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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I want to share some information with all of you about a new style pontoon boat I discovered, two summers ago.

I've been using float tubes of one sort or another for almost 40 years. One of the lessons I learned is that when buying one requiring inflatable vinyl bladders is to buy at least one extra bladder for each style in the tube before the company goes out of business.

The way I learned this lesson is, several years ago, I purchased a Water Skeeter pontoon system. The Skeeter has two large inflatable pontoons with another one piece inflatable "U" shaped bladder which attaches to the top of the pontoons. A few years ago, the upper bladder sprung a leak so I repaired it. A year or two later the repair began to leak; however, this time, I was not able to repair it. I called the company to purchase another only to learn the company is out of business - so now what?

The summer before last, I was in my local Cabela's store. The first place I visit in the store is the Bargain Cave. On this particular visit, I spotted a pontoon boat, like the one you see in the attached photo #243. I chatted with a clerk then checked the price tag. The original price was $499; it was marked down to $399. I told the clerk I was very interested but wondered if they could do better on the price. Until this incident, I was not aware Cabela's would dicker. The clerk asked me to wait a minute. He took the price tag to a store room then returned with a price of $199. Immediately, I purchased the boat. Later, I did some research on the net and found prices from $500 to $600.

This boat solved my inflatable bladder problem. Let me tell you a little about the boat. Photo #243 shows the components.

First, it's obvious you can't backpack with it or even carry it long distances; however, if you can drive your vehicle to within a few yards of a lake, you're in good shape. The oars are detachable. I don't use my oars; instead, I use flippers like most other float tubes. Waders are a must.

Not counting the oars and shooting apron, the boat is comprised of eight pieces. There are two pontoons, of 5' in length and about 12" square, a seat bottom and a seat back rest. There are four large plastic nuts; you see one in the photo next to one pontoon. These screw onto the seat bottom protrusions from the outside of the pontoons. The seat bottom has, on each side, two cylindrical protrusions of about 15" long and about 5" in diameter. After connecting the seat bottom to both pontoons, you simply slide the back rest into the seat bottom.

The pontoons, seat bottom and back rest are completely sealed. The storage compartment lids are sealed by way of large "O" rings. There is plenty of storage inside each pontoon. Heck, you could fill one pontoon with ice and have cold drinks on the lake. I keep a supply of flies and other fly fishing items in one pontoon and clothing, rain gear, water and food in the other.

In an emergency, the seat bottom and seat back rest could be used for floatation. There is nothing to inflate on this unit and you would be hard pressed to puncture it. It's made of some sort of hard plastic. The only change I would recommend to the manufacturer (Venture Outdoors) is to change the angle of the back rest so it leans back a little more and to re-design the shooting apron so it has attachment points at the corners away from you.


 

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P I K E
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Great post Pogy, Venture pontoons have been discussed here in the past. Here are a couple pics of mine on the hanger, have outfitted it with an Elite-4 Lowrance, 40 thrust Minnkota and a Float Power for addition battery and storage and a wheel kit!




 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well now, things are becoming very interesting. I'm not sure what to think about this. I think you have a different model than mine. Your pontoons may be a bit longer. I would love to see yours. I too live in Colorado. I will send you a private email. Is there a chance I could come to your place to see yours?
 

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PM sent Pogy! Mine is the 6' model. Haven't got it out yet since I was working on it and my yak putting mods on them but it won't be long now!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Pontoon

pikester,

I don't think mine will handle the frame and other accessories. When I saw mine at Cabela's, I couldn't believe what I found. As I said, it solved my bladder problem immediately (that would be the inflatable float tube bladder). Transporting it turned out to be a piece of cake. I slide the two pontoons in the 6' bed of my 2000 Tacoma and still have room for other camping gear. I'm anxious to see your attachment to your truck set up.
 

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Actually my toon carrier is nothing more that a Thule bicycle carrier I bought at a bike shop. It is the 4 bike carrier which had the heaviest weight support specs. I hang the toon in it and use straps to secure for stability. This works great for when I have the slide in camper on the truck and can also fit it to the back of my 5th wheel trailer!
 

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Is there a list of places that pfd's are acceptable. I've fished w mine at chat field and Lowell would be nice to know where else they are okay to be used.
 

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I guess both would be nice pogy. Typically i like to get out really early here locally so i can be done in time to do other things around the house and keep the wife happy, but a list of some mountain lakes ould be great as well
 

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Dr. Joe, a lot of city lakes and ponds don't allow tubes and toons because of insurance purposes and safety. Up north you could take the short trips to places like Lagerman, Lonetree, Blunn, Loveland, Boyd and the such. Use this link to find regs and places to visit...

http://ndismaps.nrel.colostate.edu/index.html?app=FishingAtlas
 
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