Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Mark Kulikov, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. Mark Kulikov Active Member

    Posts: 403
    Polson Montana
    Ratings: +64 / 0
    Ok. You are all probably getting tired of my watercraft questions; however, I value your opinions. I've checked out most of the major brands of toons and ran across a recommendation for the watermaster raft. Still undecided. Does anybody have any experience, opinions on this type raft, kickboat over a toon. Advantages, disadvantages etc. Thanks.
  2. luv2fly2 Active Member

    Posts: 1,569
    Ratings: +29 / 0
    check the search option on this site, over the last few years there has been som good stuff of what you are asking. i have 2 wm's and 2 toons. when we go fishing and camping the wm's are in use always. this repeated use speaks for itself. my wm's are at least 16 years old but they are still in good shape. mike w
  3. Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

    Posts: 3,719
    Ratings: +413 / 0
    For me the decision to get a WM was based on the portability. It's quick and easy to set up, and once inflated, one person can easily carry the raft to the water. When you're done for the day you can quickly deflate it and fold it up so it fits into the trunk of a car. It handles well on the water and I love being able to stand up where and when I want due to the open floor (or lack of a floor). Check one out from the gear program and see if it tickles your fancy.
  4. Dylan D Member

    Posts: 323
    West Seattle
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Also look at the reviews under the Gear Program thread -- some great info on the Watermasters there.
  5. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,042
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    To me, this is the primary reason to own a Watermaster. It's convenience of portability and ease of setup are primary issues to some folks.

    However, I replaced mine with an Outcast PAC800 pontoon boat. The Outcast is a hassle to put together (relative to the Watermaster) and more difficult to transport, but there are pontoon benefits that, to me, outweighed the Watermaster benefits.

    1) The pontoon is faster. It's physics. The Watermaster is a raft, and not nearly as hydrodynamic as the pontoon boat. The Watermaster, by virtue of its design as a raft, 'pushes' water instead of cutting through the water. I had someone tell me once before that their Watermaster is faster, but that person declined to race when the bet was the other person's boat.

    This can make a big difference when you're at one end of a big lake and plan to row 'upwind' to the other end of the lake. Rowing the Watermaster upwind for a good distance can be a pain . . . and you'll know what I mean if you've kicked upwind, pushing water, in a float tube.

    2) The pontoon, as part of its frame, comes with a very good anchor setup. Yeah, yeah, I know you can get a rowing frame fabricated, with anchor setup, for the Watermaster, but I didn't ge one because I didn't want to drop $200 on one (excluding the new oars and oarlocks needed for the rowing frame). The frame now takes away from one of the Watermaster benefits, portability. And, when anchored in moving water, because of the river pushing against the raft/blunt end, the Watermaster doesn't hold in faster water as well as does the pontoon. If you don't believe me, watch the upriver end of a raft anchored up on the Yakima, and then compare that to the upriver end of a pontoon boat anchored up. :thumb:

    3) Easier to strap 'extra' goodies to the pontoon boat. I like to take along extra rods in reel-on rod cases, and they are easy to attach to a pontoon boat frame, using straps. I will also take along a cooler. Yep, I know the Watermaster has the little cargo area in the back, but it's not as stable as the metal cargo deck of my PAC800.

    Is my pontoon boat better than the Watermaster? No, it's just different. Both have different strengths and weaknesses. I went to Utah and did a little fishing, and it was really cool to be able to take along on the plane my Watermaster s checked baggage. However, I don't do that very often, and so that benefit isn't that big of a deal.

    For me, after owning both, the strengths of the pontoon boat are greater and mean more to me than the strengths of the Watermaster. If I could only own one, it would be the pontoon (I would love to own both! But I'd have to get a new wife . . . ). I prefer the speed, anchoring setup, and on-boat storage flexibility the pontoon offers over the portability and assembly convenience of the Watermaster. So, I own a pontoon boat for situations and water where I'll be rowing, and a Super Fat Cat for true portability and ease of setup. (too bad the ends of the Watermaster weren't shaped like the Super Fat Cat; Outcast made a kayak like that for a while, but it didn't sell well).

    Go in with your eyes wide open . . .
  6. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,449
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,572 / 0

    No problem with the questions. Watercraft are a huge issue since there is no universal one. We all need a fleet of boats. Which is almost what I have. I just got a WM. The only reason I took so long is that I have a 20 year old Achilles LT2 still in perfect condition, which is about the same size and ALMOST does all the same things as the WM. I've also got a jet boat, a canoe, float tube, and other rafts. My LT2 has been my most used watercraft. The WM will now fill that role I think.

    Here's why:
    1. Take it anywhere. I can stick it in the car just in case I want to float a section of river - or cross to the other side of a big river.
    2. Launch and retrieve anywhere. This is really important. It's more portable than a 'toon in this respect. I've launched and retrieved off rip rap banks, vertical dirt banks, carried through the woods, there is almost no limit. Cannot say the same for 'toons or canoe, as I've been there, done that. When I fish with my 'toon buddy, he takes 3 or 4 times as long to get ready to start floating and packing up at the end of the day. I like being ready to start off in 10 minutes instead of 30.
    3. Handles almost the same water as a 'toon, whitewater raft, and driftboat. You're good up to Class III, and only the very experienced are tackling Class IV in the other craft.
    4. The WM is made with fishing and floating in mind. It looks like it's going to be a lot more comfortable than the LT2, and will better accomodate my fishing and accessory gear.
    5. WM is portable enough to do float tube type fishing, i.e. carry in to lakes, yet can cover more water than a tube. Having portaged my canoe into Lenice and Mocasin before float tubes, this is a major improvement.

    No, I'm not a WM salesman, nor do I own stock in the company. But I'm an angler very interested in that are well designed and outfitted to do certain fishing jobs well, without the hassel of dragging a driftboat trailer everywhere I go.


    Salmo g.
  7. Craig Hardt aka Nagasaurus

    Posts: 199
    Lynnwood, WA
    Ratings: +60 / 0
    As a new WM owner (I've had my WM for a little less than a year) I agree with the comments so far. The craft is very versatile and portable--I can carry it fully inflated over the shoulder with one hand down to a lake with my gear bag and rod in the other easily.

    Richard has some very good points about anchoring and adding on "goodies"--it is harder to do on a WM since there is no frame (I have yet to find a good way to attach a rod holder at the angle I'd like). But of course not having a frame is an advantage too in many situations so you really need to get out there and try booth before you lay out any cash.

    Having a wrap around bow on the WM does bug some people who try it and you do hit the front sometimes with your fins until you get used to it (at least I did). That also means landing fish to the side and not in front of you like you could in a pontoon boat. I don't notice either issues as these actions became second nature after a few outings...but this might drive you nuts.
  8. doublespey Steelhead-a-holic

    Posts: 593
    Bothell, WA
    Ratings: +20 / 0
    Damn, Salmo_G scooped me again. Ditto what he said - for rivers get a WM. Great boat - I just got one this last year and love it!

    Simple breakdown for me - if you're going to fish rivers, get the WM. If you fish lakes, get the pontoon boat.

    As Richard said, the best is to have both! :thumb:
  9. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,042
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +45 / 0