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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Trying to get some use out of my pontoon #13403975 01/14/20 02:19 PM
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kaboboom Online Content OP
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A fishing buddy talked me into buying his pontoon, and it was great for fishing trout rivers in the West, but it's like 3 "bags" putting it on a plane, so I haven't used it much here in Texas. I want to start using it again locally, but no way I'm gonna carry it very far or break it down and set it back up every time. It's a Fish Cat 9. Nice little local lake a few miles away with paved walking trails, and I can figure out how to strap it to the car. So, if I set it up the frame and leave it in the backyard, should I always take off and deflate the pontoons? Once I get to the lake, think I can just haul it down in one trip with a standard dolly? I'm hoping there are a couple of folks here that have worked these kind of logistics out...thanks.

Re: Trying to get some use out of my pontoon [Re: kaboboom] #13404125 01/14/20 04:18 PM
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It is a giant hassle to setup and breakdown your pontoon each time there is a trip.. I always leave my pontoons or Float tubes set up, with all the pockets packed ready to go in my garage or locked off the ground and in a Shady spot in the backyard under a tarp cover. I just keep a minimal amount of air pressure in the bladders to keep their shape and to hold proper position on the frame while they are being stored. I inflate them to only moderate pressure while transporting them to the launch area. Transporting at full or high pressure while exposed to in sun or inside a hot car should be avoided because it causes a pressure increase from the Heat and excessive pressure can weaken the seams or even pop the bladders. The pontoon needs to be wet before the final inflation to full pressure, especially if you will be going into cold water. Deflate to moderate pressure again before transporting home.

I rig my heavy pontoons with a single flip down/up balloon Wheel so they can be rolled to the launch point, saves having to return or lock up a dolly.

Re: Trying to get some use out of my pontoon [Re: kaboboom] #13404298 01/14/20 06:33 PM
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Thanks very much...just the info I was looking for. Just one question if you wander back here...when you say you "rig a single flip down/up ballon wheel", do you mean they can be purchased "flippable" with some kind of clamp, or was some metal work required? I have a local nephew that can do any kind of metal work. I have to think about it a bit when I set-up the pontoon for him, but right now, I believe it could be welded to the rear platform, and just float behind when on the water.

Last edited by kaboboom; 01/14/20 06:33 PM.
Re: Trying to get some use out of my pontoon [Re: kaboboom] #13404385 01/14/20 07:44 PM
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porta Offline
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I custom made some different designs over the many years I have been doing this Hobby. One of My best ones were a cradle with two tricycle Wheels with a telescoping axle shaft that quickly snapped into place below or above the pontoons depending on whether I was rolling or storing. Another good one was made from a single cheap dock wheel, mounted to a hinge pipe located on the pontoon, and it could be swung up or down depending on storing or transporting and could be removed instantly by pulling a hitch pin, but my pontoon wasn't all that heavy. Try for the simplest and lightest solution, like solid not inflating wheel, bushings instead of ball bearings, rust-resistant parts, with nothing sticking out beyond the Pontoon sides. A floating wheel collects weed and makes it harder to row and manuver plus hits rocks if you do river rapids like me. Nowadays there's a lot of kits that you can purchase, which make it a lot easier as shown in the link below.


https://www.amazon.com/wheel-inflatable-boat/s?k=wheel+for+inflatable+boat

Last edited by porta; 01/14/20 07:56 PM. Reason: No floating wheel
Re: Trying to get some use out of my pontoon [Re: kaboboom] #13404519 01/14/20 09:18 PM
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Thanks again. My nephew can do almost anything...going the fab route makes it more fun. Maybe a ballon wheel that can be quickly detached and sit on the platform where a battery would sit.

Last edited by kaboboom; 01/14/20 09:19 PM.
Re: Trying to get some use out of my pontoon [Re: kaboboom] #13404663 01/15/20 12:01 AM
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porta Offline
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Yes, I had a lot of fun tinkering to get my Solutions.

If you will be rolling the pontoon with a battery and trolling motor on board, it might be better to have two wheels instead of one for better stability. The heavy load sits up pretty high and the whole thing could spill over trying to balance with a single wheel. A single inflatable wheel is probably better for rough Terrain, and just about anything that holds the weight works with a paved surface.

Last edited by porta; 01/15/20 12:07 AM.
Re: Trying to get some use out of my pontoon [Re: kaboboom] #13405076 01/15/20 01:38 PM
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Porta, I don't want to prolong this discussion unduly on your end...you've been very helpful. I haven't even started to setup the frame yet, which I'll start today, but mostly from memory, and thinking specifically about the lake I want to fish, I've come up with some design considerations:

1. One trip is greatly preferred, as is not leaving anything on shore
2. Leaving the frame and seat, etc., intact through the whole process is highly desired
3. Need the ability to add air near the water, so pump is part of the transport
4. I don't see using a battery/trolling motor at this time, so weight isn't much of any issue

So, due to clearance concerns with respect to wheels, it would seem that the bladders should be transported on top and horizontally to allow smaller wheels with little need for long extension. I remember the bladders strapping on pretty easily, and it would be easier to get them wet and pump them up detached from the frame. The seat folds down, so either side could be chosen as the 'up' side for transport, and it seems if the frame is flipped, the small wheels could be out of the water when afloat, maybe in the rear fastened to the "deck". Some kind of detachable handle is probably required on the other end. Thanks again.

Last edited by kaboboom; 01/15/20 01:39 PM.
Re: Trying to get some use out of my pontoon [Re: kaboboom] #13405308 01/15/20 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kaboboom
Porta, I don't want to prolong this discussion unduly on your end...you've been very helpful. I haven't even started to setup the frame yet, which I'll start today, but mostly from memory, and thinking specifically about the lake I want to fish, I've come up with some design considerations:

1. One trip is greatly preferred, as is not leaving anything on shore

PC: Y

2. Leaving the frame and seat, etc., intact through the whole process is highly desired

PC: Y

3. Need the ability to add air near the water, so pump is part of the transport

PC: Y, I tie a 12" pump available from Walmart behind seat, if pressure above 2 PSI is needed, otherwise just use the pump hose as a mouth blow tube but only works with with Boston valves.

4. I don't see using a battery/trolling motor at this time, so weight isn't much of any issue

So, due to clearance concerns with respect to wheels, it would seem that the bladders should be transported on top and horizontally to allow smaller wheels with little need for long extension. I remember the bladders strapping on pretty easily, and it would be easier to get them wet and pump them up detached from the frame.

PC: myself just uses a disposable gallon water jug to wet down the assembled pontoons and especially any webbing, then tighten things up. Or you can over inflate the pontoons by 20% or so in the shade if you are rolling straight to the lake and don't let pontoons sit in the Sun for more than 20 minutes or so. Any uncoated nylon material will absorb water and expand lowering the pressure, and loosening straps, in addition to any cold water effects, and high altitude, high pressure, effects.

The seat folds down, so either side could be chosen as the 'up' side for transport, and it seems if the frame is flipped, the small wheels could be out of the water when afloat, maybe in the rear fastened to the "deck". Some kind of detachable handle is probably required on the other end.

PC: I have been able to use the Pontoon tips as handles, when pulling to the water. Lightweight solid Wheels have an advantage because you don't have to worry about Flats. If later on you decide to roll-on more rugged terrain at other lakes or Rivers, taller wheels work better -so you might consider that in your design.

PC: do you have small tie on bags where you will store your small tackle, lures and tools plus rod holders to carry the rods to water?

Thanks again.


See comments within your message above.

Last edited by porta; 01/15/20 05:27 PM.
Re: Trying to get some use out of my pontoon [Re: porta] #13405420 01/15/20 07:27 PM
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I put the frame together this morning. After a good look, I think I'll have something built that will fit over the motor mount, and the wheels will be attach to that with suitable clearance. I have two saddle bags, one on each side for storage. I'm a fly fisherman, likely targeting carp, and crappie, one rod dedicated for each. I'll add what's needed to transport the rods where they won't be at risk. I'll practice all this until it seems organized and solid.

Fly gear tends to be very small and light...could even use a chest pack. The pump I have is a little large but light...should be able to stow it behind the seat. I won't have to wheel it more than 100 yds right now. I have an anchor, but doubt I'll need it. I can choose between fins and oars, or both...my guess is the oars won't be needed. I'll probably throw an old golf club on board for bonking snakes, but I hope I never need it.

Seems like a pretty easy mod will do the trick...like I said, my nephew can make just about anything with metal stock...a "cap" with wheels on top of the motor mount will simply leave the wheels in the air behind my head when I'm on the water...I'll make it detachable...won't really do any work on the existing frame except maybe a couple of holes in the motor mount for pins.

Like you said, the extended foot posts should work well as the handles. I'm looking forward to some Spring fishing with this rig.

Last edited by kaboboom; 01/15/20 07:34 PM.
Re: Trying to get some use out of my pontoon [Re: kaboboom] #13435259 02/11/20 02:33 PM
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Follow-up: My nephew just tacked some nuts/'all thread to the top of the trolling motor mount, added wheels.

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