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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking of buying a new drift boat, and am looking at a RO Deville, made here in Four Corners, MT.

I have a Hyde XL Pro now, which I've had for 5 years, and had a Clackacraft LP before that.

On my Hyde and Clackacraft boats, both of the rower's seats were adjustable forward and aft, as were the position of the oar locks, to trim the boat as needed, and to make rowing easier, whenever there were notable weight differences between the bow and stern.

I often fish with just one person in front (my best friend) and no one in the back of the boat, so I'm able to move my rower's seat back a couple inches to better balance the load and trim the boat. Other times, I might have a much heavier person in either the back or front of the boat, so I adjust the rower's seat (and oar locks) accordingly.

The RO boats do not have an adjustable rower's seat. I believe some of the newer Clackacraft boats (like the Flypod model) might also have fixed position rower's seats. So if I get that boat, I won't be able to move the seat,to balance the weight distribution.

Do any of you have a fixed position rower's seat in your drift boat, and if so how do you trim your boat (or don't you do anything)?

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Add more beer to the cooler?
That's an idea! The only thing is that the cooler would normally be in front of the rower's seat which would put more weight in front of the boat, where I often have too much weight already when I am fishing with just my friend in front.

However, my friend only weighs about 170#, so I could probably trim the boat with about 10 cases of beer in the back. That would do it as long as we didn't drink any of the beer, and if we drank a lot of it, we wouldn't care.

....then again, neither of us drinks much, and never in the boat.
 

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My woodie has an adjustable passenger seat, but the rowers seat is fixed. I typically do nothing. I have not noticed any performance issues except with about 500+ lbs up front it takes a lot more effort to back row (I have the passenger seat slid all the way forward). I will note that my boat is not made to carry really any weight behind the rower, it is pretty narrow back there. Its widest point is probably right at the passenger seat.

I just did my first float with class III water, I was solo, but had camping gear and a lightly loaded cooler up front. I could see having weight too far forward and hitting some of the standing waves pretty hard. Or having weight too far to the back and making it harder to let your boat slip water underneath.

Something else to consider is the boat's moment of inertia, how far the mass is away from the center of rotation (spinning left or right quickly to maneuver). The further forward and back the extra weight is placed, even with the boat trimmed the same, the slower you will be able to spin your boat.

I would say that being poorly trimmed on a lightly loaded boat isn't a deal breaker, but the more weight in the boat, the more important it becomes.
 

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My old Al. was designed for two in the front. The previous owner built a seat for the back. It obviously rides better with the two upfront. But, because the rowers seat is fixed, I can't trim it.

I don't notice it making that much of a difference unless it's two big guys.

Just wondering, after having a nice Clack and now a great Hyde. Why the (what looks like) step backwards?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Out of curiosity, what draws you to the RO?
I ask because I have never been in or rowed one.
They are made in Four Corners, just west of Bozeman, which is closeby to where I am on the Yellowstone. I have been there a half dozen times the past several years, and have seen how their boats are built.

Since posting this thread last week, I visited with the owner of RO and learned that they can build their boat with a adjustable position seat, and they can also do some other customizing when building the boat, which I find attractive. I particularly like the Nomad interior option that they offer as on option on their boat, which provides extra storage along both sides of the boat. I also really like their boat trailer, which is made in Idaho by the owner's brother. It has 15" tires, versus the 13" tires on my boat trailer, and has 2 rollers, versus the one that I have. (Adipose boats in Helena also use this trailer I understand.)

There are a ton of RO's here in SW MT, and I probably see almost as many RO's here on the Yellowstone as any other driftboat, particularly by guides.

The real test, however' is how does this boat row, and track, and hold a line. I have a friend who has offered to let me tackle his RO for a test "drive", or I will get one from RO to demo, and hope to do that in the next couple of days.

John
 

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Test Drive !! I was wondering why you were going to purchase a boat without rowing it first, especially when they're right next door. If you've a guide friend to do it with - even better as you'll get to feel the boat with a similar load to what you'd be experiencing during your normal use.
 
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