Pontoon boats; transporting them?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Jeff Hale, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Jeff Hale

    Jeff Hale B.I.G.F.F.

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    I've just acquired a pontoon boat with 9 foot tubes and it weighs about 70 pounds, I think. It's cumbersome and heavy to carry for more than a few hundred yards. Furthermore, I don't really like strapping it to the top of my car, although this works fine. 1) I have seen other fisher-persons use a dolly sort-of-thing to wheel their boats into places that would be too far to carry, for instance, Lenice. Do any of you own these and if so, where did you get it and/or how do you build one? How much did you pay? 2) Does anybody have a small, utility type trailer fitted with a flat piece of plywood that you use to tow your pontoon boat? If so, again, where did you get it and how much did you pay? Any other options. Opinions/Ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. MrP

    MrP Member

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  3. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    This question comes up about once a year. Try doing a searech on 'pontoon boat wheels' to see some of the earlier replies. I use a mountain bike front fork clamped to one of the crossbars on the frame of my 9' boat.

    K
     
  4. Bill Douglas

    Bill Douglas blue collar dirtbag

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    I bought a children's bike at Value Village for eight bucks. I took the front tire and forks off of it. I move the boat around like a wheel barrow using the foot pegs as handles.
     
  5. Snake

    Snake tryin' not to get too comfortable

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    Once you add a wheel, the weight of your boat goes up even more, making it less likely you'll want to heft the beast onto a roof rack, so now you'll want a trailer to haul to boat from home to the parking lot and back. Google "small utility trailer" or "flyfishing pontoon boat trailer" to get an idea of what's out there. Expect to pay $400-900 for a new one.

    Or practice inflating your 'toons and putting your boat together in twenty minutes or less. You can put the whole thing inside your vehicle, or strap just the frame to the roof rack, thus avoiding "highway rash" from mud spray on your pontoons. Have an organized system. When you hit the parking lot, pull the pontoons out and inflate them almost full. Carry them to the put-in, along with the frame, oars, cam straps, dry bags, etc., and put it together next to the water. Top off the 'toons, and hit the water. I don't have the space (or the $$!) to get a trailer, so I've had to get fast settin' up the boat. My best time is 16 minutes, using a hand pump to inflate my 'toons. Man, gotta get one of those electric air pumps that hook up to my truck's battery. Bet I could get it down to 10 minutes. Well, maybe not, but it's a New Year, and I can dare to dream, can't I???
     
  6. Riane

    Riane Mouse doctor

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    Been looking at small, packable pontoon boats myself for ease of transport; ran across this item that may be of interest:

    cabelas link deleted
     
  7. sashjo

    sashjo Member

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    I transport my River Tamer inside my SUV. It takes 15 minutes to put back together That includes using a hand pump. Ten minutes to break down. Launching gear was worth the $60!
     
  8. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Bigfoot is blurry

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    Yes. I had a 10 pontoon that weighed around 100lbs so I felt a trailer was a must. The 4x8 kit trailers for $200 work perfectly. I got mine at Fred Meyer on sale for $189. Add in a little extra for wood and licensing. Took about 4 hours to assemble as designed, plus a little more to raise the deck and make it wide enough for my boat. I also added larger rims/tires from Northern Tool. I sold the boat and now use it as a utility trailer.
     
  9. Starman77

    Starman77 Active Member

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    I have the Launching Gear installed on my Outcast Fish Cat 8 pontoon boat. The excellent reviews posted by Mr. P. sum up my observations. Very high quality construction and design. The only thing I would add is that the small wheel doesn't go over large rocks as easily as a bicycle wheel, but it is more difficult to store a bicycle wheel onboard (or worry about it being stolen if left on shore). This Launching Gear system was the best solution I could find and I recommend it highly.

    Rex
     
  10. Drewski

    Drewski New Member

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    I transport my 10' Steelheader Guide Model with a 10'x6' flat utility trailer. I bought the trailer at Olympic Trailer. They are located in the industrial area of west Olympia. I paid $795 and it came w/ a 3 year warranty.

    I would much rather tow it fully assembled and drop it in rather than fussing w/ a pump and straps at the launch.

    Drew
     
  11. gearhead

    gearhead Active Member

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    I place my pontoons, oars, rod holders anchor, etc, etc, in a large duck decoy bag. i as well carry a 30 gal bag, to place my wet pontoon bags in for transort home, so i dont get everything wet on the way back. I have a cheap 12 volt (car batt) coleman to inflate my pontoons, about maybe 90%, then top off with a two way pump, (really sucks to fish when your arms and lungs hurt), i strap the pump to the cargo tray incase of emergency, while fishing. when your pontoon filled with all that warm air hits that ice cold water, you will see the air pressure drop off a little. so be ready to add air.
     
  12. andycarey

    andycarey New Member

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    I use an American Whitewater raft trailer to transport m cataraft (16-ft tubes 24 inches in diameter + expedition frame), but before I had that I'd put the tubes in the car, the frame on top, and use a good quality electric pump available from most raft supply companies (e.g., NRS) to pump up and top off with a 2-way hand pump (as suggested above); the hand pump goes with the cat w a repair kit, of course :) Still having the cat inflated in the garage on a trailer with a roll bar makes it easy just to come and go with it.
     
  13. Wayne Kohan

    Wayne Kohan fish-ician

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    I have a 9 foot pontoon and carry it on the luggage rack of my Explorer without problems. I used to deflate it way down and put it in the back of the Explorer but it was too much work and took too long to get on the water. (Anything longer than 3 minutes is too long.)

    I initially used the factory rack, but it was a pain to attach because the pontoons sat on it and I would have to lift it and put the straps around it. I since installed a Yakima rack with just the bars and I find it so much easier to use. Just have to be careful putting the boat on the car after fishing so that you don't scratch the car with tiny gravel pieces stuck to the toons.

    I also hand my boat in the garage so that I can keep it together and don't have to assemble it each time I go fishing. I also have a wheel for it that I got from Kauffman's to wheel it to Lenice, or wherever.

    I have found that I use my boat alot more if it is easy to use it, instead of having to re-assemble it each use.

    Wayne
     
  14. jbrodie

    jbrodie New Member

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    I also have a Yakima rack mounted on my truck canopy. When I placed my 8' pontoon on the rack the center portion of my tube sat on the top of the canopy so I placed a towel under the tube to protect the paint. I recently found on line, extensions that will raise the bars about 3" and should lift my tube off the canopy and will be supported only by the 2 bars. Jim.















    "
     
  15. Bob Ellis

    Bob Ellis New Member

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    For a wheel, I have a bike (BMX??) handle bar clamp permanently installed, then slip in the fork/wheel only when necessary. At Lenice, we remove our wheels and toss them aside until ready for the trip over the hill to the parking lot. Adjusting two Allen head bolts is all it takes to install or remove the wheel, so we never have to lift the wheel on to the vehicle.

    As for transportation, I break down my South Fork if the trip is more than 30 miles or so. It doesn't take that long to reassemble, it as others have noted. Found a 12 volt pump for $10 or so at Target a while back, and a friend fabricated a neat fitting between the pump and valve to depress the value stem while you hold the pump in place. I have to finish off inflation with a few strokes on a hand pump, but the 12V pump does most of the work.

    Bob