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. We've drifted far off took and into the personal. Use a conversation for those discussions. I'm not asking.
  2. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile!
  3. Sorry wont happen again.
  4. The conversation is good on many levels. The personal leve detracts from the discussion on boats and service.
  5. I send pictures of me and my husband on HIS boats, There are many others on there. Anyone can do this. what is your problem with this?
    You say you are after my credibility, FOR WHAT! I don't make them, I don't sell them, I am just one person that has owned several and recommend them.
  6. I think you are justified to have your opinion on Dave's boats, but your opinion on customer service should not be taken seriously by anyone who is thinking of purchasing a boat from NFO. I'm not saying that because your opinion isn't justified, I'm saying that because your obviously going to get better customer service than the blow joe out there who has no idea who he is.
    CMustang1 and Jerry Daschofsky like this.
  7. Since this thread was originally about Watermaster vs. Scadden boats, I'll post my initial review of my assault xx. I had read & was aware of the complaints regarding NFO's customer service problems but I had also noticed that most people liked the boats. Being on a budget I kept searching craigslist, fly boards etc for a used boat. I found an ad with a guy wanting to sell a WM Kodiak & another ad with a guy selling the assault xx. They were both about a 3 hour drive from my house but in opposite directions. Both boats were essentially brand new. I made them both offers. The guy with the WM wasn't in a hurry to sell & was firm on his price. The guy with the assault was ready to sell. I drove out & the boat was brand new, never put in the water & just purchased at a fly show earlier this year. I didn't hesitate to buy it. It also helped that I got it for $800 less than the "show special".

    Anyways, I took it out for the first time this past weekend. it took me about 20 minutes to get it set up & on the water. I was pleased at how well it scooted across the water. My previous experience had been in a Trinity Outcast float tube that I have been using for the last 8 years. I was getting tired of the long slow kicks back in at the end of the day. The Assault XX was way quicker getting from point a to point b. I only have the stock aluminum oars but they worked fine. The boat was long enough that i could have two rods rigged up & lay them beside me out of the way. I have the adjustable Force Fins & it was no harder maneuvering the boat with them than my float tube.In the afternoon the wind picked up & I was still able to scoot thru the waves with no problem.

    Overall, I found the boat to be well made & have no complaints. It worked great for my intended purposes.

    All that being said, if the guy with the Kodiak had responded first, I would have bought it & posted a review of how it worked out.
  8. So I guess that makes me a "blow Joe" who went in eyes wide open and aware of possible issues, and am satisfied with both the boat as well as the service I received from Scadden.
    I believe (as others here and elsewhere obviously do as well) that it's important to relate the good experiences on an open forum such as this.
  9. Nope, just makes you a satisfied customer. Nobody is saying that most people aren't completely satisfied customers or a person should be ashamed to buy from them. They seem to make a great product and get it right the vast majority of the time. Only reason I chimed in early in this thread was because it seemed some people went after the messenger rather than just taking it for what it is. A company that could use some work delivering on what it promises. That's all.

    Glad you like your boat, as you should. Design on many seems to be pretty awesome.
  10. PT,

    I think we just agreed to agree...
  11. I’d go with the Watermaster. I bought a Rampage with all of the bells and whistles about 18 months ago. After using it at most 10 times, the boat developed blisters on the top and bottom section of the forward pontoons. During a fishing trip in February on a small lake, one of the blisters popped and started leaking air - thus ending my on-the-water fishing earlier then I had anticipated.

    I circled all of the blisters with a magic marker and sent the boat back to Dave. When I spoke to Derrick with NFO the following week he didn’t seem pleased that I had marked up the boat because he said “they could not resell it.” Didn’t know they were selling re-conditioned boats.

    To make a long story endless, I waited 10 weeks only to have my boat sent to an address I where I no longer live (NFO lost my letter with my concerns and contact information). In the box with my boat was an undated letter saying that my boat had been tested and that it held air (it doesn’t). So much for the unconditional lifetime warranty. I am really disappointed with Scadden products and their customer service.
  12. Sorry to hear... Don't give up on the industry just the company... Watermaster makes great boats that have been around for 20+ years!
  13. Thanks for the kind words!
  14. I imagine the original poster made his choice but I've not read all 8 pages to learn which boat. I also looked at the same watercraft & chose the Rampage. I knew about the comments of gd quality vs. poorer customer service going into this, so I won't complain but I will state facts. I bought the Rampage and I really enjoy it. After 2 yrs of Midwest drought, it has finally seen some river action. Lakes are great but rivers touch my soul.
    If I had to do it over again would I get something different? I still don't know since I've never been in any frameless pontoon aside from this one. Before I forget I do have a question that I will likely answer on my next river trip: How much water does this Rampage 'draft'?... or how shallow can the water get, on average, w/o the toon dragging bottom. Just a general idea. I think about 3", depending on person's wt and cargo.
    RE: customer service. When I called and Dave actually answered the phone (not answering machine), customer service was very good. He is a wealth of knowledge and very helpful. He is slow to return ph calls or doesn't return them. I do know he is busy. As another forum member recommended I asked for itemized receipt before toon, etc sent. I also asked that he let me know when it was being sent cuz I was going on vacation. He agreed. the toon came & this huge box sat on my front stoop when I came home from work 1 day before vacation. No itemized receipt. But, as I knew was likely, some items back-ordered. Nothing vital. The notice for this came with the toon. When I upgraded oars, the holes were not drilled correctly. It was obviously rough, etc. Return. I was told I could set pkg outside for pick-up... but in reality it would be if I wanted to pay for this service. Cotter (?) pins missing to lock in the foot bar. No biggie & could be found at a hardware store. But, I didn't know what locked the bar into place and had to email repeatedly to get info/product. Finally, my state wanted 'certificate of origin' to allow me to register the boat/pay taxes on it. To be upfront, during 1-2 ph calls to Dave I totally forgot to talk to him about this as we were talking about other things. My fault. However, I emailed politely and repeatedly and called & left msg with no communication back re: certificate. Months after purchase (instructions reported fines for being late with registration and/or taxes.. I don't quite remember), I started to work through process of paying tax & registering. I had to call and email multiple people. I was told by law the certificate has to be supplied and I was asked to give Dave's name/address. I think coast guard was going to contact him??? This I felt badly about, but I didn't have any choice in how I had to register the boat. there were many hoops through which to jump, but I'm happy to say I was not fined (& I live in IL!) Due to this latter experience, I'm very hesitant to contact him anymore. On my recent river trip, I was really thinking that flip fins would've been GREAT! I'd like to learn more about them (do they fit over my woman's feet in sandals or just wading boots?) but I may purchase elsewhere & communicate with someone else. No, on my end the transaction was prolonged and had hiccups. However, as a customer I had tons of questions and am highly detailed. I think we both suffered. If coast guard did contact him, he might not want me contacting him! what if I had warranty problems? I would dread that. But, would I buy another inflatable from him or a frame? .... maybe. again, the challenge is that one cannot try out the product ahead of time.
    Now the toon itself: I've never put it in its bag. Looks like a PITA to do so. It stays rolled up in corner of tying room when not in use. Of course one goes backward when one fins. That is just the way it is. It is much easier and faster to row backward as well. Rowing forward, if windy, one would get a somewhat wet bottom but that is about the only time unless you are sweating or... well, never mind! LOL. Rowing forward is slower. When drifting, esp if there is a current, the toon wants and will turn backward. That is annoying, esp when friends on river in their less expensive 2-tubed toons don't have to struggle to stay forwards. This, to me, is the largest drawback of this u-shaped design. Do I want to return the toon? No. The stock aluminum oars crossed over each other at the handles which I found v. annoying. If you don't like this set -up tell him and he said he could alter this. The carbon oars are nice and do speed rowing up. No regrets. The plastic hand grips spin & slip upwards so I think they need glue (?). Life goes on. I have a cloth seat and it has 2 stays for the back. for some reason, one stay has torn the seam in the upper part of the seat back & is popping out. toon is on its 3rd year, light use though, but 3rd year &there is that customer service concern. I think a shoe store would fix it. It takes about 8minutes to hand pump up the toon. Then add bags, oars, and all my goodies. 8 minutes on a hot, humid midwest day seems a long time. I'm looking into a pump that connects to car battery for power.. maybe one from Sea Eagle?? Maybe that is more than what I need and a $60 one from Gander would be fine.... The black bags are handy. Just know that they are not made for right and left hand sides. One cup holder will be forward & the other will be at the back. No biggie. What has been annoying for me & maybe I'm doing something wrong, is that the bags make contact with my hands or oars when I'm rowing. Plus, to get the oars up from their resting positons takes extra time d/t the same thing. This is troubling at times. They would not work for me sitting on the toon tubes themselves. Totally in way of oars. I have them sitting beside me and they still are in the way, esp the one on my right side. I loosen the velcro strap to shift bag backward but the seat limits this movement. Operator error? Are the d rings in the wrong spot? Does my seat position make a difference? I'm 5'7". The bags hold a lot. I do use a side pocket to hold my rod. Not perfect but I don't have a formal rod holder. It works. My pump takes up most of space in one bag but I can still get a fair amount of items in that bag. The toon is light and easy to pull up banks, minus cooler, etc. It really scoots on the water when I'm rowing. I absolutely love to fin with it and will do this more than anything & I do track well. If anyone could come up with a way to efficiently fin forward, I'd be in 7th heaven. I've banged into rocks with the toon and I've had to drag it some distances but I don't go crazy on rough surfaces. It is durable.
    Summary, etc.
    A friend of mine owns 2 Scadden framed toons. He bought them at least 6-8 yrs ago & I they were 10 yrs old then. I do believe Dave puts out a quality product. So, if you are patient with regard to the less-than-stellar customer service and can wait if items are on back-order (as you will likely learn this when you get a partial order), I'd recommend his watercraft. I knew of customer service ahead of time so was prepared, in a way, for things when they came up. If you can actually talk to the guy, he is a wealth of knowledge. BTW, his website says it takes 2 minutes to air up the Rampage, I believe, with a 12 volt (?) pump. I'm skeptical. I'd guess 5 minutes & I've read that one still needs to top off with hand pump. Uncertain of this. To unload from CRV and to completely set-up toon, don fins, & put rod together likely takes me about 30-40 minutes but I don't race through it. Website reports it is ok on Class IV water. It is good quality, but I wouldn't row it there. However, I wouldn't row anything there. Someone else would skipper that boat.
  15. Sounds like a typical experience with Dave Scadden. Glad you went into the situation knowing what was going to happen. I feel sorry for those who have been screwed not knowing how scaddens typical customer service is.

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