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Fred Sowerwine, Montana's Max dealer

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Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 10:39 am:   

David, In defense of the max IV in the water. I agree with Big wolf that it FEELS a little unstable. At least the first few times in the water. You do need to think about keeping your load balanced, but the Max machines float very well. Yes, they bob like a cork. I'm a tall skinny guy and have long legs. I stand and move from front to back with out a worry (I also have tried to get a max (both IIs and IVs) to take on water by rocking it side to side and I have never been able to get any water inside (part of that, I am sure, is that your mind will only let you go so far if you really don't want to go in the water).

I know they will roll as I have a customer who's brother had a passenger that didn't like the feel in the water and was getting out! Neither one was very Max literate. As the exiter grabbed the top of roll cage, the driver reached over to grab him and pull him back in - with both of them on one side, it dumped them both in the river. I'd like to add here that the owner had made a carrier on top of his roll cage that raised the center of gravity. I know he carried his duck decoys up there but I don't know how much other stuff was up there. Some alterations some make to their machines contribute to their problems when they do something wrong.

With that said, I still feel the Max is a viable water vehicle. Yes, you need to be balanced and you need to use common sense, but it won't roll anywhere near as easy as a canoe. It will not tip front to back and one can pull a person in over the front (I have never tried to get in an empty max in the water from the front or the side, but I think it can be done. Yes, the Argo 8x8 is longer and wider, but the design is the same. Part of the reason it feels more stable (if in fact it does) is that it is heavier and rides lower in the water.

It would be very easy to prepare a platform that would float and connect to the back seat area for your dog to get back in from (like the dog dock you showed).

I have used Max in lots of different water conditions and I feel quite comfortable. I am not a water person and I stay close to shore. I most always wear a life vest. A new max owner needs to start out in calm water and get your "sea legs". Using a max in water is just like using one on land in that it takes a while to get the "feel" of things and know what to do. No, they are not a boat, but very capable and if used properly , safe.

I also think that anyone who is uncomfortable in a small water vessel should consider putting pontoons on their skid steer.