Pontoon (ALMOST) disaster this morning

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mgdguy

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My brother called me this morning with this story. I thought I'd pass it along as both a warning/learning experience and to see if anyone has ever heard of this happening and/or has any advice regarding fixing the toon:

He went out to Herman Cr this morning with his pontoon, alone, and headed out in the little estuary there towards the CR. He was out there on the water far enough away from everyone else, and BOOM, one of the pontoons BLEW out. He said it sounded like a shotgun blast and blew a 2 foot hole out. He immediately when down and into the drink - into deep water. He lost some gear and had to swim in his neoprene waders to the shore. And it was a steep shore - he couldn't go anywhere from there. Took 3 hours for a boat to come close enough to see he needed help and rescue him. Scared the hell out of him.

I chewed him out for not having his life vest :naughty: A lesson that could have cost him his life. He said a few guys at the lot gave him grief about it too, one of which was a firefighter. So good (and if you were one of them, thanks!). He did learn his lesson though. And he said he won't be going out alone on the water again either.

Thoughts?

Also, anyone heard of that happening to a toon before? He said he foot-pumped it up and doesn't see how he overfilled it. And nothing hit it or punctured it. According to him it just blew.

He bought it for $100 off craigslist, barely used, was in good shape, and he's taken it out a couple times before without issue.

I'm just glad my bro and fishing partner is ok though :pray:
 
Raincatcher

Raincatcher

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Unbelievably dumb & lucky

Unbelievably dumb & lucky

Oh my,that is not good. :shock: No friend with him,:think: no horn to signal for help,:confused:no pfd to keep him afloat,:naughty:no brains to tell him to get his poop in one pile. :( The Lord must be smiling today. Another witness for unexplained miracles. There is no other explanation for him making it safely back home to share his story with you. :clap:
I believe GraphiteZen had a similar experience. He may have some insight for your brother. I was thinking for a minute that it was Troutski that had a blow out while out on the Umpqua,but then I remembered his story for the "pucker factor". :D
I am just glad to hear he made safely and was railed on enough to learn from his mistake. Although I do think he should be grounded for at least a week from fishing and no video games! :naughty:

Be safe.
Barb
 
C

Combat Chuck

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Never heard of one blowing out on the water. What brand is it? It could have sat out in the sun inflated in the past and weakened it. Buying used you just never know.
 
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OnTheFly

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Blow Out

Blow Out

I have never heard of one blowing out either but I do not doubt that it could occure. Care must be taken to deflate the bladders slightly when traveling into higher elevations. Also, try not to over inflate them as the higher ambient air temperature outside will expand the air and put stress on the seems. Wow! There must of been a really bad weak spot somewhere in the seem is all I can guess.
 
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K

koboabe

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assuming this is not a bladder-less pontoon ($100 used)
if a seam failed, Wouldnt the inner bladder just buldge out of the toon?
its odd that it popped.

he is pretty sure he didn't scrape on some glass or his a snag?
 
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joesnuffy

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The Lord must be smiling today. Another witness for unexplained miracles. There is no other explanation for him making it safely back home to share his story with you.Be safe.
Barb

He's a good swimmer..... there's an explanation. :think:
********************

Over inflation would be the only reason for a blow out. With all the hot weather we have been having it doesn't take long for the air in the toon to heat up and expand.

I often check the air pressure in my toons to verify they are correct. the valves are located in the pockets next to the seat and if your careeful you can release air without even leaving the water.
 
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SmallStreams

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Dry air doesn't expand so much, but if the air inside the pontoon were moisture-laden, then there would be more potential for a sun-induced pop.
 
M

mgdguy

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He said he swears nothing hit it.

I don't see how it could have been expansion from heat as it was early morning, like 6-7am.

It must have been a weak spot in the bladder. I can't remember which brand it was, I'll find out.
 
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Anyfishisfine

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Glad to hear Nick is OK. I wouldn't want something to happen to him since we need to go fishing again so he can show me how to fish those jigs he gave me the right way.

Sucks he is without toon now.
 
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GraphiteZen

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Dry air doesn't expand so much, but if the air inside the pontoon were moisture-laden, then there would be more potential for a sun-induced pop.

I can tell you from personal experience that wet or dry air can expand a great deal when it's heated. When running any kind of inflatable it's very important to keep constant tabs on the pressure as the temp changes inside the toon, as evidenced by my experience on the rocks of the North Santiam. :rolleyes:

Unfortunately I ALSO know from personal experience that if just one stitch goes out on a bladder that is already under enough strain that sucker can BLOW! Had this happen with my first Fishcat FC9 - The stitching had become worn due to pulling it in and out of my pickup and it finally gave out as I was putting a little extra air in it at the ramp. The pressure release was so violent it literally ripped the stitches AND some of the rubber from one end almost all the way to the other. And yes, it sounds like a bomb and scares the CRAP out of you! Mine blew on the ramp around all kinds of activity, I can't imagine what that was like over a quiet piece of water in the middle of a cast oh my god.....

I would guess that the toon was right on the verge due to some defect and at some point he made a little jostle that was the literal straw that broke the camel's back. definitely can happen, so tell your buddy to have his vest next time!!!!!!

*****************

And JoeSnuffy, try to not be so insulting.
 
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M

mgdguy

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Unfortunately I ALSO know from personal experience that if just one stitch goes out on a bladder that is already under enough strain that sucker can BLOW! Had this happen with my first Fishcat FC9 - The stitching had become worn due to pulling it in and out of my pickup and it finally gave out as I was putting a little extra air in it at the ramp. The pressure release was so violent it literally ripped the stitches AND some of the rubber from one end almost all the way to the other. And yes, it sounds like a bomb and scares the CRAP out of you! Mine blew on the ramp around all kinds of activity, I can't imagine what that was like over a quiet piece of water in the middle of a cast oh my god.....

Thanks GZ, sounds like that's what happened to with his toon. I'm sure he'll feel a little better knowing it's happened to someone else, even if he was unfortunate enough to be on the water when it happened!
 
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