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Old 04-16-2014, 11:30 PM
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Default First Pontoon Boat

Now that I'm getting hooked on stillwater trout, I feel like a pontoon boat is in order to take it from wading the shores to out on the lake. Tried a float tube years ago and hated it, especially for fly fishing. As luck would have it I stumbled upon a Wilderness 14 9' pontoon at Costco while shopping with my wife. Not really expecting to see a "toon" hanging up in a glorified food market I was kind of skeptical as to the quality. It retails for a little over $200, looks fairly sturdy, and I'm thinking of taking the plunge. For the price (and 2-yr warranty) it should be good enough to see if I really want to invest further in a more advanced model down the road.

Anybody have any experience with lower end pontoon boats and care to share any pitfalls to watch out for? This would strictly be used for small lakes and reservoirs (no river runs).

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Old 04-17-2014, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: First Pontoon Boat

Hi Joe,

I have been reading up on the toons and looking for a used one for a while. I am out East and we do not see as many as out your way so there are fewer to pick from. What I do see is mostly the lower end toons up for sale. A Outcast or NFO every now and than. Does this tell us that they have issues or is it just that that they are just more common ? I do not know. I did read they have problems with oar locks and cheap oars. I am thinking of going "mid range" like a Outcast Fish Cat , hopefully used. Other than the oars/locks and sometimes valves I think any issues are right out of the box, so if you get a good one they seem to be mostly o.k. from what I have read. Up side is if there is an issue you can just exchange/return if you can deal with the hassle.
I will be interested with what the experienced toon members have to say.

Good Luck

p.s. I did read the rod holder on this model is junk.
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: First Pontoon Boat

Hi Joe !
We have 3 at our house, and they look very similar to that, bought all 3 used, and enjoy them a lot. From the specs, that looks like a nice boat for calm water, and should work well for you.
We added a deep cycle battery and 30# thrust motor, and they get around great.
Make some tethers for your "stuff", cause in the lake, if you drop it, it's gone. Don't ask me why I know this
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: First Pontoon Boat

Thanks for the replies. I'm going to take another look at it this weekend... at the time I didn't really take notice whether or not it breaks down easily to fit in the back of my Xterra (or inflates quickly).
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:33 PM
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Default Re: First Pontoon Boat

After you get the boat, and Strawberry is ice free, get ahold of me or Joni and we'll take you to some of our spots.
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: First Pontoon Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo View Post

After you get the boat, and Strawberry is ice free, get ahold of me or Joni and we'll take you to some of our spots.
Thank you mojo… that is mighty neighborly of you!

Hard to believe that there is still ice on Strawberry.
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