Fishing For One! – January 26, 2012
Since we started building pontoon boats in 2002, we have always designed smaller boats than most pontoon manufacturers. Our focus was offering a stable boat to customers with small ponds and lakes, it is a niche market and even though we now have 6 models, they are all still under 16 foot. I always wanted to put together a design for a one-man pontoon boat that could be loaded in the back of a pickup. One of the hurdles was figuring out how to make it stable and less than 48 inches wide. This was going to be a deal killer, so we had to devise a way to easily expand the boat to increase stability.
After wearing out more than a few pages of the notebook and some trial and error, we engineered a sliding pullout pontoon. A few test runs in the pond and it was decided that a 20 inch expansion overall was the magic number. It was important that the one-man boat was stable enough for a fisherman to stand on and cast comfortably. We added some pullout trays and railing and took it to the scales to see where we were on weight. Wow, only 175 pounds! We set up some ramps and made sure one of our “average” strength employees (we haven’t included his name so no-one will tell him) could push it into the back of our taller than average Ford.
Picked a color for the powder coat, which turned out a little too bright on the first two (may have to discount those). Decided to put a spray on bed-liner over the deck for traction. The last thing to do was to give it a name and show it to the world. We thought about “Nomad” (sounds depressing), “Minnow” (sounds too small), “Explorer” (already used), and finally “Rebel”. It was short (so the sticker wouldn’t be longer than the boat), and promoted the ideas of individualism and going against the norm. Accented with the slogan “Go Anywhere. Catch Everything!” we are hopeful that fishing enthusiasts will have as much fun using it as we did building it.
Brad Metzler, President