Dave Scadden vs Watermaster

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Steezn290, Mar 12, 2013.


Which Boat is better?

Poll closed Apr 23, 2013.
  1. Watermaster Kodiak

  2. Dave Scadden Rampage

  1. 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.
  2. Does the Assault have a full floor?
  3. No.
  4. The coolest feature of any rowing craft for rivers or lakes, for me, is the Fred flintstone open floor. Use fins, stand to fish, stand to lift boat in really shallow water. Works well for my scadden assault and NRE framed 14' cataract. I can't really imagine having a boat without this capability or option. Lots of great rafts and drift boats. I like my cat, assault and other similar boats.
    Bill Aubrey and Dave Boyle like this.
  5. "the Fred flintstone open floor", you bastard Ed, you made me lose some beer. I've never thought of describing my grizzly in that way but it's the perfect description for this type of craft.

    Bill Aubrey likes this.
  6. I will say the open floor is less fun when drifting a river in class 2-3 rapids, kinda wet.

  7. And a raft 8' long with a floor will keep you dry in class 2 and 3? Of course it would depend on the time of year though...LOL
    Bill Aubrey likes this.
  8. replace your freinds, not your boat. going from a drift boat to a frameless toon, you loose alot of the power from your stroke flexing the soft tube. a rigid oarlock as on a frame transfers alot more of your stroke power. either way, just like a driftboat, good oars make a huge difference.
  9. Hell, Ed, Dave and WM need to use your term in their advertising. Love it.BUT... Question--how do you get coffee off your screen?
  10. Many inflatable manufacturers are rather vague regarding the target air pressure for inflating their boats. It has been suggested that when they do make a recommendation, they often low ball it. It kind of makes sense due to liability issues, customers pulling the boat out of cold water on a hot sunny day, or transporting it to higher altitudes. In addition, most folks would rather under-inflate than over-inflate when they don't have a pressure gage available. Therefore, many times they substantially under-inflate. Sometimes they launch from warm air into cold water, and don't top-off achieving the same result.

    One watercraft website I visited, suggested that there is quite an improvement in the stroke power achieved when the tubes are inflated to 4 psi vs. the typical 2 to 3 psi. One poster even claimed a manufacturer/owner cited a higher inflation rate in order for their frame-less to be fairly compared to rowing a boat with a frame.

    I might do some conservative testing for this. I wouldn't inflate beyond 4.5 psi. Undoubtedly, there is a sweet spot somewhere between a soft tube, and one that is inflated to be approaching rock hard(within reason). Perhaps some of us have unintentionally discovered these differences. Seems like simple physics to a certain extent?
  11. I know NFO's are pressure test higher than what people inflate them too. We do inflate to at least three. And we use the Gauge so both sides are the same, which makes a difference too.
  12. I always inflate until hard and when it gets harder to push the K Pump and have never had any issues.
  13. I have had great service so far.
  14. I agree. I have had great service with NFO so far.
  15. Hydrological- The main reason I was planning on switching was because I wanted to save money. I'm saving over $750 a year in storage costs, $300 a year in car insurance, and I'm saving hundreds upon hundreds of dollars in gas by selling my truck and getting a more fuel efficient car. Plus I get to fish the entire time and don't have to trust someone else to row my $6000 boat. Plus replacing friends isn't and option for me :)

    Anyways, here is an update for of what I decided. I purchased 2 Water Masters and so far have had an amazing experience not only in fishing them but with the customer service. I had an awesome still water month in April and have been fishing rivers since then.

    Just to quickly speak about Water Masters customer service. I purchased a pair of heavy duty oars and a seat bracket from Water Master. When one of the oars became sticky. It just wouldn't go together or pull apart like my other one. So I called up Rich (from water master) and he sent a new pair of oars my way. He then told me to send the others back when I had the chance. I failed to send them back for over a month. I called him to make another order for a seat bracket for my other boat and he casual asked me if I had sent the oar. I apologize because I hadn't and said I would send them out right away. It still took me a week to get them out, but he immediately shipped the other seat bracket to me before he even got his oar back. It shocked me when I saw the package show up on the door. It is honestly water master goal to keep each and every customer happy with the products they sell.

    Now to what I think of the boat. I fished in the Water Master on a river more than 10 times now and those heavy duty oars I purchased get ZERO use. I constantly have my fins in the water and I'm making casts with big terrestrials to the bank. The fact that I can fish the entire day and not have to row for someone else amazes me....IF YOU UNDERSTAND HOW TO READ WATER AND DON'T GET CAUGHT ON THE OUTSIDE DURING RUNOFF THIS BOAT HANDLES RIVERS LIKE A CHAMP! <This is super important for everyone who doesn't understand how to read water.... Go learn in a drift boat or raft before heading out to a river during high water in a kick boat or pontoon boat. At the very least follow someone down river who knows what they are doing. If you get too confident, you can get way over your head and risk killing yourself. (this is obviously just my opinion... but I hear stories and have rowed up on a flipped boat where people have died after making a mistake...) The fact is that currents do push you around more in a smaller boat, but planning ahead of time and moving to safer water makes all of the problems with these small boats go away. If you are SMART and truly think about what you are doing while on the river (as a beginner) the boats are just as safe as a raft or drift boat. If your experienced these boats open a whole new bag of water that you can float safely, but keep all the big rivers you float now in your drift boat or raft still possible. I have yet to regret my decision and wouldn't switch back unless I started to guide again. I have nothing bad to say about the Water Master, but can see how they could be unsafe for a beginner in moving water!

    Hope in some way this post helps someone make an informed decision in the future and if anyone has any questions or would like to try one out in the Spokane area, don't hesitate to PM me.
    Blue and troutpocket like this.

  16. Let me say that I can see how any Kickboat or Pontoon boat could be unsafe for a beginner in moving water. I hope someone doesn't head out on a NFO to Class IV rapids thinking it would be any better or safer than a water master. :)
  17. Go with Scadden, Most of the Bad service comments are anomolies. I believe thaey a have great service based on my experiences.
    Blue likes this.
  18. I have a feeling a ton of people would disagree with you. I would say based on a ton of things I have read it is more of a normality than a anomaly. I'm sure plenty of people are happy with his boats and his customer service, after all he is still in business and probably gets it right ever other time. I am not willing to take the risk of having something breaking and not being able to use my boat for months because I have to wait for a part.

    Try to find one bad thread about the water master. The only complaint is the foot strap isn't the best, and that was fixed years ago!
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  19. Just as an FYI, the last time I spoke with Rich at Big Sky Inflatables(WM), he mentioned to me that development of a two seat frameless was under serious consideration. The conversation just happened to pop-up while I was ordering some WM accessories for use with my Assault XX. Perhaps another choice for customers in the future!:)

    I have a WM Kodiak and an Assault XX. I enjoy them both!;)

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