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Fly Fishing Youth
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok guys, those of you with a whitewater pram what is the over all length and bottom width? also do you wish it was wider or narrower, longer or shorter? I ask because I am getting a drawing ready to build a 10 or 11 ft whitewater pram. I'm working on restoring a 15'x48'' wood drift boat now, I have my 16'x54'' aluminum riverwolf drift boat, and built a 13'x48'' wood boat that is at my moms in CA. I am planning on selling the 15' when the pram is done. main reason I want a pram is the riverwolf is a big heavy drift boat that is a little much for the small rivers, and typical summer flows. also I can put the pram in the bed of the truck and access a lot more water with a buddy and makes turn around easier with 2 trucks. I appreciate all the info and help you guys can provide, mainly looking for opinions on size. I like the wider boats so right now I'm thinking, 11'x50''
 

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I always thought whitewater pram was an oxymoron. I've taken my Clackacraft Coastal Drifter down the Methow, Grand Ronde, and Yakima but I'd never consider taking in any whitewater sections. The flat, low design of the boat sides makes taking water over the side a real high possibility and one I wouldn't really want to do.

That being said, Koffler makes an aluminum pram where they use the word "whitewater" in their marketing. I guess if I was looking for input, I'd borrow some from their boat dimensions.
 

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Fly Fishing Youth
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks. yah there are wood kits and plans out there but want to make some changes to them and get others ideas. like I said I have boats for the big waters but want something to access the waters that arnt so easy to access with the bigger boat. I'm thinking head waters, and small waters. opens more options. I imagine some on here have one that might have personal input on I was hoping for. honestly I hope It doesn't see anything more than a class 1 or maybe a light 2. LOL
 

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I own an older Don Hill fiberglass mini drifter I generally use it as a one man boat. I have done some easy drifts with two people but did not like the boat with that load. With myself only I have done some class1 / 2 or perhaps easier 3 water Cowichan R with no problems. I think your idea of a wider bottom is good the bottom width on my boat is around 45-46 inches. Other dimensions on this boat are gunnel width - 60 inches gunnel height 19/20 inches length at top back to front 9 feet 7 inches, nominally referred to as 10 ft. Hope this info helps.
 

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Clint, what material are you considering? Plywood?

I built a plywood pram for lake fishing last winter/spring, and looking at the lines, I think it would work for river drifting IF I had used thicker plywood for the bottom and made the sides 2 or 3" higher and used heavier framing lumber. As it is I could probably float it down the Yakima for trout fishing.

I made the bottom 44" wide at the widest point, but with a 15* outward angle on the sides it will not slide into the back of a Toyota Tacoma. I would need a full size pickup if I wanted to haul it in a truck.

I have a set of plans for a wood mini-drifter. Using 12' plywood it comes in at about 11 1/2'. The chine width is a lot less than 50" though. Let me know if you're interested in more info from it.

Sg
 

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Fly Fishing Youth
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Clint, what material are you considering? Plywood?

I built a plywood pram for lake fishing last winter/spring, and looking at the lines, I think it would work for river drifting IF I had used thicker plywood for the bottom and made the sides 2 or 3" higher and used heavier framing lumber. As it is I could probably float it down the Yakima for trout fishing.

I made the bottom 44" wide at the widest point, but with a 15* outward angle on the sides it will not slide into the back of a Toyota Tacoma. I would need a full size pickup if I wanted to haul it in a truck.

I have a set of plans for a wood mini-drifter. Using 12' plywood it comes in at about 11 1/2'. The chine width is a lot less than 50" though. Let me know if you're interested in more info from it.

Sg
thanks for the info. Yes its going to be ply wood with oak gunnels, 1/2 inch bottom with 17 oz glass both sides and a healthy coat of glovit. I am drawing up my own plans from my 13 ft drift boat plans. sides will be 3/8 inch with 6 oz glass both sides bow and transom will be 1/2 inch also same as the bottom. If I load it in my full size truck stearn first I can go a little wider on the bottom with not so much flare. I would love a 48+ inch bottom on it with a bottom length of 10 or so feet. depending how this one goes may build a second to dial it in just so. There are waters I want to float with it that I have never heard of boats doing. never even heard of anyone fishing those waters also so I am curious as to how they fish. I think its due to size. I am a big fan of small water. to the point I carry a come along in my big boat now cause sometimes it just doesn't want to go some places.
 

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1/2" ply plus all that glass inside and out and 3/8" sides seems awfully heavy. I think glass on both sides makes the plywood irrelevant. A standard 16' x 48" wood drifter can come in at 290 pounds. Your mini could be almost double that, making it difficult to muscle around the small water you wish to visit.

I suggest talking with Nomlasder. He's built a bunch of wood boats.
 

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Fly Fishing Youth
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Humm I looked at the zs pram also I like the basic design. I'm going to stick to stitch and glue as that is how my 13 foot drift boat was built. it has a lot of extra weight and was only 180 pounds I'm thinking the pram will be right around 150. I am not doing floors and like not having the ribs that the stitch and glue design allows. my first boat also had a lot more glass on it with 3 layers on the bottom outside, 2 layers on bottom inside, 2 layers on outer sides and 1 layer on inner sides. the pram will not have a bow deck or big pedestal like my drifter and the gunnels are going to be of smaller material. I like the 13 foot boat I built and I could load and unload it in the truck myself but it is staying in CA so figured would build the next best thing. to have options.
 

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I had a Smith Brothers ten foot plywood pram for 45 years. (It died last summer in Montana from old age and elder abuse.) I had it built with some extra height in the sidewalls. Canted outward, 60 inches at max. width. Too wide for a pickup, which I never owned, it cartopped easily on a succession of station wagons. Weight around 90 pounds, with fiberglassed bottom. Mostly used for stillwater fishing, but I floated moderate chop in streams like the Nooksack and Sauk with no problems. Built with a narrow bow, it maneuvered easily, but I never felt safe with a companion on board; a wider bow would have been much better.
 

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A friend builds beached launched 16' ocean skiffs that ride super sweet, some are going on their third decade. They motor well with 10 hp engines, row easily.

3/8" bottom, 1/4" sides, single layer of 4 oz epoxy S cloth wrapped from bottom up 6" on the sides. 2" x 1/2" 3/4 length runners on the bottom to take on the beach. All in weight under 350#

Build the pram as light as possible, a completed shell is much stronger then the individual pieces, and a lighter boat handles better in every way.
 
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