Okay, so they say you shouldn’t take a knife to a gunfight, but I guess I’m just a bit hard-headed that way. I figured the best way to fully test out the 8-foot ODC Sport pontoon boat by The Creek Company was to run it down a wild, remote river for 3 days.
Features & Specs
• Full take-down, no-tools-required, powder coated steel frame
• Padded fabric rowing seat
• Denier nylon outer covers and 30 gauge PVC bladders
• Boston Valves
• Cargo Pockets & Stripping Apron
• Large cargo deck with D-rings
• Walk-through footbars with six-position adjustments
• 6 foot take-down oars
• MSRP: The newer model is currently selling online for $219
To be honest with you, this thing sat, new and unopened in my buddy’s uninsulated shed for many years before I got my hands on it. I think the newer version is now called the “Classic,” and probably has undergone some updating. In either case, the boat is a basic, entry-level pontoon that’s really designed for ponds and mellow, flatwater rivers…definitely not what I was about to subject it to.
But, I figured if it could survive a December wildness float, it would be fine on its intended waters. And thus my mission began. First off, I completely overloaded the boat I would later dub the Super Banana with camping gear…
Yet, she still rode plenty high. High enough for me to backtroll plugs with relative ease for three days, my only real complaint in that area being the fixed oar locks and the 6-foot oars which felt like I was rowing with two soup spoons.
Well, exactly 1 hour into the journey, one of my “soup spoons” clipped a rock and turned into more of a chopstick. Rowing into a riffle, I clunked my starboard oar tip down on a rock and it shattered like a piece of fine china. Somehow, I rowed the rest of the trip with this…
As frustrated about the oar breaking as I was (of course, I didn’t have a spare!), the other lasted the whole trip and others thereafter and I believe it was a freak accident, probably caused by the boat being subject to extreme temperatures in the shed. No long after that, a pontoon went flat on me — having not hit anything, I believe that, too, was a product of the boat sitting for years in the storage shed. A shot of quick dry wader fix-it took care of the problem and I was on my way.
The seat and foot pegs were quite comfortable…
And the boat actually handled whitewater with no problem…
Of course, I went on the coldest weekend all winter and the Super Banana was subjected to some chilly mornings…
But, she got me to some fish, including this nice king:
Well, after the busted oar and flat tube the first morning, the rest of the trip passed without incident and the ODC Sport got me safely down the river. She was responsive enough considering I had her overloaded and was quite comfortable to sit in all day.
Would I recommend this vessel for others looking to do a similar extended overnight trip? Not exactly. There are definitely better rigs for the job. That’s not the ODC Sport’s fault, however as it wasn’t built for that purpose…I just wanted to take it to the extreme and, well, she held up okay, especially when you factor in the part about the boat being stored in a harsh environment for several years, too.
Now, for just over a couple hundred bucks, I will say that this boat is a fantastic value and a great way to get started in pontoon boat fishing. Again, that’s the whole point of the thing. For it’s intended waters, the ODC Sport (or Classic) is a nice little, no-frills lake or gentle stream boat that’s worth the cash. GET ONE HERE: ODC Pontoon Boat