Scadden vs. Skookum 'toons - any opinions?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Kent Lufkin, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,022
    Not sure
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    I'm considering a larger pontoon, one large enough and capable of carrying enough food and gear for several days to a week on the river and in the $1,000 to $1,200 price range. I'd love to hear real-life experiences from those of you who've owned boats from either company, especially from any who've owned both.

    Thanks in advance,

    K
  2. Drewski New Member

    Posts: 23
    west side
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I owned a 10' skookum guide model until I sold it thinking that I wanted a drift boat (in order to be able to take friends who didn't have a toon). During the 4+ years that I had it I loved it. It was capable of carrying lots of gear, going down any river that I was willing or able, not to mention that they are very easy to row. Now that I don't have one, guess what? I want one more.

    All that being said, I would suggest a different route. Through some research and emails, I have verified that a couple of the major toon players in the northwest use Maxxon tubes manufactured in Kent. They do not sell directly, but they have confirmed that they do sell to other companies who in turn slap a frame on it and call it their own. My plan now is purchase a set of 10 toons (same as guide model) and go w/ a custom frame sometime this summer and save somewhere in the neighborhood of a grand.

    I am not trying to take away business from cataraft outfits as I always recieved top notch & first class service from them, its just that this time around I will be shopping for the boat on a budget. If you are interested in looking, simply google Maxxon tubes; check out their site and others who actually sell them and compare to what you see to some of the major pontoon manufacturer's websites. They are one in the same. I am just giving you some perspective from a former owner and once again buyer.

    Good Luck,
    Drew
  3. shawn k Member

    Posts: 697
    buckets worldwide
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    andy and bax in portland has some good pontoon packages using maxxon tubes. Maxxon is a german company and the tubes are made in china.
  4. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,176
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +157 / 2
    Who are Andy and Bax?

    I have googled Maxxon tubes every few months for the past year and have found very little info except for a few guys who make boats using these tubes. It seems like there is a lot of rumors surrounding the different cat makers and a lot of folks are vague in their answers. Maybe it is just me?:confused:
  5. Drewski New Member

    Posts: 23
    west side
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    I've emailed w/ their local sales guy. He is indeed located in Kent. The reason folks are vague is because they know that the price they charge is not justifiable given that you can buy a set of 10' toons for 600 bucks. One place on the net sells 9 footers complete w/ frame for I believe $829 & 10 footers for $929 or so. Andy & Bax is from what I can tell is a lot like a army surplus store that sells a bunch of stuff. They have a website, although the last time I looked they didn't have a whole lot of fishing catarafts.
  6. Drewski New Member

    Posts: 23
    west side
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    Not sure where the toons are actually manufactured but if you go to http://www.maxxon.us you can do your own research as to who makes what and what price you should pay.

    Just food for thought. :ray1:

    Drew
  7. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,563
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +564 / 5
    Hey Drewski, I see you found this board.

    Actually, prices are vague because it depends on what parts you put together and what you make them out of. Price changes depending on materials used, how much your frame builder charges, type of oars, oar locks, etc. Some buy cheapest grade material then powder coat them. Some buy cheapest knockoff oar locks they can forage. You can build a kit car and everyone pays the same price. But the engine you put in it, and misc components add up to more or less then the others. Being able to weld doesn't mean it's a great frame, you need to know how to build it and for what purpose you're building it. Some of the best frame makers/designers actually used boats before hand. So they know how to tweak them and build them correctly (not over or under building them). I know from my whitewater days, but guess where alot of the cost of your boats come from? Tubes? Nope, outfitting them. Since most boat companies don't build their boats anymore, they have middlemen they have to pay. They need to make a profit, so yes you'll pay more. It's not that hard to figure out. I know Bill used to make his own tubes, I was there when he was putting the final touches on my boat (but I had an original steelheader). Also saw other tubes being cut and made while I was there. I'm sure, like all companies, they outsource. I pretty much only make custom boats. Except for a couple outcasts and my original steelheader where my only "prebuilt boats". Have a custom wide frame on my steelheader 10' tubes.

    Now, if you are going to be custom building, why buy maxxons? If you're spending the money to build, buy the best tubes on the market (still stand by the steelheader being the best factory built boat out there built by a fishing company). Go get a set of SOTAR tubes (the coho) and build your boat. When I build my next couple boats (when, not sure) they'll be on SOTAR tubes. SOTAR does have their coho prebuilt boat. But has trampoline floors, I never cared for those except in whitewater purposes only (not that great with fishhooks lol).
  8. Drewski New Member

    Posts: 23
    west side
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Jerry,

    Good to hear from you. Why buy Maxxon's? Well it is my opinion that the tubes are what make these boats what they are; ie, skookums, bad cats, xstreams or whoever uses the Maxxon tubes. Those tubes were tanks and served me well not to mention that they are now realistically the industry standard here in the northwest for a fishing platform tube. Like I said earlier, the price point on these tubes are very nice, I really don't care to spend 1400-1500 bucks on just the tubes from Aire or Sotar or the like. I don't run crazy whitewater and never will; I simply want a decent set of tubes on a nicer frame.

    To be honest, Bill was & is a nice guy. He truly treated me w/ great customer service and I will tell that to anyone. The truth is though that even his frames are lack luster. Compare them to the bad cat frames and they are just less functional. It worked, but the frame was super heavy and I am a strong guy. The components that came w/ mine weren't all that great either. The oars were do I dare say removed off of a water skeeter? Not too big a deal to me as the first thing I did was to go out and buy new oar locks and cataract oars. So what I'm saying is that for all the loose ends I think it would be better for me this time around to do it my way.

    Take care,
    Drew
  9. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,563
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +564 / 5
    Well Drew, my question wasn't one for you to answer, it was more of a "if you're going custom, go balls to the wall". And now, it's not always the tubes that make the boat, it's a mixture of components. And since Maxxon is the makers now, they're mainstreamed and mass produced. Meaning they are the industry's baby since they produce in huge lots (and I'm assuming Korea or China) and make them cheaper to buy. If I'm going to build custom (which I have) I'm going to fork out for the best tubes out, which SOTAR is miles above. For the reasons you stated, they served you well, but a custom boat is just that, custom. A top notch frame on an industry standard set of tubes, not a top notch. Sotar's tubes are universal. It's not just a whitewater grade, it's a tough as nails tube. Watched a customed fishing framed 16' Sotar get dragged down Hwy 8 after it popped off the trailer. Had some road rash but wasn't leaking nor was the tubes really damaged. Plus they are great tubes for a boat (most outfitter tubes make excellent fishing tubes). I haven't priced them in awhile, but I have a friend who repped Sotar for awhile, so I can usually get deals from him. But a Sotar coho complete was around 1600 or so (and that's with Sawyer oars on it). The smaller tubes shouldn't be that bad of price, especially what you're getting. The only reason I have a "custom" frame on my 10' guide tubes, is I already had the custom frame built for my whitewater boats. Works perfectly for the tubes so attached it to that.

    Hmmmmm, interesting on Bill's frames. Wonder if he changed them? Haven't looked at them in a few years, but the one I had was heavy and whitewater grade. But that's the point of it. I could carry (and still can) my steelheader and guide models. But I lift 150# packages all day long, so a boat in that range isn't bad at all since it's distributed over a bigger area. I wonder if you got a last minute boat (or did he make you a deal on it?). My steelheaders came with heavy brass oar locks, and cataract magnum oars. Anchor system was marine grade pulleys with pretty cool clamps to attach them. I know he's friends with the Waterskeeter maker, and had a ton of their boats. I know he used to put the lower end carlisles with the boats (I wanted the upgrade), and the skeeter oars are just carlisles with waterskeeter stamped on them. I'll have to take a look at Bill's frames next time around. His were made to be able to break down and store but still run heavy rapids (which is what his boats are built for in the first place). Just curious, did you get the steelheader or the osprey? Osprey is a totally different boat, just same tubes. Why I said, tubes aren't the only thing that makes the boat. If you find a crappy frame maker your tubes aren't going to help you if your welds come apart on a simple run (have seen it happen actually).

    So Drew, what happened? You up and disappeared. Thought you gave up on fishing all together
  10. Dirk Pitt New Member

    Posts: 170
    Tenino, Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I looked at the Skookum boats a couple of years ago, the frames looked fairly well made, but I agree they looked "lackluster". I went with a custom frame so it could fish the way I wanted, but a steelheader frame would be a great start to your custom accessories. Problem I have is my fishing machine weighs a ton, no biggie on the water, but heaven help you if you need to lift it!lol. Bob.
  11. bhudda heffe'

    Posts: 1,929
    basement
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    Dirk, does your seat sit higher then normal, or is that the camera angle? if so whats the benefit?
  12. Great white hunter New Member

    Posts: 125
    ellensburg, wa, usa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    If im not mistaken, There is space to put a cooler under the seat ? Pins hold lower bars in place,removed the seat folds back to allow access to cooler
  13. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,021
    Seattle, WA, USA.
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    Sounds like a hassle, assuming a person can find someone to manufacture a frame, with probably little or no savings in costs.
  14. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,021
    Seattle, WA, USA.
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    Kent, service seems to be important to you. Simply, historically Scadden has not been known for its service, support, and quality of products.
  15. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,022
    Not sure
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    Thanks Richard. I was hoping someone would finally get around to mentioning Scadden. I had heard the same thing but wondered if it was an isolated instance.

    On Thursday I found and bought a used Skookum Osprey with 9' tubes. The paint on the frame's been chipped here and there but everything's in good condition otherwise. The boat came with the dog deck, wrapped Cataract Mini-Magnum oars with Oar Rites, a Scotty rod holder, and separate duffles for the hard and soft parts.

    K
  16. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,563
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +564 / 5
    I almost picked up an osprey frame as an extra. That's the big negative about them, I do believe they're painted, not powdercoated. I just wanted one to play with on lakes if I wanted to grab a pair of fins and screw around. Great that you found a boat though.

    Hey GWH, are you still building frames? My frame builders are gone (and one is building for a major outfitter now), and know a few guys interested in building frames in the near future. Could send them your way if they ask for plans.
  17. Great white hunter New Member

    Posts: 125
    ellensburg, wa, usa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    yes I am, I just dont advertise as I am not a sponsor here anymore
  18. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,563
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +564 / 5
    Oh, ok. When they get back to me, I'll forward them onto you. I haven't seen you around much on any board, so wasn't sure.
  19. Jon Borcherding New Member

    Posts: 535
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Love my Skookum. It's an Osprey frame on 10' tubes.
    Only one complaint. The oarlock bushings are plastic and they wear out pretty quick. This seems to be a common problem. I can't stand sloppy, noisy oarlocks so I'm having a set of silicon bronze bushings made by a buddy who owns a lathe.

    JonB