Drift boat questions

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JeannaJigs

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So I don't have the funds completely saved up yet, but in the near future, I will be in the market for a drift boat. I see a ton of wood drift boats on craigs list but I'm not sold on the upkeep concept and it seems a lot of them need work done. I don't want to have to sell a kidney to finance this either, I'm thinking 2 grand, maybe three, but I really don't want to put more than 3 grand into a boat i'm not gonna be around to use, I will be getting something else when I have the funds. It's basically just a quiick fix for winter fishing. Does anyone have any recommendations or suggestions on a set up here? Never had a river boat, only lake boats and a pontoon, so it's a foreign country to me.
 
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qwapaw

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I have a 1985 Koffler 16' high side guides model. I have had it since it was 2 years old. It takes very little up keep. If you are going to drift you will need to do the bottom with Glovet every couple of years. You can buy boats liike mine for 2,000.00 all day long. What is neat about that is I paid 2,000.00 for mine in 1987. I don't drift I have a 8 hp Merc on it and just putt around. Top speed by GPS is 9 MPH so I don't have to worry about speed limits on lakes. It is a little harder to get into than a lake boat because of the high sides, and in the wind it isn't as easy to steer, but I feel it is very safe. Good luck on your boat hunting. I think you will have a ton of fun with one. Dan U :clap:
 
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capblack

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get glass or aluminum or youll be spending so much time on upkeep that you wont have any time left for fishing. You should be able to find a good glass or aluminum between $1500 and $2500 with a set of oars and a trailer. good luck, Brian
 
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Razz

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After 4 wood 1 glass I am now on my 7th alum not bad after 50 years of rowing . I have a story for everyone of them all told Alum is my choice because my boat sits outside if I had the money to pay repairs wood.So now it's alum and the money I save goes to gear and gas and no gals.
 
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JeannaJigs

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Thanks guys, I think the consensus is aluminum. It will be stored outside, granted it will be covered, but the moisture in the air would do in a wood boat I think, and I am not looking for a project boat or something I have to do a lot of upkeep on. Upkeep is a given on any boat, but, a wood boat, bleh...not my cup of tea this time. I will be keeping my eyes open for a good one with a good price.
 
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skyhammer

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Check out a glass boat such as a Clackacraft. I rowed aluminum boats for over 30 years and when I bought a Clackacraft in 2004, I wondered why I had been abusing my self all those years.
The Clackacraft is much lighter, has a shallower draft, tunnel hull, which makes rowing much easier, it is warmer than aluminum, less noisy, no need for glovit, doesn't dent and has a 100 year warranty against bottom punctures.
In rough water, because of the way the bow is shaped, it is also drier, even with the lower sides.
 
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capblack

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fiberglass driftboats are lighter than aluminum??? I dont think so, and the other thing thats better about aluminum is it doesn't hurt to leave them sitting out side in the weather. maybe in california thats not a big deal, but over time in northwest Oregon, a fiberglass boat will deteriorate in the sun and rain. But I definitely agree with warmer, quieter, no dents, if you could store inside out of the weather, maybe a better choice.
 
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I'd have to agree with Skyhammer . Don't overlook a good deal on a glass boat especially if it's a Clackacraft. I'm not knocking aluminum boats they work well for a lot of people and are rugged. But if you see a good price on a used Clackacraft don't hesitate go for it. I have had my 16' fly fishing modle Clackacraft for 9 years and like it very much. It's light 350lbs, quiet, and an easy keeper (no need for glove-it on the bottom). I keep it outside and uncovered (plugs out) and it still looks great. I use it on the Sandy and over here in Central Oregon. Good luck and I hope you find the one you like don't get hung up on the glass vs aluminum they both work well.
 
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Combat Chuck

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I got my 12' RB aluminum for 1500, nice transition from toon to actual boat. The only real change on the river was getting used to the weight of wood oars.
 
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qwapaw

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Jeanna, Not trying to scare anyone, but the reason I bought Aluminum is 2 friends that were great Drift boaters took me out on the Willamette and showed me 2 Fiberglass Drift boats with no bottom in them. Wow, that really helped me make a decision. Now the I am older and have RA and Chrones I don't row anymore, but still fish out of the same boat. It looks pretty good for being 25 years old, and works fine. Best of luck, if I hear of a great deal I will let you know, Dan
 
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JeannaJigs

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Decisions decisions!! I will keep my eyes and ears open. I'm familiar with aluminum boats, and know they can take a lot of abuse (I put my little mirrocraft through a lot in it's years) but I will keep my mind open to glass. If a nice boat has a nice price...I'm on it.
 
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joesnuffy

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if your fishing deeper water it doesn't matter if it's glass or not. shallow water is where it matters.

Your lucky, that side of the state has lots of options on Craigs list..... not so much over here :(

good luck in your search.
 
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JeannaJigs

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if your fishing deeper water it doesn't matter if it's glass or not. shallow water is where it matters.

Your lucky, that side of the state has lots of options on Craigs list..... not so much over here :(

good luck in your search.
Yeah. I want the flexibility to fish shallow water, the McKenzie in the fall gets pretty low. I noticed in March when I first started lookin' at 'em there were a lot more listed, maybe the end of the year when summer finally winds down there might be more listed. I'm in no hurry though, it's probably going to be another two months, but I was lookin' for input before.
 
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skyhammer

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fiberglass driftboats are lighter than aluminum??? I dont think so, and the other thing thats better about aluminum is it doesn't hurt to leave them sitting out side in the weather. maybe in california thats not a big deal, but over time in northwest Oregon, a fiberglass boat will deteriorate in the sun and rain. But I definitely agree with warmer, quieter, no dents, if you could store inside out of the weather, maybe a better choice.

My 16', Salmon/Steelhead guide model, with a 57" bottom, 17'4" from gunwale to gunwale, 15'10' centerline weighs 285lbs base weight.
The equivalent Willie boat, which has a 3" narrower bottom, 6" shorter centerline, is at least 100 if not 150 lbs heavier.
We probably get more rain than most of Oregon, I live in the Redwoods where we average 75-100"/year.
Just put a cover on it, problem solved.
The only problem with a Clackacraft, is that they hold their value much longer than a aluminum boat, so cheap ones are hard to find. Heaters are also problematic, but it can be done. They are also much easier to get into and out of.
Fiberglass also doesn't stick to rocks like aluminum, you slide right over. Many times guys in an aluminum boat will get hung up while I slide right by. The floor of my boat flexes an inch or 2, which is disconcerting at first, especially if you are used aluminum, but you get used to it.
I am a plugger, and I have reduced the # of strokes I make each day by at least 25%, plus I plug faster water than I ever could in my Willies. People are amazed at how I can stop the boat in fast water.
My friends who have Willies and row my boat, find them selves having to correct when plugging, because they are used to having pull on the oars much harder and more often.
When you fish 10 days in row, that is lot of wasted energy.
There is a reason that Clackacraft is the worlds largest drift boat manufacturer.
 
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JeannaJigs

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I have so much to learn. Lol.

If I go to say Koffler, they're going to tell me to heck with glass, if I go to a glass manufacturer, they'll tell me the same about aluminum...I guess they both have their place, and in certain conditions one might be better than the other.

right now, cost wise, and use wise, I'm not looking to spend a lot, and I'm not looking for a long term boat, I'll be buying something else in a year or so, I'm just lookin' for a quick fix, but I want an informed quick fix.

I appreciate all the input
 
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GDBrown

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I'll put in my two cents worth and leave it up to you. I bought a 12' fiberglass drift boat a couple of years ago. It had set outside for 7 years or more acording to the guys I bought it from. The glass was in good condition but all the wood had rotted away. The seats had litterally fallen into the boxes. I spent a year rebuilding it. (I enjoy woodworking so it was a labor of love for me. Now I can use it anywhere I choose and can leave it outdoors if covered forever, providin g I put a coat of varnish on the wood every other year or so. It is ultraviolet light that degrades the plastic and wood finishes of most boats so keep them out of the sun unless you are on the water.

Any boat can get a hole it it if you hit the wrong things while on the water. Aluminum gets punctured and glass can get cracked. Fixing glass is easier in my opinion and that why I have glass.

I think I have put a before and after photos in my album.

GD
 
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steelhead1

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check out Baker drift boats,they are made of wood but a beautiful craft for 3500 new.
 
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JeepsAreBuilt

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So, I'm looking to buy a drift boat this year. I am wanting to get some input from you guys about them so I can make a good choice and buy. Right now I am leaning towards getting a fiberglass one. in the 15-17' length size. I am not a experienced boater but hopefully soon :) My plan is to drift down the North Santiam starting at Stayton down to the Willamette somewhere. Not for the first trip though.. I'm looking at a 16'x48" size right now, and how does the width make a difference ? Should I look for a wider one ?
 
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capblack

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if your going to float from stayton to the willamette, dont forget a tent and sleeping bags. that would cover about 5 drifts. the greens bridge to jefferson drift is a nice beginners drift though. good luck on getting the drifter, and make sure you get a lot of help on your first few, the river can be very unforgiving. Brian
 
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JeepsAreBuilt

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if your going to float from stayton to the willamette, dont forget a tent and sleeping bags. that would cover about 5 drifts. the greens bridge to jefferson drift is a nice beginners drift though. good luck on getting the drifter, and make sure you get a lot of help on your first few, the river can be very unforgiving. Brian

Wow.. are you serious that its a 5 day float from Stayton to the Willamette ?
 

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