Pontoon Help Please

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Josh Knighten, May 7, 2007.

  1. Josh Knighten

    Josh Knighten New Member

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    On the market for a pontoon, and mostly doing still water/lake fishing. For a newbie, my range is $300-$400. Been looking at the Creek Company ODC models and the Trout Unlimited Colorado Model. I know the higher the fabric material (Denier) is, the more resistance it is to a leak. Most of the ODC models have a 840 Denier rating and the Colorado have a 1200 rating. But the reviews of the Colorado are very bad (bladder problems). Which one should I choose? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks
     
  2. Slowhand

    Slowhand Suum Cuique

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    Josh,

    There is a whole lot more to it than just the denier, though that is a good "starting" point. The fabric you refer to is, I believe, the outer fabric with a vinyl bladder inside. I lost two ODC's last year to the outer fabric shredding.

    Joe's has a Fish Cat 9-IR on sale this week for $449. It has a 600 denier top fabric with a 900 denier bottom - both are vinyl coated, a substantial improvement over the ODC's. I bought one last week and have absolutely no regrets; the thing is built like a barge. Nice enough for lakes yet large enough IMHO to do the easier rivers. I love mine!!! Oh yeah, it comes with a 5-year guarantee.

    Good luck in your search.

    Keeping it nice and easy
     
  3. SteelieD

    SteelieD Non Member

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    iagree
     
  4. Matt Roelofs

    Matt Roelofs Member

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    I recently went through this process and ended up with a Buck's Southfork. For me it came down to features / $ -- and this midpriced boat seemed to hit the sweetspot for me. The entire thread, which contains some good advice from other members, is here. Note that I was restricting myself to smaller models (8 or 9 feet) with an ability to handle lakes and mild rivers (class II / maybe class III in a pinch).
     
  5. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    If all you are going to do is fish lakes I would invest in a Buck's Bag's Alpine. I think that I paid around $400.00 for mine. But I don't know if they still make them. Very good lake pontoon boat. 7' pontoons and 16" round.

    Jim
     
  6. Josh Brower

    Josh Brower AKA Salmon, Trout, Steelheader

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    i got the ODC super sport 9. i love it. the main reason i got this one, is that the pontoons are in the water quite a bit more than the other ODC's, and alot of others. i have ahd no problems with mine yet, and dont think i will, but i will keep those things in mind.
     
  7. scottflycst

    scottflycst Active Member

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    My first quality pontoon was a Buck's Southfork that I fished out of for ten years. I fish approx. 55-70 days a year and the Southfork got alot of use on rivers and lakes. Three years back I sold it to a friend and it is still on the water today. I replaced it with an Outcast product and have found with decent care aquality boat is money well spent and worth waiting for if I have to save a little longer to get it. I've certainly learned my lesson about buying cheap, my first watercaft was inexpensive in every way and it only lasted two seasons.
     
  8. myflysdown

    myflysdown Member

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    Hey Josh,
    Check out the pontoon's at Costco!!! Look real good for a lot less dough. I could not find the same quality for the same or less price any place else. VM.
     
  9. Wes Neuenschwander

    Wes Neuenschwander New Member

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    I'd definitely favor a product with reinforced fabric (PVC/Urethane impregnated) over bare fabric. It adds weight, but substantially increases the tear and puncture resistance. (It's really a 'composite material' - similar to the resin impregnated graphite scrim in your fly rods.)

    Secondly, I'd insist on a urethane bladder, rather than vinyl. Vinyl is plastic in the true sense - that is is "flows" slowly over time, allowing seams and other areas of the bladder to thin and weaken and ultimately fail. Urethane is much stronger and durable. Urethane is also typically 'self-supporting' so if you rip a seam in the outer fabric (or even tear a small opening) the urethane won't extrude through the hole and blow.

    -Wes
     
  10. Slowhand

    Slowhand Suum Cuique

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    Urethane bladders on a $300 - $400 pontoon boat!!! Yeah, we all wish.

    If I recall correctly, my research found those pontoon boats with urethane bladders start at $899 and go up rather quickly.
     
  11. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    If you're gonna use a pontoon amost exclusively for stillwater, I'd recommend taking a hard look at the Super Fat Cat float tube instead.

    Here's why. Like a pontoon, you sit up out of the water in a SFC making for a warmer fishing experience. Unlike a pontoon, it only weighs about 12 pounds compared with 60 to 75 for a bare 'toon, more or much more fully loaded. The heavier 'toon will require a wheel or cart to lug in to a remote lake while the SFC simply straps on your back with removeable padded shoulder straps. As Wes stated above, the SFC comes with the superior urethane bladder instead of a cheap vinyl one. Finally, at about $400 the SFC is a top of the line float tube for the same price as an entry-level pontoon.

    While an SFC is not a substitute for a river-going pontoon, most of the stillwater guys I know who've tried the SFC have pretty much abandoned their pontoons altogether. I sure have.

    K
     
  12. Slowhand

    Slowhand Suum Cuique

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    iagree

    Were I to purchase a second platform, that would probably be the one. It didn't make my final cut because I wanted something more suited to an occasional river float. Also, the 'toon allows for quicker trips across/length of lakes (real important when you suddenly have to go).

    I hope to get a SFC next year, provided I find a way to get it under the wife's radar.

    Keeping it nice and easy
     
  13. Josh Knighten

    Josh Knighten New Member

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    Well I ended up getting the TU Colorado and took it out this evening. It was a blast! Alot easier than kicking all the time in a float tube. Using the sticks to get to point A to point B is alot faster and easier, but still have that habit of using the kickers at times.