Boat Profiles

I've been entertaining the thought of getting a drift boat. Here in Colorado, a low profile boat is best. Is it best to have a high profile boat in the pac nw?


Steve Buckner

Mother Nature's Son
I own a high profile Hyde and went with that design because I feel a little safer having more freeboard for some of the rivers I drift. However, they can really catch the wind and a low-profile would be nice if the rivers you're going to float don't require the amount of freeboard. The low-profile boats are also a little easier to get in and out of.


Doesn't care how you fish Moderator
I also have a Hyde High profile. The wind can catch a high side boat and take you for a ride if it is stong enough. One day on the Yellowstone, it felt like we were in a sail boat. Also one of the guys in the boat fell in the water because of the high side and a little too deep of water. :rofl:
I like them because of the freeboard along with steve.


Slow and Low
It's not necessarily a Northwest thing as much as whitewater ready or not. Most of the rivers in washington are pretty tame/lame.I spend a lot of time doing multi day trips so a boat with high sides is drier and safer in rapids. The wind is what it is. As long as there is good current it's not an issue. I will tell you stepping out of a "real" high side is tricky, not kid stuff or dog stuff. Going for a swim is tough too since it's a long way back into the boat. High siders are steelhead boats, low pro boats are for trout fishing in tailwaters with limited obstacles and rapids and no gear.

It would be nice to have one of everything, kind of like the club selection in your golf bag?

Whatever suits your fancy.


AKA: Gregory Mine
I may be mistaken, but low side boats are always shorter in legth. I have a Hyde High side and the low side version is about 2' shorter. Not sure if it really means much in the big picture, but it does reduce the amount of room in the boat.

Personal preference is what it is all about. I have been blown around to the point I couldn't control the boat, yet don't really think anything on the water would have been much better that day. Either one, you will love it.
The usual reason why low-side boats are shorter is that they are built on the same frame as a high-side, but cut off how ever many inches shorter. The Lavro 15 PFD is the same hull form as the 16 LRF.

If any website needs to be rebuilt, it's Lavro's. If any driftboat maker needs to toss their entire line and start afresh, it's Lavro. Unfortunately, the boat my outfitter chose... is a Lavro, actually two, one of each mentioned above. God I hate the things. They're heavy, they don't have good layouts, don't have much storage, shed fiberglass like mad, etc. The only good thing about them is that they're bombproof.


Slow and Low
Sorry, just kidding. I hit the Yak almost everyweekend unitl May. Fishing is good but is like fishing a drainage ditch. I grew up fishing the Mackenzie, Middlefork Willamette, Crooked, Deschutes, North Umpqua.
I did notice last year a lot of guys running clacks last year when I went down for March Browns. Low boat profiles are growing in popularity as day boats for obviouse reasons. But again be nice to have both.

Also I know the low profile clacks are the same length as standard. Don't know about Hydes as I have seen very few.

Jim Kerr

Active Member
I am rowing a clacka wf right now. Well, not right now, right now I am in my office. But the boat I row now is the clacka, its got lower sides(and transom) than the Hyde, willie, or alumaweld, but higher than a traditional, low profile boat. I like it, alot.


Active Member
I have a Lavro, its a 1978 fiberglass 14.5 easydrifter that my father handed down to me. Its one of the last boats that was laid out my hand, its totally bare-bones and is in need of repair, the seats are totally wasted, Lavro said it would cost a grand to redue them. I think my old man paid 800 bucks for the boat new in 78. It still works though, the hull is pretty much bomb proof.
Been thinking about a new boat though, maybe a raft, my two fishing partners just bought a NRS raft with a Recretek frame, all I can say is WOW!, those Frames are the best I have ever seen! Ir your thinking about a raft, check out Recretek frames! But rafts and DB's are differ in a lot of ways, so I don't know, maybe have both. Lot of new rafts out thier, like the Starcraft with a hard botoom and pontoon style sides, it seems like a pretty cool idea, Although I've yet to see one in action. I guess the whole raft thing appeals to me for several reasons, multi-day floats, rides high, lightweight, but the downsides, doesn't track as well as a DB, blows in the wind. Hey now, i guess life could be worse then worrying about these problems. I fished and rowed a low-rise Clack-a-craft guide model in Montana. Tracked awesome, and had sweet storage options, I never had to worry about the freeboard, the Upper Missouri is as tame as it gets.

Get a high side and I guarantee you will not miss a low side.
If you get a low side you are limited on rivers you can float COMFORTABLY.

High sides cover the majority of rivers here in the NW. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen a lowside on the S rivers or Cow?

Good luck..

PS, I have a WF Clack and have zero regrets, even on the windy Yakima River.

serenity now

Steel before trout Dry before wet
go low no regets, most of us fish the NW I think? so the wind and river flow is different in your state. I can say I fish and guide most water in this state from a lowside clack no problems yet. There has been talk about the wind and it does make a difference, advantage low side, if you are getting in out often and this is why I own one, big advantage low side. Like someone before me said either one you will love.

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Hmmmm, I've rowed alot of the whitewater rivers in this state (and quite a few of them in a driftboat), I'd take a high side anyday (and have one in the driveway). Now, not sure which rivers Serenity now guides on, but know quite a few you'd be puckering with a low side. Especially with the amount of water that's tossed in our boat from normal runs (and that's expected water coming in, which would swamp alot of low sides quickly). What I want to do with my DB's, I like the high sides. But that's me (and I still go nuts, and run a class 4/5 occasionally in one).

I'm in process of restoring my DB (old Eastside). Can't wait to get it "fish ready" to put it back on the water. Hate being a bank maggot (how do you guys PURPOSELY commit yourselves to doing that???? LOL). Love covering water.

If you do plan on running out that way, I would go with the lowside. My buddy took his with him when he went fishing with his Dad back there. Had a bear of a time with his high side DB.

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