Comments Off on Looking at Inflatable Pontoon Boats AND a Memory
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Lately, we’ve noticed that those cool 1-person and 2-person inflatable pontoon boats have become pretty popular. I see them on rivers and lakes frequently these days. The other day, I recognized this Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat (With Transport Wheel & Motor Mount) that was purchased on Amazon and saw that it was about the highest rated rig in its category, and the more I checked it out, the more I thought the usual thought that I have when I see cool things to add to our site here – and that’s “Man, I WANT that!” Of course I do. 🙂
But, it brought back a memory that I thought I’d share with our readers here. I have to disguise the actual name of the resort since I didn’t actually have any kind of boating license whatsoever, but this story is from a far simpler time…
This is my personal experience with a pontoon boat – and the first time I “piloted” one.
So, back in the 1980s (seems like a long time ago all of a sudden when I say it that way), I worked at a resort in Colorado when, at some point I started taking people over Trail Ridge Road as did many of the resorts back then. We would load our guests in some big van, and then drive over to Grand Lake, and take a pontoon party type of boat and tool around and enjoy lunch on that beautiful lake.
Now, not only did I not have any type of commercial drivers licenses back then by the way, and I’d only actually been ON a pontoon boat once before, and never, ever actually piloted one.
But the guests didn’t know any of this.
I went to the marina at the adjacent lake or reservoir – whatever it was – to check out the boat for the day, and told them I had no idea what I was doing or how to navigate over to Grand Lake. They just said, “Steer to the left of those (whatever) buoys, and go so slow that you don’t make a wake. And when you get to the bridge, the pass-through is really narrow, so try not to bang the boat on the sides of the bridge. Then you’ll be on Grand Lake.”
That’s it! That was all the instruction I was given. I was able to navigate okay to the bridge, way in the distance – and then because I was nervous about whether or not I could navigate through the narrow opening, I told the guests on board, “Ok everyone, this is where we place our bets as to whether or not your tour guide can make it through the bridge without hitting the boat. Some days we can do it, and others we can’t! What will it be today? Please keep your hands INSIDE the boat in case we do hit the walls.”
They were all laughing – and SOMEHOW I got through clear – without hitting the walls. They were all applauding! They had NO idea I was terrified! Then, out on the open lake, I just cruised around and tried to keep the bridge in my site so I could get back later!
Then we had to go back THROUGH the bridge, which I managed, and then find the marina again – which I somehow did – there was more than one – and then park the darned thing – which I sort-of did – the dock hands were there to help tie me in.
THEN, back into the van and the long drive back OVER Trail Ridge Road (the highest continuous paved road in the US I think – complete with lots of great drop-offs… Oy…) Back to the resort in time for dinner.
The guests all thought I was a pro and more than one guest bought me a drink at the bar. They had an absolute blast, and after that I was much more confident.
Boy, those were some LOOOONG days.
But taking guests to their rafting float trips on the Colorado river were even LONGER days… I’d have to nap in the van when they’d be on the river – just so I could remain awake enough to drive them back (also over Trail Ridge Road).
I know people who still work there. I should ask sometime if they now have commercial driving and boating licenses. Haha!
But, anyway, it’s totally easy to see why these smaller (and much more manageable) inflatable pontoon boats are so popular. I think I could get into fishing or just floating around in these very, very easily. Thanks for reading! I’ll post more info on these boats soon!
PS: If I’ve inspired you to check out the Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat, CLICK HERE!