converting a 10 foot pontoon frame?

what would be the min. feet you would need for a safe frame that would hold 2 people, i am looking at 10 foot whitewater bladders with a single person frame but was thinking of maybe obtaining a 2 person frame. Jerry D. , do you have any comments on this, your expertise is always needed in these matters. i am asking because that way i could row my girlfriend with me. ive seen 12 foot tubes that hold 2 people but was wondering if 10 footers would cut it, safely! thanks for your replies. bhudda
maybe for lakes, wouldn't do for moving water though. i saw a website once that offered build it yourself catraft frame components. its pretty much the same stuff that frames chain link fences top rail. this site offered connectors, no welding. that top rail is one of the most common items on earth apparently. can be found almost anywhere. think i might have linked to that site from blackbear or jb's plastic welding, or maybe not. you should be stable enough for lakes i think but it kind of depends on your and your girlfriends weights. but then i'd defer to Jerry's opinion.
I have a 9' ODC. I don't think it's anywhere near stable enough for two people, regardless of the frame. I can't see another foot making that much difference, but maybe the bladders you're looking at are more substantial than the ODC setup. My $.02


Old Man

Just an Old Man
If Matt was around he could help you I think. He rigged up a seat behind his for his other half and he has/had a 10' tooner. I think that it was just for riding and not fishing.



tryin' not to get too comfortable
I've got a WaterSkeeter frame that I retrofitted with 10 foot x 19" diameter toons from JPW, along with a diamondplate aluminum rear deck. By placing the frame as far forward on the toons as possible, I've taken friends down the Skagit, having them sit on the rear platform. It definitely isn't as "quick" to maneuver, but it was fine in Class II water. (I weigh about 165 lbs., and my biggest buddy is about 190) To keep the rear platform from bending under the concentrated weight of a person sitting right in the middle, I put my drybag with extra gear/supplies (the floats were in the winter) on one side of the rear platform (over one of the toons), and had my passenger sit on the other side. I've been thinking about mounting a couple of metal tubes under the platform for bracing, but haven't gotten around to it. Just make sure you are sitting in the main seat before the passenger sits down, or the boat might "wheelie" and dump 'em!


Just Another Bubba
I've got a set up for my 9' fishcat for my 11yr old daughter to use. the boat's real stable but fairly sluggish. My toons are wide and low so they displace a lot of water quickly but not much free board left (anytime, the added weight makes little draw difference, about an inch). Lakes and the lower Yak are no problem and if we practiced more I might get confident enough for heavier water (upper yak?) but by the time we practice that much she'll be ready for her own. Your experience may vary.

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Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Well, it really depends on the tubes if you put a second person on it. A kid, not much of a problem, full sized adult, most of the tubes won't cut it. You want a fairly flat hulled pontoon. Similar to whitewater "outfitter" grade tubes. NRS has them, then of course most of your true "whitewater" grade pontoons. Handling capacity rating is a key. The boats I run in the 10' range have a 1,000# carrying capacity. Plus, flatter waterlines. So can be run two person, and I've even ran whitewater with two people on stripped down frames. So can be done, and is safe IF you have decent tubes. Which ones do you have? 12' are MUCH better for two adults if you're talking most of the Outcast/Bucks type tubes.

Well, frame dimensions. You DO NOT want the frame to exceed the final upward curve of your tubes. That's hard with a smaller continous/rocker hull boat. With the flatter hulled boat, can be seen quite easily. Usually you should use your D rings as the guide on the 10 and bigger boats. I wouldn't go too much past them. Say it this way, on my 10' Steelheader, I could use an 8' long frame on it safely (and was stable with two people on it). Hull was designed different then some of the others out there though. Rower foward is usually always best for river situations on tubes with heavy loads. I do like the "driftboat" feel having rower back. But on moderate to slower rivers, rower back isn't much of a problem. But with harder water, you want rower middle/rower forward. Helps move the boat better actually. Especially under "max out" loads on your tubes, you want rower as far forward as possible.

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