Looking to get a used drift boat . . .

J

jdflores311

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I am thinking of taking my tax return this year and picking up a used drift boat. I know next to nothing about them, so I was hoping for some advice . . .
I have seen quite a few deals on wood, fiberglass, and aluminum . . . but I don't know what the pros and cons (outside of the obvious) are of each.
I have found a few good good deals on a couple of Santiam Drifters, but I can't seem to find find ANY information on these boats . . . anyone have an opinion they would like to share??
 
T

Thuggin4Life

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I hate rowwing so I will never own one but if I was going to get one I would go aluminum.
 
M

Mike123

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I don't know.. there are some very nice fiberglass ones out there!
There are pro's and con's to both.

Honestly it's just a boat that gets you down the river and get's your line wet.
My buddy found an old Valco aluminum drifter for like $600 with oars and it works great! Jeanna got her fiberglass boat for like $800 and works just fine. A few hundred bucks and it'd be damn nice setup. Look for a wide bottom boat if you can and get nice oars and a good anchor set up. I'd rather have expensive oars, anchor setup and "functionability" then a new expensive aluminum boat that looks pretty. $.02
 
Troutski

Troutski

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Drifters...

Drifters...

A magic carpet is just that...Magical. I would recommend aluminum solely on the durability factor, rivers have rocks and if you are a new comer to drifting that should be paramount. I have never owned one myself but have been a passenger in all three types, they all have attributes.
I have a DVD on the does and don't's of drifting in moving water put out by a famous builder..I could loan you my copy if you like, give you a very real idea of what to expect on the water using oars.
Good luck and don't skimp on the life jacket...

Chuck
 
J

JeannaJigs

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Good anchor set up and oars=Mucho importante!! definitely get a front and rear anchor system.

I just bought a 15' fiberglass driftboat almost 2 months ago. It needs some work because it's 15 years old, but it's not in bad shape at all, and the most important thing is it floats, and it gets you down the river and has caught a couple fish....though none on my rod lol. Couple hundred bucks and it'll be in really good condition. I got it for $800 with a brand new trailer, so it was a steal. Oars though are pretty important...and the ones I had..well, Mike saw 'em lol. They were old and while they got me on the water, they weren't ideal. New oars are very expensive. I just got a set and they were $375 I think total, though, they will last the life of the boat. I got sawyer polecats with the interchangeable blades, so if I damage a blade, I'm not out an entire oar, I still have a functional shaft and I just need to buy a new blade.

Look around and don't jump on the first boat you see.

I gotta say I thought I'd never own anything but aluminum, but the fiberglass handles beautifully, and it's SILENT on the water. I've seen it hit a rock, and it bounced right off, and there wasn't any kind of mark whatsoever, it just flexed and flexed back.

I would definitely though without a doubt never, ever, EVER own a wood driftboat. Too much maintenance and if you hit a rock, you're SOL. That's just me though.
 
D

DirectDrive

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Fiberglas is good for low-water conditions. It's a "slippery" material and slides over rocks well. In the Rocky Mountain states fiberglas DB's outsell aluminum DB's because of all the shallow rivers in that area.
Some will say that glas boats are "warmer".

Aluminum boats have to have their bottoms coated with epoxy. The two most popular products are Gluv-it and Coat-it. This gives the desired slickness required to slide over rocks. Do not run an Al DB unless the bottom is coated. Bare Al sticks to rocks.

Al DB's are cool if you like to add options such as built-in heaters, fish finders, rod holders, you name it, because you can drill-and-tap or weld to your heart's content.

I'm a Willie (Al) driver.
 
J

jdflores311

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Thanks for the feedback everyone!! Sounds like as long as I stay away from wood, and get a complete set up, I will be making an 'alright' descision . . . I'll see what I can find!!

Troutski . . . that would be awesome! I can use all of the guidance I can get!
 
Fish-On Fred

Fish-On Fred

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i like the claka crafts but for the money i would rather have a willy. ALum. is the best for thos guy

Wood drifter will probably be cheaper getting into but there will be upkeep to maintain. Glass to me rides high but is quiet. Bottom flexs and will need work maybe down the line. I run Aluminum. Its a barge, but I take everthing and I Gluvit the bottom. I do not take my boat through class 4 anymore. Too much heavy paddle work. You can leave it out in the weather when not in use. I use Ash oars only. Do not like anything else. I use a chain anchor that is 44lbs. It is great for me. If it does not hold, I do not want to be there. My boat rides like a Cadillack. I run a 8hp. Honda on it when I fish lakes or bays. It will even pull up my float/anchor assembly when I am anchored at O'Dell Lake. I have had it since 84', and it may get passed on at some time. I may go to a glass when I retire as they do pull lightly and track better. Good Luck in your quest and may the river gods be with you. Fred
 
H

halibuthitman

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there is not a more lovely site on a river than a true wood mackenzie drifter with a fiberglass flyrod sitting in it-:D
 
J

JeannaJigs

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Jeanna ... are you going to buy a couple of spare blades for the oars to keep in the boat as spares?
I am, right now though my old oars are in the bottom along the sides because i didn't have the money for spare blades at the moment. Soon though, very soon.
 
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DirectDrive

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there is not a more lovely site on a river than a true wood mackenzie drifter with a fiberglass flyrod sitting in it-:D
This is true.
I have the rod....a pristine (USA) Fenwick 8'-6" 6 weight....circa 1985.
Maybe someday I will have the boat.
 
Irishrover

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I have a 16' Clackacraft. I've had it about ten years. I use it on the Sandy and the Clackamas and in the summer on small lakes. It handles great and skims across the water. The only maintenance I have to do is wash it out with soap and water once in a while. It has the foot release anchor system and I use a 9.9 four stroke outboard on it when I'm out on a lake. If I were to do it over again I'd get the same boat. It's very functional but truley not as sharp looking as the wood boats.
 
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J

JeannaJigs

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How easy would a foot release anchor system be to install in a glass boat? mine is not foot release and it drives me nuts sometimes, reaching behind to release it, and it's difficult to release sometimes, it catches.
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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DirectDrive that a good site. You saved me some work I was heading out to take some pictures of my system but that site you posted cover it all thanks.
 
J

jdflores311

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So after doing a bit of searching, the best looking boat I can find in my price range seems to be a glass santiam drifter. It is in great shape, has a decent trailer, and also comes with anchors (rear is foot release), ropes, oars, and net. I have found other boats for less, but this one seems to be far superior as far as its condition and features go.
The only thing is, the seller is extremely firm on the price. To be honest though . . . based on what I've seen out there . . . and without knowing a great deal about all of the different manufacturers . . . I still get the feeling the he is being more than fair. Like I said though, without knowing much, this is purely a FEELING based on comparables. I am hoping someone out there might be able to tell me more about this boat, and if you found one in great condition, would you pick it up for around 1600?
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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How old is the boat, what size is it, what comes with it, and what shape is the trailer? $1,600 doesn't sound too bad. I paid $5,000 for my 16 footer brand new with all the gear trailer and cover.
 
J

jdflores311

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How old is the boat, what size is it, what comes with it, and what shape is the trailer? $1,600 doesn't sound too bad. I paid $5,000 for my 16 footer brand new with all the gear trailer and cover.

I'm not sure the age, the seller thought it was early to mid 90's, but needed to grab the title to be sure. I told him to e-mail me when he had a chance to look.

It's 15' and in great shape!, comes with the trailer and it's in great shape also, it has 3 rod holders, 2 cup holders, seats 3 w/ swivel, 2 anchors and ropes, oars, and net.
 

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