Pontoons for dummies

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by atomic dog, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. atomic dog Jive Turkey

    Posts: 488
    Pasco
    Ratings: +318 / 0
    A recent birthday has resulted in my posessing a new pontoon boat. It's a Buck's Bags High Adventure 9'. Should be plenty of boat for what I want to do. I've never used or owned a pontoon before so I have a couple questions.

    It has an anchor system, what type and how heavy an anchor do I need? Is there a certain type of rope that is best for anchors?

    I'll be mainly using this for lake fishing, but I would like to take it on some mellow river floats if I get the chance. I'm already trying to figure out how I might be able to float the lower Yak around here and chase down some smallies. It's pretty flat around here, so I don't see that as an issue. Are there sections up in the canyon on the Yakima where this particular boat could handle?

    I'm hoping to get up to Hutchinson Lake this weekend to break it in with some bluegill fishing.

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  2. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,341
    .
    Ratings: +1,177 / 0
    It should make a great boat to use on the lower Yak for smallies! It will open up launches/take-outs like Twin Bridges to you vs a bigger boat. I think Red's has a pontoon boat class coming up on the Yak. It might be worth a drive up to the canyon to take the class. In general, I never anchor my pontoon in current. I use the anchor in lakes and to keep it on the shore of rivers when I get off to wade fish. Most of the time in rivers, I just drag the boat up the beach so I leave the anchor home 90% of the time. It is extra weight, just one more thing to deal with and can turn into a huge safety hazard on moving water. If you use an anchor, be sure to have a river knife handy at all times in case you need to cut the rope.

    I use braided line of a diameter that will fit the pulley and cleats and a 5 lb anchor. Some people go bigger but I have rarely needed to (the way I use mine). And, if you don't have one already, I'd recommend buying a good fitting pfd as it is required that you have a pfd onboard. I like one with a lash tab for the river knife I mentioned above as I always wear the pfd on moving water. Oh, and make sure you put a whistle on the pfd (or other sound-making device like an air horn) or on some waters, you could face a big fine. Have fun and Happy Birthday!
  3. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,144
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    WOW! Nice ride! I wish my first would have been a Bucks...oh wait, it was...LOL And still going strong.
    Just remember to row backwards is much easier and more productive. Wear fins even with the oars (stillwater that is) for hands free fishing. Don't transport it fully inflated either . If you find you get to a high mountain lake or river and it feels hard, put it in the water while you get ready, then check air again. And I am a big believer in an air gauge, specially of two separate pontoons. Like a car, equal air makes for a nicer ride.
  4. psycho Active Member

    Posts: 337
    B.C. Canada
    Ratings: +132 / 0
    I used looped half inch chain for my river anchor, about six or seven pounds worth. I have never had it hang up. I have a 10.5 foot Scadden Skykomish sunrise H2O.
    Mike (Doc) LaCombe likes this.
  5. bkerbs Member

    Posts: 188
    seattle,washington
    Ratings: +22 / 0
    I have asimilar boat with a ten pound anchor attached to my anchor rope with a Clevis. This set up works well for me. I can leave my anchor rope on the boat and remove the anchor during transportation to and from fishing.
  6. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    Nice looking boat. It should be perfect for the upper sections of the Yak too. Have fun at Hutchinson, and give us a report on the bluegil situation when you get back.
  7. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,403
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,359 / 9
    Many good points on getting to know that craft. Temp and elevation changes can burst overinflated tubes and ruin your outing. Find a floating buddy and have fun. Anchor can be a mesh bag that you fill with rocks. Anchor in moving water only if you could stand and wade in the same spot, otherwise pull to shore and be safe there. PFD! Nice first toon!
  8. dfg Member

    Posts: 89
    Redmond, WA
    Ratings: +20 / 0
    I went to a thrift shop, bought a few used barbell weights, and used a long eye bolt to secure them together - a simple anchor for about $5. For anchor line, go with non-stretch in the largest diameter that fits the sheaves. You can find really cheap stuff (meant both ways) at Harbor Freight.

    I have a similar Buck's Bags 'toon, and one run on the Yak was all I needed to demonstrate the power of the current - even thought the flow was low to moderate. Be safe and good luck!