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About Us
Our Mission

To provide a safer, stronger, fishing craft for river fisherman.

Company Profile

Skookum means "smart, intelligent, well done, bright, agile" in Indian. I designed and built the first Steelheader in 1993. Since then, Skookum Products has been manufacturing high quality fishing craft for fisherman around the world. Skookum Products is newly headquarted in Redmond, Oregon, heart of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, with manufacturing in Woodinville, North Bend, and Redmond Washington.

My name is Bill Day. I designed the Steelheader Cataraft. I grew up in the Klamath, Scott and Rogue River areas of Northern California and Southern Oregon. I spent 25 years rafting and fishing these rivers and another few years in the Eugene-Springfield Oregon area on the McKenzie, Umpqua, Santiam, Alsea, and Willamette rivers. For the last 25 years I have lived by the Skykomish and Snoqualmie in Washington and I have rafted and fished rivers from Alaska to Mexico. In all these years and after owning well over a dozen boats. I got a pretty good idea of what I wanted in a one man fishing boat.

I needed it to be safe in whitewater, I didnít want to wear waders on hot days, or sit in the water on cold days when long trips could cause leg cramps. I wanted to be able to stand up and fish, and I needed a swivel seat so I could turn while fishing and not have to change the direction because of current changes. I owned several boats that required wearing fins and found it dangerous when I encountered submerged logs, trees, large boulders, and stringy river moss. Nor did I like having to take the fins off and on when I wanted to park the boat and wade. Also, control of the boat with fins was often poor and tiring on long trips. I wanted enough cargo space for a week of camping and needed to be able to launch anywhere - low or high water without a ramp or put in.

I Built a boat for myself in 1993 and after getting many requests from other fishermen I decided to manufacture them for the public. If you have used float tubes, and the typical kickboats, then I believe you will love the safe feel and advantages of Steelheader and Osprey boats. They feel safe and stable. Load capacity is two to three times that of an average kickboat. Actually the Steelheader is not a kickboat. Itís a Whitewater Cataraft! It uses a whitewater steel galvanized frame that is almost indestructible and wonít bend when running into rocks, boulders and trees on a river. The whitewater frame has seven galvanized cross-members from the front to back. That's twice the number found on the typical kickboat, and makes it a whole lot stronger.

The Steelheader is a whitewater grade cataraft built for the fisherman who wants a strong one-man boat that doesnít require a trailer. It can be stored in a closet, a condo, or an apartment, and transported in a car or plane.

The two 9' x 15" diameter pontoons place a 9 1/2' footprint on the water (4 1/2-feet with each pontoon). The 10' x 19" pontoon has a 10 ft footprint. This makes the Steelheader remarkably stable. It lifts the boat higher out of the water and increases the floating capacity far better than a typical kickboats which use a rocker style tube and sit deeper in the water than the Steelheader. With the Steelheader's long footprint, it tracks better, goes in a straight line when rowed, powered with a motor, or when going through whitewater. Yet the Steelheader will also glide through shallow water.

Because of the pontoon design, the boat responds faster on turns and gets out of dangerous situations with greater ease than other boats. The Steelheader-style pontoon floor works well and is more stable than Rocker-style pontoons that lack the ability to use a floor unless they're longer than 12-feet in length with a long waterline. As a comparison, try standing on a rocker-style pontoon craft and notice how difficult it is to anchor. The rocker-style craft will tip back and swing from side to side in the current. Steelheaders & Ospreys anchor easily and stay in place. With our boats highly-stable floor you can stand and fish or from the swivel seat. These options allow you to spend more time fishing and spend less time correcting the direction of the boat.

The Steelheader frame material can be found in any hardware store from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the tip of South America and any welder can weld it. Couple that with the fact that over 40 kinds of oar locks will fit the oar towers and you have a practical boat that carries a lot of gear, is comfortable, stores easily, launches almost anywhere, and is safer in heavy whitewater conditions.

The Steelheader boats are made for river fishermen by river fisherman. Rivers tested on: Skykomish, Skagit, Kalama, SolDuc, Idaho. Salmon, Calif. Salmon, Klamath, Rogue, N. Santiam, Truckee, Deschutes, Sandy, Yakima, Vedder, Green, Payette, Lochsa, Cascade, Hoh, Queets, Sixs,Stilly,Truckee, Green, Babine, Trinity, McKenzie, Kern, Stamp, Crooked, Lewis, Clackamas, and Sacramento.

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