Why don’t you have rockers in your raft like some of your competition?
There are a number of reasons that we do not use a rockered design. We do not use a rocker because we want you to have the most ease and control possible when rowing and finning.
1) A rocker removes the available buoyancy by bringing the tubes on the ends of the raft up and out of the water. This results in more water displacement and a much deeper draft. On a nine foot raft with a rocker you will get around five feet of contact on either side while on a Water Master you get almost twenty feet of contact total.
2) The rocker also reduces the amount of control you have because of its lack of contact with the water. Rocker-style rafts are known for spinning like a top and getting pushed around in wind and currents.
3) A rocker reduces the efficiency of rowing by rocking back and forth as you row. A Water Master rows level on the water making for a more efficient stroke and better tracking.
4) Load the back down too much and the front end of the raft comes out of the water. You can load down a Water Master without the front coming out of the water because of its massive buoyancy on the ends.
What are the advantages of having a closed bow and stern as opposed to open?
Besides the extra buoyancy achieved by having both ends touch the water like described above, there are other advantages to take into consideration. A closed bow also allows the Water Master to track better by having one tracking line as opposed to two, much like a drift boat. Two pontoons fight each other in current and make it difficult to track in a straight line. A closed bow and stern also protects your feet from obstacles in the water while finning. Even when you strike an object the Water Master will bounce off and go one way or the other. An open bow or stern means you can catch the end of the tube on an obstacle spinning it and potentially flipping it in current.
What’s the advantage of having a rigid seat instead of an inflatable seat?
In a Water Master the rigid seat acts as the frame of the raft giving it rigidity and keeping the tubes from flexing in bigger water. Second it provides a stable and supportive seat platform. You are able to sit up straight and it prevents you from slouching. Inflatable seats don’t give you any support and can be very uncomfortable over longer periods of time. It's common to feel as if you are always slouching and sliding off the front of the inflatable seat. We offer a variety of seating and padding options for the Water Master to obtain the comfort and back support you desire. Lastly, the rigid seat is maintenance free. Inflatable seats can leak or get damaged over time.
How does the Water Master hold up compared to other bladderless options?
We use the best materials and construction techniques available, despite the costs, to offer the highest quality raft on the market. Our PVC differs from all of the bladderless competition in a couple ways. We use a polyester weave as opposed to a nylon making it much more puncture resistant. Polyester also stretches much less allowing you to get the raft tight with very little air pressure. Also, we inject a UV blocker into the PVC before it is sprayed on the polyester preventing it from fading, cracking, and drying out over time. As far as the actual construction goes, we pride ourselves on “overdoing it” on the seams. All of our seams are double taped after the initial overlap connection. Others choose to butt to pieces of material together and tape it once to hold them together. These differences allow us to back your Water Masters seams and materials for life!
What is the advantage of the Water Masters construction over an inflatable with internal bladders?
Inflatables built with bladders inside a thin PVC shell are not nearly as durable and require a lot more maintenance over time. Most are constructed with a much lighter weight PVC, Urethane, or Cordura shell that is much more susceptible to puncture, abrasion, and wear. Once the outside wall is compromised all that is left is an unsupported urethane bladder that has absolutely no puncture resistance and tears easily. If damaged you must remove the bladder to repair it making it very difficult to do in the field. A Water Master can be patched in minutes and you don’t have to take anything apart. Also these style boats use a lot of zippers that tend to fail over time. These are usually cheaper but you get what you pay for.
Why a Water Master and not a framed pontoon boat?
Portability is the most obvious reason. The frameless design allows you to fit the Water Master into a back pack so you can throw it in the trunk of your car or check it on an airplane. Pontoon boats are heavy and bulky making it difficult to get on the water without a drive up access. Assembling your pontoon boat in the field often eats into your fishing time! The set up time for a Water Master is about ten minutes.
Another thing to consider is the high profile of most pontoon boats. Because of this and their smaller foot print they get blown around a lot in the wind. The Water Masters large footprint and low profile keep it in place in windy conditions. The pontoon boats high profile also prevents you from getting a deep kicking stroke with the fins. In a Water Master you sit lower allowing you to get more powerful fin strokes making it much easier to control with fins. Pontoon boats also suffer from having too much weight relative to the amount of buoyancy provided by the two tubes. With the weight of the frame, the occupant, and the gear a pontoon boat draws more water and is harder to row and control. The Water Masters closed bow and stern gives you the ability to stand up in shallow water and wade fish without losing your boat. If you stand up in a pontoon boat it will float away if not tended. It also protects your legs from obstacles in the water while floating down a river and is especially important while using the fins.
Lastly the Water Master has a front and rear air chamber system that provides you with a functional floatation device in the case of a puncture on the water. If one of the pontoons gets punctured all that is left is one pontoon strapped to a metal frame with the occupant and all the gear.