Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pontooner Update: “Tooner down!"

I knew it would happen one day and it really was only a matter of time. After all I have pretty much destroyed every inflatable craft that my reckless butt ever put on the water. My beloved pontoon boat would be no exception. Each trip that I put the tooner away in one piece it was the icing on the cake of another fabulous day fishing.

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.


Bigerrfish said...

I have done a few custom mods to my toons... rod storage tubes standing plat-forms, and of course the bike wheel but, I used a mountan bike fork with a rockshock and a 26 inch wheel.. I think it would work better if there were two wheels a little bit apart, I over load things sometimes and that sucker is tippsy.

Another thing you should try sometime Matt is tie a Kite to your spinning rig, get on the toon and have a fight like no other..

I got you back on the roll,, man sometimes it gets all messed up..

troutrageous1 said...

I didn't realize Outkast made pontoon boats. I really liked their songs a few years back...

Seriously, glad the company has great customer service to assist with your leaky bladder...ok, that didn't sound so good.

Anyway, the trailer looks good to me. I'm sure with a few more mods, it'll be perfect for whatever you have in store for it.

Shoreman said...

For the pin hole, you could use soapy water to find the hole (like a gas leak). I had a slow leak in the Float Tube Cumberland (I think it has the Boston Valve also)when I first got it. I used teflon tape where it screwed in and have not had a problem since. Don't know if this will help.


Coloradocasters said...

@Bigerrfish: The kite idea sounds like a blast. Especially with the hurricane force winds that we have seen this year.

Thanks Troutrageous1, I still have a few tweaks. Just got tired of hauling all this crap on one wheel. Trailer is much easier.

Shoreman: I have tried the soapy wash rag and even the tub after the car wash. The tape idea is worth a try and will go on my winter fix up list...thanks a ton!

Razzle Dazzle said...

Interesting stuff...
I "learn" something everyday, (er..at least hope too!)