Waiting to Spring! 2/14/10

Well, the weather forecast didn’t look very promising for Pass yesterday, so Jeff H. had cancelled out on Friday night. Well, I should’ve known that he’d change his mind as I saw my phone on Saturday morning and he’d texted at 6:30 indicating that he was on his way and the weather didn’t seem to bother him. I’d already made plans to stay home, as I just found out that my in-laws were coming for Portland for a few hours. My wife’s mom was going to bring a bunch of ethic foods for my wife, to help her out during this transition time of breastfeeding and such.

Anyways, I’ll save the baby stuff for another blog. The short end of the story is, that I had some time on my hands and a boat with some work to be done, so I decided to refinish the oak gunnels and seal up a transom issue on the new Spring Creek Stillwater Classic. I figured we’re still a couple of weeks away from the action starting to heat up, so I’d be get my boat ready and familiarize myself with its features. Theres not much to familiarize, but it is a smaller boat, a little narrower than the Hopper 2, and of course alot lighter! It doesn’t have as high sides as the Hopper, which is good for the wind and will be easy to row with the built in keel versus having just the flat bottom.

This boat was advertised as being 55 lbs, but I think its more like 60 which corresponds to the website and in talking with Jim Wheeler at Springcreek. It has the motor guide with built in Ramsey winch style power mounts for use of a Group 24 Marine motor. I don’t know that I’d use my Minn Kota, but I guess it’d be nice to have for trolling around the local lakes after the WDFW has stocked it with triploids.

What I also like about the Springcreek pram is the built in floatation which is located up front on the bow and two pocket areas in the transom. If there was ever a time that the boat capsized, it would still float. Of course all my gear would be gone ,but at least I’d be alive. I do plan on having and using my Sterns inflatable PFD while fishing from the pram, since its not only the law, but also a smart idea.

The boat came with the carpet kit, adjustable length oars, which, Im not sure if I’ll use but its nice. Scotty base mounts, one on the bow, two on the transom, and upgraded seating with a comfortable back. Woo hoo! I already have all the rope, anchor locks and anchors, so its a pretty nice turn key package.

My one complaint about the manufacturing of these prams was the use of wood screws on the transom to mount the anchor locks. We typically use bigger anchors, 8-10 lb pyramids and the weight and sometimes stress when pulling them from a deep mud puts alot of stress on the transom. My Hopper ended up splitting and the wood separating, so I had to repair it by reinforcing the area with some plate alumium. I think I’ll have to do that upgrade on this boat as well and by drilling bigger holes to accomodate new stainless bolts and nuts. The last thing I want is to have issues when Im out camping and fishing in the Okanogan and having to repair stuff while I lose fishing time.

Since I had the downtime, I also refinished the oak gunnels and added a seam of clear silicone on the glass wood interface to prevent water from seeping into that area and potentially rotting the wood. A couple more hours on the boat should have her up to speed for some stillwater action.

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Categories: Discussion, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Waiting to Spring! 2/14/10

  1. Jim Wheeler

    Hey Paul,

    Thought I would clear up a couple of things said. The weight difference (55-60#) is due to the addition of the Electric Motor Cable Kit which adds about 7-8# which it looks like this boat has. The boat probably started at less than the 55# before that addition. The wood screws have never been an issue. The Stillwater Classic is my favorite boat and I have built many of them for me. I have never needed more than an 8# anchor on the bow and no more than a 6# on the stern to hold in up to a 30mph wind which is about the most I’ll cast in before getting frustrated and the fish don’t aren’t usually very active with that much turbulence either. Now, clearing a marl or mud bottom does take a bit more effort but shouldn’t affect the screws holding abilities either. I think that boat actually has a Pocket Puller on the bow??? So, overall it sounds like you like it. It is by far my favorite. Just built one for me testing out a new fabric and color.

    Jim Wheeler
    Spring Creek Prams

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