Pontoon or small wooden boat?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by jonbackman, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. Plecoptera

    Plecoptera Active Member

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    I own both and can say that the wood boat gets used about 95% of the time. As mentioned the only real benefit I see from a pontoon boat is the ability to move around while keeping your hands on the rod. However if you position your boat correctly in the wind, it is possible to cast and retrieve from a pram while your pushed along. If there is no wind you may need a few oar strokes here and there between casts to keep covering water.

    For me, the benefits I get from the wood boat far outweigh the mobility of the pontoon.
     
  2. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    I have built a few prams for people and help some build their own prams. But I am a big guy, and like my space. A 6 or 8 foot pram is just too small for me. I think a 10 or 12 footer would be my preference, but now you are bordering on a weight issue for easy launching and truck loading. I think the big advantage is not having to put your waders on, and having plenty of room for your dog, grand kids, boxes/bags, lunch, cooler, and general stuff. Small boats are hard on my knees, but I would rather see a wood pram than a toon anyday.
     
  3. Mark Conner

    Mark Conner A fish out of water

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    As a carnivore, just wondering, is your dog made out of meat?
     
  4. Richard E

    Richard E Active Member

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    I own both a pontoon (PAC800) and an 8' wooden pram. Both are great, and while they both overlap in function, they both have their advantages over the other.

    I think it was Mike who noted earlier he preferred his pram IF he had somewhere to store it and IF he had a rig to haul it. Right there are two reasons to prefer a pontoon over a pram; it's easier to store, and it's easier to haul around, depending on what vehicle you have. Also, although Jerry says he fishes his in moving water, generally most pontoons are going to be better river vehicles than the 8' stillwater pram most folks are talking about here. I know that I wouldn't even think about taking my pram in moving water that I would fish the PAC800. Plus, the anchoring system in the PAC800 is a nice feature in a river when fishing to rising fish . . .

    An item that no one has noted; loading and unloading a pram. I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee,and it's not the easiest to get it on and off rig. My pontoon, if I decide to haul it on the top of the Jeep, is much easier to slide on and off. And when it's windy (gee, when does that happen in Central or Eastern WA) it's a pain to load the pram on and off the rig by myself. Pontoon, obviously the wind doesn't blow it around.

    Now, I do love the convenience of the pram. I was always jealous of my pram fishing buddies who go in to the water 20 minutes before I could get in to the water with my pontoon boat (I hauled my pontoon with frame assembled, but that was it, so the rest of the boat had to be assembled and gear loaded at the destination).

    To me the pram (most short prams, and I'm talking 8' or so) are specialty stillwater craft. If you fish stillwaters most often, and have the storage and hauling capabilities to accommodate a pram, I'd get the pram. If you're looking for a boat that you will use in both stillwaters and moving waters, I'd get the pontoon.

    In reality, though, you 'need' both. :)
     
  5. Dr Bob

    Dr Bob Active Member

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    Thanks Denny, that is great comparison of a small boat versus a pontoon. I just went through the thought process and because I do not float rivers myself (fish from shore, wade or get a guide) and have not fished small lakes much due to being trapped on shore, I ordered a small pram.

    Dr Bob
     
  6. yellowlab

    yellowlab Active Member

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    Congrats Bob for making the jump to the pram! I talked to Ron and also put my order in for another 8' boat. You won't be sorry that you made the decision, and it will be a love affair of epic proportions...
     
  7. Trout Master

    Trout Master Active Member

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    Paul your adding to your fleet, whats next aa destroyer or a frigate?
     
  8. Rick Todd

    Rick Todd Active Member

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    I have a 17' drift boat and I often fish it in stillwater. It is nice to stay warm and dry and be able to cast standing up. That said, I also have a Scadden pontoon with a slide-out platform that allows me to stand up to cast and stretch while anchored in a lake, I can troll with fins, and it is way easier to load and unload. It also works really well with an electric, and since my first love is fishing moving water, it allows me to fish down a river using my fins (I can't for the life of me figure why more people don't do this), access places to wade fish and handle white water very well. If I had one boat to do it all, my MacKenzie Drifter 13' that can be configured for either one or two people fishing would be the only boat I would likely need. (Not sure about my 8' pontoon, 9' pontoon, super fat cat and belly boat, plus my NRS 13' whitewater raft but I'm sure I NEED them for something!) Rick
     
  9. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Denny, you lost me on my quote. I was saying hands down I'd use a pram on flatwater (aka lakes), where my pontoons would be for the rivers. And, my prams were built FOR rivers. Mini driftboats. Higher sided, secure, little wider. Anchored in rivers ALOT more stable then any pontoon you could show me (and I know pontoons). We used them for elk hunting, would also serve as drag boats and could take quartered elk back to camp via the local stream we hunted near. But, I HAVE used BOTH for rivers and lakes. How I came to my opinions on them.

    I'm lost on the "Pontoon, obviously the wind doesn't blow it around.". Do you mean on your vehicle or on the water? I know mine would affect the smaller vehicles I had them on. BUT, I never put a pram on top of a vehicle. Why I never talked about loading it. We would stack our prams in the back of our pickups, or had them on flatbed driftboat trailers (hence the mini driftboat scenerio).
     
  10. Gorgefly

    Gorgefly Member

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    I haven't used the toon since I got my Spring Creek Pram. Standing and casting to cruising trout is much more fun than kicking around all day in a toon and dragging your line around a lake. You stay higher, dryer, warmer and cooler when you want to.
     
  11. Jerryp

    Jerryp New Member

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    I think it's nice to have to have both a hard bottom boat
    and a toon gives you more options on where to go or comfort.
    I have a 16' drift boat and 3 toons one has stand up platform.
    I will never be without at least a toon!!!!
     
  12. Warren Messer

    Warren Messer Member

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