort of deck material covered with a real non skid instead of just strips. I do have strips right now but that would be a temporary thing. Maybe some diamond plate covered with a textured surface (normally that diamond plate stuff is slippery when wet in my opinion).

    Hell, maybe I'll mount the whole freaking seat. (that I'm not serious about, but it could be cozy, slide forward, back, recline...maybe even heated for winter lake trips)
  4. Jim Speaker Active Member

    Posts: 2,205
    Mill Creek, WA
    Ratings: +481 / 0
    Ah, pleather and lake fishing... hehe.
  5. Frank R Member

    Posts: 110
    Dearborn, Michigan
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I was thinking about something similar last summer when I came across an ad on Craigslist from a guy who was selling a couple of pontoons. The pictures explain it all. Note that he is sitting and not standing. I emailed the guy and he said he used them for years. He had done it to a 7 ft pontoon and a 9 ft pontoon and he recommended it only for the 9 ft.

    Covering the plywood with boat carpet would be an improvement.

    I have not tried this myself as I am awaiting delivery of my Northfork Madison.

    Attached Files:

  6. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,357
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,324 / 9
    Frank R, I have seen similar mods and have deduced that I like parts of several that I've seen. I saw one with a raised seat that made rowing or a motor the only practical mode of moving. I prefer a lower seat to allow myself to kick (fatty has to get some exercise). I saw one with a platform that pulled out from under the seat. That looked unstable and sketchy. I saw one with a platform that could be transported on the back then laid across the front and rest on the inside of the toons and atop the foot braces. That looked too cumbersome. I saw one with a hinged assembly on rear base of the seat that flipped up and rearward to expose a platform that basically formed the floor of the seat area. That appealed to me because of the ability to still kick, row or motor. What did not appeal to me was how the hell one would balance themselves while flipping that seat up and to the rear as they exit the seat and begin to use the platform. I resolved to find a way to make a platform that covers the seat base portion of the frame that allows the seat to slide to the rear (car seat or heavy duty drawer hinges) far enough to permit sliding back, then standing up without having to dance around the seat as it lifted. Right now that is what I'm thinking of. I totally agree that some sort of carpet or other traction aid must be on that deck for safety. My new boat is a 9'er so it just might work. I also like this idea because it puts my weight in same location as I would be if I were seated or standing, not standing on a normal casting platform in a location forward of the seated weight center of gravity. I have some heavy drawer hinges to try and will seek out a trashed vehicle for salvaging a seat slider. If I use the drawer hinges I have to bulid a locking mechanism into it to keep from sliding when not desired. The car slider works to do both if the range of motion is enough.
  7. Banzai FFing and VWs...Bugs & Bugs

    Posts: 786
    Bremerton, WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Mumbles,
    You've likely already considered this in your musings, but may I suggest that if adding a standing/casting platform to your craft you try to keep it close to the waterline. That is, closer to the center of buoyancy. This will enhance your stability. Consider kneeling in the bottom of a canoe vs standing on the gunwales. Drastic, but you get my point. This does in all probability complicate construction, but its an idea. On the sliding seat rails, check out the auto wrecking yard, Yank a Part, formerly known as Jim's on Stottlemeyer Rd. Should be able to score a seat in the $20 range. Give them a call for quote. FWIW, I used to own a Fishcat Cougar 8' quad tube (may no longer be in production) model I liked it a lot, but sold it to my fishing buddy to finance my 10' toon. More capacity for longer float trips like I'm planning for the upcoming Summer.
  8. Frank R Member

    Posts: 110
    Dearborn, Michigan
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Mumbles,
    Have you considered having a hinged seat and a casting rail? You could pull yourself up and then flip the seat back. The rail would help with both getting up and staying up.

    If I do build a platform for my Madison then I am thinking about installing it with the casting rail in the up position.
  9. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,357
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,324 / 9
    Frank, I was considering the lean bar, but I'm not sure that I'm sold on one yet. I've heard some are pretty wobbly. After my boat is actually here I'll do some measuring and compare to casting bars available from outcast, north fork and water skeeter. They and others sell them. I'd like to check one out first though.

    Banzai...great info. I'll pick your brain about your Panther and maybe that longer float trip that WE'RE taking this summer!:beer2: isn't 400 pounds enough? My 8' boat was probably a 325 to 350 pound capacity, so I'm going up one notch. I've seen some killer deals on 10' to 11' boats though...but I'm wondering if I'd ever really put one to proper use.
  10. AndreD Member

    Posts: 42
    Chico, N Cali
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have a 12' blackbear that has the standing platform that runs the length of the frame, about 60" or so, but isn't retractable. Its made for rowing only, no use of the fins. I haven't done this myself yet, but I want to make the front portion slide slide back to allow me to kick, although not sure how much effort is required to kick 12' tubes, btw, mine are pretty flat with just enough rocker at the ends and whitewater grade, like jerry d is talking about.

    Anyhow, not sure how that panther frame is built, but could you get 2 pieces of aluminum channel (like 6061, not the stuff from HD or lowes)long enough to cover the front area you want the casting deck and allow for the space when its stored under the seat and storage deck area? So like four to five feet for each side, mounted below the seat area maybe inline with your foot rest bars?? and mount his either by welding or fasteners. 1/2" marine ply should be strong enough between the width of your frame, but will definitely add weight. Alum diamond plate would be a little lighter, but more expensive. You could also consider marine flooring made from plastic composites, I think its called Starboard or something.

    The board should be cut to the length to cover the front portion and should be able to slide back in the channels to the rear when you want it out of the way. I would drill a few holes along the top of the channel and through the board on each side to use quick pins to keep it in place.
  11. colton rogers wishin' i was fishin'

    Posts: 874
    gig harbor, washington
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    mumbles, i think you should test your boat and see where it floats when your sitting and how much room is left under the seat and side to side. you will also need to look over all the places you can mount it and how your going to mount it. but when it does arrive best of luck and i hope you don't fall in!
  12. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,357
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,324 / 9
    Some crappy scans of color printouts. Sorry I could not find jpg photos. I think that the entire deck area can be covered with marine plywood (I already have a piece that should do nicely). To that I'll likely recess a pair of grooves to accept the slider tracks. The rear deck area is slightly larger than the seat base area so the seat should be able to slide fully to the rear allowing me to stand on the marine plywood deck beneath the seat.

    Again for stillwater applications only! I'm a fool, but not suicidal. The following statements are in comparison to my previous 8' round rockered pontoon boat: This boat is 1' longer but also has way less rocker and the channel between the dual pontoons. The pontoons have far less rocker and are 6" lower top to bottom. The width of this boat is greater by 6" or 8". These things make me think that it will be a bit more stable on the water.

    I'm picking it up in about one hour. After I get the family to bed I'm probably going to be doing a garage assembly mission. The wife may find me sitting in it in the morning.:D Anyway, I'm excited about it. It might take a while to get the platform made, I may never make it at all. I do hope that I can get a half day on the lake this weekend...have I been good? Is the honey do list caught up? I better check that out.

    Attached Files:

  13. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,357
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,324 / 9
    Colton, are you taking yours out this weekend? Maybe you could be around to pull me out if I fall in.
  14. troutangler Member

    Posts: 117
    S.E. WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Mumbles,

    My buddy has the same boat and I've used it a few times.
    It's very stable, tracks well, and is easier to row than mine (which is the higher profile big rocker style).
    You picked a good, for what you are planning to do with it.
    :thumb:

    Troutangler
  15. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,357
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,324 / 9
    Thanks troutangler, that is good to hear. Now that I have it at home and assembled I'm even more excited. The frame is much wider and longer than my previous boat's frame and seems quite burly. Some will remind me that it is still aluminum which is tougher to repair than steel, but I happen to know a retired gent who welds aluminum and steel, so if I get stupid or out of control and take a frame shot I am confident that he'll know just what to do. I'm also very impressed at improvements from my previous boat. I liked my other boat just fine and I hope its new owner does too, but man, this is nice. The overall width of the frame even has me more convinced that when I have the time to create it, a casting platform will fit nicely atop the entire seat base and cargo area. Rather than using the quick connect pins and clips I'll likely bolt my platform right through the connection points since I rarely disassemble my frame. Easier to row is good to hear too, I'm not great on the oars yet and hope to get a lot of practice and in time I can take it many more places confidently. Thanks.
  16. colton rogers wishin' i was fishin'

    Posts: 874
    gig harbor, washington
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    i probably wont be going out this weekend b/c i think im going to help my dad strip a wall [concrtete panels] and then serve food at night and strip agian on sunday unless he does that tommorow. but peninsula school district gives us a break called mid winter break and its a week long and its the 16th through the 21st so maybe ill get my parents to drop me somewhere for a couple days with a tent. mumbles does teal have a place to sleep? ;D
  17. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,357
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,324 / 9
    Colton, posted no overnight camping at Teal. Not sure how or if it is regulated. Not sure if you could put up a tent down one of the side trails in the woods. Why not take that new pontoon and float something? I have a slim chance at fishing on the 16th...maybe I get lucky and get some time and can run into you somewhere. I might get nothing, a few hours or the whole day. School and daycare are closed and the wife and I are both off work.
  18. SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    Posts: 1,827
    Roy, WA
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    congrats on your new toon Mumbles, I've heard pretty good things about the panther, I think that's the one you got.

    so, when are you installing the tuna tower?:rofl::rofl:
    just screwin' with ya. Actually, the toons on the Panther seem to have less rocker than the other Fish Cats...you might actually get away with it.
    I imagine you have her inflated by now, is there any rocker or are the toons flat on the bottom?
  19. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,357
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,324 / 9
    SS, curved up at the tip and tail but I'd say pretty flat for about 6-7' of running length as compared to the noticably rockered 8' boat I just sold.

    Tuna platform...mabye my 6' extention ladder would work. I could put a little bucket seat atop that one. Do you think a tuna on the hot run would be able to pull me off that ladder?
  20. SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    Posts: 1,827
    Roy, WA
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    naw, just grab one of the outriggers and push yourself back up.:rofl: