Dave Scadden Boats

Kiwi Phil

Antipodean Piscator
I'm interested to know what people think of these pontoon boats. I've been doing a fair bit of reseearch online and keep coming back to the Skykomish Sunrise as a (what seems to be) good allround and solid stand-up pontoon. My problem is I live in New Zealand (yep, a long way away) where literally no-one sells these sort of boats. So I'm kind of having to go on faith. Any first hand experiences of the boats and the company would be appreciated. Oh yeah, Cabela's seem to do a pretty good deal on the boat (and freight which is $$ to NZ) - what are they like to deal with?
I've had my Skykomish Sunrise for 2 years now and absolutly love the boat. I have yet to float a river with it, but I have a friend (Steve Egge) who's on the board, that will tell you it's fantastic.

So far, I've lake fished with it and have mounted an electric motor on her. Handles like a champ. I love the ability to stand up and fish. A real plus in my eyes. After 2 years I haven't had any issues with the boat. There are a few things I would recommend though. First off, get the 7 inch seat riser. It really helps you get up on the standing platform and for me (5'10") I don't have any problems rowing. Check out this link for other things I recommend:


I also bought mine at Cabelas and they were great. For me, the package arrived with damaged oars and they replaced them without any problems.

In February I attended the fly fishing show in Bellevue WA and had a chance to talk to Dave himself. GREAT guy. He gave me his 2 new DVD'd which showed some of the techniques he uses. If you can get your hands on these, I recommend it. Pretty cool stuff.

Good luck and if you have anymore questions, just ask

Kiwi Phil

Antipodean Piscator
Thanks for the positive feedback and good info guys. I've since searched through the board (should have done it first ;) ) and found a lot of references -most good - but some very negative about customer service. The Skykomish seems to get mainly very positive feedback - so I'm hoping that if it is sold by Cabela's I will have a good experience. Joe, how do oars manage to turn up damaged??? Was this from the transport or manufacturing?

Kiwi Phil

Antipodean Piscator
I've just sold the stuff online that I needed to fund this purchase. So I have decided to buy the Skykomish sunrise from Cabela's. I hope it goes well, and will post a message when I have it to let you know how i get on.

Joe, thanks for the good info.

Kiwi Phil

Antipodean Piscator
Thanks again for the good info Joe. Those instructions look straght foraward enough. I have another question for you - what is the best way to store these things when not in use? Can they be stored with the pontoons rolled up, or should they be left with air in them? Storage space in our already crowded garage is at a premium....

By the way, I'll take some photo's of my first excursion and post them here - I can't wait!!
I store mine with air in pontoons and "hoist" it to the top of the garage with "bicycle" lifts.

I think it is bad to deflate and fold them for a long periods ... if you deflate them then store them flat ... not folded.

just my opinion.

Steve Egge

Kiwi Phil

Antipodean Piscator
Thanks Steve. Sounds like good advice - my instinct tells me that leaving plastics folded for a time can't be good for them. Iwonder what the manufacturers have to say? I'll flick Dave Scadden an email and see what the policy is. Cheers!
Damn Steve....Beat me to the punch.....:mad:

Steve is right...Storing them with air is the best way to go. I'm lucky because I have a 2 car garage that I put my boats in, so I just put enough air in the tubes to keep their form and set it on top of my drift boat. Make sure you don't fill to capacity when storing them. You want to let the pontoons expand and contract based on temperature and humidity.
storing toons

I used to have a big cataraft that I stored outside. Pain in the butt. Had to keep it covered. Constantly monitor inflation pressure. And the wind and UV would trash the cover so I had replace it every year.

I store my toon in the garage. Made a pulley system incorporating an enexpensive winch. It now hangs from the ceiling and I can drive a car in under it.

Kiwi Phil

Antipodean Piscator
That sounds like good advice Jo and Speyfisher. I have a high retaining wall behind the house that could work as a place to hang the raft from (under a cover) if I can't squeeze it inside. UV rays in NZ are really fierce, so keeping light off it will be important if I take that option. Garage sounds best.

Jon Brengan

flyfishing addict
Since you're in NZ, have you looked at the Incept boats - its not a pontoon but could be actually more stable than a pontoon and is alot less weight, no frame to lug around. I looked into these when looking for a boat to pack into those remote area that would allow you to still take a sufficient amount of gear with you as well. Incept is built in NZ, could be a lot less money for you than buying a pontoon and shipping it halfway around the world.

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