The Perfect Drift Boat.....

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

  1. motroutbum New Member

    Posts: 46
    Springfield, Mo
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    all of the stuff you guys are saying you want in a drift boat i know the perfect boat for you.. HOG ISLAND! is the only way to go
  2. ceviche Active Member

    Posts: 2,312
    Shoreline, Washington, U.S.A.
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    If you look at some of Hyde's and Clackacraft's dorys (driftboats), you can see how their beamier hulls with the low freeboard at the middle can work so well. As you make the hull wider, you increase the buoyancy and initial stability, as well as lessening draft. Remember those ads with the person sitting on the boat's railing and not capsizing it? They also rake the hull out at the middle to both increase the hull's displacement and to make rowing effort easier. This also puts more weight to the outside, further improving stability. In the end, you get a roomier, more stable boat that won't get hung up on the bottom as much.

    Personally, it surprises me that people who make their own drift boats don't shoot for more beam at the bottom and at the rail and less freeboard. Good stability will keep everyone as dry as they really need to be--that is, in the boat and out of the water. Just imagine the boat drifting sideways in the river and then suddenly hitting a rock (because no one was looking). If the boat is beamy enough, it shouldn't roll and tip over as easily as one that is taller and skinnier. This is filed under the "metacentric height" issue of vessel stability.

    If one is concerned about a dry boat, the flare of the hull will assist with that issue. Water splashing against the hull will get directed away. Grating across the deck is nice if you want to keep your feet dry, but it's also no fun if you drop something between the slats or need to bail water.

    As far as fly fishing accessories, stripping trays are the cast's meow! Cup holders should be moved to the side, away from the fly line zone. If they are near, they should have bottoms and be of a shape that won't promote snagging. The bottoms are so that you can temporarily store indicators and other crap you might be too lazy to put away when trout become selective to dries.

    Good rod storage is something I have to agree with. I was impressed by the boats that Red's uses. The tips of the rods are protected when rods are laying in the slots below the railing. I think those boats are Clacks, though I could be wrong. Red's might have Hydes as well.

    The bottom of the hull should be clad with something to protect it from sharp rocks. I don't care if the boat is wood or f'glass, the additional protection can only be good.

    These are some of my thoughts.

    If dry gear is the real issue, build in compartments that will keep your gear dry. The bow, stern and the rower's bench are all good places for that--naturally.
  3. otter Banned or Parked

    Posts: 376
    Port Angeles, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    Salmo -

    Speaking of unobtanium,

    I'm hot on the track.

    I've recently come across "bondable UHMW" - I build boats for a living so the latest/greatest arrives regularly.

    What this stuff is, is UHMW manufactured with an (epoxy) bondable scrim.

    I'll tell more as I know more.

    But wouldn't it be cool to vacuum bag a continuous UHMW bottom and chine strip to a drifter?

    Probably another impossible dream..............


    otter
  4. nomlasder Active Member

    Posts: 1,318
    Burien.
    Ratings: +111 / 0

    I had to special order the last trailer because the bottom width is 56" while still mainting a beam of 6'-6". Displacement at 1000lbs results in a 6" draft. Don't need much more than that.
  5. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,454
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,578 / 0
    Otter,

    When you obtain unobtainium, it won't be unobtainium any longer. But you keep us posted, OK? Yeah, if that works, it would be cool.

    Sg
  6. ceviche Active Member

    Posts: 2,312
    Shoreline, Washington, U.S.A.
    Ratings: +42 / 0

    So how is the stability of that boat? And what does it draft, and how much freeboard? As far as general "performance", how does it compare to other boats you've made? I wouldn't doubt that, with every boat you make, they get nicer and nicer. Still, what's your take on your latest improvement?
  7. Fishunter Member

    Posts: 47
    Centralia, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Easy rowing, a good rowers seat not the popular tractor style seat, a place to stow away spey rods, (That one might be tough) easy to move around in, easy to cast from, a tough hull that stands up to the occasional rock without chipping. I wonder if any boat builders are reading this.
  8. Fishunter Member

    Posts: 47
    Centralia, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Dave E.

    I am told that if you get too wide at the bottom the boat becomes hard to handle and will not track well. That it makes the boat tougher to get through some of the more technical water. Any thoughts on this anyone?
  9. ceviche Active Member

    Posts: 2,312
    Shoreline, Washington, U.S.A.
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    At this point, I think it's time for veteran driftboat guides to weigh in here. That said, here's my additional 2 cents.

    I have experienced rowing boats that didn't track well but dealt with the situation with good rowing--adjusting the power you separately apply into each of your oars as you pull on them together. No big deal--unless there was a long ways you had to row the boat.

    I've only rowed a drift boat once, but I quickly got the hang of it. Then again, though the Yak was running a bit high and fast that day, I'd hardly call what I went through "white water." Nonetheless, it seemed to me that drift boat rowing was basically keeping the boat a comfortable casting distance from the good water and dodging upcoming boulders. Upon seeing a boulder, I would warn the fishermen, pivot the boat 90 degrees to the shore, and pull on the oars until we were clear. Once clear, I'd shoot us back into fishing position, pivoting the boat to where both anglers could cast easy. While drifting, oars were used to control the drift a little.

    In so many words, I still can't say that a drift boat's ability to track in a straight line is that important. What strikes me as important in a drift boat is maneuverability and controlling the direction of your drift. You sure as hell aint going to row upstream, are you? But here's a thought: When you're dodging that boulder, you certainly don't want to find the boat bogging down when you're pulling on the oars. Does this factor have anything to do with tracking?

    That said, I really wonder what veteran guides have to say.
  10. Jeff Wood New Member

    Posts: 135
    Issaquah, Wa, King.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    That is what I am talking about!!!!!! and beauty to boot
  11. Citori Piscatorial Engineer

    Posts: 1,199
    Federal Way, WA
    Ratings: +116 / 0
    I have rowed most of the NW drift rivers at one time or another in my aluminum drift boat, including the Middle Fork Salmon River in Idaho (125 mi. of white water) I have also rowed several friends glass boats. High sides are really nice when you crab a rock sideways and are high-siding to beat hell to try from becoming a submarine. I like the sharp chines of the aluminum boats, they move laterally with less pressure/effort on the oars. What is on the bottom of the boat will be the same temperature as the water, I disagree with one being warmer or colder than the other. Fixed storage is nice, don't want stuff moving around in the boat if things get dicey, so I like locked seat storage. I like sliding swivel seats, if any. Back rests help the sore back you get from standing all day. Have to have knee braces (hooks) but that is pretty much standard. Keep it simple, the more doo-dad's you have, the more there is to screw up or catch lines, etc.

    The WORST thing you can do to a boat is to not use it. So my advice is to make your decision (there will always be pro's and con's) and after you get your boat, don't look back. Just use the hell out of it.
  12. otter Banned or Parked

    Posts: 376
    Port Angeles, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    A very interesting boat...........get on internet and bring up www.nordwestcomposites.com.

    Been talking back and forth with the owner - Phillipe Jaudet - he sent me a bunch of detail pictures which for some dumb reason won't upload to this message.

    Anyway, he's got it dialed - and I've spent the last twentyfive years building FG boats as a profession.

    Now I'm scheming heavily on just how I'm gonna come up with the scratch to own one of these beauties. The highsider, not the lowrider.


    otter
  13. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,694
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +653 / 5
    I've seen those boats otter. They look pretty nice from what I've seen.

    I'm still in the "no one boat will do it all" catagory. Why I'll be looking for an aluminum DB to go with my glass boat. Glass boat works great for quick maneuvering and low water running. But the aluminum is great when I'm working gear all day (plugs, sidedrifting, etc). Have yet to row a glass boat that didn't leave me ready to take a nap doing those methods. But to work a fly all day, they're great. Trade off is, the boat that does those things well are usually slugs (since you want a nice slow presentation while you're doing them). Why I normally whitewatered in glass boats, not aluminum (though I have used aluminum to do it, but sphincter factor was at high).

    Like I've said, to each their own, you have to go with what suites you best. Lots of boats and options out there to play with. Seen that other builder in Montana that builds them out of kayak material. Polycarbonate I think. Light, fast, and very maneuverable from what I've heard.