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Hi gang, Rick Ostler here from North American Waterway bringing you Used Pontoon Boats along with news and views from the boating industry. When you think of Pontoon boats, you probably think of cruising around the lake. Not anymore.
Pontoon Boats earn a fantastic reputation
These versatile boats have been put to work and have actually earned a fantastic reputation. These boats are not only good at being party boats on the lake. They can easily adapt and perform in various tasks such as fire fighting, commercial recreation, wildlife protection, marina construction, fish and game research and management, and marine demolition or construction.
Chinook Boats from Metalite Industries
Pontoon boats, particularly Chinook Boats from Metalite Industries, have earned respect because design specifications can be tailored to payload capacity, work environment and weight demands. Width, length and buoyancy can all be modified to meet working requirements. And bow and stern shapes can be adjusted to allow for the best utilization of surface space and work requirements.
In short, each pontoon boat user starts off with a platform that is designed and honored for its durability and flotation stability. But the end product requires the customization of everything from riggings, cleats, tie-downs, steering and enclosures - cabins, tarps or canopies to make this boat yours. All based on the simple or complex nature of the enterprise.
Copper Bay Construction, a fixture on Idaho’s Priest Lake
Ken Hagman’s firm, Copper Bay Construction, has been a fixture on Idaho’s Priest Lake since 1977. He ties the increased use of his pontoon boats to the demand for greater longevity of marine construction. “We’re using more aluminum framing and composite decking. Because of that, transporting equipment and materials to the site has become much more critical over the years.”
One line of Hagman’s work is to remove damaged boat lifts and replace them with fresh new equipment. Hagman wanted to make the job more efficient, so he went looking for a large high-speed pontoon boat that could readily move and install heavy machinery. He chose a Chinook Pontoon Boat that was built to his customization and spec by Metalite Industries, a subsidiary of NewMax Incorporated. The 12 x 32-foot pontoon boat has an enormous 15,000-lb capacity and carries a gantry crane that can lift and position 8,000 to 12,000-lb boat lifts. The speed and size of his new boat saves him time and labor costs. “With it being 12 feet wide, which is extremely wide for its size, it allows us to deliver and set boat lifts with a two-man crew. As opposed to the old method, a slow moving boat that needed four people to jockey and set the lift in place.”
In fact, Hagman has calculated that since purchasing the Chinook Pontoon five years ago, he has saved half the cost of the boat in labor savings alone. Even as fuel costs rise, Hagman has calculated that he has saved even more money because of the boat’s four-stroke engines operate at one-third the cost of powering the large and heavy semi-displacement work boat Copper Bay previously used.
He said, “We’ve been very impressed with the performance of the boat. It’s common to travel fifteen miles over water to get to a job site. Most work boats are semi-displacement vessels that plow through the water at a slow pace. The Chinook Pontoon work boats incorporate an angular, flat pontoon design that has a higher displacement and better surface planning capability. The design provides better hydro-dynamics to allow the vessel to plane on the water’s surface, where it can move quickly and more efficiently. We specifically wanted this boat so it would save money in labor costs by getting people to the job faster. We’ve had a lot of competitors, some who come from five hundred miles away, looking at the boat for design ideas for their operations.”
Hagman’s Copper Bay Construction crew is in the midst of replacing Priest Lake’s oldest marina. A hundred boats slips will be replaced and a new breakwater will be installed. The marine aspects of the project will not be completed until the end of 2008, when full attention will be given to the on-shore construction of a bar and restaurant.
Hagman had his Chinook Pontoon Bout built with aluminum ramps that attach to the front of his boat. This allows the crew to transport and disembark mini excavators easily. The machinery is needed for the on-shore work that must be done during the winter months, when Priest, a reservoir lake, water level is lowered. Snow many arrive in early November and remain on the ground as late as April. Nevertheless, The pontoon boats are still working hard in the water year round.
Hagman keeps his people and boats busy most of the year, but when the season allows he’s not against a little fun. “In the summer, we throw a crew party for our twenty-five employees. We turn the pontoon into a floating party barge. We decorate it and cruise all over the lake, waving at everybody. We’ve had more than 30 people on that boat,” he said.
About the Author:
Chinook Boats is the premiere manufacturer of pontoon boats and work boats for a wide range of applications. Each boat is custom designed and built of the finest to meet the the customer’s needs. Chinook also builds leisure craft pontoon boats. Thanks to
Chris Newman, http://www.odysseycs.org for this.
For more information on Pontoon Boats and Pontoon Enclosures Used Pontoon Boats, By Rick Ostler
Pontoon Boats-North American Waterway
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Sponsored by PRACTICAL BOATER: PONTOON & DECK BOATS