Skookum Osprey 9'? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Skookum Osprey 9'?

06-03-2003, 11:36 AM
Looking seriously at the Osprey 9': won't be running anything too serious--class 2 tops, probably. It's between that and the Outcast PAC 9. Anyone have experience with this boat who could recommend it? Break down/set up time, portage, room for overnight trip? Steelheader's advocacy of Skookum is hard to ignore . . . . Easier runs on Deschutes, Sandy, Clack.

Mean Mr Mustard
06-03-2003, 12:57 PM
I have NO experience with Skookum beyond the touch and feel. I look at it this way: there are consumer grades and industrial grades, and Skookum is industrial grade to say the least and as bullet proof as can be short of kevlar or iron plate. Expensive - you bet. Quality of this nature simply costs more.

If I should buy a Skookum, I will have language in my will to the effect that I want to be buried in it. Screw the ferryman of lore, I'll row myself...


06-04-2003, 01:55 AM
The Skookum brand is about the top of the line. MMM had it right. I deal with the owner, and bought boats back from his beginning days. I've dealt with the boats, and can give you some insight.

Take down/put together times. Well, usually around 5-15 minutes each way, depending on how well you are at assembling things (some people naturally aren't mechanically inclined in even the easiest things). Very easy to portage, especially the Osprey. They only weigh around 35#'s in the 9' length, and class III capable. They use the same tubes on the 9' steelheader vs. osprey, just one has a hardcore fishing/whitewater frame. The Osprey series is basically the same design setup as the rest of the "standard" pontoon boats you see out there. It has an open front for walking out of/using kickfins. But has a heavier carrying capacity, and can be strapped with a few days worth of gear. I once strapped my 9' Steelheader (same tubes, different frame) with about 300#'s of gear for a 4 day float. Hit the stretches good, and handled well (luckily was when I was lighter before my injury lol).

I have owned the old Pac 9, 900, and a fishcat by outcast. NONE came CLOSE to comparing to the Skookum. You buy one once, and you'll be set. BUT, what I'd suggest if you could spare the money. Buy a 9' Steelheader and then buy the Osprey frame to go with it. Will be a bit more, but then you'll have too different beasts. You'll have the Osprey for easy days on the lake, mild rivers during the summer where you want to spend more time in the water. Then, during the winter/hard water you can throw on the steelheader frame and off you go.

I'll probably be buying a complete Steelheader III soon, may sell off my preexisting 16' custom fishing cataraft for the S III. Then, eventually will buy a 10' Steelheader with the Osprey frame as well.

06-04-2003, 02:11 AM
Thanks for the advice. One more question, to which the answer is, I'm sure, "all depends." That said, would it make sense to move up to the 10' tubes and be done with it? That is, are the 10' tubes that much more cumbersome to portage (if necessary), or heavier to have to carry? They seem to give you a lot more range (in terms of white water), especially if I take Steelheader69's advice about eventually getting a second--steelhead frame. Thanks.

06-04-2003, 06:52 PM
Yes, you will get better footprint in the water with a 10' boat, plus you'll get alot more carrying capacity with that extra foot (roughly 600#'s with 9' vs 1000#'s with 10'). You won't have that much extra weight actually. I only think between the Osprey 9-10' is about 5-10#'s max weight difference. But the bigger boat you have, the easier you can take whitewater. Say it this way, I have run whitewater in 8' up to 18' catarafts. Your smaller boats get thrown around alot more. The 18' is a smooth ride. Pretty much compare whitewatering to running 4x4's. The smaller boats are like your Jeeps, they get bounced around alot more, but are more manueverable., but can't carry as much. Your bigger boats are like the 4wd suburbans, they are bigger, smoother ride, and carry alot more, but you need a bit more maneuvering room over a smaller boat.

Hope this helps.