Watermaster Competition??

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Jason Decker, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. Jason Decker Active Member

    Posts: 2,626
    Issaquah, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    just ran across this new boat design and was wondering what
    you (all) thought of it. do any of you have a "Star" brand raft?

    i am looking into getting a Watermaster or small raft
    for skinny water fishing

    [IMG]

    http://www.starinflatables.com/mods/prodView.asp?idproduct=33

    WATER SKIPPER (WS8-5)

    Unique in its class, the Water Skipper is the only catamaran kickboat. The flat shape of other kickboats makes them difficult to hold in swift water and hard to paddle upstream. Star's flow through design is guaranteed to provide stability, maneuverability, weight capacity and performance, allowing you to glide silently to those out of the way places where the "big ones thrive".
    Row, kick with flippers, use a small motor, or a combination of all three, and you are on your way to a successful day of fishing.

    Length: 8.5'

    Width: 4' 2"

    Tube Diameter: 15"

    Tube / Floor Material: 1100 / 4000 d.

    Weight: (without frame) 27 lbs.

    Capacity: 300 lbs.

    Max. H.P. 2.5 Available in Olive Green only.

    WS8.5 Water Skipper Standard package includes padded nylon seat, mounted aluminum oars, and repair kit.

    Water Skipper Deluxe Accessory Package:

    Front Gear Bag $24.95

    Backpack Carrying Bag 39.95

    Hand or Foot Pump 29.95

    Rod Holder 24.95

    Small Motor Mount 49.95

    Total: $169.75

    Our Price: $825.00
  2. Dave Hartman is tired of trout

    Posts: 591
    Whitefish, MT
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    Wow, that really is the closest thing to a Watermaster since Abel tried duplicating it. It looks as though this boat got around WM's patent by turning up the nose and tail, catamaran style. It even looks like these guys are using the same oars and collapsible oar locks WM is using. The denier is not as thick as a WM. I would also want to know how the materials are married; are the seams glue, or are they welded? My guess (judging by the price) is that the seams are glued. If so, this boat will develop leaks quickly.
    The catamaran style will have a benefit and a drawback. The benefit will be a "faster" craft, and that means in moving water, you can slow down (kicking upstream) better. Or in a lake, it should be able to row faster. The drawback will be less "footprint" on the water, making it a slightly less stable craft.
    Also, that bag up front and the D-rings will be a line-snagging nightmare. At best, you could put duct tape over the D-rings. With my second WM, I had it built without any D-rings in the front because they are such a bitch.

    But it certainly is cheaper than a WM Kodiac. Maybe this will encourage Big Sky Inflatables to bring down their prices. But I doubt it; just like all small boat companies, they're operating as close to "in the red" as you can possibly get!
    Jason, if you get this boat, I'd love to check it out. But I'll always be loyal to WM, they're built to be indestructible.
  3. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,716
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +658 / 5
    Dave, Star has been around awhile. They mostly made boats for whitewater. I'd say they didn't copy WM at all. What they did was downsize their rafts (which all this is, is an 8 1/2' raft) and took out the floor of the SB and made it a partial.

    Since these boats are so small and don't have the heavy oars/oar locks anyways, I wouldn't worry about 1100 denier anyways (since that's fine for most people who leisurely fish anyways). Should be perfectly fine.

    You're right though. It is cheaper. It's made in Korea I believe (Star boats that is). They actually have developed some pretty cool boats. Do believe they were the first to make a "cata RAFT". It's a raft, but with a higher rise front and back with a higher floor inside. Thus only having two tubes basically in the water, cutting a little easier then a conventional raft. I know the one I rowed was pretty nice, just didn't do anything serious (think class III was about it). I was seriously thinking of buying one and making a frame for it as a fishing raft only (when I didn't want to use my driftboat or catarafts). I can't attest to their overall long term leakage. Only knew one guy who ran them, and he had no troubles. Don't recall them being glued, but not saying this lower end isn't. Have to email them to find out. BUT, glued isn't always bad, as long as a quality glue is used and it's set up properly. Only reason I say this, I knew alot of custom tube builders back in the day (when I was very young). They made a ton of weird boats, and back then most glued their seams when building their boats. Most have held up over time, including a wild triple tube boat I remember seeing still in use a few years ago (had one huge diameter tube with two smaller tubes on each side of the pontoon).

    That's a pretty neat little boat, but so is the Mokai (think that's what it's called). The little one man jet boat that looks like a kayak.
  4. sroffe Member

    Posts: 442
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    It was mentioned that Abel copied Watermaster. Some where in the back of my brain, I thought that Abel was just marketing the Wilderness Access boat. I have the Wilderness Access. I think the big difference between the two is the inflatable seat on the Wilderness Access.

    Sam
  5. Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

    Posts: 3,729
    Doo-vall
    Ratings: +422 / 0
    Like Dave, I love my WM and am sold on it, but would love to check out that boat if you get it- looks like a good design.
  6. Chris Puma hates waking up early

    Posts: 966
    stumptown
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    i think as soon as i get some more scratch i'm going to buy one of these star crafts... unless of course, i find a really good deal on a watermaster. in my opinion, $1395 for a kodiak is a little too much to spend.
  7. sportsman Active Member

    Posts: 803
    Kirkland, wa., 98034.
    Ratings: +78 / 0
    "Wow, that really is the closest thing to a Watermaster since Abel tried duplicating it"???? FYI.... The Abel predates the Watermaster brand by several years, so the 'copying' was the other way around! The 'Evolution' of these type of rafts was 1.Tote&Flote 2. Abel Travelcraft [the 2 owners contracted Abel for the marketing of their rafts] 3. Watermaster... the original factory was started by the same 2 guys from Abel! They had a 3rd. partner and when they split up, one started Wilderness access and the other Waterstrider: exactly the same rafts as the Abel and all built in the same New Zealand factory. I have 2 friends that own the Kodiaks, while I bought the Abel. 5+ years and all 3 have handled the same water with ease, all still like new. The Watermaters do use a heavier polyester fabric and vinyl, while the other 3 use a slightly lighter polyester and polyurethane[10 times stronger than vinyl, but more expensive]. I chose the Abel because of the inflatable seat and lighter weight. They are all great rafts and constructed the same way!
  8. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,044
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    Dave, the stability (side to side) will come from the outer footprint of the craft. Think of how stable a sailing catamaran is, which is a function of outside water footprint. The stability of this boat, say from side to side, I believe would be no different than if it were a raft with the same outside dimensions.

    It seems like a very cool concept. I used to have a Tote N Float, and sold it because I used it mainly for stillwater, and it 'pushed' water and was slow to row (relative to a pontoon). This Star concept seems to incorporate the best features of all of them.
  9. barbless Member

    Posts: 313
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Compared to a Watermaster, from a performance standpoint, it looks like what you trade for the "better handling" is load capacity. The rated load capacity on a Kodiak is 750 lbs. That is what the larger footprint gets you. Well, I guess that and another $600.
  10. Jon Brengan flyfishing addict

    Posts: 395
    Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    Yeah so I e-mailed star and they responded by saying their boat is not made for anything more than Class I water, its not made for rivers with variable currents and made more so for lakes. Whereas I just taliked w/ Watermaster yesterday - and they're boats are Class IV rated. Seems like for the money its best to save a few more dineros and get the real deal. They said (Watermaster) that the SAR uses them in river rescues b/c they don't tip or capsize when hauling someone out of moving water. Star couldn't make a promise about their boat not flipping.
    JB