gear wrote:another draw back tho of going 185 or 206 is fuel burn. Don't know much about 206's on floats, but hear performance isnt the best.
Still leaning towards182 at this point but the reserch continues. Had a long and good talk today with Steve Knopp (Mr. PPONK). Good guy and very helpful. PPONK looks like a great option, regardless of 180 or 182.
The PPonk kit has it's detractors as well as it's supporters. The detractor's argument goes like this: If you damage a stock airplane bad enough to take the gear out, it'll do some damage to the gearbox, no doubt, but that damage is typically not that difficult to repair. No doubt, the Ponk kit will protect the gearbox and permit a LITTLE more energy to be tolerated by the gearbox. BUT, it's still quite possible to take out the gear with the PONK kit installed, and if you do THAT, you're looking at close to a total wreck.
So, the question you need to ask yourself regarding that kit is this: How bad are you going to crash?
Full disclosure: I have the Ponk kit on my airplane. Ya never know...
As to the 206 performance, the advent of better floats and GOOD performing propellers have relegated those stories to the category of myths nowadays.
For years I operated Cessna 185s on four different float models out of the same float pond, a long narrow one, where it is easy to determine precisely where you are getting airborne ("right in front of the red and yellow Maule", for example). I then operated a couple of 206s out of the same pond. Both those airplanes had IO 550 engines and big three blade McCauley props. Both those airplanes went out at 3800 pounds, compared to the 185's leaving at 3350 lbs. It took some familiarity with the 206 characteristics, but after a bit of practice, I'd launch the 206 within 50 to 100 feet of where I'd have launched in the 185, and carrying a lot more stuff, to boot.
The 206 is a great seaplane, but like anything else, it needs to be properly equipped and it's characteristics have to be learned. Every float plane has a little different technique that it likes, sometimes even apparently duplicate airplanes. Rigging makes a big difference, and not all are created equal.
Unfortunately, when the 206 first came out, it was typically equipped with pretty poor propellers, and the floats weren't optimized for that airplane either. All that has changed now, and the IO 550 engine permits going from 3600 GW to 3800.
Great airplanes, though they sort of fly like a truck, compared to a 185, due to differences in the control surfaces. But, that means stability, which is also nice to have in turbulence, or when the pilot needs a little nap...