The troubles of a deflating Pontoon

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Scott Keith, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. Scott Keith

    Scott Keith Member

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    Took a long drive up to pass lake on Saturday to try my hand at some big fish. I loaded up my costco pontoon into my subaru. It was their first meeting as previously a Mustang had escorted around my outfitter 300. Everything fit fine and I was excited about the day. When I got to pass I was pleased to see there were only 2 other people out on the water. I unloaded my 'toon and started the arduous task of piecing it together. Finally it was done and I was ready to don my leaky waders. I noticed that one of the sides was a little underinflated. I was sure that I had inflated it enough and began to get a bit worried. I pumped her back up and then went back to my waders. I saw a few decent fish cruising the shallows by the boat launch and thought it would be a good idea to do some fishing to them while I wait to see if my pontoon is going to hold any air.

    After about 10 minutes I inspected my craft and noticed, once again that the right side was a tad deflated. I unstrapped the pontoon from the frame and took it into the water to try and find the source of the deflation. When I brought it out of the water I could hear gurgling by a seam near one of the webbing straps. I deflated the pontoon and pulled the inner bladder out. I quickly found a 1/4" long cut. I looked at the outer skin and noticed on the inside the webbing straps were mighty rough and not covered over with anything. The hole was in the exact spot where the corner of the webbing was. I patched the hole, and completely ignored the "wait 4 hours for patch to cure". Wouldn't the bladder hold the patch in place when it was inflated up to the outer skin??? right??? good thinking???

    It wasn't... I had rowed to the far end of the lake when I saw that my right pontoon was barely above water. "This was it," I thought to myself. I rowed back as fast as I could, only stopping a couple times to put more line out. (the fish were holding deep...) I made it back to dry land. I'm glad my 'toon has 2 bladders in each side. The moral of the story is if you have a pontoon take out your inner bladders and make sure the out bladder is nice and smooth on the inside. I'm going to finish mine with some duct tape.

    Scott
     
  2. papafsh

    papafsh Piscatorial predilection

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    You are a true fly fisherman, my friend, Kudos!:thumb:

    LB
     
  3. flyslinger

    flyslinger tweakers are bad, m'kay

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    Ahhh... duct tape, sweet memories. Here's one: Last summer I took my old worn-out REI pontoon out to Lake Wa. for some Sockeyes. While the bladder was intact, the outer seams had popped open so I busted out the silver 100 mph tape and wrapped the hell out of it, kind of like a sports bra holding in a bladder boob. It actually worked like a champ, but I was a little nervous seeing 200 feet on the depth finder. I had skipped the waders just in case, and got water-tight bags for anything electronic. The funny part was when I was heading back and it was getting pretty dark, the boat cops were telling us to hurry up (no lights) over their bullhorn. When I was just about in, the cops came by again and said quite loudly "nice duct tape", and that was it. I finally sprung for a new one, and I got a life vest.
    Whoever invented duct tape is a real man of genius.
    Eric
     
  4. Jason Baker

    Jason Baker Member

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  5. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I almost bought one of these this summer thank's for the heads up on the webbing. If they are still around next year I will get one and fix the webbing with Duct Tape.

    Jim
     
  6. Scott Keith

    Scott Keith Member

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    I really have no complaints about the pontoon other then the lack of finishing on the inside. the frame is a little on the heavy side, but since I usually drive in to where I fish I don't have a problem with it. If I need to pack something in somewhere it will be my float tube.
     

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