Anyone have experience with this boat ?? Would like to hear both positive and negative feedback.
I searched the watercraft forum and found this unanswered inquiry.
I've been considering this or similar boats (i.e. Alumadrifter, Rogue Stealth, or a sled setup) for running the Cowlitz, Rufus Woods, Hanford Reach and Upper Columbia. So I am wondering if any of you have ever owned or researched these hybrid boats?
My concern is that they would be a bad compromise, compared to owning two boats; a driftboat (which I already have) and a sled. And since you don't see many of them around, my guess is that they haven't found a market around here (which is a concern when you go to sell one).
So right now, I'm leaning towards getting a 16'-18' open hull sled with tiller drive and keeping the driftboat for the Deschutes, Yakima and Klickitat (since I wouldn't want to try rowing a boat with a motor down one of these rivers).
If I go for a sled (in addition to my driftboat), I was thinking about one with a 90/60 outboard jet as opposed to a prop, so I can scoot thru riffles (like the one below the Blue Creek launch on the Cowlitz).
So does anyone have an experience based alternative or recommendation they think I have overlooked?
I used to own an old Eastside wooden boat that was a hybrid - drift boat bow with a sort of jet sled stern. The problem is that the aft design was severely compromised. That is, in order for the boat to row reasonably well, the stern is pulled in so that the transom was a fair bit narrower than the boat amidship. This gave the aft section of the boat some rocker, so it actually rowed OK, but not nearly as well as a drift boat. However, it really compromised the boat's performance under power. The upshot in my opinion is that hybrids are generally not a good idea. I'm further convinced since I sold the boat without the motor to a friend who uses it quite effectively as a driftboat without that 185 pound engine hanging on the transom. And I installed the motor on my 16' Lund and it performs twice as well on this boat that was meant to ride on plane than it ever did on the old Eastside.
I know you run the Cowlitz with your Lund, does it go thru the Blue Creek rapid ok? Is your motor jet pump or prop? What hp.?
FYI, I believe the Power Drifter hybrid has no rocker astern and maintains its width all the way to the transom, which should help it plane and stear better. That said, it must be less manuaverable than a boat like your old Eastlake.
Small water manuaverablity is my reason for keeping the driftboat. Upriver mobility is the reason for the sled. Also, I am thinking that I can put oarlocks on a sled, for drifting paces like the Upper Columbia.
My reasons for thinking 'sled' as opposed to a 'v' hull are, more stability as a fishing platform, easy bow exit, more space and flat floor interior.
I own an alumaweld sea dory. It's a flat bottom sled with a bow similar to a driftboat. I've attached a pic. It has a 115/80 hp jet and a 9.9 kicker. It also has oar locks. I use it on the Skagit, upper Columbia, Sky, Cowlitz, Deschutes, BC rivers etc. I wouldn't use it with just the oar configuration as it's pretty heavy and doesn't respond very well with oars. I actually don't use the oars all that much (if I do, mostly for manuevering in back eddies on the upper columbia) The flat bottom is nice and stable, but you have to get used to how the boat "slides" sideways when going around curves at high speeds. I would imagine that's an issue with any flat bottom boat. The semi V design that many manufacturers are making, looks nice as it would give you just enough "bite" in the corners without compromising stability or draft. I picked my boat/trailer up for a good price off of craigslist (5K) or I probably just would have went with a semi v, welded aluminum boat with a jet drive. I don't get much use out of the kicker.
I would recommend keeping your driftboat for the Yak, Klick, Oly Pen rivers etc.
Overall, I don't think there is an advantage to the hybrid designed drift/jet boats. I would recommend any welded semi v hull with a jet drive.