Looking for a new river boat

bgfly

New Member
#1
I've been looking for a boat to start learning the local rivers(snohomish valley "region") but I'm not quite sure what direction to go. I have never boated rivers. When I lived in a warm water climate I had a 16' flats skiff, but that's my only boating experience. A few of the places I want to fish are pretty wide and lazy, and most of the people on the river have a motor rather than just a drift boat.

I have been looking at older 14' - 16' lund type aluminum boats, and I'm leaning this direction. They are relatively cheap and can take a beating. I'm thinking this might be a good way to get out fishing while I learn what I really want. I do worry that as I get more comfortable, this won't get shallow enough and I'll be limited to where I could go(ptsd from too much time on the flats?).

I have also seen a few flat bottom lowe type jet boats. Those look like they would take you everywhere, but I worry about how they handle in current etc.

Lastly, I'm really interested in power drifters, but these are a pretty big commitment monetarily , and I haven't found any available used in the area. The Stealthcraft pintail looks awesome, as well as others by Hyde, Clackacraft, and the usual gang. A boat like this in good condition seems tough to find for > 15k. And for that much I would have to know it will handle where I'm going.

I would really love to get some advice from someone who has been fishing the area and knows what works here or similar river systems.
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
#2
Something to remember is it wasn’t all that long ago when nobody ran a jet on the river, props only. Common sense, extra prop and a couple of extra shear pins can get you to a lot of river. Common sense being the most important item no matter what type of boat you run.
 

surfnfish

Active Member
#3
River running with a prop = install a Mack's River Runner..use one on the power tilt 20 HP Tohatsu powering the old Clackacraft Power Drifter I restored, run in rivers so shallow we sometimes need to get out and walk the boat.. zero prop damage, no cooling problems, no shear pins snapped..

 

surfnfish

Active Member
#4
I have also seen a few flat bottom lowe type jet boats. Those look like they would take you everywhere, but I worry about how they handle in current etc.
Flat bottom boats are preferred on rivers, they run shallower, turn quicker, are more stable, and aren't as susceptible to current drag and over tracking as are V hulls. Hard to go wrong with a sturdy jon boat with some decent freeboard such as a Lowe Roughneck, G3, or similar.
 

bgfly

New Member
#5
Yeah, that looks good, and I like the clackacraft power drifter too. I haven't seen any around in my budget though. Have you used a river runner on a more typical hull like the 14' lund ?
 

surfnfish

Active Member
#6
Yeah, that looks good, and I like the clackacraft power drifter too. I haven't seen any around in my budget though. Have you used a river runner on a more typical hull like the 14' lund
River Runners are commonly used on Oregon coastal river boats, whether flat bottom or V, they are about protecting the prop regardless of boat design.
I picked up my 85' clackacraft 16' Power Drifter for $1000, sitting next to a barn, they are out there. Here's mine after spending a winter rebuilding it. I run it both out the mouth and up the river.
Keep an eye on Cragislist, run 'Clackacraft' searches, have seen two other oldies for sale in past 6 months.
skiff.jpg
 
#7
upload_2018-3-10_17-6-32.png



Well, I went the "power drifter" route. I hope it gets me where I'm going. It's like the mullet of river boats. "party in the front, business in the back" We will see.

Shawn took me on a nice ride in a G3 Jon with a jet that I believe would have went through my front yard after a rain, but I went with this. It has a prop and I'm getting a guard for it. After I run this for a while I might end up getting a jet though. Anyone have a good deal on a Tahatsu 35 ? Those look nice.

I'll try to post an update once I run it in a few of the places I got it for. If anyone wants to go for a ride/fish in the Snohomish area, hit me up. Especially if you know what you are doing boating rivers.
 

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