In the market for a round boat? If so, you’ve probably found out by now that you are left with two choices-Roundabout Watercrafts, or the Ultraskiff. Currently, these are the only two round boats available on the American market for purchase, so, which will fit your needs? It’s obvious that both boats are round, but that’s where the similarities end. Below is an overview of each boat to help you choose the boat that suits your lifestyle.
Roundabout Watercrafts Vs Ultraskiff: A Comparison
Let’s start with the price of the boats. The Roundabout is three hundred dollars less expensive than the Ultraskiff, as the Roundabout Watercraft starts with a manufacture suggested retail price of $1195.00 including free shipping. The Ultraskiff has an MSRP of $1499.99 plus calculated shipping.
As far as accessories go, Ultraskiff offers a pvc camera mount, a vinyl exterior hull wrap, and rotational stabilizers for sale on their website. They provide no other accessories to the consumer. Roundabout Watercrafts offers a trailer, hitch carrier, two seat conversion brackets, custom marine mat, Wang Anchor system, Power Pole Micro, seats and seat mounts, trolling motors, and even a duck blind. All are available for purchase on their website.
Image: Ultraskiff 360 Left – Roundabout Sport RWC Right
Both boats are made of polyethylene plastic and are manufactured using the process of rotomolding.
Roundabout Manufacturing Process
Roundabout Watercrafts utilizes an aluminum mold for this procedure. The aluminum mold helps to evenly distribute the polyethylene for a more uniform build and an even thickness throughout the boat. All Roundabout Watercrafts have a consistent thickness of close to 3/8th of an inch throughout the hull.
Ultraskiff Manufacturing Process
The Ultraskiff uses a steel mold for their manufacturing process. At times, using a steel mold can bring inconsistent outcomes, resulting in varying polyethylene thickness and inconsistent widths throughout the hull. The Ultraskiff has a thickness of around 1/8th of an inch at its thickest point.
Besides their round shape, there are some noticeable differences with each boat. The most obvious is color-Roundabout Watercrafts offers six different color options to choose from. Sandstone, moss granite, slate, camo, blue, and pink. The Ultraskiff only offers a grey/slate color.
The Roundabout Watercraft has twenty-two square feet of deck space, making it very spacious, similar to being in the front of a traditional vessel. This deck design also allows for the use of a two-seat conversion bracket, making it easy for two occupants to use the boat. The Ultraskiff incorporates a different design; deck space is more limited, as their concave deck only provides a thirty-six-inch circumference of flat usable space for the occupant. This also limits occupants to one person.
Roundabout Watercrafts incorporates a “Carolina Flare” at the bow of the boat. This flare at the front reduces water getting sprayed into the boat during rougher conditions, and also allows for the user to install a trolling motor on the front of the boat. However, the flare design makes rolling the boat a bit tougher than the competition.
The Ultraskiff does not incorporate a Carolina Flare into their design, making the boat easier to roll; they include a roll bar into their hull design to minimize damage from frequent rolling.
Included Hardware & Fittings
All fasteners used on both boats are stainless steel, while both also incorporate brass inserts molded into the hull for the fasteners to go in to. Both boats utilize plastic hinges, along with plastic cleats, and starboard hatches. The Roundabout Watercraft has three cleats, the Ultraskiff has four.
Both boats have molded in handles below the bow to assist with moving the boat, and each has a tow hook at the bow to assist with trailering/transport. The Roundabout Watercraft utilizes a removable tow hook that threads into a brass insert, while the Ultraskiff has a tow ring molded into the hull.
Additionally, both boats have molded in “strap guides” to assist in securing the boat during transport. The Roundabout Watercraft has two strap guides, the Ultraskiff has eight. Neither boat has molded in handles at the rear of the boat, yet Roundabout Watercrafts provides two brass inserts at the transom in which the user can install their own removable handles, or any other accessory that will thread into the fitting.
Seat Base Comparison
The Roundabout has a fixed in place seat pedestal base, attached to the boat with stainless steel bolts going into brass fittings that are molded in the hull. The seat assembly has no play or flex at the seat base itself.
The Ultraskiff has a free-floating pedestal base that is not attached to the hull by any fasteners; this design allows for flex and movement (pictured), and in certain conditions, may dislodge from the boat at inopportune times.
Storage Compartment Comparison
Both boat designs provide adequate storage. Roundabout Watercrafts utilizes more traditional rectangular shaped storage compartments, and outfitted them with drainage ports in the event water gets inside.
The Ultraskiff, due to its concave deck design, has storage compartments that are deeper and wider in the rear, and shorter and thinner in the front-definitely not a traditional design, but it may suit the needs of potential consumers.
The Ultraskiff does not provide drainage ports in their compartments; if water does get in the compartments, the user is responsible for figuring out a way to drain them.
Both boats include battery storage compartments as well, the Roundabout Watercraft offering covered battery storage, the Ultraskiff uncovered, more like a battery tray.
The Ultraskiff and Roundabout Watercraft are self-bailing, meaning any water that gets on the deck drains out on its own after being funneled to the center of the boat, but Roundabout Watercrafts takes it a step further by offering a drain plug at the transom, allowing for easy drainage in the event it’s needed. The Ultraskiff does not offer a drain plug.
As far as performance goes, each boat has strakes on the bottom to keep the boat tracking straight. Without them, the boats would go around in circles when under power. The Roundabout has three strakes, the Ultraskiff has six. Upon testing, both tracked straight with good maneuverability. Additionally, both boats draft only three to five inches, even when loaded with gear.
Built in Conveniences
When it comes to built in conveniences, both boats have molded in cup holders and rod holders. The Roundabout Watercraft has four cup holders, and four rod holders. The Ultraskiff has four cup holders and six rod holders.
Overall, either one of these boats will do what it’s intended to do. Both will get you on the water quickly, to places larger boats can’t go. Both are stable as well as safe. Hopefully, this review helped point out some of the differences between the two. When choosing a round boat one isn’t left with a plethora of options, so it’s easier to take an in depth look to choose a boat that will fit your needs.