What are Inflatable Pontoon Boats?
So you want to go outdoors? Nothing beats a vacation that literally allows you to connect with nature. If there is one thing that keeps you tuned into the woods, it will be wading into the clear and cool water while savoring the warm sun. Of course, this experience is not something that is appealing for everyone. However, getting a splash out there is definitely a very enjoyable moment. Just ask the children you’ll meet. You’ll understand this because at one point, you’ve been one of those kids.
An Adventure Awaits
You don’t have to be a huge swimming and fishing fan to bring back the good old days. You don’t even have to find that elusive vacation nowadays. There are numerous sights to see and countless places to go. You don’t even have to go to the big ocean to wonder and keep yourself in awe. All you need to do is to bring a part of yourself that readily looks forward to a compelling exposure.
So how about heading out on a boat? Well, this is not your ordinary bamboo or wooden-made vessels that we are talking about. A lazy but joyful approach to your present dull moments can lighten up with the presence of pontoon boats. If you know nothing about floating crafts, you are not alone. What is written here can probably give you another angle that will spark an interest in your life.
About Pontoon Crafts
Quite simply, a pontoon is just another type of boat. It is associated closely with the kayak and the canoe than the yacht and the speed boat. However, it is practically a manage-it-yourself kind of structure. It is so because the pontoon has been manufactured for a single person alone, at least initially.
Looking closely, the pontoon boat exemplifies a basic method of setting a vessel on water. It is composed of a couple of big air bladders. These long and elongated air-filled rubbers are joined by a frame. This connecting structure has been intended as a seat where you will settle down while maneuvering the boat.
If you want to imagine yourself on a pontoon, perhaps you can create this image in your mind. You are sitting above water on a frame that connects two canoe-like structures. These supporting forms are what allow you to float. On each of these long slightly-bended tubes is a paddle which you will be using when wading through the river or creek.
To reinforce your imagination, it will be best if you add some more details. So you are sitting on the boat with a hand on each of the paddle and your feet slightly touching the cool water. The river current runs smoothly. Gently, you’re moving onwards, wading through softly as the bright sun gets a glimpse of you. The daylight, somehow, does not burns your skin since huge trees from both sides of the river cover you albeit momentarily.
Pontoon boats are intended to be bare. It’s the air, the water and the sun in one perfect setting, giving you a moment’s lift of relaxation. The frame of this kind of craft comes in two types based on the sitting installation.
Types of Pontoon Boats
Some pontoon crafts have metal linkages. This means that the seat is solid steel or iron. Within this perch are establishments which will be utilized as fixtures or holding containers for fishing items. You can put your tackle box on this area. Or you can set everything up by putting your lines, your hooks, your bobbers, your sinkers and other related materials for easy retrieval if you feel like testing the waters. You can also put on the frames, the necessary baits, the lures and even the nose pliers and your small first aid kit.
On the other hand, pontoon boats can also have a built-in seat. This means that the entire structure has an already-installed chair. The couch gets into position by the time the boat is loaded with air. In addition, there are pontoons that have detachable seats. These perches can be installed with D-Rings or straps.
In today’s setting, more and more people prefer to use frameless pontoon boats. The uncomplicated method of putting the pod in place is the appealing factor. You will save yourself the troubles that are associated with the processes of assembling and dismantling these frames.
Secondly, the comfort of frameless pontoons is another advantageous element. The perch is cozy enough to support your weight and position considering that the air being filled into the overall rubber body is what stabilizes the structure.
Third, frameless pontoons are easier to store. By the time the boat is cleared of its supporting air, the entire frame can now be folded and tidied up to be stowed away in a considerably non-spacious area.
The types of pontoon boats in the market also vary according to the inclinations of fishing enthusiasts or anglers. Manufacturers bring forth their products depending on the number of the vessel users.
The first kind is a pod that aims to accommodate a single individual. The weight capacity is relatively less than 400 pounds. Usually, the owners of this lightweight tub don’t disassemble their units. A small space within a compound is enough to shelter or furnish the boat. If you intend to do some convenient fly-fishing, the solo pontoon type is for you.
The next kind of pontoon boat is the one which can accommodate two or more individuals. Considering its size to hold a considerable number of persons, it is difficult to dismantle this pod. It is already set-up to do its purpose. Since it is also heavy, a trailer is usually needed to transport the boat.
The third pontoon vessel is the backpackable one. While you will compare this kind to the one-person pod, this boat is entirely different. Over the past years, boat manufacturers have been compelled to produce a unit that many anglers crave for. Notable conditions for the boat focus mainly on portability, durability and maneuverability. With all these in mind, companies have brought out an extensively simplified, enduring and lightweight unit.
What you and I have in mind best describes the boats that can easily penetrate tight and difficult waters. Considering that this kind of pod can be very valuable in remote areas, the survivability of this vessel closely resembles the ones being used by the military for special missions.
Perhaps the closest type of pontoon boat that can be associated with a regular or homemade raft is the kick boat. What makes it quite noteworthy is its capacity to carry a number of anglers. However, the way it is being steered is the interesting part. Persons on board need to utilize their feet in order to move the boat.
With the way that it is wielded, the hybrid pontoon boat is both a desirable and a dangerous ride to have. Due to a lot of kicking, the unit is better off on considerably deep waters where the current is manageable. The kicking activity will be a problem if the area to be treaded is low with a faster course since the presence of numerous sharp rocks can highly likely injure the legs. Anglers can also get exhausted within a short period of time if the wider rivers are being explored.
As part of gaining knowledge about pontoon boats, you must understand that this type of pod has been intended to simplify the art of fishing. Although it seems that this vessel is designed for relaxation while adrift, the real intention here is to address the needs of a fly fishing enthusiast.
You must know that anglers, who wade into the water to catch fish by throwing their lines, have a difficult task of sustaining their activities. It is no easy feat to stand for a considerable period of time under the heat of the sun. Putting on baits and making fly fishing adjustments also add additional efforts to the entire approach. This is where the pontoon boats come helpful.
Anglers who have pods to themselves find it easier to maneuver on rivers or creeks. Having containers on the frame allows them to fly fish with ease. More importantly, having a seat makes things better as they can enjoy what they’re doing while getting in touch with nature.
Although manufacturers have made different boat variations for the pontoon market, you have to bear in mind that the solo enthusiast is the primary goal to address when it comes to this kind of water vessel. The pods have been stripped of practically everything except for the seat and the rubber floaters. Such method is a necessity since making fly fishing more conducive is the main objective.
Floating freely on the river can be considered another reason why pontoons have been built. Even though riding on the pod seems quite comfortable, its suitability is far from a kayak or a raft which floats better. Again, the item is intended for fly fishing.
If you want to know more about pontoon boats, you need to get acquainted with what you want to do on water. Other than that, you also need to widen your perspective when it comes to the perils on the river fronts.
Perhaps it will be appropriate if you will take note of the perils a pontoon vessel must avoid. First, the portability of this pod makes it dangerous to be thrown off-guard. Considering that it can only carry you for the most part, the safe avenue will always be the smooth downstream.
Second, although sitting on the pontoon seems to make you look like you are chilling, it is actually otherwise. On the contrary, you cannot lie down. You can’t even put your feet up. This means that the whole scenario on the boat is about keeping you steady while doing some stuff like fishing.
Third, you need to avoid rough waters. White water rafting and other related activities are definitely out of the question. The rough flow path ahead can be disastrous for you. The possibility of sharp stones ripping off the air bladders will definitely leave you helpless. So again, pontoon rides are ideal only for you.
Getting a Boat of Your Own
Your interest in acquiring your very own pontoon craft will lead you to a couple of buying avenues. Although you can always purchase the pod in a department store, there is no guarantee that you will be able to choose the brand or the type that you want. In most cases, only a handful of pontoon units are available in stores which is why going online is probably your next purchasing mode.
A lot of manufacturers have made their companies available on the internet when it comes to boats. Selling pontoon crafts is no different. What is great about going online is the variety of options to select from and the affordability of prices. In addition, warranty periods are also being offered by some.
One of your immediate choices is SeaEagle.com. With around four decades of marketing pontoon units, the group makes its rates a premium. At nominal prices, you can get a quality boat that you’ve always needed. Two of its most attractive offerings are the Sea Eagle Foldcat and the Sea Eagle Frameless Pontoon Boat. Customer satisfaction is always a priority here considering that a 3-year warranty plus a 180-day risk-free trial are in the works for you.
It is not difficult to fathom how Sea Eagle has been able to stay in business since opening shop in 1968. On top of its program is the product quality. Most of its items are have multiple air compartments. From that standpoint alone, you are guaranteed that the buoyancy of your pod is stable.
Another key element is the convenience of the item. Usually, the boats are inflated to around 20%. That is definitely good for everyone since the piece saves storage space. The greater news is that it can be brought anywhere.
Online retail giant Amazon.com is another great site to consider when buying a pontoon craft. Its segment on water sports alone will make you salivate for products that you want to try. The company has a wide-array of pontoon selections in one place. Not only is the domain the right store to shop. The presence of numerous accessories to match your pontoon needs keeps things easier for you to find the right gear combinations.
Packages are in the open at affordable prices. At less than a hundred dollars, you can get a Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon with a transport wheel and a motor mount. This and other related products can be shipped to you for free.
Another site to explore is NRSweb.com. When it comes to inflatable products, this domain is a top retailer. When it comes to water sports activities, this is the one-stop shop that you need. Whether it is paddling on the river or engaging in white water rafting, the company is able to address your boating necessities. In addition, durability is a trademark for its merchandise.
One of the best in the business of inflatables is Cabela’s. This organization is a popular supplier of Classic Accessories, Outkast and Creek Company products. It offers pontoon boat packages at rates that are big on savings.
Considering that you’ve covered the notable sites to go in finding your pontoon boat, you’re probably thinking that you are all set to get the craft and go on vacation. While you already know something about the pod, choosing the right fit is still hard. This is where web reviews become helpful. Within this context, it is perhaps vital that you get a glimpse of what people, based on their experiences, are saying about pontoon vessels.
Pontoon Brands to Consider
The Cumberland Inflatable Float tube comes first on the list. In addition to its durability, this craft provides superior maneuverability. The seat is not only considerably higher than the rest. Its backrest is adjustable thus keeping your time under the sun more comfortable.
In addition, the rubber tube is fully hydrodynamic which means that it is highly adaptable to the water surface. Although this vessel has a maximum loading capacity of 350 pounds, it can be stowed away easily since it only weighs more than a pound. The presence of shoulder straps allows you to carry the unit like it’s a backpack.
Next to be discussed is the Roanoke Inflatable Pontoon Boat. A river rating of Class One makes this craft a reliable partner on water. This is a prime choice if you have a lot of fishing items. The presence of both mesh and zippered pockets provides you with plenty of storage.
There are also two points going for this craft. The seat frame is strong and stable. It is also flexible since you can simply fold it when you’re done using the pod. Second, the item’s air bladders are able to withstand temperature changes. This means that riding on the vessel keeps you steady and safe all throughout.
When an enduring quality is your priority, the Sea Eagle 285 Frameless Pontoon Boat is for you. It is strong enough to support around 450 pounds of weight. What is even astounding is its capacity to explore various fishing currents. This is attributed to a 3HP engine which can be installed on the boat.
Moreover, storage space also comes in handy since a carry bag for your items is provided. You also save yourself the trouble of tucking it in. Due to a quick inflation process, the boat can be easily stashed away after use.
Meanwhile, the Classic Accessories brand offers a couple of its top-notch inflatables. The lighter 72-pound Colorado Pontoon Boat is a convenient fishing companion. It has a remarkable number of pockets with 20. Twelve of these are zippered.
A number of flexible approaches are in place for this craft. One, you have a foam fly to utilize. You can even tinker it since it is removable. Second, a rod holder is made available. You can even customize the item in several ways.
Third, the mounting system comes in a couple of methods. You can choose how your engine is positioned. Moreover, you will have no trouble worrying about the machine being heavily wet since the engine is waterproof. Fourth, in addition to a cozy sitting position, you also have enough space to get your feet loose and relaxed. Lastly, the air bladders of the craft are not susceptible to extreme heat and extensively cold settings. The materials used are able to withstand such temperature changes.
The heavier 107-pound Colorado XT Pontoon Boat is probably the better option for fly fishing. Its bulky description can be misleading but the truth is, the weight of the craft is far more manageable compared to most fishing vessels that are not pontoon-type.
Stability is a premium element for this craft. The materials used are considerably robust and resilient. With a weight capacity reaching around 400 pounds, the boat is definitely sturdy enough to manage a substantial force.
Despite its heavy-duty components, the boat is remarkably light and easy to steer. With more than twenty pockets, you will have more than enough space for both fishing and personal item storage.
Setting Up the Crafts
Although you have already learned an extensive knowledge about pontoon boats, there is one more significant thing that you must take note. That will be about the craft’s installation.
A pontoon pod generally follows a specific manual. The differences depend on the boat’s manufacturing or supplying company. Whether you have a framed or frameless kind of vessel, chances are high that you will get hold of a universal or commonly-covered procedure.
The primary and most vital step in setting up your pontoon unit is the inflation process. When pumping air into the bladders or rubber tubes, be warned that you must not exceed the amount of oxygen or aeration. The usual boundary point is around 2.5 psi or 0.17 bars. You may need to have an air pressure gauge to measure the precision. However, instructions about the instituting the figure accuracy are also enclosed on the manual of your boat so it is best that you stick with it.
A fully-loaded air bladder will be risky since it can rip off the tubes. Whether your pod is made of high-quality material or not, you need to approach this step with extreme caution. In the long run, there is a high tendency for any item to blow off due to overpressure. More than that, temperature changes will double the risk due to the heat or cold effects on the tubes. Therefore, it is always necessary for you to check the air pressure prior to any water activities.
When you have completed the inflation procedure, you must check the presence of wrinkles around your boat. You have to make sure that no creases are present. If a wrinkle is in place, there is a chance that your pontoon craft lacks the necessary air to stabilize itself on water.
Take note that lack of air is as dangerous as an over-loaded bladder. Less aeration will lower the capacity of your unit to support the weight that it carries. Your chances of getting sunk will be high with reduced air.
You must also know that excess or limited oxygen increases the perils of your pontoon craft to run aground. Sharp stones or any related items within the water vicinity will tend to puncture your boat if the tubes are not properly loaded with air.
With regards to engine mounting, the primary step to do is to check if your pod can accommodate being steered by a machine. If yours can be maneuvered by one then setting it up is the first order of business.
Again, the accompanying manual of the unit will come in handy. Make sure that the machine is properly clamped on the motor mount of the boat. At this point, it is necessary to monitor the weight of both the engine and the battery. Doing so will allow you to make adjustments on the air pressure in the tubes.
The type of battery should also be taken into consideration. Only marine-adapted ones can sustain for longer periods in rivers. You also need to monitor any leaks since these fluids can damage the bladders. Do not leave batteries on your vessel if your craft will not be used for a considerable stretch.
If your pontoon unit comes with metal frames and accessories, it is best that no loose ends will be left unattended. This should include the installation of paddles. The result of such negligence can end with spare parts of your pod being lost in the water. So make sure that every equipment is tightened and cleaned. Leaving dirt on patches, rod pockets and other related storage can result in rusts building up.
Before heading out to the clear and cool rivers or creeks, never neglect to follow the instructions attached to your gears especially about the overall structure of your pontoon boat. Assembling and dismantling your craft will almost always lean on the procedures described on accompanying manuals.