Water Master

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Skysoldier, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. Hello all, I am looking to purchase a Water Master Kodiak and have a few questions for Kodiak owners.

    1. Do you use the standard soft back seat or did you go with the high back seat? How do you like the one you are using?
    2. Do you use the standard or heavy duty oars? Is there much of a difference between the two?
    3. How are the standard water master fins? Or do you use an aftermarket fin like Force Fins and why?
    4. Is the cargo net worth the $$ or is it better to use cargo straps?

    I will be using it primarily for still water at the start but will be learning to handle it on moving water as well. Thanks in advance for any and all input.
  2. I don't own one , but have used ones that different friends own/owned. You should do a search on this forum and will be overwhelmed by the amount of information that has been posted about these rafts. They have a good track record and they have lots of room for your gear.
    Skysoldier likes this.
  3. Yeah I have read most of it but could not find answers for the questions above. Regardless thank you for taking the time to let me know that there is information on the site :)
  4. Call Rich directly, he'll answer those questions for you. My experience is the upgraded oars, high seat back, and cargo net are worth it. Fins perhaps for still water but not in moving water.
    Skysoldier likes this.
  5. Here's my take on your questions:

    1. Not sure but it doesn't matter as I prefer to sit on it doubled over. I get extra butt padding and my back never hurts as it forces me to have good posture. And the big bonus is more useable space next to and behind me.

    2. I like the heavy duty for rivers, though the standard would be enough for lakes

    3. I prefer the WM fins to my Force Fins. I replaced the straps with a cam buckle; they never get loose and are easier to use.

    4. I hate cargo nets on any boat. Too big a chance of entrapment if you flip, IMHO. Learn to lash down your gear properly and you won't need it.
    Skysoldier likes this.
  6. thanks for the input Derek, I had not even thought about calling them directly.
  7. This is an excellent point that I should have thought of, thanks Freestone.
  8. I've had my WM Kodiak for 4 or 5 years now. I like it a lot. Regarding your questions:

    1. I use the standard seat, but I throw a 1" gardening cushion on it for extra butt padding.
    2. Standard oars, and I've rowed some semi-serious whitewater with them. Done 2 8-day trips on the Dean R with no issues, but I'm still thinking about getting the heavy duty oars.
    3. I don't use fins.
    4. I don't have a cargo net. I lash my gear onto the WM. I did glue 4 extra D rings, 2 fore, 2 aft, to better lash my gear onto the raft.

    Skysoldier likes this.
  9. Sounds like I should just go with the heavy duty oars and call it good. Thanks for the input all.
  10. Sky,

    I use the WaterMaster fins and like them better than the flip fins or the force fins.

    Go with the heavy duty oars - you won't be sorry. Biggest improvement I've added to mine.

    I have the high back seat on order, but I'm guessing it won't be that much of an improvement on the standard seat. If you need more padding, there are plenty of inflatable or foam cushions out there.

    I've used a cargo net (not from WaterMaster), but after reading Freestone's comments I may look into lashing down my wet bag with a single bungee. It's not that big a deal - I use the side straps around the tubes to secure the rods, and the gear in the cargo area doesn't need much to keep it in place.

    Great boats - I'm sure you'll enjoy yours!


    Skysoldier likes this.

  11. I would agree with Derek except I would disagree. ;)

    I don't find that I need the high back seat - but it's your back, so make the call.
    I've found that big ol' scuba fins are perfect for rivers like the yakima. It's easy to fin back and get a nice drift. Force fins are weak and are for still water.
    Skysoldier likes this.
  12. Yep it was a very good point that I had not thought of. Thanks for the information, I am looking forward to the purchase.
  13. I always feel like I need a shower after agreeing with Derek on any topic ;)

    Jesse if I remember right you use a NRS Chinook PDF, any issues with it being in the way with the high back seat?
  14. Hey now!

  15. Bungees won't hold anything in a flip and also will probably be a safety hazard. Use rafting cam straps as that's what they are for. For the best safety, only use the shortest one(s) needed to hold the item and use different ones for each item. Rafters have a saying: there is no such thing as too many cam straps.
  16. Sorry Derek, I blame Jesse ;)
    1. Do you use the standard soft back seat or did you go with the high back seat? How do you like the one you are using? I got the High Back option. I didn't recall a big difference in support from the High Back from the standard seat with the WFF loaner. The Loaner had a seat bag on the back. My high back did not so I purchased a strap on seat back fishing bag from where Rich sourced the high back seats. No issues with my Extrasport Sturgeon or Eddy (nice) PFDs. I Velcro a Thermarest seat pad with a non-slip carpet runner onto the soft seat and it's VERY comfortable. It also keeps my butt warmer in cold weather.
    2. Do you use the standard or heavy duty oars? Is there much of a difference between the two? I got my WM in a great pre-season sale on the Expedition package that included the Caviness oars and all accessories ordered. However **the Caviness oars were backordered so Rich sent the standard oars to get me out on the water, then sent the heavy duty oars a couple of weeks later, and told me to keep the standard oars. The Caviness are a few inches longer; and could stand to be about a foot longer yet for that size boat but wouldn't fit in the backpack. The Caviness oars have nicer handles. I do use the lighter standard oars on lakes where I'm not really rowing anyway.
    3. How are the standard water master fins? Or do you use an aftermarket fin like Force Fins and why? Again I got the Expedition package that included the fins and really like them. At one time BSI used to offer the fins with felt and studs in the foot section that I thought would be nice if I stopped to fish. The felt/studs option wasn't in the catalog anymore but **Rich still had some felt and studs on-hand and offered to add them at no charge. I have a pair of the vintage original Force Fins. But I got bad cramps in my insteps because my thin Orvis neoprene booties had zero support in the soles. The new SeaSoft 7mm dive boots I got for more support were just too small for comfort over my waders so I happily used the WM fins with wading boots on lakes, and almost sold off the fins and boots last year. However after finally getting smaller waders because I lost a lot of weight a few years back I just found out the booties fit better now with the smaller wader foot size so I'll probably use the Force Fins again for lakes.
    4. Is the cargo net worth the $$ or is it better to use cargo straps? Included with the Expedition Package. I am not confident the net would secure my gear if I flipped the boat but I use it.
    ** Examples of Great Customer Service and are part of the reason I went with WM instead of similar boats
    Skysoldier and Tyler Sadowski like this.
  17. Chinook doesn't get in the way at all. Actually it kind of acts as a back brace since I wear it snug (as you should) and feels oddly comfortable.
    Skysoldier likes this.
  18. I will say my buddy Craig hates wearing it. So there's that. You know, everyone is a snowflake type of sh*t.
    Skysoldier likes this.
  19. Purchase the hard seat with a bracket. If your going to be on the water all day it is a must in my opinion for comfort.

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