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Pulled the Trigger on a Pond Prowler

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With the feedback I received in another thread regarding the general stability of jon boats, I settled on purchasing a Pond Prowler II from BPS. I picked it up yesterday afternoon, here's a couple pics. 

 

HWqOL3x.jpg XqawqwJ.jpg

 

 

I'm wondering if I should proactively protect the hull or pontoons of this boat with some kind of protective material. After unloading it from the truck I already noticed some moderate scratches. That got me thinking about the terrain of the reservoir where I'll be using it.

 

The reservoir where I'll be using this has rough terrain; it's very rocky with lots of shale (often jagged) along the shoreline. There are few areas without shale or rock. Below are a couple incidental pics I took this Fall to give some sense of the kind of terrain I'm dealing with. 

 

A trailer is not an option. Due to the lake regulations I can't launch this directly into the water via a trailer - I will be taking it out of the bed of my truck and getting it to the shore via a homemade dolly. It will undoubtedly have lots of contact with rough terrain. Yes, I could launch from the marina if I had a trailer, but this reservoir is very deep and sudden, strong winds are notorious - my propulsion is a 45lb thrust MK trolling motor. As a result, I will launch it in the specific cove or area that I intend to fish and not veer too far away in case strong winds pick up. Safety rules the day. 

 

Someone in another thread mentioned gator patches for the pontoons. I'm not familiar with these types of products or where they would be placed on the boat to best protect it.

 

Are there any recommendations about how I might protect the hull of this plastic boat to ensure I get the most life out of it and/or prevent damage from the rough terrain of this reservoir? 

 

IDArGeI.jpg ppfMgex.jpg

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Congratulations!  

 

I can't give any tested advice on hull protection, my situation is different than yours whereas my hull never touches land or the bottom of the lake. 

 

However, I wonder if it would work to have the bottom sprayed with the same stuff they use on truck beds (Rhino Lining is one name brand).  I would guess it would be easier to spray that than a truck bed, so it may not be too expensive.

 

BTW, when you figure out the best way to store rods with that new hull, whether it be some kind of modification or not, go ahead & post it.  I am curious about what could work best with it.

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Congratulations!

 

What's this homemade dolly idea like? Do you think it will get you past that shale or are you asking for ideas to protect the hull while dragging across the shale?

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2 hours ago, wasabi_VA said:

What's this homemade dolly idea like? Do you think it will get you past that shale or are you asking for ideas to protect the hull while dragging across the shale?

The homemade dolly will likely be something very similar to the one in this youtube vid for a 10ft Pelican Bass Raider. I think this is something of a common design for the Bass Raiders, I saw an almost identical one in another Bass Raider video. 

 

 

I expect the dolly to get me past the bulk of the shale/rock/shore but undoubtedly the hull of the 10ft boat will make contact with the first several feet of the shore under the water. I intend to use this something like two dozen times/year so I feel like this constant contact with the rough shoreline will add up to damages. I really don't know how tough this plastic is. I don't know the typical lifespan of these types of boats but I'd sure like to have mine for at least five years. 

 

I'm trying to determine if it makes more sense to be proactive in some way to maintain the integrity of the hull or if I should just look for fixes down the road as things get rough on the boat & hull. 

 

I found a couple more pics showing more of the type of shoreline I'll be launching into (and returning to after fishing). Some of it is pure rock, some is pure shale. There are a couple areas of the reservoir I'll fish where launching is mostly into muddy or sandy areas. But those areas are the exception, not the rule - and I don't want to be limited to fishing just a couple areas.   

 

YUA4wzm.jpg

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Couple of observations on the Video you posted from my experience with a Bass Hunter.  First, put some old carpet on the wood "dolly" so that you are not bouncing the pvc against the wood.  Second, those wheels are waaaaay too small if you have to move the boat over anything other than smooth grass or gravel.  You will want bigger wheels.  Third, I would strap the boat to the dolly across the entire boat not by the grab handles.  If you have to move it over rough ground you will eventually pull the handles loose or break them.  As for the Gator Patch, I would use the boat and after a couple of seasons, see where the rub marks are and then install the patches for more durability.  

 

https://www.gator-guards.com/product/gator-patch-2/

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That thing looks HUGE in the back of the S10. Congrats on the purchase.

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Congratulations on the new boat.. !

 

I'm a big fan of Spray on bed liner.  You can buy spray cans  or in qt cans and brush on.  I'd tape up and mask off everything but the parts that you figure will take the most abuse and coat those spots to protect for rocks. I would not suggest coating the whole bottom due to costs and weight... just the front few feet, what will rest on the shore line.

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You will wear out the bottom of the pond prowler dragging it.  Figure out a way to protect it now.  Bass Hunter is a better boat but you have the PP now so make the best of it.  My pp would spin like a leaf when I shut off the motor (BH doesn't do this) so I built a rudder for the rear and that stopped the spinning.  Good luck!

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9 hours ago, Flatrock said:

I'm a big fan of Spray on bed liner.  You can buy spray cans  or in qt cans and brush on.  I'd tape up and mask off everything but the parts that you figure will take the most abuse and coat those spots to protect for rocks. I would not suggest coating the whole bottom due to costs and weight... just the front few feet, what will rest on the shore line.

Do you have any experience with this, or any product recommendations? If it doesn't hurt anything I'm definitely open to it. 

 

This was mentioned earlier in this thread - and I also found the same exact thing mentioned in the long-running "Pelican Bass Raider" thread. Someone asked this question back in 2012 and below is screenshot of a response. I don't know what other forum he's referencing or their sources. 

 

pxa3Q5v.png

 

For reference, here's the link to the page of that thread from 2012: Pg 16 & 17 of Pelican Bass Raider Thread - Truck Bed Liner Question (scroll down a little bit).

 

Would definitely like to know your thoughts on this. 

 

20 minutes ago, Lottabass said:

You will wear out the bottom of the pond prowler dragging it.  Figure out a way to protect it now.  Bass Hunter is a better boat but you have the PP now so make the best of it.

Are you saying I'll wear out the bottom specifically on the rough terrain of this reservoir... or that the bottom will just wear out with general use? And are you speaking from experience...? Has your PP shown premature wear & tear compared to other brand boats like these? 

 

I'm not clear on what you're trying to say exactly. I won't be "dragging" it over the terrain in the pictures. It will be dollied TO the shoreline, however, there will inevitably be contact with some rough shoreline right at the water, from launching and returning to shore. 

 

X3XU1Hv.jpg kakKt62.jpg

 

I took her out for her maiden voyage yesterday afternoon, spent an hour making sure my batteries and trolling motor worked etc. Got a decent feel for her. Very smooth ride. I had a second battery on the bow, a small tackle bag, and an anchor that I had already removed before snapping this pic. You can see the muddy Colorado clay in the boat from my boots from launching where I did. This is one of the few places on this reservoir where it isn't primarily a rock or shale shoreline. 

 

@OCdockskipper I had two rods sitting on one side of the boat and they sat quite even. I was a little surprised. I feel like 3 rods per side would easily fit and you could probably make 4 fit. I'll be putting velcro straps on to secure the rods. I'll post more pics down the road so you can see. 

 

Trolling motor is mounted on the stern for now, I believe I will need a rudder for the rear if I'm going to bow-mount the TM.  

 

But yea, after being shorebound for a while it felt good to be OUT THERE above the water column that I've been unable to access. This might sound crazy but I feel like I need to actually learn how to fish from a boat - that is, be able to take the information from my electronics and apply it to my presentation.

 

Just as importantly, I need to understand how to stop and/or control the boat so I can make presentations to the fish with the boat in a stationary position. I found that when I stopped the motor I would inevitably drift (from the wind) and my presentation (jerkbait) would drift right along with me, thus rendering its action useless. 

 

I'm definitely open to any suggestions or resources in terms of making the successful switch from shore fishing to boat fishing, particularly as it relates to these smaller boats (Pond Prowler, Bass Raider, Bass Hunter, etc). 

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Sweet! Glad to hear you got out in it. I just love my little boat so much that I it's exciting to see a another fellow fisherman also enjoying one. A day or half-day out alone in this boat is just absolute bliss.

 

That last photo of your boat at the water's edge is not any the kind of surface that I would worry about harming the boat. That sandy/small shale/crushed shale is fine...and hopefully your dolly solution will will keep you off that heavy shale shore you posted previously. I wouldn't worry about any kind of protection for now and just keep an eye on it.

 

I would wait until you determine you truly need a rudder before worrying about it. Get a few trips under your belt. I don't use or need one in my BassBaby but that could just be me. I would expect almost all of these pond type boats to behave similarly given they are pontoon style so my thought is it comes down to preference and if some people fish in windy waters than others. I'm glad I don't need one as it is one less "thing" to fool with on a small boat.

 

I went with a foot controlled trolling motor which allows me to be hands-free and make continual position adjustments as needed without feeling like I need to repeatedly disrupt my retrieve to reach for the motor handle. I have a Motorguide Bulldog which was made specifically for bow mount on small boats like this. Compact, basic feature set, etc. I am not sure it is available anymore and I couldn't find anything like it the last time I checked. Not suggesting you abandon your investment in your existing t/m, just letting you know this could be an option for you in the future. I know some have installed the more expensive and traditional foot (or remote) controlled trolling motors used on full sized boats but for me these I thought their footprint was too big for my little boat. (I see it is still available if you search. Mine is the 40-lb unit and I see a 54-lb unit for sale at Amazon. 40 lbs is plenty for me, maybe 54 is ok in your bigger 10' boat. especially with 2 batteries and/or 2 people. You just have to careful as they can get squirrely on high speed and yank the bow around if you take too much of a turn or accidentally cut it on while it is positioned to the side). My Bulldog is 10 years old and going strong.

 

These types of hooks are your friend in these plastic hull boats to secure things and can be found at a lot of places like Kayak gear stores online.

 

 

eyes-and-hooks.jpg

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No matter what you do drifting and the wind will be a constant battle.  When I river fished, I had a coffee can sized concrete anchor on a long nylon rope to anchor in the current with.  ALWAYS anchor from the front or bow.  I also carried a good knife and could cut my anchor rope if it got hung up to the point I could not get it loose.  I never had to.  I mounted my TM on the stern and it had an extendable handle.  When I was alone I sat as far to the middle of the boat as I could to reduce the swinging effect from the wind.  I did use the anchor occasionally on lakes to just hold me on a spot.  

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No worry if you are using a dolly.  If you are holding one end up and dragging it over rocks the point of contact will wear through eventually.  Yes this is from experience.  A pond prowler was the first mini boat I bought.  I have a bass hunter now.  It has wheels on one end and the sponsons have a v shape that acts like a rudder and prevents spinning.  The pp sponsons are flat on the bottom so spins like a leaf in the wind, thus the need for a rudder, unless you don't mind going in circles....

You made a good choice over the narrow jon boat, this will be a lot more stable!

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