I have been fishing Water Masters for over 20 years. My first was one of the original versions manufactured in New Zealand and finished in the states. My second is a Kodiak which I've had for a least 10 years. By the way the first boat is still usable by visitors. I have never felt unsafe in either boat and have gone through water as rough as my backbone would let me. Over the years, one of the problems I have seen with open front boats, is straddling rocks and getting stuck. The closed front boats just bounce off. If you are not paying attention you can hang a pontoon tip on a snag. One issue I have with the Water Master, which I see is the same in the Scadden frame less, is the oarlock system. These are inherently dangerous compared to the standard breakaways on framed boats. I have broken oars by inadvertently dropping a down stream oar and catching it on the bottom. Something has to give. A good friend of mine actually flipped his WM because of this. That being said, it pays to be constantly alert on the river. As a point of reference, I mainly float the St. Joe in Northern Idaho, some on the Clark Fork and many lakes in eastern and central Washington.