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· Mother Nature's Son
1,344 Posts
You've probably already considered this but I'll mention my take on it anyway...you've really got to spend some time considering what rivers you plan to fish on most as this will help determine which type of boat to start out with.

If you're leaning toward a drift boat, I'd recommend getting one at least 16 feet long. Smaller boats may maneuver slightly faster, but most people end up trading in smaller boats for one that is around 16 feet in length. Although motors can be put on drift boats, I don't believe that they offer much benefit.

For sleds, get one at least 17 feet in length. You can use it to fish salt and fresh water. You should also consider getting one with some sort of windshield as the rain in the winter can get brutal on the face.

There are two basic designs for sleds with windshields, the center console with a windshield and the traditional windshield at the front. I've owned both designs and both have their advantages and disadvantages.

The advantage to the windshield at the front is that you can also get a top and this will allow you to get out of the rain/wind if necessary. The issue with the center console is that it requires that you stand the entire time while operating it, and that can get to be a bit much depending upon how far you're traveling.

Both designs will allow at least 2 people to fish from the boat, one at the stern and one on the bow. Great for chasing salmon in the salt!

As previously mentioned, unfortunately there isn't a boat out there that will meet all needs and conditions. Start with one, and before you know it you'll be looking at another.
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