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building your own pontoon


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32 replies to this topic

#16 flyfishenvy

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Posted 23 January 2005 - 07:09 PM

i was thinking the same thing skunked. i can weld it up and all that for pretty much free, but for the price of the toons, i could just get something from cabelas that would suit me just fine.

#17 Steelheader69

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Posted 23 January 2005 - 09:17 PM

Guys, just a thing to consider. Those boats in Cabela's are "ok", but not that great of quality. You can't compare any boats sold in Cabela's to a custom frame on quality tubes. Just compare it this way. You can buy a Subaru Justy 4WD. It's a 4WD, and will drive you through some stuff. It's alot cheaper then say buying a Suburban 4WD. You can do more, better clearance, and tow alot more (can't tow technically with the Subaru).

Say it this way, my 10' Guide model has a higher weight carrying capacity then the 16' boats sold in Cabela's. I've had it tested for capacity. Like I said, don't go off "price". When you build custom, you're building it to get what YOU want and to get a better quality boat. I could buy almost 3 boats out of Cabela's for the price of my 10' Guide model. Guess what? I wouldn't trade 3 of them for one Steelheader. Plus, resale value is higher on better boats. So if price is the only key, then don't expect to get much. Just compare these boats to cars. Don't expect a Ferrari for the price of a Kia. Those cheap ones are ok, but get behind the sticks of a decent boat (especially a custom with quality tubes) and it'll knock your socks off. Just depends on how much you are willing to spend.

#18 steeldrifter

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Posted 23 January 2005 - 09:28 PM

I agree with jerry that you get what you pay for now a days more than ever, but one point to consider though Jerry i'm sure you put yours through more than these guys ever will because of your location. Here in MI the rivers are for the most part very slow gentle moving water where theres no rapids or rocks like there is out west.

Jerry is right i'm not disagreeing about the quality of them but i know alot of guys that do go the cabelas route and get good use out of them simply because they use them here in Mi where they dont really have to be as rugged as they do out your way.

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#19 Alex C.

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Posted 23 January 2005 - 09:58 PM

I couldn't agree more with both of you( steeldrifter+steelheader69) , The roughest water in my area is the sturgeon, and it's not really rough at all, just fast and curvy w/ a lot of logs, other than that the rivers here are more like creeks compared with everywhere else. I would love to build a nice custom one capable of handling out west type water but it's really not necessary here. If I could get a good buy on toons then I wouldn't hesitate to build one anyway but otherwise it's just not cost effective, thanks steelheader69, if I ever change my mind you're the guy I'll look up first. biggrin.gif

#20 Irish

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Posted 24 January 2005 - 10:50 AM

I designed and helped build, bend manually, and weld together a frame for my 12 ft tubes. The frame is a whitewater play frame.

It made out of emt tubing.

I had 90 ft into the frame, allowing for opps pieces cost retail $130

Time involved

Drawing the frame: 8 hours by hand I really need to learn autocadd

building 10 hours but lots of discussion on how to bend and where to weld.

Probably can cut down on the time for the next one.

Did I save money? Probably not. Did I get the frame I wanted? You betcha. Do I have some ideas for modification of this frame? Of course.

O am in agreement that when it comes to toons you get what you pay for.

A good way to find what you want is to go to a Fly fishing Show and look at what your cash will buy.

Then try to find someone who has one and get a test drive.

Then spend your money.

I think the key is spend the money on the tubes. A frame can be built.

Pretty tough to beat the price of Outcast though if you want a boat for MI or "slow" Water.

Irish
[B][FONT=Geneva][SIZE=1]"Sometimes the fish bite and sometimes they don't" John Likakis

#21 Steelheader69

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Posted 24 January 2005 - 12:15 PM

Steve, you're right. But actually what I meant was that he wanted tubes to stand up and fish from (thought he asked about a standing platform). Weight capacity and design play a major factor on how a boat will perform in calm water as it will in whitewater. Why I made the comment. You put a "stand up" version of some of the other boats out there next to mine, and you'll just go ohmy.gif . My boat barely moves. I can stand ON the tubes, and boat barely moves. Has a flatter waterline, which is more inducive to fishing from. Most of the lower end boats have a rocker hull. Well, a rocker hull (even a semi-rocker hull) and trying to stand up don't mesh. The boat will actually start to dip down or sway with the weight. So, it wasn't solely on the how tough, but how it "fishes" from too. Plus, I don't even need a lean bar in the front of mine, how stable it is on anchor and on free drift. Here's a picture of a guy on a boat like mine (same tubes, mine has a custom frame)
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#22 Alex C.

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Posted 24 January 2005 - 12:31 PM

thats exactly what I want biggrin.gif

#23 Steelheader69

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Posted 24 January 2005 - 02:07 PM

The difference between mine and that one is mine is green, and the custom frame. I wanted it a little wider. I like the wider footprint on the water. Great boats though. One of the frontrunners of true "whitewater" grade fishing boats. These are the only "production" boats I'll buy anymore. Rest are customs.

#24 wayne SW/MO

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Posted 24 January 2005 - 02:25 PM

I have an 11' Kingfisher, which is now Cataraft. My frame is made of Cedar and its not that heavy and it can be broken down into three parts. I've had it on strong Class II and used it for about 10 years without any problems. Anyone with some woodworking skills could make one. Tubes are available from Aire/Outcast.
I doubt you could get the exact plans, but you might contact cataraft.com and see if he has an old brochure with pictures.
Taney County, Missouri

#25 lthrnk

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Posted 30 January 2005 - 08:14 AM

Just curious, has anyone ever made a frame out of thickwall PVC for one of these rigs? I would think that with enough cross struts etc. it could be done pretty well and with all the fittings available all you would need is a saw and waterproof glue.
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#26 Steelheader69

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 01:31 PM

I've heard of guys trying to do it actually, but in end most scrapped it. Only problem with PVC, it will get brittle over time. Plus, you go out in freezing conditions, and you'll probably snap the frame. You'd probably have to add a TON of cross braces for strength. It can be done, but I wouldn't trust it myself. Unless you're talking a lake boat. Then, it's a possibility. Still, I wouldn't trust it.

#27 Alex C.

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 01:45 PM

I built a canoe with my father in law alast winter, I wonder if you could make cedar strip pontoons? That would probably look really nice. The only problem I can think of is glasing the inside of the pontons. Hmmm, now I got myself thinking again wallbash.gif

#28 Steelheader69

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 01:49 PM

Actually, there were a couple companies that incorporated wood with their frames. One guy used a mixture of wood and EMT for his frames. The main floors and top rails were made of wood. The cross rails were made of EMT. Just bored holes in the top rails big enough for the EMT to fit into, and capped the ends off. Pretty easy. Just with a bender and being able to weld, you can get a much nicer frame that is durable and easier to work with. With wood comes "upkeeping".

#29 Alex C.

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 01:55 PM

I wonder if just 2 small canoes built around the frame would work. You could probably set it up to so you could detatch one of the canoes if you wanted. You could just get a spray skirt for each of them and they'd serve well for storing extra gear too. Awww man, now I'm in for it laugh.gif

#30 Steelheader69

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 02:23 PM

Think you would have a "Cata-canoe" at that point. laugh.gif