What's up with Skookum boats..?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by surfnfish, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. I'm looking to buy a 9' or 10' cataraft, so contacted BadCat, WaterReady, and Skookum to get a handle on their respective cats, as they seem to have the best products.

    Both Shawn at BadCats and Bruce at WaterReady responded to my queries almost immediately, and were very helpful and informative.

    And then there is Skookum boats. During the past two weeks I have left voicemails on 3 seperate occasions, and sent them 3 emails to their web address as well. And have yet to receive a reply by either phone or email.

    So at this point it obviously will either be a Badcat or WaterReady, both fine products...
  2. Let us know what you decide on and show us some watercraft porn shots...best of luck with whichever route you go.
  3. The guy that owned skookum passed away several months ago. His daughter is running the business but for how long who knows.
  4. Yes, Bill Day had health problems for quite awhile. When he passed, I'd say that was the toll of the bell for Skookum boats. That's the LAST production boat I'll ever buy. Back to only doing customs again. :)
  5. So sorry to hear...certainly explains the non response, and my condolences to the daughter, having to deal with her grief and the business at the same time..
  6. I bought a Steelheader Guide in February. Bill's daughter, Jennifer, has taken over the business. I imagine she is somewhat in transition - she still lives in Mill Creek but is moving the business to Redmond Oregon, and is also going to school.. I am surprised she has not got back to you as she was very prompt in answering my emails and calls. I wouldn't give up on their boats - while I do not have much experience to compare, I looked at the same boats and am very happy with my Guide.

  7. Dave, Skookum was already in Redmond. I'm thinking Jenn may be moving down there. Bill moved down there a few years back. Thinking everything is probably already setup for down there, she may just be moving herself there since it's all setup. I just figured she was going to run the shop until all the orders were out and call it quits. Glad to hear she is taking over. Bill had a few other plans last we spoke about the business, maybe she's going to get those in order so that can happen.
  8. I talked with Jennifer at Bill's memorial service in Bend and she said the she intends to run the company. I think she has the same passion for boat building as Bill. I floated the Deschutes yesterday in my Steelheader II and it was like driving a sports car for maneuverability. I'd leave another message.
  9. I've got an early Skookum Osprey frame and can echo others' comments about the quality of Bill's designs and build quality.

    FWIW though, since you live in Salem, it might also be worth a call to Andy & Bax in Portland. They have a significant whitewater boat department that carries all the major makers, frames, tubes, oars and accessories (http://www.andyandbax.com/boatdepartment.bax?cart=126962473117159652) When I last dealt with them a couple years ago, they were happy to put together cataraft packages that were (at the time) significantly less than those I found elsewhere. I bought my Cataract MiniMag oars from them at a significantly lower price (even including shipping) than I was able to find here in Seattle - and without sales tax!

  10. Appreciated the tip, so I called AndnBax and they sent me a detailed quote for a 10" cat...cost was pretty much the same as buying the equivalent BadCat or WaterReady, and their frames are generic knock-offs....
  11. And please offer some support and encouragement. I may not know jack about 'toons but Bill's passion for quality and performance was very evident to me. This is wonderful news!
  12. Jennifer both called and emailed me today, so she is obviously working her way clear and is on the job.

  13. That's good news! Thanks for sharing.

  14. I may have to send her off an email. Been years since I spoke to her last. Hope she keeps the business going. I know Bill would've wanted it that way.
  15. I too was seriously looking at a Skookum since December, I really really like the 10' guide. I don't think you can go wrong with it. My concerns were the same as yours regarding the company health. Alas... today I finally settled and purchased a Sotar 12.5'x22.5" Legend with a custom NRS Alley cat frame. Way more money, but I am happy for the moment. Happy Birthday to me! <grin>
  16. Here you go!
  17. I am saddened to hear about Bill passing. We've been at our daughter's home for many months and just returned to the Lower 48.
    Bill was a great guy to go fishing with and just pass the time with, also.
  18. I just finished purchasing a Skookum Steelheader and dealt with Jennifer. While she has my sympathy over the passing of her father, my impression is that she's in way over her head. The OP's ignored voice/emails were exactly what I experienced. I also had some repair issues (my fault not theirs) and she offered very confusing directions about how to fix the tube (as I have come to learn, there is a right way and many wrong ways to patch a PVC tube). I hope she is going to get some help because, based on what I experienced, she will struggle to run that company.

    In hindsight I thought her communication skills were odd...my questions got minimal, very brief and very superficial replies. She made me feel like I was imposing on her for asking questions. It was symptomatic of someone who has a limited grasp on the subject they are being queried on...give a quick answer and hope the person gives up and goes away.

    She almost never answered the phone when I called...alway had to leave a VM and hope she'd call back- sometimes she would, but usually I'd have to call again. On one occasion she really gave me some deceiving information (as in "we've only had one ripped tube in twenty years"....c'mon, I put a hole in mine within 48 hours). She's either way inexperienced or pulling a con job...unfortunately I wasn't experienced with inflatables to know it.

    I was shocked to see the way the boat was packed...the oar towers were sticking out of the box. No damage but a really amateur packing job. The boat had zero documentation on how to assemble it and how to care for it. ZERO. Not what I'd expect for a $2,000 boat. Freight was nearly $400 to Georgia...maybe that's right but it sure seems high to me.


    Here's the sum total of the instructions:


    I'd have to say that I got in a hurry and rushed my decision to buy from them in spite of some worrisome clues. Wish I'd slowed down and given consideration to some other boats. They get a premium price for what they are selling and the "soft side" of the product (documentation, customer service, phone support, etc.) is sorely lacking.
  19. You have me curious how you poked a hole in a tube...?
  20. Holes get poked, I dragged mine from Herman lake to quail lake acouple years back and riped a big gash in it. Pvc will tear.

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