Drift Boats

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by NewToSport, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. NewToSport

    NewToSport Member

    OK, I am in the market for one. I see all types out there and want to know what suggestions you may have for someone who is looking to buy. If you had to buy yours again what would you do differently? Go wood? Go Aluminum? Go fiberglass?
     
  2. XstreamAngler

    XstreamAngler ...has several mistresses.

    You have to decide what use you will be the majority of your drifting. I use an Alum boat for the faster choppy waters, for me the added pounds allow me to track well in those waters. I use my glass boat on slower tailwater or slow moving water such as the MO or Mad where the lightness of the boat works to my advantage stroking it all over the water. A low profile boat is good to me on non windy days, the higher profile of my Alum boat acts as a sail on windy days. The Alum boat is a bit noisy as well on those slower waters as you clank around.
    If I were to do it all again, I would do it the same, an Alum and a Glass. Make sure you check and maintain your trailer, pack the bearings, keep the electronics good and you will have it a long long time!

    SAK
    Xstream
    }(
     
  3. CatchEm

    CatchEm New Member

    The Fiberglass Hyde or Clacka are both fine boats.
    I own a new Low-sided Hyde and love it. THe Hyde folks are nice to deal with.

    If Price is not a concern you may want to check out EMR or Martinac.
    I would recommend trying before you buy. Rent / borrow one to test drive it.

    -Steve:thumb
     
  4. NewToSport

    NewToSport Member

    Thanks for all the great feedback. The more I keep thinking about it the more I think I want to get something that is versatile. Living here in the Seattle area I want something I can float the Yakima one day the chase searuns in the sound the next day.
     
  5. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

    Another thing to consider is if you strictly flyfish only or use gear as well. Some boats just don't work well for plugs (if you want to go that route). Also, if you are going to use in salt, you may want a kicker to boot. So keep your eyes peeled.

    But if you plan to do alot of summer fishing on rivers, I'd go with a glass. Will float a bit higher and glide over rocks better (which WILL happen if you float rivers). I've owned both (actually, all three including the first DB I ever used was my Dad's which was wood). Each have their positives and negatives. Just depends on your usage.
     
  6. Luv2flyfish

    Luv2flyfish Another Flyfisherman

    Way Less Hassle - Get a good pontoon boat. Easier to maneuver, easier to transport, River big or small, stillwater dont matter. You can run some Ugly water in a pontoon boat. Rock gardens etc that Eat drift boats.....ease of maneuver with a pontoon. You can always take the 3 to 7 thousand dollars you save over the drift boat, and buy all kinds of toys.

    Tricky to transport your spey rod on a pontoon though - I havent figured out that one yet - would have to tear it down after every run.
     
  7. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

    LOL. Key to carrying your spey on a pontoon is to buy a 16' model (or whichever length which will encompass your rod). LOL. Always best to break a rod down if it sticks outside the length of your boat and should NEVER be held upright in standing rod holders. Watched a few nice rods get shortened that way over the years.

    But, I didn't bring up pontoons, since some just don't want them. But, some want the less upkeep of a DB. (well, a good glass or alum that is). Most pontoons have alot more upkeep (if you aren't upkeeping yours, then you better). Plus, most of the good comparible pontoons that will fish multiple people are almost as much as a DB (I assume he wants one for multiple people, not just solo work). A good quality pontoon multiperson should run you around $3500 (and I say good quality, not cheap). Well, that's unless you have connections. ;)
     
  8. andrew

    andrew Active Member

    I have owned a glass boat for 2.5 years now and I have no complaints...I have shed a bit of gel-coat, but that can be replaced. I also asked many people what they thought was the more practical boat...in the end the comments and number of people that suggested glass ruled.

    These are a few reasons I heard:

    quiet
    warmer (I believe they mean it doesn't conduct the cold like aluminum would)
    does not stick to rocks
    repairs are easier
    less weight = less draft

    I purchased a Lavro...based on a few recommendations, and what sold me was Ron's video and seeing the 'shop' where he constructs his boats...lastly the lifetime warranty that is given on the hull.

    As for a pontoon, I own one as well...they are great...and are fun when others have one, but I tend to take my driftboat more since my fishing buddies don't own pontoons.
     
  9. Nailknot

    Nailknot Active Member

    Pontoon boat may be easier to trasnport if you're one guy.
    But one drift boat is a hell of a lot easier for 2 or 3 guys, than 3 drift boats, three trailers, dividing up all the gear, air pumps, rigging frames etc etc. Drift boats are simple and bomber, which is why they've been around so long. Plus you can fish standing up, eh?


    --------
    Be the ball Danny
    http://www.carlspackler.com/sounds/012.wav
     
  10. Chuckabug

    Chuckabug New Member

    For the question luv2flyfish had about travelling in a raft and storing you spey rod. Buy a 15' piece of schedule 80 PVC pipe(2"Dia.), end cap, and a 6" piece of 4" w/ union to 2". glue it all together and strap to outside of raft and off you go. just slide rod in tube, place end cap on and all is secure. Schedule 80 pipe will not break.
     
  11. crockett

    crockett New Member

    You did say you'd be fishing the Yak and the salt. The pontoon boat is not the best alternative even though you won't be using a spey rod. Fishing on the move from a single person pontoon boat is not preferable on the yak and is not the most efficient way to move around estuaries. A drift boat works well in these situations. OK, what type? Wood boats are beautiful but require too much upkeep and are not as durable as the aluminum or glass boats. The aluminum boats seem to be most popular on Olympic Pen steelhead streams where you'll encounter wilder rivers and contact with boulders is more likely. If that's not your gig, then it's fiberglass. For glass boats, consider and test drive Hyde, Lavro and Clackacraft models...all make great boats. You can get used versions from each of these mfrs if money is an issue. Good luck.
     
  12. luv2fly2

    luv2fly2 Active Member

    also consider a glass willie drift boat. i do not know how to pick the best boat. i am in the market as well and am in a quandry as you might be. i won a one day drift boat rental at the north idaho fly casters raffle for the missouri river and i think they have hydes and willies so maybe i can use both to help in the buying process. let us know which one you picked.
     
  13. Nailknot

    Nailknot Active Member

    All things equal, I'd go with a woody drift boat for tail waters and mellow floats, a tough glass D boat for chunky waters. A small jet for upriver. A larger jet for downriver. A nice big well powered jet or V for estuary fishing... stock up! :) And a salt boat too....

    --------
    Be the ball Danny
    http://www.carlspackler.com/sounds/012.wav
     
  14. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

    Nailknot, I knew I always liked you. You sound like my type of guy. When I'm healed up, you got a ride in any of my boats. LOL.

    But yeah, truthfully speaking (and have said this many a times) there is no one perfect boat out there. Especially if you do alot of different fishing (like myself). I was in process of buying a new Northriver sled before my shoulder went out (had just sold my older smaller sled). But at one time I had a DB, sled, couple 14+ catarafts (mostly whitewater, but had some fishing frames for them) some smaller catarafts (under 12') that were all standup fishable on the move. Couple float tubes, and a small pram. All had their plus and minuses. But none have it all. My old sled was good for the salt, lake, and rivers. But not all aspects of that. For small lakes, small rivers, etc then I varied up the boats I used. From what I've read, I think you'd be best off with a glass driftboat. I love aluminums for pulling plugs all day. But if you flyfish only, you will be more then happy with glass.
     
  15. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

    >Most pontoons have alot more upkeep (if you aren't upkeeping yours, then you better).

    Jerry, care to elaborate?
     
  16. Nailknot

    Nailknot Active Member

  17. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

    Well, most people have these boats, and simply just put them away when done. When I'm talking upkeep, I'm ESPECIALLY talking about the lower end boats. But even the higher priced boats need upkeep too.

    You should routinely check your valves. Make sure they are tight (you have to have a valve wrench, if you don't go buy one). You should clean off the material occasionally. Clean and put away. If you have lower end boats, you should check your seems, which are normally stitched. They have a tendency to pop, and one seem popped would instantly lead to a full blown blowout of the seems in hot weather.

    Then storage. After the boats are cleaned, best to keep your boats partially (or fully) inflated and out of the sun. I've seen many a boats left outside 24 hours a day through all seasons. Which leads to material breakdown. Those who simply toss wet boats rolled up back into garage (see this many times too) will lead to cracking of the material once it dries out (or has sat a long time). Plus, will lead to mildew and breakdown of materials. If you keep your boat on a trailer, inflated, and under a tarp you're ahead of the game. But most don't, and can lead to problems later on. Simple washdown with glass/aluminum and airdry is about it. Can be left outside as well. But pontoons are similar to wood. Just that they fall apart in different ways. Unless you have tubes made by sotar and wing, then you're ahead of the game. They can be left outside with alot less breakdown then other boats out there. But even then, the more you take care of them, the longer they last. My old Aire tubes are 14-16 years old and have well outlasted what most would consider the life of these type boats. But it's still in excellent shape and has plenty of years left.
     
  18. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

    Thanks Jerry. I do that stuff. The only thing I do with the valves is look at them when I add air before taking it out. Not sure if I would know what to look for to tell me if they need adjusting. I hose it off after use, keep it covered and out of the sun, and store it partially inflated on the trailer. My current system is to roll it throught the garage, hook it to the truck, give each chamber a few pumps, and then leave. When I get home I hose it making sure to lift each side and get the sand off the bottom, release a little air from each chamber, then roll the hole rig under its cover. I was afraid you were going to list a bunch of other things I had to do.