Drift Boat or Raft? A real conundrum

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by aplTyler, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. aplTyler

    aplTyler Inept Steelheader

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    Shapp... you sound like my wife! Did she get into your account or something?! Ha. But really, you make a very good point. The purchase would be paid for (in half) with cash and the other half financed but it's contingent on me getting a particular job (which looks pretty good at this juncture). I appreciate the feedback greatly.
     
  2. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm on the inflatable side, but have never owned a hard sided boat. My friends do, theirs are awesome to row and fish from, but my inflatables just seem to work for me.
     
  3. jessejames

    jessejames Flyslinger

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    When you are full of hot air that makes a lot of sense.. ha
    jesse
    I know! When I blow up my float tube I don't even touch the ewater.
     
  4. Ray

    Ray Active Member

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    The trick is to buy one, and get one of your buddies to buy the other. Then you're set either way and you don't get stuck rowing all the damn time.
     
  5. aplTyler

    aplTyler Inept Steelheader

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    I'm liking this option the most!
     
  6. fluvial

    fluvial New Member

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    Raft. Stealth put-ins and take outs. Cross country fire road access at speed with the raft safe inside the car. Slide in and out of the raft at will when drifting - stop for a particular run, in/out easy... Dog too. Handles much more "rough" water... Access more runs. My 15 foot Avon Expedition doubles (with a frame swap) as a serious whitewater fun vehicle - drifting for steelhead one week, the next have the family and friends screaming on a Class IV run. QUIET as can be - the beauty of drifting rivers in my mind. Carry 3 buddies, a dog and all our gear on 7-day trips. Faster access with the boat inside the Suburbasaurus vs. trailering for multiple, multiple hours. Slide the raft down a 100' embankment and you're put-in and going... I love oars on a hard-shell drifter, but given the choice of one option... Hands down a RAFT!
     
  7. Rick Sharp

    Rick Sharp Member

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    Tyler
    I've had wood, inflatable and fiberglass, never had aluminum. currently have a glass boat and it serves up all the needs I have for now, I'd suggest try em out, see how they fit, handle and feel for you, something you could spend all day in rowing. If you come to Tri-Cities give me a shout and you can take my drift boat out for the day, hit the yakima and row around with the wife and see how you like it, who's knows maybe even hook a fish or two. Your going to do most of the rowing so it should fit and feel good to you first and formost.
    Good,luck with the new job hope it works out great for you as well.
     
  8. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Lots of good points made. I've owned a raft (actually two, sequentially) for over twenty years. The first one was over ten years old when I bought it and, after about twelve years of ownership, sun damage to the hypalon coating finally led to enough pinhole leaks to require a regimen of patching whenever I cleaned it up after a trip. My new raft (a 12 1/2 foot Achilles, purchased about 4 years ago) was able to use the existing frame and oars, so my out-of-pocket expenses only amounted to about $2K. I deflate my raft for transport, thus eliminating the expense of storage, licensing, etc. for a trailer. My high-pressure impeller pump will inflate the raft fully in about five minutes. Rolled loosely, the deflated raft is stored in the garage, out of the weather.

    One shortcoming which I seem to notice with increasing age (mine not the raft's) is the time and effort required to deflate, roll and lift the raft into my truck for transport. At the end of a long, cold day, there is much to be said for being able to just hook the boat up and crank it onto the trailer; of course much of this can be allayed by having young, strong fishing companions.
     
  9. Chloe's DAD

    Chloe's DAD New Member

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    :beer1:I will put it to ya like this, I was in the same dillemma that u are ty i looked hard and long to make my purchase. I thought. Do i really want to plug holes blow up tubes deflate tubes take twenty mins at a launch an hold people up or get a db and what kind of db ro hyde or clack each manufacture builds there boats for the water that is the close for testing and varies in style find the rivers that u fish and see what crafts are sliding by. And look at what holds it's value tjink if i buy this craft can i sell it and not loose my ass if i sell it. Well i made my decision and bought a Clack? what made me choose? that killer deal from rod at clack and it was brand new and one of my first floats was with my wife and two yes i said Two year old daughter fast asleep wear ever we float she loves naps in the bow while it is very easy to control down and even up the river for that second drift. yes left some gell behind but we did not get the rains or snow this year but i always stay dry and i have launched and retreive by my self with ease so get glass!:beer2:
     
  10. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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    drunk at 11 am?
     
  11. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    Think of all the money being saved on sanitary products....
     
  12. Chloe's DAD

    Chloe's DAD New Member

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    If u really new me u would know i don't drink ding dongs!
     
  13. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    May I suggest a thread break so as not to sully this meaningful thread, and create what could be an epic one?
     
  14. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Yep, I'm lazy enough that the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is deal with breaking down a raft and storing it. I'm more than willing to deal with the inconveniences of a trailer (parking, backing up, tabs, initial expense, maintenance) for the convenience of loading everything on the trailer at the end of the day and strapping it down. Some would say that by trailering your raft, you are losing the advantage of getting something that breaks down and so you might as well get a drift boat. While there is some truth to that logic, rafts still have some advantages as have already been mentioned. And drift boats have theirs.
     
  15. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    I just found out that my NRS frame fists my 14'9" Scadden three seater pontoons perfectly. This give me more options than I knew of before. I don't like the Scadden frame quite as well as the NRS, maybe because I've spent more time with the NRS and getting it set up just how I want it. My 14'cataraft with maxxons are great, but sometimes there is a need for more gear carrying and spreading the weight around is problematic. With the closed and rockered rear end of the scadden I can put the weight back there and not put the boat off balance. I have a short sided utility trailer and my cataraft goes into that trailer. It sits and travels protected by the trailer and covered when not in use. I have a wife and two young girls that are not yet ready for the launching and recovering part of the trip, but don't mind the trip itself. For that reason the cataraft or scadden is better for me. I can launch, move and recover it solo...but with the scadden the boat weighs quite a bit less. The maxxon tubes are heavier, but larger in overall diameter. Unsure of what the real weight load capacity is on these two compared against one another, but the tube weight is noticable.