So I think I've narrowed it down. I'm looking at Skookum boats (by Bill Day). The Dilemna is whether or not to get a 9 foot Steelheader or the 10 foot guide model. The 9 foot steelheader looks like a solid, sturdy boat. but the higher/bigger pontoons and the added safety of going to the 10 foot guide are a selling point. The 10 foot guide also has dual champers on each pontoon. But at the same time I'm told these pontoons are so well built with some of the heaviest duty material that some question whether or not you would even need dual chambers. So I guess I'd like to knwo is if it ever came down to it, could repairs be made en'route on the river if worse ever came to worse? The only selling point of the 9 footer in my mind is the fact you'll probably pick up a bit easier maneouverability, it's cheaper to buy, and it's easier to move/portage/carry, because it weighs less.
I noticed steelheader69 whom I've read several past threads from has recently sold his 9 foot steelheader in favour of the 10 footer.
The local rivers I would float on aren't super difficult. The Vedder/Chilliwack which does have a few class 3 & class 4 rapids (depends on flow), I'd like to do the Gold on Vancouver Island which can be abit technical in the canyon but from the No.1 Peppercorn bridge down to below Big Bend is supposedly not too difficult. I'd do the Squamish, and the odd tributary, and perhaps the Stamp. Perhaps a few Skeena tribs, who knows if I progress to maybe considering the Dean one day, we'll see. So there is a myriad of possibilities and I may look for excuses to use it.
My only other concern when floating is if my buddies will be undergunned. One of my main buddies who I could see going with has a 9 foot bronco extreme with single chamber pontoons. I'm told the Skookums, even the 9 foot steelheader when compared to an equivilent 9 foot pontoon boat with rocker style pontoons is much more stable. So I'd have to think about them, mind you some of what you're able to do is based on your ability as well.
Any thoughts on the above? Can you potentially help me with my dilemna?
Yeah common guys, I want to hear about flat pontoons stability vs. rocker toons manuverability. And those dual bladder questions also. I have also read steelheader 69's comments on the subject. Granted the Skookum boats are a higher quality than a Buck's Bag. How do the Outcast Pac XXXX boats rate?Anyone had that strapless model? And a Skookum 10' guide model is more boat than the 9' Steelheader, but so too is an 11' boat. So where do you draw the line?
Class III or IV water? Not! I don't intend risking swimming in waders. And I would hope that once I've assembled a toon, I would never have to dissassemble it. That includes the frame. Realizing that a one peice welded frame is much stronger than something that is held together with hair pin clips. But it would/could be advantagous to have the option of breaking it down for travel.
Does SH69 still post here? I emailed him through this site as well but no response.
Scott, Steelhead still posts on WashingtonFlyFishing.com
He is active as a moderator but does not post everyday.
I own a Skookum Osprey II 10' pontoon. I am 6'4" and weight just over 300 pounds. The Osprey 10 foot boat is awesome. It is stable, keeps you above the water and rows very well. I use in in northwest rivers, lakes and frequently fish Puget Sound from the boat. The saltwater fishing is typically in the estuaries for Pacific Salmon but I have had it near the fast moving rip at Bush Point. The boat performs well and is a pleasure to fish from. Bill Day is a quality guy who cares deeply about his products and customers. I can't give him higher praise.
From time to time a Skookum will be listed in the WFF.com classifieds. I don't think that you would be dissappointed with these boats.
Best regards, Steve
Thanks SD, much appreciated.
How do you find standing on it? I was looking at it and I was thinking if I got one I'd get some kind of rail like other pontoon boats with standing platforms have just for security although I hear this boat is stable, but you can never be too safe.
I was also thinking if I got one I'd look into maybe having a motor mount potentially custom made to mount a 2.5 horse Yamaha or 2 horse Honda 4 stroke to burn around lakes with or whatever possibly (or an electric).
Also, do you have the wheel for transporting it? Or did you get one made? Also, how heavy is it, realistically, in your mind? You have Osprey though so it has the lighter frame than the Guide which is what I would look at, but just an idea?
Scott, mine does not have a standing platform. I have talked with Bill and he is working on a sliding platform for the Osprey. I would want the leaning bar as well if I was standing.
I transport my cat on top of my Suburban. I have the aluminum wheel attached to the back of the frame so I just wheel it up to the truck and push it up onto the roof rack. I use four tie down straps and have hauled it all over the northwest at over freeway speeds. With the anchor attachments, rod holders etc. I would guess mine weighs 80 pounds.
As it relates to motor mounts and what to use for power, contact Bill Day directly through the web site and I am sure that he will help.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Best regards, Steve
Got a PM
I never come back here, but someone from WFF sent me a message I was asked about here.
I never got your email/message. Hmmmmm. May have to go look. I still have the same email. If by chance it went into my bulk, may have been deleted there. I get so many, I dump it usually.
Ok, onto boats. Size matters depending on length, diameter of tubes, and design. There is a substantial difference between a 9' and a 10' Steelheader. You'll float higher and maneuver easier with same load. Now, if you have cash to burn, a Sotar Coho fishing package is the ultimate way to go (but as I said, cash would be flowing heavily). JD, you are sorta correct on drawing a line. But once you start hitting up into the 11'+ range, you're into more of a two man boat (though that Sotar I was talking about is a 11'). The longer boats are DEFINITELY better if you're running more rocker hulled boats (Outcast, Bucks, etc). I've run outcasts, owned them pre skookum. They're ok, but not great. I think they're excellent lake boats, and very still river boats. But even for a river boat, I don't like them. I fish my boats, and they just don't "fish" well if you're on the move (a very rookie steelheader's mistake flyfishing is not using their boat to it's utmost potential).
Onto standing and fishing. You DO NOT need a leaning platform to fish them. Especially on a steelheader. This is another problem people don't realize, or they go with the hype of some other pontoon companies. A leaning platform is only needed on a rocker hull (which won't help, you'll still just fly over the front lol), or if it's a TWO MAN BOAT! PERIOD!!!! If you're fishing on the move standing up, you'll be very stable and fine casting. Unless you're a clutz and have no balance, then maybe you need one then. LOL. I've done every type of fishing from the standing platform of my original steelheader (I had one of the originals from a decade ago) and from my 10' Guide model I have now. Usually standing up as I'm fishing. Never had a problem fishing. Most of the people who need a brace of some sort usually are those who aren't in control of the boat (ie two man+ boats). If you don't know what the oar stroke is, or what the boat will be doing, you need something to keep you in check from the boat moving (like in a driftboat). In the front of a one man pontoon, you are the one controlling the boat. You can see the change in current coming ahead, you know when to move your knees to absorb any change in current. I've never fell off a standing platform in a one man boat in the last 10 years (and I use these more then most). Well, I correct that, I've never fell off when I wasn't trying to (I've went swimming off the front during the summer floating some of my favorite rivers).
If you have anymore questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Not sure why it didn't go through.
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