The Perfect Drift Boat.....

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by XstreamAngler, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. XstreamAngler

    XstreamAngler ...has several mistresses.

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    To all of you owners of drift boats and the smart ones, the friends of people with drift boats! I pose the question.....WHAT IS THE PERFECT DRIFT BOAT? I am NOT looking for Hyde, Clack, Willy etc etc.....I am asking....WHAT makes the perfect drift boat? Storage? Low side? High Side? Counter Balanced oars? Seating for 4? I want to hear what you are looking for in a drift boat, why and what you would do to improve a drift boat. Thanks for calling.

    SAK
    XstreamAnglers.com
    HydeOutdoors.com
     
  2. tythetier

    tythetier Fish Slayer

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    Propane Heaters!!!! A Good Captian Is A Must As Well.
    I Have Rowed With Both Composite And Wood Oars...dont Have A Preference Either Way.


    Ty
     
  3. Backyard

    Backyard SANCHO!

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    One that is not in 80mph wind gust's :beer2:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. bigtj

    bigtj Member

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    -Durable - you can kick the heck out of it and don't care about it
    -Plenty of dry storage
    -easy to move around in without tripping over stuff i.e. good layout
    -comfortable to row and fish out of
    -easy maintenance
    -affordable
    -relatively lightweight
    -tracks straight
    -good rod holders
    -good resale
    -designed for the conditions you fish in the most i.e. LP for out west trout fishing, high side for bigger rivers etc.
    -good guarantee

    I know you only asked about boats but on the same subject if you buy a trailer make sure it's galvanized. I don't like painted trailers at all.
     
  5. klintd

    klintd Member

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    - Quick, easy, secure, safe rod storage. Always have more than one rod per angler.
    - Definitely counter balanced oars.
    F- lat dry floor. No big deal for feet but it seems like you are always setting things on the floor. Maybe some type of raised grating that lets water pass thru.
    - Casting horns front and back that strongly encourage anglers to stay in the middle of the boat.
    - Adjustable rower foot brace with room enough for a foot.
    - Easy conversion from a 2 person bench in front to a walk around single seat (with storage underneath).
    - Small quick access dry box built in for camera, etc.
    - Place to store a long handled net without it getting in the way
     
  6. XstreamAngler

    XstreamAngler ...has several mistresses.

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    Keep em coming! Yard! I swear, it was a 40 MPH sustained with gusts up to 50! I am NO Steve Pool, but I am here to tell ya! Had we had a low pro, it MAY have made a tiny difference! That was a BRUTAL wind!

    Rod storage, nik nak storage, raised floors, good trailer, net caddy...come on peeps! Even if you have only been in one or two, maybe once or twice....what did ya like, what didnt ya like? What would Jason Decker want?

    SAK
    XstreamAnglers.Com
    HydeOutdoors.Com
     
  7. Dylan D

    Dylan D Member

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    Cupholders.

    A good anchor system.

    Multiple rod holders.

    A couple small shelves strategically placed, with lips on them so stuff doesn't slide off.
     
  8. otter

    otter Banned or Parked

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    Re:

    Dry floor - there's a product out there called, I believe, Dri-Deck. snap together 8"x8"? open-grid tiles of high density plastic, about 5/8" thick, which you can cut to shape as needed. really bombproof stuff, good traction, no mold, just pull out of boat when you need to hose things down. Try Fisheries Supply or West Marine

    Casting horns a must!

    Rocker. The biggest single thing, to me, that determines the performance of the boat is the rocker of the bottom: degree of overall rocker, and the relative point of deepest rocker fore and aft. This, of course, in proportion to LOA and waterline beam.

    Also, the rake of the hullsides has as much to do with a dry boat as their height.

    Finally, glass beats tin hands down in all categories.


    otter
     
  9. Mark Ritari

    Mark Ritari Trouthunter

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    -strategically placed tippet dispenser(s)
    -velcroed on replaceable ripple foam for quick changing of flies
    -egg shell stripping basket in front of boat
    -large capacity cooler
    -lots of dry storage
    -dimple bottom is cool.
    -clippers + hemistads on zingers in front and back
    -sound system would be rad
     
  10. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

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    no comment! the one in my garage puts a smile on my face. thats boat enough for me.
     
  11. Eastside

    Eastside Guest

    I have to say that my 1985 Clackacraft is the best for running 4-5 day float trips. The storage capacity is incredible with front and rear compartments. I lined the passenger's seat with styrofoam and that is the cooler - holds plenty of beer and steaks. Been running the Deschutes River in Oregon over 25 years and this boat has served me well! The new boats are pretty, but they don't have the same carrying capacity...
     
  12. Jeff Wood

    Jeff Wood New Member

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    I concur with cupholders. At least 6 is best with room to put a cooler to fill those cup holders and still have three or four on board. I prefer the high sides because I want to take my wife and daughter with me. At least that is what I told her. Maybe next year.:p
     
  13. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    Ya need cup holders, I got um
     

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  14. tythetier

    tythetier Fish Slayer

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    Nomlasder,
    Dude That Is A Sweet Looking Boat!! Did You Build It?? Looks Like You Have A Canoe Or Somthing Next To It.

    Ty
     
  15. Jeff Hokanson

    Jeff Hokanson Not so new to the board anymore.

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    -Lightweight and easily maneuverable: you never know when you'll need to move quickly to save your ass.
    -Great warranty: rocks and debris can sneak up on even the most observant oarsmen.
    -Lotsa storage with maximum interior free space: it's important to have adequate places to keep things, but not at the sacrifice of being totally cramped and unable to move around inside your craft.
    -Cupholders: the point has been made (cheers!).
    -High sides vs. Low sides: I can see the argument for both. It's a pain when whirling winds continually spin you one way or the other, but the high sides on my boat has kept us from swamping on a couple of occasions.
    -Good rod holders: extra rods hanging out the front or back just get in the way and can be easily broken.
    -Built in anchor system (preferrably foot activated): just that much easier.
    -Adjustable rowing seat and foot brace: When you're out for a few days, it's nice to share the duty of being on the sticks, and adjustable settings are a must to keep all involved comfortable and to keep the boat balanced.
    -Anchor holder: keeps 30 lbs of lead from potentially damaging something in the boat when you are transporting it.
    -A high quality trailer with a full spare tire: I would probably go with galvanized if I were to do it again. The paint on mine has chipped in a few places (unavoidable) and the inevetable rust has begin to creep in which could be a big issue many years down the road. As for the tire...what more can one say.
    -Waterproof cover for towing: you won't always use it, but it has been a lifesaver on long road trips to Montana (and elsewhere) where we have needed to store gear in the boat for the journey and have been through some nasty wet weather. Plus it seems to help gas mileage a bit.

    Good luck on finding what works best for yourself. Hope everyone's input helps the decision process go smoother.
     
  16. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Truth to be told, there is NO perfect driftboat. I've owned a few, and have rowed quite a few more (including some built only for whitewatering). No one driftboat is perfect. BUT.......what do YOU want out of a driftboat. Funny how every person has their own certain needs out of a boat over another. Lightweight/maneuverable is great if you plan to only row the boat and move from slot to slot and not fish a hell of alot. But a bit heavier/sluggish is easier on you if you want to sidedrift/fish on the move.

    Makeup of the boat is here or there. What you want to do with it will also dictate what you want. You'll want a higher side boat if you plan to run some hairier waters (like out on the OP,etc). Rod storage is up in the air too. Do you plan to leave rods rigged up all the time? Do you plan to fish while you're on the move? If no, then storage really isn't as necessary. You can leave rods strung up and on the sides (just becareful on slots with overhanging trees, etc).

    Trailers, you really don't need galvanized. If you care for it and ONLY use it in fresh water, it'll last for years. My old alumaweld I had, had a trailer that was over 30 years old under it. Was in excellent shape, with very little rust. It's how you take care of a trailer that dictates how it looks years down the road. Even if you're using it in salt water (though saltwater use WILL eventually take its toll). Trailer on my current driftboat is well over 30 years old (almost 40 actually) and only shows minor signs of rust near the tongue. Only where there is metal on metal contact (which I plan to rip apart and correct that).

    I pose to you what do YOU want to do in this boat. Myself, there isn't a "one" boat that works. In fact, I want to get another aluminum boat next (and still keep my old glass boat as well). One is great for running whitewater and manuevering. But when I want to sidedrift/plug/work the fly on the go, it's nice having a heavier boat that tracks better and tracks SLOW so you don't have to work the oars in overdrive to keep the boat holding in place.

    Also, don't always go with guarantees and such. I've seen some of the videos of glass boats being dropped onto FLAT ground from tall heights. Now, put a sharp (or rounded pointy) rock that's about a foot tall under and do it and let me see what happens. Then I'll be impressed. Since when you hit a rock going down most rivers fast, it's not a nice FLAT rock you hit. A guarantee is great, but helps you NOT AT ALL when you're a few miles up river with a wet cellphone and a LONG hike out. Great to know they'll own up after you're winched out of a slot and towed back to their shop to be fixed. But not so when you're swimming for shore.

    Sorry not to expand much. But that's like saying the old "What's a good pontoon?". Let me go one better, "What's the perfect fly rod?". No such thing, but there is one perfect for you. ;) :D
     
  17. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    The perfect driftboat is made of unobtanium, far lighter and stronger than either glass or aluminum. It's stiff, but compliant, and slicker than deer guts on a doorknob - won't stick to any river rock.

    Carbon fiber oars - lighter and stronger than wood and conventional composite; counter-balance unnecessary.

    More rocker fore than aft, but more beam and flare foreward also. It balances perfectly.

    Adjustable seating all around, and adjustable foot blocks. Casting braces fore and aft, as well.

    Built in insulated cooler, not just cup and bottle holders. Mini liquor cabinet under fore deck.

    Extended anchor bracket and storage trough on transom.

    Lipped and covered shelves port and starboard between rower's seat and front seat.

    Rod holders aft port side.

    Swing out BBQ aft starboard.

    Net bracket aft starboard.

    Dry storage (lockable) under rower's seat and front seat(s).

    Galvanized trailer with spare tire.

    That might do.

    Sg
     
  18. Fish Hunter

    Fish Hunter Too many people, not enough fish

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    No such thing. Different boats do better or worse on different water.
     
  19. papafsh

    papafsh Piscatorial predilection

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    The one you can afford that will get you down the river, with safety, room and storage.
    My son Tony bought this older Don Hill last year. It could stand a little sprucing-up but it handles just fine on the Sky, Skagit and Yak.
    We do plan on stripping it down and refinishing it at some point.
    Boat, trailor, three spruce oars, enclosed front storage, anchor system and rope... all for $1,000....lots of fun and use for very little money.

    LB
     
  20. Guy Gregory

    Guy Gregory Active Member

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    The one in my avatar is good, but if I could change....

    Drink holders
    Securable cooler, within easy reach of rower/fisher
    Carry the beam a bit more aft
    Cut down the sides about an inch, not so much for wind, but for getting in and out of.
    Another rod holder
    A low pulling bow eye

    Things I'd keep:

    The paint, because it's so easy to fix
    The wood, because it looks so nice. A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
    The anchor and system: simple and foolproof. Important, given the number of fools involved.
    The friends who float with me, who realize the boat is powered by scotch.
     

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