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Dana 05-01-2003 12:20 PM

pontoon boat lengths
another dumb question, but in my final decision-making surrounding a pontoon boat, what are the advantages/disadvantages over 9ft vs 11ft boats? This boat will be mainly for use on moving water with some whitewater.

Steelheader69 05-01-2003 04:42 PM

Big difference is stability
The difference you'll have is in whitewatering and also being able to take an extra person. With an 11' boat you'll have more of a footprint in the water, giving better stability through a whitewater run. Basically the same as if you go 4x4ing with a jeep vs a suburban. A jeep can manuever quicker, but bounces around alot more, expecially through the rough areas. Whereas the suburban may not handle the quickest, you glide a bit more over rough terrain.

I'd say go with the bigger boat. Personally speaking, a 12' boat is the perfect all around one man boat. If you actually sit in one, and look at it, they're really not that big. If you go with a single fishing frame, you really aren't overkilling the boat. Plus, you can add a small passenger frame, and now you have a two man boat as well. I'm in the process of custom designed a 2 man frame for a 12' set of tubes.

So, what kind of boat are you looking at? How much do you want to spend? Really dictates on what you can get. I know I normally custom build all of mine (I buy the tubes then I have a frame builder who does the welding work on my designs). You have alot of options. I'll say this, before anyone goes out and buys an outcast/bucks 2man boat. Speak to me. I do preach Steelheaders, but can also put you into other whitewater tubes and a frame builder. Just that a Steelheader is ready to go, and really not that much more expensive then the Buck's/Outcasts I've seen. Plus he's in the PNW, and has a good guarantee. I do believe his 12' boats are going for about $2100, give or take, which is comparable to the bucks (and holds almost 800#'s more weight).

Good luck. Let us know what you end up getting. But, if you're interested in the custom route, let me know.

River 05-01-2003 07:33 PM

Longer is usually better.
If you can afford the longer boat I would go with that. There are advantages and disadvantages to straight tubes vs. bananna shape. If you are going bannana I would go at least 10' because that is where you begin to see standing platforms on bananna shape hulls. I think that the only time I see a standing platform on a shorter 9' boat is when it is shaped like the Steelheader or the Bad Cat.

I have a 1 man 10' bananna tubed boat and a 12' straight tubed 2 man boat. I plan to add a platform to the 10' boat but I haven't done that yet.

Steelheader69 05-01-2003 09:25 PM

LOL banana boats
I got rid of all mine. Was best thing I did. Didn't even want a cheap rendition sitting around. Had a few outcasts at one time. No more for this kid. LOL.

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