Pontoon Boats: Most Bang For The Bucks?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by ceviche, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

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    I would keep an eye out for used boats on craigslist. I picked up a used steelheader for $600. And I can transport my steelheader in/on my forester, no trailer needed.
     
  2. clarkbre

    clarkbre Member

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    I'll 2nd that idea about Craigslist. I just picked up an 8' Bear (about 5 years old) for about $100. It came with a duffle bag and an aftermarket pump. I figure for the money I can't go wrong. It's just too bad the weather's so cold. I wanna get it out on the lake.

    My big question is, do any of you guys tie them down to your Yakima roof racks? I've got a Subaru sedan and I'd really rather not take down/set up every time I go out.
     
  3. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Clarkbre,

    I don't, but I've seen 'toons lashed to the roofs of many cars, trucks, and even a rag-top Jeep. Shouldn't be a problem, but the wind drag will take your fuel mileage down a scoosh.

    Sg
     
  4. clarkbre

    clarkbre Member

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    I figured that much about the gas mileage. I think my only other options would be to purchase a small utility trailer. As I'm trying to do this on a budget I think the trailer can wait. I was very impressed to see how small the pontoons pack down. i can always just strap the frame on the rack and put the pontoons in the trunk for a long haul.
     
  5. backcast

    backcast Born To Flyfish

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    Your right as when I bought mine there wasn't much out there.... Acually I would love to sell it as we do more fishing out of fishing kayak now.... now I I can paddle back up steam to get back to the ones I passed over....
     
  6. MasterAnglerTaylor

    MasterAnglerTaylor Member

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    I strap my 9' creek company classic to top of my focus hatchback....inflated. It works. I wouldnt go more then like 20 miles with it like that. Went to eastern washington and just strapped 2 pontoon frames on top of car ( with little padding on contact points of frame and car). Didnt move even at 100. Just folded pontoons and put in car.
     
  7. Tony Mull

    Tony Mull Member

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    i strap mine on top of the tacoma all the time. best to use nylon straps for the front but bungies work fine for the back. Make sure the seat faces to the rear. Haven't even noticed a drag on fuel economy. Never had a strap come lose or break. Make sure to let some air out when traveling though mountain passes. I commonly drive 70-80 mph and I've carried pontoons like this for thousands of miles. I have a Yakima rack on my truck.
     
  8. Mike (Doc) LaCombe

    Mike (Doc) LaCombe Member

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    I cant recommend a boat, but I can tell you what not to get. A couple years ago I bought a TU Colorado 9. I used it for about 5 months before one of the pontoons sprung a leak in the seam. The distributor, Classic Accessories, have replaced the bladders three times and now the new right bladder has sprung a leak in the seam on the first trip out. I am waiting to hear back from Classic Accessories. I have to say they have been very nice, but it is clear to me there must be a problem at the factory.

    So I recommend you stay away from this boat.

    Mike
     
  9. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, you can easily strap down your pontoons to the roof. But like someone said, the drag is outrageous. If you have a smaller vehicle, be prepared to lose some MPG, and will feel your vehicle being pulled a bit. But if you're already towing a travel trailer behind you, this is an awesome way to go (and you don't need a trailer). And yes, you can put a bigger toon on the top. Take a look at this.
    [​IMG]
    This was my old 16' cataraft. I loaded and unloaded this boat by myself. I don't have the blazer or the boat anymore. But this was a combo I used when I would bring my old travel trailer with me. Worked like a charm. BUT, when I'd do my long distance driving, I'd deflate tubes and put in the back of the blazer or in the trailer. No drag with just the frame up there. But when I got to where I wanted to fish. I'd put the boat together and toss on the roof. And, I would do this with my steelheader too. In fact, had a steelheader and an outcast up on top of that roof at the same time. Worked great.
     
  10. djzaro

    djzaro New Member

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    Go for the longest potoon you can transport. Just a foot matter quite a bit. I have owned several boats and I always get a kick out of how frustrated someone on an 8' gets when he has to work so hard to keep up with a 9'. Just one foot saves you alot of energy rowing the river. My fav is the fish cat 9'. Easy to transport, cheap and will last forever.
     
  11. Blue

    Blue Active Member

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    I got to get in on this post.
    First off, American made in the name brands are Bucks, NFO and ONLY the PAC 1100 and larger from Outcast )all rest are overseas.

    Urethane vs PVC: PVC stretches, is effected by temp and altitude and is effected more by age. Urethane does not stretch and is less effected by these conditions and is lighter.....and more expensive for mentioned reasons.

    Here is a Cabela ex:
    Some pros and cons of the Outcast 10IR and the Sky Sunrise for you to think about.
    Both are $999.99 in Cabela's catalog so the price is not an issue.
    First off, the Sky is going to be Urethane or Bladderless, either being the best choice in that they are not effected by Altitude or temp change as much as PVC/vinyl Bladders.
    The Outcast are indeed vinyl. Both have very strong PVC outer cover.
    The Sky has 16" diameter toons Outcast are 17". The wider the toons the more wind resistance.
    The Sky is 5' wide Outcast is 4 2/3' wide. Wider means more side to side stability.
    The Sky is 10 1/2' long the Outcast 10'.
    Standing Platform: Sky, 28" X 15" the Outcast, 20 1/2" x 11 1/2"
    Warranty, Sky: Lifetime Outcast: 5 years
    NFO=USA OUTCAST= overseas
    There is probably more, but there you have it. Also Dave was the main designer for Outcast before he went on his own.


    To me, the best bang for the buck is the NFO NAVIGATOR II. It is a pontoon, it is a tube. You can row with it, you can put a motor on it. It is Urethane/USA. It deflates completely and no FRAME for easy transporting. 9' long. Light weight.
     
  12. brockafella

    brockafella New Member

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    hello all! I live here in Boise, ID where both bucks bags and outcast are made and I have personally been to both plants...I also have owned both brands and I gotta say that the outcast has been the best bang for my buck. I owned the bucks double haul for about a month and bent the frame three times chasing cat. 3 rapids. The outcast pac 1200 has been indestructable and I have really put it to the test. however I do have an advantage over alot of people because I live here in Boise and I can go right into either store and they usually fix the raft with in days at no charge....spend the extra dollar and buy an outcast....or AIRE. Same Co.
     
  13. Blue

    Blue Active Member

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    And you are talking BIG BUCKS! NFO:thumb: and for the record, they are built 35 minutes from me:rofl:
     
  14. trekker

    trekker Member

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    I am on the verge of ordering a Pac 1200. What problems have you had with yours if any?
     
  15. Obe

    Obe Skirmisher

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    Hello to all, This is my 1st post and hope I am in the right place. I have read all the above posts and gleaned much info. I am however an Easterner from Penna. Do a lot of surf fishing for stripers etc. However the 2 local rivers I want to fish and already have to much enjoyment. There are many places where pontoon boat would be a nice thing to have for more in accsessable locations. I have been doing much research on the web and narrowed my choices down toA Mckenzie drifter or an outcast pac 1200. My question is why the big spread in price, $600 to 800. Is the pac that much a better boat. Toons are much more in use out in wester states but are becoming more popular here. Any and all advice will be of help to me. Thanks in advance Obe.