What's Up With Watermaster

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Ron Crawford, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Ron Crawford

    Ron Crawford ===

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    I bought a watermaster kickboat earlier this year (love it), but they still had one accessory to send to me that they didn't ship with the boat (backordered). I was really patient 'cause I didn't have a burning need for the accessory. But in July I decided that I wanted my stuff. I have been calling them to get my stuff and the following progression of events has happened:

    First (July) I got a live person and they said they had re-organized the ownership of the company, and they were swamped, but all was going to be good going forard.

    Next (August) I got a "leave a message" machine, and I left a message

    Then (Late August) I got a "the phone message box for this number is full" message

    Then (This Week) I get a "this number has been disconnected" message.

    So ..... Has watermaster gone out of business? Does anyone out there have any info on this? I know that we had a raft or two as part of the WFF gear program, so I am hoping someone on this board will have some info.

    I get the feeling that I am out-of-luck on this. I love the raft, the accessories weren't critical, but I did pay for them. So I am a little pissed.

    Any info from anybody would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    -Ron
     
  2. Sloan Craven

    Sloan Craven Active Member

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    I heard rumors that the company was having some financial problems and they might go out of business.

    But again. they were rumors
     
  3. Chris Scoones

    Chris Scoones Administrator Staff Member

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  4. Sloan Craven

    Sloan Craven Active Member

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    Hey Chris,
    I know of a guy who sells a watermaster like raft. He was in on the orginal design of the Watermaster. But according to third party rumors got screwed. Anyhow, if people are interested I could post his link, though he's not sponsored retailers.
     
  5. Ron Crawford

    Ron Crawford ===

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    Thanks Chris - Very helpful post

    I hope they find a way to put it back together - the boats are awesome.

    -Ron
     
  6. Chris Scoones

    Chris Scoones Administrator Staff Member

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    No, don't post the link. Has nothing to do with WM or the ownership transition, if that plan holds true.
     
  7. David Loy

    David Loy Senior Moment

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    I've been interested in a WM for many years and have noticed that the company has gone through several ownerships in the last 12 years or so. The fact that it keeps coming back indicates it's a good product and great design. The fact that it keeps dying seems to indicate there is a barely sustainable interest.
     
  8. Sloan Craven

    Sloan Craven Active Member

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    Ben, I totally agree. It's a horrible business concept if you think about it. Who's gonna lay down $1200 -$1500 for a one man raft unless they've tried the thing? A few guides in Alaska and Russia use them, and Chris had them for us to try. BUt other than that, how do you try one without buying it? That and its an expensive product for a really small market. I'm not sure gear guys will be fishing water that would warrent a small open-floored raft. SO its basically fly-fisherman that fish rivers.

    Don't get me wrong. I think they're great and plan to someday own a WM like fishing raft. But from a business concept , its really not going to make you rich.
     
  9. TWD

    TWD Travis

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    what advantage does a WM have over a pontoon boat. They own the individual person FF river market and the best ones cost in the low 1K's but decent models can be had for 500 bucks.
    I have only seen pics but the WM looks more dangerous to me in comparison to a pontoon boat.
     
  10. Sloan Craven

    Sloan Craven Active Member

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    I thought the same thing till I tried one. The watermaster is extremely stable and is capable of much rougher conditions than most pontoon boats. Its more manuverable also Its basically a really small whitewater raft. It's definitely worth giving a test drive.
    YOu should give one a shot if you ever get the chance.
     
  11. Chris Scoones

    Chris Scoones Administrator Staff Member

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    Looks like what was passed on to me, that WM is changing ownership and not going out of business, is the case. Hoping from a call the new owner directly, but word has it that the original story is holding true. That'll be good news in the long run.
     
  12. Kevin J. Burnham

    Kevin J. Burnham Active Member

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    TWD, I have had one since they came out in the late 80's. I have also had a pontoon boat. I paid well under $500 when I baught it. I would only echo what Sloan said that they are very stable and very portable as they fold into a backpack. I'm going to tell you that I would NOT pay that kind of money for one that they charge today just because I use it maybe 10 times a year or so. My favorite reason I like them over any pontoon boat is the fact that if your floating a river as I did last week and spot fish and the water is not over about waist deep all you do is stand up. The boat just wraps around and you can continue wading and fishing. Take a look at a buddy of mine that I just posted. I 've been doing somthing wrong so I have not been able to attach it to this post. I have an old buddy that had to move to So.Cal for work and I'm going to buy his for an extra. Just my thoughts take a look !!
     
  13. Ron Crawford

    Ron Crawford ===

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    One more cool thing about watermasters is the fact that you can fish WHILE YOU FLOAT DOWN THE RIVER. I have done this a lot on slow to moderate moving water. You just lock in the oars, use your feet/fins to keep you going the right direction and cast as you float down river. Even when you hook a fish you don't need to stop or anything. You can land a fish in a net while flaoting along or if you can quickly kick to shallow water you just stand up and land the fish with your feet on the ground.

    I have never owned a pontoon boat, but I don't think you can do this with one.

    Yes they are a bit spendy. As a rule, I will pay a higher $$ for increased functionality and a bombproof durable product any day.

    Now if they could just stay in business and send me the rest of the stuff I bought ...........
     
  14. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    TWD,

    I haven't used a pontoon boat, and some of them are real whitewater machines. However, those are not easily portable, let alone something you can tote to the river in a backpack. The watermaster will safely navigate most anything you'll want to fish in WA state, like the chute in the lower canyon of the Hoh most recently comes to mind.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  15. MrP

    MrP Member

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    I have carried my kickboat into seep lakes with trails and some without. Most of those places a guy could not get his pontoon boat in. No one piece of gear meets all needs. I dig my kickboat.
     
  16. martinrjensen

    martinrjensen BambooBoy

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    Yes, you can do exactly that in a pontoon boat. The only thing that you can't do in a pontoon boat is if you were in fairly fast water, I don't think you could stop and stand up as you can in shallow water (and fish). The pontoon boat would have more drag. In fairly slow water though, it is no problem stopping and just standing up to fish. I also question (let's just say I'm a little skeptical) the statment that a WM would be more stable than a pontoon boat. I have taken my Bucks SouthFork down Class 3/4 (depending on who you talk to) rapids on the Deschutes with no problems. Of course you have to pick your drift, but that's true of all white water rafting. Can I pack my pontoon boat in a backpack? no way, but I can pack it on my back. A external frame works great for that.
    martin
     
  17. Sloan Craven

    Sloan Craven Active Member

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    I love how these threads go from wondering what happened to the company to if a pontoon boat is superior to an opernfloored personal rafts or vise versa. Most people I know that have the means have one of each, which I take to regard as one is not significantly better than the other. I think what Mr. P said is the greatest wisdom in this argument: No single craft is going to suit all your needs. ie. I'd really like to have a sailboat but it is useless to fish from. I've got a pontoon boat but its really not fun to cruise around in. most people I knwo that have the means have one of each.



    Pontoon boats advantages:
    They are more confortable. YOu're up out of the water, you've got a nice seat.

    Frame allows you to stand on them in slow water

    YOu can attatch a motor.

    Nice dry little deck in the back.

    Faster in smooth water.

    Disadvantages:

    Not as fun to paddle in rough water (just my opinion having used both). You get tossed around more.

    Can't load as much gear onto them, it you want to do an overnight.

    Not forgiving. Hit a rock in a pontoon on rough water you often get stuck on the rock at some crazy angle. Hit the same rock in WM and you bounce right off.

    Less manuverable in rough water.

    Can't pack it put it on a plane. At least I can't pack mine. I can bench 350lbs but I couldn't carry my pontoon boat more than 50ft. I just may have one of the heavier ones.



    Watermaster Advantages:

    Pack lots of stuff.

    Highly Manuverable.

    YOu can pack it/put it on a plane.

    Highly forgiving.

    Can stand in water water without worring about anchoring the raft.

    Disadvantages:

    Not comfortable

    Slow in slow water
     
  18. martinrjensen

    martinrjensen BambooBoy

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    Tey, that's why they call them threads, caues you have to start at the top of the thread to follow them. I have yet to see a single topic "stay" specifically "on tipic" completely, ever. I don't think it's possible and probably not even desirable. Regardless, the WM is an interesting floating craft. There have been so many different wtyles of floating craft and this one has stayed around there must be something to it. As I read though, it would be a hard sell if you had to try one to believe in one. Where are all the ole Vacuum Cleaner sales men who go door to door? could you see one of them toting a WM around trying to sell it to the wife? (just joking) (for some reason I feel like I might flamed....,hope not)
    martin
     

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