Re: your thoughts and suggestions
Posted by Dave E. on 2014-01-01 12:56:43
in reply to your thoughts and suggestions posted by J. Steve "gooch" Iriguchi on 2013-12-31 22:43:41
Given that it's the morning of New Years day, here are a couple of things I'd look for, off the top of my head. No doubt, half a dozen other ideas will come to mind, the minute I hit the submit button. ;^)
I've owned quite a few and sold ( retail ) who knows how many Pontoons and one thing that I learned is there no such thing as one size fits all or serves all.
So flexibility in design is probably the one thing that I'd suggest.
While it's very popular to motorize these craft ( it would be nice if each unit you sell has a hull number on it, so they can be more easily registered. ) I personally am into light and agile green machines. The last thing I want on what I consider to be a very simple craft is battery and motor. So I'd like a craft that doesn't include in it's design a reinforced motor mount nor a bracketed / semi balanced battery compartment. I'd like a well drained non-plated cargo bin aft of the rowers seat for a dry bag, etc.
But it would be great for those who want motor mounts and battery box brackets, to be able to simply order them and not have to backyard engineer a system to power their pontoons. For those who wish to add a traditional graph, a well thought out transducer boom and concealed wiring harness and fuse box would be nice.
Frame? Either a thick walled aluminum or stainless will work for me, but please no powder coating.
Rod holders, look at the tray / contoured padded tube system that is used on higher end drift boats. Then think about the long and large end of rods today. It should be able to not only handle 9' single handed rods, but spey and switch rods. I'm not wild about running down rivers, especially some of those with narrow heavily wooded banks and overhangs, with rods flying high in near vertical rod holders. So being able to stow a rod along the long axis of the pontoons, even if that means breaking down a rigged rod, or second rigged rod, into two sections for a move from one spot to the next would be a must.
My ideal boat would be fairly light - 50 Lbs. or less. With nine foot semi rockered ( not interested in a fully rockered design) with a rated capacity of 350 to 500 lbs. I'm 6' 2" but very trim, when loaded for a day trip on the river, or even an overnighter on the river ( that would be rare with a pontoon for me. ) the lower end ( 350 Lb. ) would be fine Yet I'd like the boat to fit me, so it would be great if the frame, oar positions, seating and foot braces came in Men's sizes, so I wouldn't be maxing out the frames size adjustments. Maybe put a little thought into a cleated foot pedal, rather than the usual round ( easy to slip off of ) foot bars.
I would use this craft primarily for access on rivers for wade fishing, not so much for lakes and I'm not interested in using it as a drifter or multiple angler craft, I have a shinny new glass Hyde for that application. So no casting platforms or braces are needed ( nor is the additional weight welcome ).
I'd also be very likely to purchase two of these craft. So while you're at it, how about offering a fully welded ( not bolt together ) trailer for your new offering. One that is purpose built for your models and will tow well at freeway speeds and can handle 1,000 mile runs a few times each year. A trailer design that takes into account that these craft will likely as not, be launched from all manner of terrain. So a set of 14 - 15" wheels would be nice for traversing cobbled river edges. Let's not forget a stacking rack for that trailer, that will accept multiple boats. Might as well throw in some specially sized tie downs while you're at it and incorporate a lockable oar storage tube into the trailers frame that can handle six oars.
I'd like a low sail area / mid profile set of pontoons and as unpopular as this might be other anglers. I'd prefer to keep the center of gravity fairly low and with the overall width of the boat no more than 54". I have no preference between bladderless vs. Polyurethane bladder designs, but won't buy a pvc bladder craft.
A soundly built centered anchor boom utilizing a side pulley system and a self draining anchor line bag, mounted just aft of the cleat would be nice.
Lash on a stout set of oar locks, maybe offer a counter balanced composite oar upgrade with interchangeable blades - but that may be a bit over the top for a 9' personal watercraft. Include a few outboard, but reachable stainless D - rings for a throw bag, etc. Maybe come up with a slick non line fouling spare oar scabbard. I have no interest in a drink holder, but a behind the seat camel back might be nice.
One more thing, it's a pontoon boat, a relatively low production item. So as long as it's soundly constructed with quality materials, I'll choose price point over point of origin.
Here's to your endeavor, Dave Ecklund
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