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Old 03-03-2008, 12:31 PM
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Default My first Pontoon Boat, looking for ideas

I have wanted a small pontoon boat for several years now, but with the existing battery of watercraft (15' SC Lund/Honda 40, 16' river canoe, 12' Pack canoe w/ oars, Super Fat Cat) it's been difficult to justify.

I stumbled on a Outcast Oncilla, new on EBay for $249 shipped... not to difficult to justify! The only immediate additions I have in mind are a rod holder, some straps to secure a rod travel tube (holds multiple 3-5pc rods in their socks), and I have a HUGE fanny pack that can be easily secured to the back of the seat for layers, rain coat, food, water, etc... and I'll utilize two old down rigger balls as an anchor (the rest of anchor rigging is built into the boat). I'll also rig a shock cord as a 'safety' line for my 35" TLC XL teardrop net. One thing I am curious about is the possibility of configuring a portable DC rig for my Lowrance... since I already have one, why not, right?

I will be using this primarily for half day (4-6 hour) outings on still water. I am a minimalist and work out of the front portion of a Fishpond Double Haul in pretty much all of my different fishing environments (only wearing it when I wade), always C&R, so I don't need much in the way of gear or cargo capacity. I have some standard fins and a high capacity, dual direction pump that I use with the Fat Cat. Depending on how far I need to deflate it to get it to seat well in the back of my truck, I may get lazy and add a DC pump to the mix as well.

I would like to hear comments, suggestion, concerns, ideas, etc from those of you with pontoon boat experience. If you have any good ideas how to make all this damned snow and ice go away faster, I'll actually pay for those!

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Old 03-03-2008, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: My first Pontoon Boat, looking for ideas

Hi GRN,

Pontoon boats are great fishing platforms. The first thing that I see as a problem is the bar across the front of the boat. If it doesn't have a quick disconnect you will have a problem getting into the seat. Pontoon boats are best maneuvered with both oars and fins. Getting over that bar with fins on will be a problem. Of course you can get into the seat first and then put on your fins. Maybe the bar is not as much of a problem as I thought. I guess you use the bar for a foot rest. You probably can't adjust the distance from the seat to the bar unless you can move the seat.

I don't see any means to raise and lower an anchor. Maybe you drop it over the side?

Frank
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: My first Pontoon Boat, looking for ideas

Frank,

I'm firmly in the fins aren't made to be walked in camp, sit first, fin later! The bar does make a good foot rest and isn't much to step over as it is quite low, and the integrity of the boat doesn't depend on it, so it can be left off if desired. The seat is adjustable, and the anchor mechanism is under the seat, and there aren't any good pics showing it that I have found.

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Old 03-03-2008, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: My first Pontoon Boat, looking for ideas

I had one of the Early Bucks Bags "ALPINE" . It had the bar across the front also. It really is out of the way and easy to step over.

One thing GRN, be sure if you transport the boat inflated, that it isn't inflated all the way till you get where you are going, and on warm days, put the boat in the water for a little while then check the air pressure. Maybe put it in the water and get your gear ready and hippers or waders. The cold water could compress the air.

I left the bar off on mine a lot, but it is harder to row with out it. Maybe you can make foot pegs for each side. They wouldn't have to be much. I have seen boats with a little flip out lever maybe 3" long to put their feet on to row. You will really need it if you have to row hard.
My Navigator has a bar with caribeaners on each end. Quick to hook up and unhook. The bar is also nice if you are on the river and want to stand up on a gravel bed. The boat won't float away.
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: My first Pontoon Boat, looking for ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joni View Post
One thing GRN, be sure if you transport the boat inflated, that it isn't inflated all the way till you get where you are going, and on warm days, put the boat in the water for a little while then check the air pressure. Maybe put it in the water and get your gear ready and hippers or waders. The cold water could compress the air.
Thanks, am familiar with how much fluctuation temps can make on pressure with the Cat, I expect it will be even greater with the toons due to size, surface area, etc.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: My first Pontoon Boat, looking for ideas

Hi, I've been lurking for some time and new to the forum. I was considering a personal float but the wife likes to go along. I'm looking at the FoldCat 375. Anyone have any opinions on it?
Thanks, Bobb
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: My first Pontoon Boat, looking for ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobb View Post
Hi, I've been lurking for some time and new to the forum. I was considering a personal float but the wife likes to go along. I'm looking at the FoldCat 375. Anyone have any opinions on it?
Thanks, Bobb
Hi Bobb,

Here are some items you want to be looking at when selecting a pontoon boat.

1. Is the primary use for rivers, salt or lakes. Do you need the boat to be White Water approved by the manufacture? River boats needs some rocker built into the tube. It is not as important in a lake or salt water boat.

2. Are the oar locks adjustable fore/aft?

3. Are the foot rest adjustable?

4. Is the seat adjustable? If the oar locks and foot rests are adjustable you don't need an adjustable seat. If the seat is adjustable you don't need the oars to be adjustable. Being able to adjust the boat to fit is not as important for salt water or lakes.

5. Is the frame made from aluminum or stainless steel? Stainless may be a better choice for salt water. Is the frame painted. Painted frames may get scratched up a bit.

6. How is the anchor support constructed? Is the anchor easy to use?

7. Does the boat have a motor mount and is it removable.

8. What is the diameter of the tubes? Does the frame provide good support to the tubes so they are not displaced by striking rocks or white water. Small diameter tubes are less wind resistant and large diameter tubes have more rocker.

9. How are the
pontoon shells made and how heavy is the material on the top and bottom. The bottom gets the most abuse.

10. What are the bladders made from. Poly is the best choice. Make sure they have life raft type valves. Are the valves made from brass? The best valves use to be made from brass. Some of the new plastic vales are quite good.

11. What is the back platform made from? Do you need to carry heavy or bulky loads?

12. Does the boat have saddle bags?

13. Does a pump come with the boat?

14. Is it easy to assemble? How much does it weigh?

15. Does it have a standing platform? If it does it should be easy to remove or slides under the seat when not in use. A fixed standing platform won't allow you to use flippers to help control the boat.

16. What is the length of the oars? I would not get oars shorter than 7'. The longer the tubes and the heavier the loads, the longer the oars need to be. What material are they made from? Are they one, two or three piece? I would only get three piece oars if you were packing or flying the boat.

If you compare these items against various boats you stand a good chance of getting a boat that meets your requirements. You will not find everything in one boat. The trick is to pick and choose the items that are the most important to your application.
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: My first Pontoon Boat, looking for ideas

Outstanding list there Frank!
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: My first Pontoon Boat, looking for ideas

Thanks Frank. A lot to consider. My head is spinning! I'm thinking mostly lakes as the other half is afraid of river rafting. Here's a link (If that's allowed. If not please feel free to delete.)FoldCat Inflatable Catamaran
Thanks, Bobb
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: My first Pontoon Boat, looking for ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobb View Post
Thanks Frank. A lot to consider. My head is spinning! I'm thinking mostly lakes as the other half is afraid of river rafting. Here's a link (If that's allowed. If not please feel free to delete.)FoldCat Inflatable Catamaran
Thanks, Bobb


Bobb, very cool boat! However, I find it funny they want $150. more for a Minn Kota 28 LOL
Doesn't say what they make the bladders out of, but they have the best valves in my opinion.
You do realize, for $400. more you can get one that is a foot longer and wider with 19" diameter toons instead of 16". Plus Tubeless and a LIFETIME WARRANTY.

Just giving you something else to look at. Not familiar with the one you posted, but it looks great! I am however very familiar with NFO.
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