Pontoon boats, which are flat-bottomed boats, are one of the most popular boats out on the water today. The name “pontoon boats” is derived from the round cylindrical devices or pontoons used by the boats to float. These boats are extremely popular types because of their ease of use. They can be easily handled by novices. Their very shallow draft ensures that they can easily avoid underwater collisions or the danger of running aground. They are inexpensive to own, and can be readily insured at a reasonable cost, even if equipped with a 200 hp engine.
A fairly new, and increasing popular type, is the inflatable pontoon boat. The inflatable boat is a practical invention that is quite simple in concept. One should consider the following basic points when considering the purchase of an inflatable pontoon boat. In most cases, they are much less expensive than pontoon boats of other construction. They are generally bought by those who use them primarily for fishing, and are especially popular with fly fishermen. These inflatables are an excellent alternative to the higher end boats and should be considered as a good investment by any fisherman.
Fishermen often refer to these boats affectionately as belly boats. They raise their occupants high above the waterline, and are designed to be quite manoeuvrable using oars. They have the additional advantage of offering freedom from trailers and boat ramps, and they exhibit excellent stability on choppy waters.
For the avid fisherman certain things need to be considered before buying an inflatable pontoon fishing boat. If he does a lot of fishing he will be looking for a firm stable floor to enable him to stand firmly as he casts off his net. Some models are equipped with a standing rod that provides extra support and balance to the fisherman as he starts fishing. Inflatable pontoon fishing boats offer a variety of flooring options including one that allows the fisherman to dangle his legs through, which helps to manually manoeuvre the boat. One of the first questions asked by the serious fisherman is, “Is there enough storage for the bait and the catch of the day?” The answer is a resounding yes. There are extra storage units available to buy and also boat seats that come with storage units underneath. Some pontoon boat models are equipped with more user friendly features like builtin rod holders, motor mount systems, and anchor systems. The primary, and most obvious characteristic, of inflatable pontoon boats is the fact that they must be filled with air to maintain their operational shape. This is, of course, why these “inflatables” float. The pontoons are inflated using an included pump and you are ready to ply the waters. Inflatable pontoon boats can be categorized into two distinct types based upon the boat’s seating is configured.
The simpler of the two seating configurations has a seat set between the two pontoons such that the feet of the occupant hang out and into the water. Obviously, when using a boat with this seating arrangement, the occupant should be sure to wear appropriate clothing with consideration to the weather and water temperature. This simple configuration is known to be quite manoeuvrable and, due to its simple design, is much less expensive than other types of inflatable pontoon boats. Some fisherman find this configuration to be a problem. Their dangling feet tend to scare away the fish. The configuration, however, is quite popular with fly fisherman, whose target is away from the boat.
The second option is a bit more complex that the first, and is usually found on larger sized inflatables. The major difference found in this configuration is the addition of a platform between the two pontoons that enables the occupant to remain above and out of contact with the water. This configuration is quite popular with both day cruisers and fishermen. They don’t have to get wet at all! These boats are also extremely manoeuvrable and are also quite cost effective.
When searching for good inflatable pontoon boats, the most important thing is to ensure a good manufacturer of the boat. You do not want to end up with a boat which begins to fall apart at the first use. You should conduct proper research to ensure that you do not end up with a defective piece and are getting your money’s worth. Some things you can keep an eye out for are trial periods or money back guarantees.
Several manufacturers make inflatable pontoon boats. One particularly popular and innovative design is the Backpacker Inflatable Pontoon Fishing Boat. This boat is light. The entire boat, oars, and pump fit into a compact 42 lb. backpack! It has armrest storage and a large middle pocket, two gear pockets, four end mesh pockets and an inset pocket to store drinks. It is equipped with a fabric rear storage platform and adjustable footrests. It also has a detachable foam fly patch. The back pack is also loaded with a large top pocket and dualsided rod holders. It has a fully padded lumbar rest with adjustable straps that makes taking your pontoon anywhere an easy task.
If you want to buy a good Inflatable pontoon fishing boats, be sure to consider the following. Boat frames are made of either aluminium or steel. The steel framework will be cheaper, but you have to inspect it frequently for corrosion. An aluminium frame is corrosion resistant and lighter in weight, but will be more costly to purchase.
The thickness rating of the shell is important, because the thicker the shell the more durable and puncture resistant it will be. Paying the extra money is often worth it, since you will be paying for a durable boat. The bladders are either made of urethane or vinyl. Urethane is expensive but tougher and lighter in weight. Finally, using larger oars are better for paddling larger areas, and using smaller oars are superior in smaller areas or to navigate in small streams. Obviously size matters, the larger the boat, the more expensive it will be, but if you want a more stable boat, especially for fly fishing, then you’ll want a large inflatable pontoon boat. The larger size of a boat will place you higher on the water, and give you greater visibility.