Looking for some help for a drift boat

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by J Nordwell, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. J Nordwell New Member

    Posts: 56
    Camas, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'm looking to buy my frist drift boat. My brother has a willy 16 ft boat, good boat but I don't know if aluminum is for me!! He used to have a alumaweld and likes the willy better. I like what I see from Clackacraft. Any help would be great. I'm looking for a boat that will suit my family as well as my needs. Family is 2 kids and wife and dog. Would use it for lakes with a electric motor and rivers for floats as well as fishing trips. Thanks
  2. FLGator Member

    Posts: 646
    Ratings: +2 / 0
  3. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,575
    Quesnel, BC
    Ratings: +323 / 0
    I am a fan of aluminum just because I have a Miller TIG welder and an aluminum spool gun so I can add stuff or do minor repairs. Course I haven't had to do any repairs but it is nice having something you can weld, drill, patch, etc really easily.
  4. Zane Wyll Member

    Posts: 452
    anacortes, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    This is my new boat and I love it the whole package cost me $4500.00. Thats
    boat and trailer, oars, ancor and cover. It's light and handles well the bottom is renforced with kevlar and coverd with rhino liningb without the none skid added. Gage also makes composite boats check him out at www.riverwoodboats.com

    good luck, Zane
  5. Jerry Metcalf FishyJere

    Posts: 343
    Enumclaw, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    I bought a used, trade-in boat from Clackacraft. It is certainly possible to get something for less money but they do a great job. You get a good trailer, rehabed boat, guarantee, and help with setup and options. I felt it was a fabulous value and a great boat. You can shop on their web site and it is worth a call about boats not on the site. Also the show season is approaching and you can get deals on new boats from a number of manufacturers.

    A little research of past threads will show quite a bit of debate over the merits of the various constructions. It is hard to go wrong if you choose a well known, quality builder. They are a great way to spend the day.
  6. East Fork Active Member

    Posts: 1,200
    Vancouver, WA
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Both the Willie and the Clack are fine boats. You can’t go wrong around here with either. What’s going to make one or the other a better boat for YOU is where and when you plan to use it most.

    I see you are from Camas. If you want to fish the Washougal and launch at Washougal Merchintile or the swimming hole upstream from Hathaway Park, aluminum would result is lower long-term maintenance costs. The same is true of the East Fork if you want to launch at Lewisville Park or the bridge below the park. There is no way around this because those launches and sections of those rivers are full of sharp rocks that you can’t always avoid. You see a lot glass and wood boats on these sections too but you also see a lot material left of the rocks at the slides and shallower parts of the river. Winter use tends to favor aluminum boats too because you can mount a heater in them safer.

    If you were going to concentrate on the Washougal from Hathaway down to the bowling alley or the East Fork from Day Break to Ridgefield, or the Kalama, Cowlitz, NFL or the Deschutes, I’d think harder about the glass boats. Just remember there are real reasons certain materials are favored on certain drainages but you can't really go wrong with either.
  7. Jeff Wood New Member

    Posts: 135
    Issaquah, Wa, King.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I went in with a buddy on the 16' high sided bench Clack this spring and love it. Their is plenty of room and stability which is key with frequently shifting loads such as dogs and kids. I especilally like the fact that I can sit on the edge of the boat getting in or out and not flip it. Plus the seats in front can be easily arranged or removed depending on the number and age of your passengers. The high sides do a better job of keeping that shifting cargo in the boat as well. We also tested their fear no rock motto enough to buy in to it:)
  8. bigtj Member

    Posts: 280
    Victoria, BC
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You won't be sorry with a clackacraft. They are great boats. Well built, very durable, good resale, customer service is unbeatable. I like glass better than aluminum for a lot of reasons - doesn't conduct heat (feels "warmer"), quiter, less likely to need repairs in major collision (i.e. doesn't dent), naturally "slick" on rocks. I really like the floor in the clackacraft it isn't rigid it flexes so it slides over rocks and gravel bars easily, I can go through 4 inches of water and barely drag on mine with two other guys in it and gear.

    Despite what you may have heard about fiberglass repair it's not a big deal. If you fish in boney water you'll get "digs" in the gel-coat which are easy to repair. If you slam into a rock hard it won't hurt a darn thing these boats are really, really tough. I have hit some gnarly rocks and all I ever do is bounce off and occasionaly put a "dig" into the gel coat from time to time, that's it. I've seen willys slam into a rock wall--oh my!!-- the damage is something to see, aluminum dents doesn't bounce and sometimes the damage can be startling. Check out http://www.lavroboats.com/video.htm . The lavro boats are made the same way as clacks - if this doesn't convince you glass is durable nothing will. Also you can launch a glass boat over a gravel bar the thing slides around like it's on a greased cookie sheet it is amazing. Aluminum boats with ptfe bottoms do the same, but that ptfe adds weight that isn't needed, to me it's kind of like a band-aid.

    The flyfishing bench model would probably be the way to go with a family. I bought the 16 WF and if I had to do it over again, I would get the bench model it's more versatile. Also if you're planning to have a big family and you fish large rivers a lot the 18-foot is really nice. I checked one out a couple weekends ago there is a ton of room in that thing. A little heavier but still a great boat. Personally I think a used boat is the way to go. They have a bunch in Idaho Falls for around $6000 all inclusive.

    Be sure to upgrade to a galvanized trailer no matter what brand of boat you buy. Driving around in the winter the sand and dirt on the road will tear the paint right off a trailer. The upgrade for a galvy is only something like $200 from clacka be sure to do that!

    Good luck let us know what you end up with.
  9. wildatheartphoto Member

    Posts: 136
    Monroe, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'd recommend going to a Clacka shop (ie Clackamas, Oregon or Idaho Falls, ID) and having a chat with the guru's. The guys will show you the boats, the accessories, etc...and explain each boat design and configuration, allowing you to make a good decision! It's worth the time and effort to go see them.
  10. bigtj Member

    Posts: 280
    Victoria, BC
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I totally agree with Jake. Those in guys in Clackamas are the best. You won't find better customer service anywhere.