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Old 08-16-2009, 11:01 AM
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Default Joining the Pontoon Fleet

Well,

Was torn between a pontoon and a float tube, but ran into a deal on an older bucks bag bronco - 7.5 foot pontoons. figured what the heck, gets me out on the water and only my feet are submerged.

Missing the oarlocks, but was able to order them from bucks bag for 15 bucks, so waiting on that.

I did get some fins and used some slightly oversized oarlocks on the tube so hoping to maybe drop it into one of our small ponds today to try it out.

I will let you know.

d
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Joining the Pontoon Fleet

Have a good time with your 'toon. Now for more fun, try taking your 7.5 footer down some moving water.

MP
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Joining the Pontoon Fleet

Hi webrx,

Way to go. Everyone should have a toon. It is one of the best ways to fish a river. Does yours have the Stainless Steel frame?

Frank
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: Joining the Pontoon Fleet

black powder coated frame, guy was not sure what year it was made, belonged to his dad who passed away 6 months ago said he used it to fish some ponds and lakes he said. seems to be in good shape, no dings or rust, and toons hold air with no patches.

I am sure he had the oarlocks somewhere, but the kid did not know what to look for or where to look. The toon was in a storage shed so someone moved stuff around and the oarlocks got lost. No big deal.

On this older one the straps go completely around the toons to hold the frame in place, straps are all solid no tears no indications of damage.

I could have bought a new one (Cimmaron) for a hundred more then I paid, but reviews of it seem poor (leaky pontoons, frame snapping, etc) I have heard good things about the bucks bags which go for around 600 and I got this for 150. All in all I am happy with it.

Did not get a chance to get out yesterday, so probably not going to get it on the water until next weekend now.

We do have the truckee river here, but not going to try to hit the moving water until I feel I understand the pontoon. I have heard stories of people flipping them and stuff like that, don't know how likely it is to flip a pontoon, but I will wear my LP just in case.

d
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: Joining the Pontoon Fleet

Quote:
Originally Posted by webrx View Post
We do have the truckee river here, but not going to try to hit the moving water until I feel I understand the pontoon. I have heard stories of people flipping them and stuff like that, don't know how likely it is to flip a pontoon, but I will wear my LP just in case.
You can play around at Boca (if you are near Truckee) until you get your confidence up.

Go visit Andy Burk at his new shop off of Hirschdale if you haven't done so. He will tell you what a good drift is (where to put in, where to take out). The Truckee is very mild compared to drifts in the midelevation forks of the American River.

Also if you want to do a day trip to the Lower Yuba River, the Sycamore Ranch Campground has a shuttle service for your vehicle. An employee will ride up to the put in point under the highway 20 bridge. He will take your boat down to the take out at Sycamore Ranch.

A 'toon can be flipped if you are in fast enough water and get off line. I really don't see that on the Truckee. Most likely, you will get spun around.

MP
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Joining the Pontoon Fleet

Web,

The only points I will add to the previous posts are; I own two pontoon boats and oared a drift boat for ten years, so................

Currently I have a 13' two man Fish Cat and an 8' Fish Cat Cougar that we use for float fishing trips here in AK. Although these boats handle beautifully in moderate to swift water conditions they are primarily the means of reaching the fishing areas not the way to fish. Even on still water unless you are gifted with a windless day they are tough to fish from. If you equip the toon with anchors fore and aft they work out but if the boat if not a two man with a casting deck up front I don't care for casting while sitting.

They are a great way to access more remote parts of a river but require some logistical planning as far as drop off and pick up are concerned but overall I love using them. I know you will enjoy yours. There's just something about floating a river alone that takes you back in time. No matter what is going on in this world around me, when I float there is nothing but the water.

Ard
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Joining the Pontoon Fleet

I am betting you got the better deal with that Bronco. If it is an older model, the bladders are URETHANE which beats the heck out of PVC (vinyl). Stronger and less effected by temp and altitude.
Black powder coated....is it an Aluminum frame? Cool if it is cause less weight.

My first Pontoon boat was the BUCKS ALPINE. Back then, they were 6' long with 16" diameter pontoons (I think that is the diameter). The bladders were Urethane and a killer PVC coated outer cover. That was 15 years or so ago and my Brother in-law still beats the **** out of it and NEVER A LEAK!!!!
The oar holder on it are clamps around the oar with a stem that sticks in the frame so they are always on the oars. Is that the same, or are yours the Brass Horse shoe style. If they are the horse shoe, I suggest getting some OAR RIGHTS, They make a big difference.

Lastly, check your regs on rivers. I have never seen it in writing, but I am told that pontoon need be at least 8' here.

The fact it is a shorter toon should make much difference on stillwater. It is the diameter of the toons. I loved the HECK out of mine.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Joining the Pontoon Fleet

Thanks for the advice and info everyone.

I have not rigged an anchor yet, but that is on the list, I plan on trying out sparks marina first to get a feel for the toon, then up to davis lake or boca. Tried to get up to Hobart reservoir the other day, but good sense got the better of me when I wasnt sure I was on the right trail and it started getting steep enuf to make my tires spin in my jeep. Figured I musta picked a wrong turn since the guy that told me about it drives a fool size chevy - no way he got up that hill. Gotta talk to him about how he gets there.

I have talked to Andy over at the Reno fly shop many months ago, where is his new shop? Did he quit the RFS?

I thought about floating the truckee, but wanna get a feel for the toon on some flat water first. Then maybe try a little float east of town, I know where there are a few deep holes I would like to drift over, and the flow is not too bad class one and two.

I was concerned about it flipping due to the short toons, but as fat as they are, not sure this is really an issue unless you dig into some rocks or something moving quick and yoru weight gets thrown forward, not sure there is a way to flip it sideways - though mother nature has proven me wrong before so not betting on it.

I think the frame is aluminum, cause the whole thing only weighs about 40 or 50 lbs. I can bend over an pick it up. It is the older style that has this red and black thick PVC outer wrap around some inner bladders not sure if they are urethane, big zipper along the toons so you could replace it if you wanted to, but feels like it would take a razor knife to get through the outer shell. The fill valves are one way valves, kind of like car tire valves, you have to press an interior cross piece in the valve to deflate them.

Pontoons measure about 7.5 feet tip to tip and pretty fat around the middle tapering to upturned points on each end.

The original oar holders were supposed to be black and wrap around the oars. I don't have those yet, but I ordered them, right now I have some brass ones I got at Cabelas on the toon, but the oars are a bit too small for the oarlocks, so I tied some cloth wrapped stretch cord around the bottom of the U, then up and over the oars so they cant slip up and out. I put drip gaurds on both sides of the oarlocks, and taped the handle end so it could not slide through the drip gaurds.

I also bought some 2 inch PVC pipe, cut them to 5 inches long and put some slots into it. I put this on the straps in the back and have an oar holder now so I can stow the oars when not in use. It says Bronco on it, but it sure sounds alot like your old alpine Joni. Maybe the same era. The straps wrap clean around the pontoons, not like the new ones that connect to holders on the side.

Not sure there are any length limits on the truckee, at least not where I have seen the kids floating in their tubes. Right now the flow is down and it would probably be a nice leisurely drift...

Thanks again.

d
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Joining the Pontoon Fleet

Hi webrx,

The first Bronco's were made with an aluminum frame. With the next generation they became the Bronco II and had 8' pontoons. The Bronco II has a stainless steel frame with an anchor attachment as part of the frame. They now call the Bronco series the Bronco Extreme. The still have the stainless frame. I like the Bronco frame because it is longer that some frames and provides more support to the ends of the tubes.

If your boat don't have the rubber oar stops you should consider getting a set. The allow you to adjust how much of the oar is on the rowers side of the oar lock. It also keeps the oar from slipping through the oar lock.

Frank

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Old 08-18-2009, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Joining the Pontoon Fleet

Frank I am gonna say, go one step farther and get these:

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The long piec goes in the gap on the Brass Horse shoe oar holders, but holds your oars in place.
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