Let’s just be honest, you’re looking at this inflatable pontoon because it’s the cheapest one out there. It’s as basic as it gets, stripped out of all nifty features this is a minimalist’s fishing boat. With no additional features to weigh it down, the Roanoke only weighs 43 pounds and makes a great choice for anyone looking for a cheap and portable fishing pontoon. It’s lightweight, nimble and durable, and for the amount of money it costs, you will not find anything better.
It’s 8 feet long and has a total carrying capacity of 350 pounds. It features heavy duty pontoons, aluminum oars, oar locks and a powder coated frame. Some of the “special” features include a stripping apron, armrest pockets with zippers, a storage area behind the seat and adjustable foot rests. This boat will handle rivers up to class 1.
Thanks to its lightweight design it’s highly portable, it’s never been easier to transport a pontoon boat. The weight combined with the long aluminum oars makes for a fast and highly maneuverable boat. It has oar locks to make sure that rowing is as easy as possible and if you were to lose hold of them, they will stay with you. Unlike more expensive pontoon boats from Classic Accessories, the Roanoke oars only have one position they can be used at.
Even though the Roanoke is minimal and very basic, it has plenty of storage. Just below the oar locks you’ll find two large oversized armrest pockets with zippers. These pockets can store smaller fishing gear like tackles and lures. Behind the seat you will find a mesh platform, perfect for storing a smaller cooler box or any of your newly caught fish.
The adjustable foot rests have six different positions you can choose from, making it easy to use both for short and tall people.
The bottom of the inflatable pontoon boats are made from heavy duty PVC that’s abrasion resistant, meaning that scraping against rocks and other surfaces will not puncture the bladders. The tops are made from tough nylon, not as puncture resistant but will withstand thing like hooks and dorsal fins. The pontoon bladders are temperature resistant, meaning they are not easily affected by cold or warm weather.
The aluminum oars that come with your purchase of the Roanoke are 6 feet long and can be separated into two pieces for easier transportation, they also float if you were to drop them into the water. The locks that hold the oars in place are rock steady thanks to the steel tubing,
- Heavy duty pontoons with tough PVC bottoms
- Rock steady oar locks
- 6 feet long rugged aluminum oars
- Three storage areas for gear and other small accessories
- Dimensions: 96 inches in length (8 ft) , 55 inches (4.5 ft) in width and 26 inches (2 ft) in height
- Pontoons: 8 feet long pontoons
- Capacity: 350 pounds
- Weight: 43 pounds (Fully assembled)
- Material: Heavy duty PVC, tough nylon and steel
So you’ve probably grown tired of your float tube, that’s why you’re reading this right? Maybe you’re just out something real cheap? Whatever your intentions are, you can be certain that the Roanoke gives you a sturdy and long lasting boat for not a lot of money.
It’s basic, but it does basic good
As we stated in the beginning of this review, this pontoon is super basic. This means it has been stripped out of all cool features a lot of the higher end models have, things like adjustable oar locks, motor mounts, extra storage plat forms, bigger pockets and so on. But in no way does it make it less worthy of your money. It’s basic, but it does basics good.
It’s lightweight which makes it unstable in wind
Because most of the features have been taken away, this boat is very lightweight. But the weight has its drawbacks as well. Let’s just say that strong winds and the Roanoke don’t go well together, and they go even worse together if you’re a lightweighter yourself. We were “lucky” and got to try this on a really windy day and while I had a blast, my wife had a total different experience. For her it was a constant struggle, she had to keep fighting the wind trying to go straight and if she didn’t fight back the wind would just grab a hold of the boat and push her way back. If you want to fish in a specific spot in a windy area, you have to get yourself an anchor, unless you want your day to consist of 99% rowing and 1% fishing.
Included oars are long and rigid
Which brings me to the next point, the oars. They’re awesome, with their six feet they’re long which makes for easy and maneuverable rowing. Some owners complained about them being to long, but we think these owners need to practice rowing a little more. When you get the hang of the rowing, it’s easy to get the speed up, if you have just the right conditions (no winds and calm water) you’ll outrace your friends with ease. We don’t know if this a common issue with the included oars, but ours were filled with water after an hour or so, which made rowing pretty cumbersome. Even when taking them apart it was kinda hard to get the water out, it was definitely a pain in the butt, we can’t even imagine how annoying it must be if you’re staying out on the lake the whole day.
Oar locks are nice but need some DIY-love
The oar locks feels rigid and sturdy, but the oars tend to slip through them. We fixed this by taping up a large bulge of electrical tape around the ring on the oars, since then no oar have slipped through.
Okay portability for an inflatable pontoon
As for portability, it’s pretty good, nothing out of the ordinary. Pontoon boats with frames are the least portable out of all inflatables. It doesn’t come with a carry bag or transport wheel which makes it hard to transport long distances unless you DIY a way to have it in your back. You can collapse the seat and make the frame somewhat portable, the pontoons can easily be deflated and stowed away. If you need something highly portable, something that’s easy to carry to and from the shore, you might want to look at some other options instead.
Plastic seat gets uncomfortable after two hours or so
The seat is OK, it’s just a plastic seat which may be too hard for some people. We definitely felt sore in our butts after a whole day of playing around with the Roanoke. We’d definitely recommend getting a cushion, especially if you’re not used to these type of seats.
Not rated for motors, but with some modding it’s possible to mount one
While on the box it says that it’s not rated for motors, we have seen some people modify theirs to hold a smaller electric trolling motor. Not that it’s something we recommend, but if you really want to, it’s possible. Just be wary that the back end of the pontoon will sag if there’s too much weight.
Cold water affects the bladders, even though they’re “temperature resistant”
We noticed that cold water does actually have an affect on the bladders, even though it says they’re temperature resistant. Cold water will shrink the bladders most of the time which leads one to believe there’s a leak. If you want to avoid this, go to your lake a couple of minutes early, inflate it and let it sit in the water for a while, then top it off.
Pontoons are durable and will not puncture easily
The pontoons are durable, we went to several shallow spots on the lakes and scraped against rocks (not any sharp ones though) with little to no scratches at all. We would feel comfortable taking the Roanoke to lakes and rivers where there are sharper rocks, without the fear of puncturing our pontoons.
- Easy to row and maneuver
- Puncture resistant
- Unstable in wind
- Tracks poorly
- Uncomfortable seat
The Roanoke from Classic Accessories might not be the most feature packed and high end pontoon you can buy. But does it have to be? From our experiences we’ve found that we’ve had just as fun with lower end models as with high end ones. It’s a basic boat but it’s does the job, and it does it good. We promise you’ll get your moneys worth from this pontoon.