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Beaching question...

Discussion in 'Pontoon Forum' started by Adam2012, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. bcpnick

    bcpnick Nick

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    I went out and bought one of those 3/4" thick horse mats. I found it a local farm supply store. It was 4' x 6' x 3/4" and it was around $50. Oh, and insanely heavy! I cut three strips off of it, each 8" wide. One for each pontoon. I then trimmed 3" off the length of each so that whoever sets the mats for me can easily figure out the spacing even if I'm drifting around off shore. By making an H shape out of the three mats, the two outer ones are perfectly spaced for my outside toons to be centered on each one. For the center one, they can fold the sideways mat in half and make a mark, then lay it down so they are all parallel. I think it will work great and they will store easily in the center storage. Thanks for the tip @oldrem3! I'm going to try it out on sandstone this weekend. :)

    Here are some shots from my driveway testing after chopping up the mats.

    The H formation to set the width of the outer mats:

    [​IMG]

    Now ready to beach:

    [​IMG]

    Very thick and strong rubber. Not very fun to cut. I may still drill holes in it to reduce overall weight and help it sink faster. 

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2014
  2. oldredm3

    oldredm3 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so you used a different mat than i did. I used the ones that are from Lowes and about same cost but have a lot of holes in them, My only concern with what you have is the width. I use all of mine especially on the 32" center toon...

    Let us know how this works out for you and if possible pics please. I am going to TR in a few weeks and will try to take some and post away....

    Boat safely!
     
  3. bcpnick

    bcpnick Nick

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    What size is that mat you use? And do you use three full size mats then? This one probably weighed a good 80+ pounds. Not easy to move until I sliced it up. I'll definitely report back after this weekend. 
     
  4. oldredm3

    oldredm3 Well-Known Member

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    Mine are like 4'x4' with a bunch of holes in it. The holes help it sink. Your full mat would be a lot heavier because its solid. My Wife can pick ours up whole. 

    I will try to get pics when i go to the lake second week of Sept and report back...

    Boat Safely!
     
  5. bcpnick

    bcpnick Nick

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    I will go check out what Home Depot/Lowes have to compare. Lighter sounds nicer. I used my heavy 8" strips on a 4 night trip recently. They worked well with a few quirks. The biggest problem was slippage, particularly on steeper slopes where I was basically just using them to tie the boat into. I'm thinking I might figure out a strap attachment so I can hook the tip of each mat onto the tip of each toon, then just line it up and tie it in. But before I go there, I'm going to go look into what you are using. 

    The other thing I found out was that if you leave them half way in the water and take off for the day, waves might come along and help them into the lake. We left to three mats and came back to one. Fortunately they were quickly found in a foot or so of water just off shore. Here are some photos of our setup. The first camp was on solid slickrock, the second was on sand/dirt with some slickrock right underneath. The light was not great when I took these photos but you get the idea. 

    [​IMG]

    The starboard mat on this side was tough to pin down by the boat due to the uneven rock surface. Problem solved by building a rock cairn anchor and ratcheting that side into the shore. Otherwise the boat would lift on and off that mat and it would slowly slip down into the water. 

    [​IMG]

    The slickrock campsite. We never would have been able to camp here without the rubber mats. 

    [​IMG]

    The second campsite. Much easier to manage and still nice to protect from the dirt and rocks underneath. 

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2014
    Spoiledrotten and oldredm3 like this.
  6. Link

    Link Moderator

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    Once again, great pics bcpnick.  I would think the mats are a PIA between stowing them and setting them.  Why wouldn't you just anchor in very shallow water and portage your gear to shore?  Could you anchor close enough so your dog ramp would still reach land?
     
  7. bcpnick

    bcpnick Nick

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    They are actually pretty easy to stow. I just lay them in the third tube storage. If I didn't have dogs, I might consider portaging, but I'd need to do it farther off shore than the ramp would allow and I like just walking on and off whenever I want. I'm doing a trip this weekend where I'll anchor just off shore at night, but that is mostly so I don't have to worry about a grizzly bear hopping on the boat. :)

    The other issue with anchoring just off shore at Powell is the frequency and intensity of storms there. Being able to pin the bow on shore and then crank down the stern lines gives a lot more peace of mind than relying on a submerged anchor. Well worth packing the mats to camp. I still don't use them for little stops during the day to swim and let the dogs out. For that I just find some sand and drive it on up. 
     
  8. lakeliving

    lakeliving Well-Known Member

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    I thought bears can swim.....I can't believe you camp for a living. Awesome!
     
  9. bcpnick

    bcpnick Nick

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    I'm totally banking on the fact that if a bear does swim to the boat, I'll hear it trying to climb on with enough time to grab the boat hook and a can of bear spray! That and my friends will be camping in tents on shore, so I'm thinking a bear would check them out first.  :blink:
     
    akleaders likes this.
  10. Rockie69

    Rockie69 Well-Known Member

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    I just removed "Camping with Nick and friends on Lake Powell" from my bucket list...
     
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  11. bcpnick

    bcpnick Nick

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    Haha! The bears I'm worried about are actually up in Yellowstone. I have a trip planned there this weekend, although the weather might send me back to Powell the way it is looking now. The spot we would be heading is one of the most remote in the continental US with a huge concentration of grizzly bears.

    It would be pretty wild to see a bear at Powell and it would just be a black bear, not a grizzly. Last year a cute little bear cub somehow made it down there and was spotted raiding house boats. The DNR tranquilized it but it ran and jumped in the lake so they had to jump in and save him. Some pretty neat pictures of the event here:

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/56951663-78/bear-lake-beach-boo.html.csp
     
  12. BulldogsCadillac

    BulldogsCadillac Just some guy

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    Just remember, when running from a bear, you don't have to be the fastest, just not the slowest!!! As for the holey mat, sounds to me like one of those anti-fatigue ones.
     
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  13. kaydano

    kaydano Well-Known Member

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    Whoever makes the box anchor would surely love seeing that photo of it being used on shore with rocks piled on it!
     
  14. oldredm3

    oldredm3 Well-Known Member

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    Great Pics! Looks like that works. Where i go @ TableRock Lake SW Mo they have loose rocks. we have to use only specific areas that have the smallest amount. Typicaly the wife jumps off before we beach and clears the larger ones. Then lays the mats out. No real sand on my lake :-(
     
  15. Gabbiano

    Gabbiano Well-Known Member

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    boy looney tunes you have the most posts of anyone here. I'm still hemming and hawing about buying a pontoon boat. never had one. I have been boating for 65 years with conventional hulls. I almost feel like i'm getting ready to get a divorce. My problem is I boat all winter in Florida and between gas prices and the low water in my bay and liking the comfort and convenience of a pontoon boat I think I am ready for the change. I researched all I could and came up with Bennington. Went out for a demo ride  and it felt great. I guess with all the posting you do I thought you might give me a little guidance in what to look out for, you know the kind of things first time buyers may not even think of till after they pull their boat out of the slip for the first time. Thanks and keep up the good work 
     
  16. 2550RSR

    2550RSR Well-Known Member

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    The guy who owns Slide Anchor (who makes the Box Anchor) is a local on our lake and has a Bennington.
     
  17. Dan S

    Dan S Well-Known Member

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    I wear old tennis shoes and worry about nothing.
     
  18. Spoiledrotten

    Spoiledrotten Well-Known Member

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    You also don't run as fast as you can. You run as fast as you have to!
     
  19. JaccFrost

    JaccFrost Well-Known Member

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    I would say I am fortunate around here.  Sandy beaches. The Big Lake (Lake Michigan) gets shallow quickly so trimming up early is important.  Silver Lake, north of me,  is great too.  Head over to the dune side and beach,  no trimming needed.  You can literally dive off the back of the boat and not touch bottom. My main lake doesn't really have beaches so we just anchor out somewhere and if we want some Sandy beaches,  we head out the channel to Lake Michigan. 
     
  20. goldnrod24

    goldnrod24 Moderator

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    White Lake?
     

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