Clakacraft or Hyde?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by FlyFshn'Fool, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. FlyFshn'Fool

    FlyFshn'Fool Member

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    I will soon be in the market for my first drift boat and I like what I have seen from these two companies. I have heard good things about both companies, but have heard that they handle a bit differently. As for the types of waters that I will be on; Upper Midwest Great Lakes tribs, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho and possibly Oregon and Washington. I do plan on trailering the boat to various locales and it will be used quite a bit.

    Any input that you folks may have with regards to durability, handling, service, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

    As a side, I have also looked at Outcast's PAC 1400 I believe it is. In the end, I want a traditional style boat. Eventually, depending on where I settle down, I'd love to get a Montana Boatworks boat.
     
  2. stratocaster

    stratocaster Member

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    Both are nice boats and you will find lots of devoted fans to each brand around here. However, I believe it is a lot like the Ford vs. Chevy debate and ultimately comes down to personal preference. Both are more than capable of handling anything you tackle.

    I was in your shoes a few months ago and spent hour upon hour (all winter actually) learning all I could about each. In the end I decided on "C. None of the above" and bought a Lavro. My reasons were pretty simple; I like the reputation Lavro's have of being a bullet proof boat, I like the utilitarian "Willys Jeep" concept-maybe it's not the prettiest boat on the water and has minimal bells and whistles, but it is a rugged, pure fishing machine. Finally one of my biggest reasons was Lavro is a local company, I drove to Monroe and met the guy who designed my boat, talked to the guys who built my boat (his grandsons), and even saw the molds it came out of. Bottom line, they build a strong boat and were a pleasure to deal with. Enjoy your search, it's part of the fun!
     
  3. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

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    Last post was right on re, Ford/Chevy thing so no need to go there. I will comment on the traditional "hi side" vs. the trendy lo side, low profile boats. The lp's were designed for low gradient rivers where being blown around by high winds is a concern. Guides like them for that reason, plus they are easier for their clients to get in & out. On steeper gradient rivers, especially ones that tend to have knarley sections with **** you have to navigate around, the low side boats are not as popular. There is a trick to getting in & out of a drift boat, and every drift boat owner figures it out sooner or later. I'm 70 yrs young and my boat is a conventional hi side.
     
  4. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    Just my .o2 cents as someone whose older than dirt. Getting in/out of a DB is a chore, been in both boats and the Clakka was really easy.
     
  5. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    I still go off the "try before you buy". Don't take ANYONE's word for gold on a boat until you've rowed one. What I love in a boat you may hate. So find guys with the boat you are interested in and offer to row all day while they fish (explain why you want to do this). You'll be pleasantly surprised. Hell, my old Eastside has become a fast love affair for some. Alot of the guys who've fished and rowed it have been surprised how well it handled (mind you it's 41 years old). I've been contemplating a new glass boat, finally gave up on the idea. Love my old girl, she's sticking around awhile. :)
     
  6. FlyFshn'Fool

    FlyFshn'Fool Member

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    I appreciate the replys thus far. I was not sure whether or not I wanted a high side or a low side, but I am leaning towards the low side. The majority of my fishing will be in lower gradient rivers. That being said, I do want to fish some of the better Steelhead waters and I know that a high side would be better in these situations. It may just come down to the type of water that I will be on the majority of the time.

    On a side note, I have heard that the "raft type" boats are the easiest to get in and out of.
     
  7. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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    Lavro.

    They're at least worth a look.
     
  8. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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  9. Rick Sharp

    Rick Sharp Member

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    Try before you buy, both the manufactures you mention will take you out with prior arrangements. I owned a few including wood, and now have a clack. Works perfect for everything I do, I'd buy from clackacraft again.
     
  10. surfnsully

    surfnsully Active Member

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    I looked at both brands and some of the more popular aluminum models. I ended up with a clacka after rowing a fishrite and going out with Bruce Belles in a clacka. I learned a lot from this site and it's friendly experienced people but in the end I went with my gut. The people and service at Clackacraft is the best and you can not go wrong if you go there way.

    Good luck,
     
  11. bobframe

    bobframe Member

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    Over the past 20 years I fished with many, many guides all over the west and found this to be an excellent way to try and to evaluate lots of different drift boats. The guides I fished with used a wide variety of boats...Hydes, Lavros, Clacka, Willy, wooden boats...you name it. I felt like I had a chance to see (almost) everything in drift boats and, by fishing with many of the same guides year after year, to see how their boats held up to a lot of tough use (ever watch a client in a guide's drift boat...they can be brutal).

    It was a drift boat education.

    Wooden boats can be beautiful, but they are a maintenance issue. If you don't maintain them they'll leak and eventually disintegrate. But guides describe tham as "sports cars" of drift boats...lightweight and very easy to manuever. Still, refinishing a boat's bottom isn't my idea of a good time.

    My take was that aluminum boats were too heavy for most use, though some guides swear by their durability and they seem to be favored in the Northwest by steelheaders and salmon fisherman.

    I thought the Lavro's were the "Corvettes of drift boats"...beautifully built, but more expensive than I could stand or need. I have fished with a guide in Montana who's had the same Lavro drift boat for nearly 20 years and it looks just like it did the first time I got it in...that's a good value.

    The Hydes were the most affordable but had things I disliked- my biggest pick was that the knee braces were either missing or flimsy. The older Hydes that guides used were pretty tattered looking. I suspect that with care, a Hyde would serve you fine. I also think that the newer Hydes may be a lot better built than the older ones....but I'm not positive about this.

    The Clacka's that the guides used were solid and seemed to hold up after years of use and thousands of people climbing in and out of the. I thought the Clacka's were the best value for the money...and that's what I bought.
     
  12. Benjy

    Benjy Active Member

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    I would buy based on where I'd be using it. If I were going to buy a drift boat that covered the most bases I would get a Boulder Boat Works because you can launch them just about anywhere without worrying as much about damaging the hull. I also like the way they row and I have taken them down sections that other drift boats just couldn't handle without sustaining major damage. If I knew exactly where I'd be using it every day I would get a boat that suited my needs exactly. I love drift boats and I have rowed just about every brand of them over the years. I heard rumors that there is a new west coast company coming out with a HDPE boat that is going to rival Boulder Boat Works and cost less. On the Clack vs. Hyde question- I prefer Clack. They row nicer and seem to hold their value better. If I were getting a skiff I would be torn between a RO and Adipose, my buddy just got an Adipose and I keep hearing rave reviews but I haven't had a chance to row it yet.
     
  13. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Benjy, curious which runs have you ran down that other DB's have been damaged on? Just curious since I've run alot of the heavier waters in this state at one time or another, alot that were "fishable" in my driftboats over the years. Or did you actually run whitewater runs (class 4 and 5's at appropriate river levels) in one with floatation chambers put into the boat?
     
  14. stratocaster

    stratocaster Member

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    Good luck getting any kind of response from Boulder Boatworks.
     
  15. Brett Angel

    Brett Angel Member

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    :thumb: Also, you can take a raft anywhere a DB can go, but you can't take a DB everywhere a raft can go.
     
  16. Joshw

    Joshw Tamer of Trouts

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    I have had 2 wooden DB's (both framed) one Hyde mid 90's model and now I have a stitch and glue wooden DB that I built from scratch from plans by Montana Riverboats. I bought the Hyde after the two framed wooden boats as everyone was running fiberglass boats I didn't care much for the maintenance...while it wasn't much it just got a bit old. The Hyde was heavy as hell (newer models might be better) and I couldn't stand rowing it...only had it for one season and sold it and then started in on building my own. Got everything I wanted and the maintenance on this one so far has been very minimal and it rows/handles like a dream. The stitch and glue boats are a lot less maintenance then the old framed boats that you can find for sale everywhere. If you really want a wooden stitch and glue driftboat then get one or just build one...the build process may seem daunting at first but once you get into it things really come togehter and it really isn't that difficult. Don't really need any special tools a good circular saw and sander is about the only tools you'll need. A tablesaw is handy but not totally necessary. But in the end it just boils down to pricing / features and personal preference...they all make a good boat.

    Josh
     
  17. Stewart

    Stewart Skunk Happens

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    I bought a used boat from Hyde. The boat I got is a Yellowstone Drifter, which isn't really germane to your question, I just thought I'd fill in that gap. What I wanted to comment on is the service I got from Hyde. They opened up just to get my boat out the door. I pre-arranged that, but they were there and ready at the appointed hour. My hitch needed to be flipped from a drop to a rise, done without even hesitating. You can't make a boat decision on service alone, but Hyde's definitely got service.
     
  18. CBP1888

    CBP1888 New Member

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    I purchased a clackacraft FFB about three years ago. I loved the boat, but I sold it this year. I found out after about thirty trips I would do a majority of the rowing, planning, organizing shuttles, etc. A drift boat takes a lot of planning and work to run a river. You need to know the flows and the shuttles can range from 15 to 50 dollars. I now own a North River 16' and a Watermaster raft. I do alot more fishing now then I ever did when I owned a driftboat. If I'm going to fish a large river I just get a guide. If you purchase a drift boat you will discover that you are entertaining more then fishing.
     
  19. Rick Todd

    Rick Todd Active Member

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    :thumb::thumb::thumb:I own a wooden drift boat (Rays River Dory 17' Guide model that I built from a kit and I actually enjoy the maintenance which I do in my heated shop in the winter ) that is an absolute dream to row. I have rented both Clacks and Hydes on my annual cast and blast to the Missouri River area (should bring my boat but I like to drive to Montana FAST!) and they just row like pigs next to my Rays, but I do most of my fishing in my Scadden two man pontoon (I can still fish while finning) or my Scadden one man XX so I can fish rather than row. I also have a 13' raft that is mostly for white water fun but fishes well as well-I guess a guy can't have too many boats! Rick
     
  20. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    LOL you wuss. ;)

    Why I have a core group of friends I fish with. You do a round robin when you fish. But most of the time, I do row, which I love to do. But for shuttles, you alway have one of your friends bring a rig, or buy a motorbike/scooter to leave at your takeout spot. I've spent many a time up in the front of my driftboats while my buddy rowed. :)
     

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