Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Pontooner Update: “Tooner down!"
Then two weeks ago I pull the tooner off the water, get it ready to load out and notice one side looking a little squishy. One squeeze and the dread started sinking in. I checked for holes, thorns, glass and alligator bites but to no avail. Double-checked the valve as well. Not the problem. Having the tooner down and out could set my fall fishing plans back a bit.
“Must have been those #$%^^ mosquitoes!”
Locating the pinhole would be difficult at best and may take a while. Really I would be better off with a six-inch gash up the side as opposed to a pinhole. In the meantime I called Outcast and they sent me a brand spanking new inner-bladder free with my warranty (let me say how awesome these folks are). However things were not all trumpets and confetti just yet. The old bladder would have to be removed and the new bladder put inside the canvas covering via removing and replacing the Boston valve.
Outcast has made some modifications overall to the XL series, which may throw a few people off…it did me. Boston valves can be a real pain and the entire process was a weeklong battle minus the wait for shipping.
To help folks out that may be in a similar situation or just simply want to review some of these steps, I have posted a few Outcast tooner vids from their youtube website.
Outcast Videos (go to page and select video by title)
The good news is the ultra-fab, over-modified tooner is back in the game. Took it out on the water a few times and managed not to drown myself. The right pod still has some leakage even after cleaning the inside covering and re-doing the valves three times. The air holds for about two days so for now this will have to do. When blizzard season starts again I can afford the full break down and waste a few more weekends messing around with it.
Tooner Trailer – First run complete
The small one-wheel trailer for the tooner was a good option for the first few years. Now that the modifications are adding to the load these backwater tooner trips were starting to resemble torture and way more pain than needed. It was time to look at other options.
Wagon and trailer options had been mulled over many times but nothing seemed to fit just right. There was this problem or that problem with any particular model. Most trailers were too big and most wagons were too small. Eventually I found myself at various home supply shops looking at friggen lawn carts. Yes, lawn carts.
There was one that would work great but a bit larger than needed with a $300 price tag. The budget was set around 150. Eventually I sunk the cash into a plastic dump style trailer looking thing. Tore off the plastic top and replaced it with a flat wood deck. An added touch was the plastic milk crate for added clearance as well as being able to carry some of my stuff. Throw on a couple of bungee cords and the tooner trailer is a go.
Bonus footage of the tooner trailer in action. “Tooner Trailer” Patent pending! ha ha
The tooner trailer also allows me to jettison the rear wheel unit as well as the entire rear bar section. Less weight and got rid of that annoying anchor pulley that I never used. Improvements, refinements and additions are always popping into my head and being tossed up on the drawing board. If you have any input, ideas and even questions about my ultra-fabulous, overly modified tooner or inflatable craft in general…don’t hesitate to post a comment or shoot me an e-mail.
Good luck and good fishing.
Posted by Coloradocasters