Water Master Kodiak: Your Lessons Learned?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Gregg Lundgren, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Hi All,

    I have pre-ordered a Kodiak Expedition Package for March delivery. I feel confident in my choice, primarily because of the great advice provided to others regarding watercraft via this forum. Thank you! The Search function has been given quite a workout.

    I am hoping Water Master users might have some advice to share based on their experiences as I move forward?

    Knowledge I gained prior to ordering (I am 6' 3" and 250 lbs, little experience, worried some about back fatigue):

    • Order the high back soft seat, it is only 4" higher, but made of a stiffer material that provides better back support.
    • The action seat adapter with the (hard) action seat may move you "up" into the oars. (didn't want to risk it)

    Appreciate any advice you may have regarding owning, operating, and maintaining going forward.

  2. I'm on my second Kodiak and absolutely love it. I'm 6' and 190# and have had no issues with the hard seat raising my thighs and interfering with the oars - the grips don't even come close to my knees or thighs. In fact, the hard seat is so comfortable, especially on long days, that I never use the soft one.

    If you'll be using it on lakes, take a look at the factory anchor system and then easily imagine how you can use PVC tubing to build an almost identical one for about a quarter the price. The optional mesh bag that attaches to add-on D ring patches beside your right knee is a great place to stow unused anchor rope as well as cold beverages.

    I'd also suggest buying an electric pump (try the LVM pump at http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.asp?pfid=1707&deptid=1114) to handle the primary inflating-deflating chores and a K-Pump for topping off. A pressure gauge will take the guesswork out of inflating to the prescribed 3psi.

    Finally, since the boat is a double chamber design, remember to never inflate one chamber to full pressure without partially inflating the other chamber first. Doing so runs the risk of damaging the walls separating the two as well as compromising the safety value of having two chambers in the first place.

  3. If you plan to use your WM on rivers, know what you're doing. If you don't, get some instruction and start with easy floats. Just yesterday it seems James stuck one of his oars in the rocks on the easy Bogie and busted it. Lesson: you're supposed to pay attention even on easy water.

    If you're worried about back fatigue, work on improving the shape you're in. If the ability to hike, fish, and run rivers isn't enough motivation to maintain yourself physically, just think of all the tail you can chase by being in shape. If that doesn't motivate, then a life sentence to the couch is probably appropriate. (This is my version of tough love.)

  4. Wow, Salmo me thinks you've been taking lessons from Old Man Jim!
  5. Greggor,

    You will love your boat!
    I have a kodiak also and love it, I also have one of the first Grizzlies ever made, and it still works fine.
    I have never used the hard seat as the seat that comes with it has only given me issues on butt comfort. In the summer when I wet wade it does get a little hard on long days. I have gone to a half inch pad under it and it's fine.
    I did rig mine with a cooler that locks in behind me that is one of the Rubbermaid tall slender 12 packer designs. It increases the back support and has enough space for lunch and beverages. I sewed one side of a locking buckle on each side of the carry strap and put d-rings with the opposite side side of the buckle on the floor of the storage platform so the cooler locks in.
    The second thing I do is a duffel dry bag instead of the origonal. It's much smaller and snaps in behind the cooler. Holds rain coat, extra fleese, and patch kit (keep the kit dry).
    I also put an extra d-ring between the rear ones on each side. It is where I snap the duffel in on the front then use the upper rear ones to lock in the back.
    K-pumps rule! Foot pumps are a pain.
    Salmo has it right on on the LVM. It's not cheap but is the best.
    As far as upkeep, 303 it a few times a year and it will look like new.
  6. Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the feedback so far!


    Great to hear about the comfort and the position for rowing using the hard seat. I won't hesitate to order one if the high-back soft seat doesn't work out. I'll start with the lighter soft seat, as I will be making some short carry-in trips. I can continue to lighten my wallet as necessary down the road.

    Good point on the anchor system for lakes. Save some money, maybe use it towards a hard seat later. I guess I could just use my vinyl-coated mushroom anchor to get by in the meantime. The mesh bag comes with the package, and Rich called me back to inquire as to my stripping hand, thus confiming installation of the D rings near the right knee as you said.

    I have a portable 110/12 volt rechargable LVM pump and a K-200 pump. The rechargable LVM has worked incredibly well so far. I currently have an inexpensive 5 man (read two man) lakes only raft. I recently bought a pressure gage, as I have read many posts regarding chronic under inflation without one. In fact, I bet my current raft will gain a little more freeboard once I get it to the recommended pressure. Inflation sequence was a good reminder. Thanks for the time you have given to provide your thoughts.


    LOL. You crack me up man. I can take it, and I do appreciate your time. I know... a guy with 7 posts comes a wanting, doesn't provide that much background info, and expects a taylored answer. I have only posted a few times to the benefit of others. I think that will change as I am getting the fever pretty bad, although I will always be looking for the value price entry points. Eventually, I'll have a lot more experiences to share from.

    The lesson you shared was a good one about the broken oar, and paying attention even on an easy float. I am cautious, and take advice to mind. Somewhat related, I have seen more than one post about not catching a fin under a rock, and wonder about how that situation comes about?

    Finally, conditioning and being in shape... Thanks for the mid-winter motivation. I think I wil act upon that, so that my core body strength will prevent disc L2 from making such a fuss this early spring. Thanks Salmo!

    Anyone else who can help this up and coming river drifter? I've been on a few floats over the years, but none solo operator. I know of some very easy floats to get started on, but I think my favorite floats will be the Skagit - Marblemount to Rockport, along with stretches of the Yakima.

    I did have one other question. PFDs... I'd like to get a manual inflatable, because I know I would wear it consistently! Are the suspenders type compatable with a chest pack?

  7. Great suggestions from fatguide. Much appreciated. Just what I am looking for. I can take action on a few of those suggestions.

    Thanks for all the replies so far.

  8. btw... The new Water Master color available is Royal Blue. I made Rich promise me it was a deep Royal Blue, no sky blue. He said I would love it, he added it to the line-up because of positive responses on the color prior (I am not a hunter, and maybe the sleds can see this color better than Olive or Light Grey).

  9. Greggor, one thing to know about inflatable PFD's is that they can't be worn under anything else, not a jacket, the straps of a chest pack, not anything. They must always be worn on top or when they inflate and are confined by a jacket or other straps that prevent them from properly inflating outwardly, they can create enough inward pressure against your chest that you may not be able to breathe. You'll find lots more info about them on WFF. Congrats on the Watermaster!
  10. Greggor,
    I use a inflatable seat cushion I got from REI that is insulated (REI Lite-Core Sit Pad) on my Grizzly. It's shape and size will fit the WM soft seat nicely. I am amazed how warm my buns have stayed on my last two outings this month. It also adds about 1.5" of cush for the toosh and rolls into a bag about the size of a beer can. I am sold on these and plan to use it on any cool weather boating or sporting event.

  11. Greggor, If you haven't seen the Blue Raft. I can email you a photo of it from the Denver show a couple weeks ago. I tried to insert it in the post but couldn't get it to load.
  12. I think all of us would like to see the new blue WM. If you'd like to send the image to me, I'll be happy to post it on this thread. Send me a PM for my email address.

  13. Don,

    Just being a bit mean for the good of the order. I determined years ago that fishing is important enough to stay physically fit so that I could hike and fish into old age. I've had friends who can no longer fish any place that isn't easy access, which is generally the worst place to fish. And am sensitive to my own advice as I realize I had my office chair adjusted wrong the last two months and noticed this minor chronic back pain. Taking care of ourselves is priority number one, or we'll find ourselves sitting on the couch watching fishing shows on TV, and I'm not that into TV or watching other people fish. So it seemed like the right time to lay it on Greggor.

    Also, I'm usually quick to mention that a particular river or float is a piece of cake, and they usually are. With experience it's really easy to forget that a lot of accidents happen on easy floats. Experienced people forget to pay attention, or inexperienced people often don't know what all they really need to pay attention to. It's easy to overlook the calculated risks I make and take routinely, like not wearing a PFD.

  14. PM sent to Kent, to try and get a photo up of the Blue Kodiak
  15. If it's a really nice blue, Kent will be in the market for his third Kodiak in 2 years!!
  16. I bet he's already clearing a spot in his boathouse for it. LOL

  17. Thanks RCSFLYFISH for sending the pic to Kent. Looking forward to seeing it.

    Mike... I am all over that REI Lite-Core Sit Pad. Appreciate the suggestion.

    Thanks for everyone's help. Truly appreciated.

  18. Its a REALLY nice looking blue. So much I almost can't stand to not order one. But my Kodiak will have to get a lot more wear first.
  19. Well Fred, it IS a nice blue, that's for sure!


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