I was discussing this with a guy who sold his 14'er and got a 16'er. He originally got his 14'er because he went solo most of the time, and figured it would be plenty big enough for the few times he had another angler along. Then he started taking a buddy along for floats more often, and found the 14'er to be a bit cramped.
If you don't think that you will suffer the same fate, then go for the 14'er.
I have a 10'er, and from it, I always fish alone.
i have owned a 14' lavro for nearly a year now, no regrets. i was following the same reasoning w/ a bit smaller boat in that i usually went at it solo. it is easy to handle solo. when solo i usually set an extra anchor and some other weight in the front of the boat to balance it better.
i do not regret the 14'er at all, even when i have one person along. plenty of room for one additional person, i have even taken two people in the front comfortable for floats, wouldn't be ideal for both front fishing obviously.
Marty I've got a 14ft. aluminum Fishrite that is a great little boat. I've used it on rivers and lakes with another large guy in the front and it rows well compared to the 16's. I especially like the weight and draft of this one but it's not built like a tank either.
"...built like a tank..." No kidding. I'd hate to pull my friend's 16' Willie back up the wrong braid that I took, all by myself. It was tough enough with two of us. Lucky thing it wasn't that far to go.
I am not sure if it makes any difference. With a 16' you draft less water than a 14' with the same weight in it. Less draft=easier rowing. It doesnt matter if you have one guy or 3 in it. The people that I know that use 14' are in Montana fishing smaller rivers where the boat has to be more manoverable (sp?) on the small rivers/creeks. It gets pretty skinny some times on those rivers and side channals. FWIW
This is what I ended up with. Ideally, I'd like to have a larger, WW capable boat for larger rivers, and a smaller, LP boat for more intimate waters. Given that I spend a lot of time on larger rivers, this boat should be the ticket and allow me to confidently run Class IV-. It would also be super easy to right, if tipped.
I have a 14 ft. alumaweld that I fish solo from all the time, it's great. My schedule allows me to skip fishing on the weekends which means I am generally alone. That said it handles just fine with a couple of two hundred pounders up front.
My first driftboat was a 14' woody. Nice boat, it was stained and looked great. Just right for one or two, rowed well and was easy to load and launch by myself. I upgraded 3 times since then, 16 foot wood Keith Steele, 16' Willie and now a 16' Clackacraft. I went to 16 footer for the extra room to fit 3 fishermen. Fishing 3 in a driftboat was miserable. Go with a 14" if you mostly fish alone or with one other person. I wish I had my old 14 footer back now.