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Thread: Pro Pioneer Inflatable

  1. #1
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    Default Pro Pioneer Inflatable

    This is my first post on the outdoor forum and I must say I'm quite impressed with the depth of knowledge and the quality of the site, well done all.

    I just purchased a Pro Pioneer that I plan to use mainly for remote hunting and fishing trips and would appreciate some rafting tips, do's and don'ts.

    I purchased the the Row Saddle, Swayer 8' breakdown oars, EZ pump, expedition repair kit, 2 seats with back rest and the rechargable air compressor.

    I plan to buy: life vests, rescue rope and bag, extra oar, water proof bag or two, various length tie down straps. The jury is still out regarding the best pump for my application so I may need to get a different pump if the EZ Pump isn't quite right for me. I fly a PA12 so weight and bulk is always a concern when doing remote hunting and fishing trips. Any other suggestions?

    I have read many of the post about the pro pioneer on this forum and have talked with several people about it so I think I'm squared away on the pros and cons. But if there is something I need to pay particular attention to please let me know. Thanks in advance.

    Adrift

  2. #2
    Member jeff p's Avatar
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    Default

    do's and dont's:

    dont go out without the desire to fill the boat with lots of game
    do fill the boat up with your game, a moose fits nicely; however, I have yet to find a limit on how many caribou you can fit in a PP.

    seriously it is a fun boat that should provide you with many years of enjoyment.

  3. #3

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    Doís:
    Get to know your new raft. Take it out for some fun oaring; take the family, the dogs, it doesnít matter, but take it out anywhere as it doesnít have to be river water. Simple trips, regardless of the type of water will provide you basic knowledge and experience for how to properly strap your oar towers, oar length adjustments, oar techniques, seat & inflation issues, etc. Trips like this provide invaluable knowledge that is best gained before youíre out in the bush, and youíll learn a great deal as well as have some enjoyable times doing so. Since youíre intending to use your raft for hunting Iíll offer that you should pay attention to noises that you make while youíre out. You may very well notice squeaks from you oar yokes, seats, straps, that can easily be eliminated with some grease and by different strap placements. Also, read some books and watch some videos on river rafting, and do not even attempt advanced whitewater until youíve spent a number of hours in your raft and you can read water. Graduate slowly and wisely to stronger currents and heavily loaded rafts. For your first wilderness hunting trip expect that your raft will get punctured or ripped, so ensure that you know how to repair it and that you have the necessary items for repairs. I know that I always bring too much gear to repair my raft, but if you donít have itÖwell youíve got a serious problem if youíre miles from nowhere. Lastly, always wear a life jacket.
    Donítís:
    Do not underestimate the danger of current and water temperature. It only takes one seemingly benign sweeper, strainer, or whitewater section to completely wreck a day, a raft, a trip, or a life.

  4. #4
    Member Toddler's Avatar
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    Default

    OK Iíll bite.
    How are you going to do a fly out float trip, float down river and then get back to the plane? I have the Champ in the avatar so I am looking for some tips. Not trying to rain on your parade just asking the question the keep me from buying a pro pioneer.

    Drew
    Normal people believe that if something ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.

    Scott Adams

  5. #5
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    Jeff P,

    I plan to filler-up every chance I get, Thanks for the input.

    WhiteFish,

    Thanks for the great tips. I've purchased two books on rafting and float hunting so they should give me a general idea of what to expect on and off the river, the rest will come with experience.

    Toddler,

    Nice champ. I had one in the early 90's, floats wheels and skis, 85hp, non-electric, 806 lbs, 2 ea 13 gal wing tanks and one 13 gal nose tank. I could fly almost for ever without refueling.

    As far as the remote float trips go. I plan to fly the PA12 with PP and gear to either the starting point or the finish line, which ever is safest to leave my plane. Then charter from there. Another idea is to use two planes, one at the start and one at the finish. Assuming both places are safe to leave a plane for a week or so. I'll try and leave a trip logs and photos. Thanks for your interest.

  6. #6
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default brave

    Quote Originally Posted by adrift View Post
    Jeff P,
    Another idea is to use two planes, one at the start and one at the finish. Assuming both places are safe to leave a plane for a week or so. I'll try and leave a trip logs and photos. Thanks for your interest.
    Wow, leaving a plane in the bush for a week all by itself. Seems pretty brave to me. I don't know that I would trust something like that even with a fence.

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Some tips-

    Congrats on your purchase; the PP will haul all you need, and then some.

    Don't forget that spare oar! It's an easy item to leave off the list, but if you break a shaft in the field, you're in trouble. Just strap it to one of your tubes, length-wise to keep it out of the way.

    Try to distribute your weight (especially game meat) so heavy items are toward the bottom and evenly distributed front-to-back. Space is a premium commodity in any round boat, and especially so in a canoe. The PP is a rubber boat, so it will flex if you put too much weight in one end or the other. Anyway keep the heavy stuff low. If you load too high it throws off your center of gravity and it is easier to roll the boat over. I've seen some guys throw willow branches across the tubes and haul game meat on top of them. I don't recommend this because it puts the weight too high in the boat.

    It is my understanding that there are some narrow cargo platforms that were designed for the PP? If you can find them, use them to suspend your loads just off the floor. Most guys load directly on the floor, and you can probably get away with this, but I don't recommend it. If you run over a rock in fast water and you have a hard object on the floor, you can pinch the floor and rip it. Better to suspend your load in a cargo platform.

    Speaking of load distribution, try to load slightly stern-heavy if you can. This allows your bow to float over a shallow spot, grounding out in the stern (if at all). This keeps your boat facing downstream, so when you shove off of the shallow spot you are still facing whatever obstacles are coming at you next. If you load bow-heavy or level, the bow can ground out first and the boat will spin around on you in the current. This is not good if you have a hazard coming up downstream.

    The PP is a big load hauler, but you should still be careful with your load planning. Go light with your gear and you'll be glad you did. Especially when you run into shallow water and have to drag the boat.

    You made a good move with the rowing setup. It's so much easier to control a heavily-loaded canoe with oars than with paddles.

    Bring a spare pump! They do blow out sometimes, and you need a backup or you'll be inflating your boat with a trash bag!

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  8. #8
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    Mike,

    Thanks for the helpfull tips. I bought your book on float hunting so have been learning much from the pages but also realize that many of the real lessons will be learned on the water.

    I'm glad you mentioned suspending the load above the floor. I was planning to have my wife make some heavy duty cargo hammocks to lower the load center of gravity but I never thought about rocks or such pinching or ripping a hole in the floor. It's clear I have much to learn about float hunting. Just like flying in the bush, school is alway in session and the punishment is usually swift for doing or not doing something.

    Thanks again
    Adrift

  9. #9
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrift View Post
    Mike,

    Thanks for the helpfull tips. I bought your book on float hunting so have been learning much from the pages but also realize that many of the real lessons will be learned on the water.

    I'm glad you mentioned suspending the load above the floor. I was planning to have my wife make some heavy duty cargo hammocks to lower the load center of gravity but I never thought about rocks or such pinching or ripping a hole in the floor. It's clear I have much to learn about float hunting. Just like flying in the bush, school is alway in session and the punishment is usually swift for doing or not doing something.

    Thanks again
    Adrift
    Thanks for the kind words on the book... it took 12 years to get that project done, and it's nice to see that it is helping folks.

    If you're going to make a platform for each end of the boat, I suggest putting in some reinforcing around the perimeter, and grommets. You don't have to suspend the thing with straps (though that's what we do in round boats). You can use braided nylon rope if you prefer. I would put a knot in one end of the rope to use as a stopper against one of the grommets, then lace the platform to the grommet flange on your tubes. The platform should be suspended about 2" or so off the floor. I see some guys lace it flat across the top; this is not what you want! You need to keep the load low in the boat. I would also suggest putting a cargo net over the top of your load. If you're handy, you could just buy a regular cargo net and cut it in half length-wise, and reinforce the cut edges. This gives you two long skinny nets that should work for your canoe. The net keeps your stuff with you if the boat capsizes.

    Meat care in a canoe is more challenging than in a round boat. Be sure to rotate those game bags during your float days, to keep them reasonably dry, and hang them when you stop for the night. NEVER leave meat in the boat overnight; it will spoil much faster that way, because the surface will be moist and create an environment for bacteria to multiply.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  10. #10

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    You can buy a cargo netting type platform for the Pro P, we used them on our float hunt in 2006. Talk to Larry B and see if he has any in stock or where he gets them.

  11. #11
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Here's the info on the PP cargo platforms...

    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45 View Post
    You can buy a cargo netting type platform for the Pro P, we used them on our float hunt in 2006. Talk to Larry B and see if he has any in stock or where he gets them.
    I forgot he was doing that... HERE'S THE LINK. Not a bad price, either.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  12. #12

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    Adrift,

    I own a few Pro Pioneers...

    A couple of small things to try with your rig:

    1. After the Pro Pioneer is completely deflated and the valves closed, fold the side tubes in and roll the watercraft STARTING from the valve end first. Tightly rolling the canoe this way ensures your air valves and pressure release valve is protected within the roll.

    WHY? I've noticed on long Cub flights, or road trips, cargo shipping, etc...abrasion can occur very easily on all inflatables anywhere there are pressure points rubbing against the floor. If the valves are on the outside of the roll and resting on the floor...abrasion can and likely will occur.

    IF SO, THEN WHAT? If this happens, don;t just patch it with repair material, use AquaSeal repair adhesive. The package might say "for urethane and wetsuit repair" but it works great on all rubbers and plastic products for small scars. Some dive shops have this stuff in black color, for neoprene wetsuits. Great choice for black floors on the Pro Pioneer (neoprene).

    2. Use the Screen insert for the Pressure Release Valve on the floor. This is invaluable for reducing silt and grime deposits, which will eventually find its way underneath the P/R vlave seal and cause air seapage.

    AIR SEAPAGE? I have found that it's easy to fix by wedging a small pebble or piece of wood down in to the hole atop the P/R valve. This usually stops the gurgles and keep yuor floor nice and tight. Once back at home, the P/R valve can be removed using your valve wrench and thoroughly clean with warm soap and water. Avoid puting lubricants on the seal to avoid trapping more grime or silt. Replace the P/R valve if these tricks don't work.

    Good luck,
    Larry

  13. #13
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Good to see you here Larry.


    -Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  14. #14
    Member Adventures's Avatar
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    Wow, Good stuff,
    Larry, I see you'e PP's are in sportsmans warehouse now.
    I'll have one of these puppies some day
    great tips for floating and repair on the go from Mike and Larry here.
    Never thought I'd see the day LOL
    Justin

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