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Old 02-09-2009, 10:10 AM
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Default Pontoon Boats?

I have been belly-boating for a number of years and I guess I am ready to get my rear end out of the water. I am looking at buying a pontoon boat sometime in the near future - probably by the middle of summer.

I will use it primarily on small to medium-sized mountain lakes for average to slightly above average sized trout. I usually go on lakes that have little boat traffic and no real wakes to speak of. I do not plan to take it on moving water. I currently belly boat 5-7 times a season is all. I am 6' 3" and 200 pounds. I do not plan on packing it into a lake. I would like to keep the cost in the $500 range.

What do you feel are the qualities I should be looking for in a good pontoon boat given these criteria? Do you recommend a particular brand and model?
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: Pontoon Boats?

Hi gjcordray,

Your choices will be limited with your price range. The lower priced pontoons usually have a powder coated steel frame and vinyl bladders. Steel frames are tough but you have to keep a watch out for any rust that might start. If you get water inside of a steel frame tube it will probably rust through with time. The Tahoe Fisher has a welded aluminum frame.

Based on your described use you may find the Tahoe Fisher™ Pontoon Boat something to check out. The pontoons are rigid and that means no blowing up to hit the water. The pontoons are only 6' long but that will be OK in the lake fishing you are talking about. It will fit flat in the back of a pickup and all you have to do is unload and hit the water. It doesn't have an anchor devise or a motor mount.

The problem with the Tahoe Fisher is its limited use. It is not intended for river fishing and should never be used in a river with currant. I know you say you don't want to use it in a river but you may want to consider getting a boat that is useful in lakes and rivers. Priced at $400 plus shipping will put it under budget.

I have not seen this boat and my comments are just observations only. Here is a FAQ post about what to look for in a Pontoon boat. It is based on an inflatable bladder boat but it may give you some ideas.

Frank


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Old 02-09-2009, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Boats?

One thing you might consider is getting a pontoon that has a motor mount and a way to use an anchor, but you can probably devise a way to use an anchor on most pontoons. The reason I mention the motor mount is that I see a lot of pontoon boats on the lakes I fish (Delaney Lakes) and a few folks are using electric motors to slowly troll with and they also come in handy when the wind picks up and your trying to get back to shore for lunch or at the end of the day. Anyway, just something to consider.

Larry
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Boats?

I have an ODC super sport 9" pontoon that I use on lakes here in B.C ! Sweet little rig ! Things to look for for me next time I buy one would be . Dual air chambers on each pontoon ! If you spring a leak ,You'll still have half a pontoon to make it to shore with ! Make sure you can put a swivel on the seat base ! Some of the cheaper pontoons come with a seat that looks like a nylon lawn chair! ..NOT COMFORTABLE! At least not after you have been sitting there for 4 to 6 hours ! And you cant put a swivel base on these seats. I find in mine while anchored I sit sideways in the wind alot ,therefore spend a lot of time facing sideways ! The seat swivel will save your back ! The bigger the cargo deck the better ! They fill up with gear quick ! I Pack mine with a PUMP (never go out without your pump my friend) A deep cycle battery ( this runs my fish finder and electric trolling motor) A small cooler for some of my favorite beverages ! that leaves the side storage bags for the rest of your gear ! An anchor is A MUST HAVE ! Any little wind will have you on the other side of the lake lickity split! And the last thing would be if you find one with some sort of "keel" along the bottom of the pontoon ! Mine does not have a keel, and I find it tracks about as straight as a drunk longshoreman! The ODC super sport 9 is $299.00 in the states ! $450.00 here in Canada !
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Boats?

I am going to say, features to look for:

As Frank mentioned, an Aluminum Frame is a plus because they are allot lighter.
Urethane bladder is most desired because it is lighter, last allot longer, less effected by Altitude and temps. Vinyl is okay and is going to be pretty much what you will be looking at in the lower price range. Just KNOW that folding vinyl can cause holes, and be sure and transport half full because it will balloon up at higher elevations. Hot days, inflate then put in the cold water for several minutes then check the air again.

Like a hot dog, the outer cover is the most important part. Get a heavy denier. Plus a rhino hide bottom is always a plus.

Seat, out of all the ones out there, I am going to say the PADDED molded plastic seats are the best.

I would recommend to you an Bucks Bag Alpine. The new ones are Vinyl, but a dual air chamber. 7' long and low profile. Small enough to fit in the back of a small pick-up

A little more money, but worth it to me:

Buck's Bags
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:11 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Boats?

That Tahoe Fisher looks an awful lot like the Hobie Float Cat 75 Expedition. I have been considering one of the Hobies after I saw them used on a recent episode of Fly Fish America. However, the Tahoe Fisher looks to be very similar and maybe even has some upgrades like the padded seat and it comes standard with the stripping apron. It also looks like you actually have some dry storage in the pontoons which isn't available on the Hobie. I like the idea of the molded pontoons. You don't have to worry about air pressure, etc.. I am going to have to go to the local Cabelas and see if they have one. Looks like it could be a good deal, especially at half the price of the Hobie.
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Boats?

I thought these boats had a mesh cargo deck. What did you have to do to carry the battery?
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Boats?

Sorry. My first time using this. I'm refering to Hakai's message on the ODC super sport 9.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Pontoon Boats?

I bought the sportsmans warehouse pontoon (made by fishcat) for $500. It is 9', steel frame, motor mount with diamond plate form for the battery. I'm 6'1" and 245 pounds and have no problem with this loaded down.
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