Too much weight for pontoon?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Nick A., Jan 18, 2006.

  1. Nick A.

    Nick A. New Member

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    I plan on taking a trip down the John day river in Oregon (5 Days) with 3 or 4 other pontoons in June 2006. I have a Pac 900, manufacture recomendes 400lbs is that including operators weight? Also has anybody put that many lbs or more in their pontoon and how did it ride? It is a shallow river at that time being around 500-1000 cfs. Just wondering how much extra beer i can bring LOL. Thanks in advance
     
  2. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Weight capacity is with person on it. Try NOT to exceed that, especially with those pontoons. I've actually maxed out the weight in all my pontoons. When a boat hits it's max, it will get more and more sluggish. That's where knowing how to read the slots you're coming into comes into play. You have to prep the boat for the run you want to take WELL before you get there. Plus, with alot of those "banana hulled" boats (all the outcasts, bucks, etc) they will row and handle MUCH worse under a "maxed out" loading condition. A shallow river will be a nightmare for you. For a multiday trip on the John Day, I'd suggest a bigger boat (which you can rent from many whitewater shops, and some flyshops). I'd say a 12' in the outcast type models, a 10' in the skookum/badcat type models. (Which yes, the skookums will handle those weights quite nicely, had my 10' loaded to 1100#'s and handled quite well on a multiday trip). I'd suggest an actual whitewater grade boat for that type of trip. More simplistic frame that'll carry more weight. You won't be able to pack much for a 5 day trip on that boat. I'd suggest at least a 12' whitewater boat (unless you plan a very simplistic/no supply type trip). I used to do multiday whitewater trips (5-9 days worth) and you'd be surprised how much you need. Just in the food/gear aspect (not fishing stuff, most of the time I was outlawed from bringing it by the outfitter LOL).
     
  3. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, I should reclarify. I was stating that for a multiday trip, he should have a 12' whitewaterboat. I had simply stated he would need a minimum 12' outcast type boat for any simplistic multiday trip (for weight capacity). But for a John Day 5 day trip, he'll want a much bigger whitewater outfit (maximum weight usage that way). I'd even say a 14-16', depending on amount of people going.
     
  4. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Nick,

    I think Jerry didn't see the expected flows you anticipate in June. A big boat will be a lot to drag through those shallow riffles. My office mate has done the trip a few times, and he says there are some long drags when the river is low. You'll probably be fine in your 900. For a 5 day trip, you'll need to pack more like backpacking. It's tuff to haul a big enough ice chest on a pontoon, but big ones are more efficient than small ones. If you're in a group, you might take one big chest on one 'toon, and others of you carry the rest of that guy's gear. Beer storage is a serious issue. Hot weather, and no extra space in the cooler for beer. I've thought about this but haven't tried it yet: how about a mesh bag hanging off the frame to keep a few cool in the river as you float? Be careful when you get out to wade/drag your boat through the shallows. You don't want to dent or break your refreshments.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  5. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    If you're a 200 #er that'd leave you 200 # for gear. Should be plenty of capacity.:thumb: A couple bottles of Patron and leave the beer at home would help with the weight issue.
     
  6. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually Salmo, I know exactly what the flows will be like. A big boat like that with same gear on it will float HIGHER then a pac 900 maxed out. I know my 16' cataraft would only dispurse about 4 1/2" with an 800# load on it, my old outcast (I used to own them) actually drafted 5" of water with just me and my gear. Trust me, we had to whitewater alot of different slots with barely optimum water. Bigger boats will draft less water actually (unless you have a super heavy frame, like a fishing frame, and too much gear. ) Why alot of us ran bigger boats then needed (on playdays would run a stripped down 18' cataraft in low water since it would literally float on the surface and barely be in the water).

    Best comparison is like taking a little S10 pickup and a big multi ton dump truck. Drop a load of gravel in the S10, and it'll sink the axel and be draging. Do the same to the dump truck, it'll barely move the dumpbed. It'll also handle better (the bigger dumper). Same goes with pontoons (and I've used them in about every condition, including an overweighted 18' pontoon down the Grand Canyon through Arizona). Small is nice. But sometimes a bit bigger helps out, especially when you're drafting water.
     
  7. Nick A.

    Nick A. New Member

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    Thanks for the info, I have been down the river once before a couple of years ago in a 14' white water raft self bailer rented, with too much stuff and was ok until we hit them really long shallow riffles or picked the wrong route due to never being down the river before. When that happened we just got out and walked it through. There was not much white water where we went down, the toughest part was a technical part where is was try to miss the boulder which we did just fine. But anyways I will distribute weight between all the pontoons that are going and hopefully that will be fine trying not to max out the weight for each toon. Maybe i'll bring a bottle instead of a bunch of beers.

    When we went the first time we caught at least over 60 small mouth bass a day each (me and my dad) off of small poppers any color just as long as it made noise on top of the water they devoured it. They were ranging from 10”to 12” , I’m going to try for bigger one’s this time trying below the surface.
     
  8. Ken II

    Ken II LIB

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    :beer1: :beer1: :cool: :cool: NICK!!!!!!!!!!!MORE BEER! MORE WISKEY! We'll live in are gear all five fabulous days,my beer guzilun buddy!
     
  9. Ken II

    Ken II LIB

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    THE BEAVER TOOK MY WALLET!ptyd
     
  10. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Sounds like a good time. Always wanted to do a long float on the John Day. Heard it had some awesome fishing opps. I could believe the bass aspect (that's the fishing I'd heard about). Buddy has been dying to go. Once I buy back my whitewater boats (actually, will be buying all new with custom frames) may make a trip down that way. If you do have enough people, do that. With the weight evenly distributed, you should be fine. Just wasn't sure how many were going, and wasn't sure if you were bearing all the weight (I know I usually was volunteered to do that lol).
     
  11. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

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    here is an idea........... check out the watermasters from the gear program, they have better capacity.
     
  12. luv2fly2

    luv2fly2 Active Member

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    get a drift boat to haul all of the stuff and one guy rowing and everyone else fishes and have a great time. fish white or cream crazy charlies or a clouser in the same color. i would go a white clouser on a 4 wt. we fished the service creek area late last summer with some action. remember the wind does blow up the river hard and it is tough going down the river . mike w good luck and let us know how things went.
     
  13. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    I agree Jerry. You're right of course that a larger boat or raft will float higher with the same load. I made the error of thinking when we had a larger raft available, we just increased the load, which negated the draft issue.
     
  14. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, that tends to happen. You go bigger, you add more stuff. LOL. Usually I brought the big boat, and they'd toss everything extra on (well, when I worked with the outfitter, it was my job). But with play, I'd still get stuck with it all.
     
  15. andycarey

    andycarey New Member

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    another minor point: a raft will float higher for the same cargo weight than a cataraft (or pontoon), but of all the options, the self-bailing raft has the greatest boat weight of all and if you have to carry/drag them, its tough. An advantage of the 14-16' cataraft is that you can actually straddle obstacles that a raft would catch on; if you load one of these realistically and then you get out to drag it, then they drag pretty easily (less surface area than a raft); overloading a cat (or pontoon, I'm sure) really does make it a dog in the water and a pain to handle.
     

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