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  1. #1
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    Drift boat advice

    Alright Mags, need some boat advice here. Iíve sort of been given the green light from Mrs to add a drift boat to the line up.

    Our current rig is a 14ft downriver raft with full fishing frame. We will be keeping this. The modular frame is awesome, and Itís great for almost everything CO. Running whitewater as an oar or paddle set up, camping, ect. It fishes pretty well, especially on more technical freestone rivers. Overall I love this thing.

    But, Iíve been spending a lot of time this spring fishing in WY on the North Platte tail waters and the raft is at best ok on the flat and can really be a pig in the wind. Backrowing, crabbing, holding a line all very difficult in the rubber. I do realize a lot of this is due to my mediocre skills, but still not the ideal craft for the application. We also make at least one run a year down to the San Juan tailwaters, and are hoping to spend some time checking out the Wydaho fishing scene this summer, leading to more justification for adding a hard boat.

    So, Iím leaning towards a Low pro vrs high side. Some of the skiffs I see out there look really sweet, but they seem to have pretty limited applications. The low pro could be used as a second boat on some of the mellower stuff we run in CO, like the upper C.

    Budget is 3-5K. Pretty surprised what some of these boats are selling for. 20 year old boats being listed close to the original Msrp. I found a good condition 2005 Clacka 15 LP, listed for 5K but itís a 5 hour drive away.

    Open to any advice on boat selection, price guidelines, and of course any possible deals out there. Thanks!
    Last edited by jpcmoriarty; 06-12-2019 at 10:21 AM.

  2. #2
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    Congratulations on the impending addition to the family! I have rowed a lot of drift boats, and I think your thoughts of what you want are pretty spot on. Normally I would argue for a high side over a low side because of the ability to get in bigger water. But, since you already have a raft for big water I would go low side to cut down on fighting the wind. The wind still sucks in a low side (especially the N Platte in Wyoming) but it certainly helps. If you are looking at a Wydaho run I would suggest calling Hyde and seeing what they have in their used boat inventory. If you can get to the $5K range they usually have a few in that price range.
    A couple things I like. Rod holders are key, I like ones that are built into the boat, but you can certainly ghetto some into place. I pulled the back seat out of mine and replaced it with a cooler, that doubles as a seat, its money and increases the space in the boat. Get good oars, you probably already know that, but they cost a lot because they are worth it. Shitty oars SUCK! Get a good cover that you can tow with it covered, it will keep your boat and all your gear free of road grime.
    That is all I have at the moment, If I think of anything else I will add to it
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  3. #3
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    Drift boat advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jpcmoriarty View Post
    the Wydaho fishing scene.
    As yesterday's TR testifies, the Wydaho Circle Jerk is awesome !



    Edit to add: ^^^ listen to teleee ^^^ he knows his shit about drift boats. The cooler as a seat works well in the back, especially since he put a nice cushy foam thing on the cooler lid.
    Last edited by Harry; 06-12-2019 at 03:00 PM.
    "Zee damn fat skis are ruining zee piste !" -Oscar Schevlin

    "Hike up your skirt and grow a dick you fucking crybaby" -what Bunion said to Harry at the top of The Headwaters

  4. #4
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    You might find a Lavro for 3K...

    An 05 15 LP for 5K is a pretty good deal if the glass is in reasonable shape, I prefer the 15 to to the 16 for how it rows. Eddy's are nice if you fish 3 people, with just 2 they're a tad squirrelly, probably well out of price range anyhow. Good oars are a must, but highly subjective.

    Boat covers are for gapers, sorry Lee

    I've seen a few RO skiffs go for right around 5K very recently, another good option for the money in that range.

  5. #5
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    Hyde is made in Idaho Falls. Their used boat website link currently has 4 boats in your price range. Older boats, but the fish don't care...

    https://www.hydeoutdoors.com/boats/
    "Zee damn fat skis are ruining zee piste !" -Oscar Schevlin

    "Hike up your skirt and grow a dick you fucking crybaby" -what Bunion said to Harry at the top of The Headwaters

  6. #6
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    If ya wanna stop fishing buy a driftboat!....had to be said.

    I find most people like different brands etc. My first boat was an old Yellowstone drifter that was cheap but mostly floated. No rod holders, side pull anchor etc..Loved it for bigger water with real high sides but good lord when the wind hit that thing. Rowing a RO guide now and love it. Spent a decent amount of time in clackas as well and would say on average I like how they row(generally depending on model). Its been touched upon but layout, rod holders(I dig the flat trays as opposed to tubes), dry storage, cup holders are things that make a long day(s) on the river more enjoyable. I could never do a cooler seat unless that person wants to constantly stand up while handing me beer but I like beer.

    Never rowed any skiffs but unless you spend a lot of time on certain tailwaters I can't justify it although I know people who take skiffs on bigger water( by montana standards).


    Oh and get the red one.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapt View Post
    .

    Boat covers are for gapers, sorry Lee
    .
    Well did I mention I am a gaper? Road grime is for guide wannabes
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the feedback all, good stuff for sure. Pretty set on the low profile design, staying away from skiff style boats. I love my 9ft Sayer MX with dynalite shoal cuts, switch to a duramax blade when pin balling white water.....hoping to use these on the drift as well. What size oars are you guys running?

    Telle, I almost over looked the importance of rod holders, which most of the lower priced boats do not have. Even with the DRE rod tubes this is always still an issue on the raft. Integrated rod storage is now high on the list.

    Spat, according to the seller the LP 15 is in good shape, although lacking said rod storage. its a haul up to Dubois, and with the need to notarize WY titles would probably require taking a day off work. Still thinking about that one...

    Life link, you're the second person i heard from who loves the RO Guide.

    May need to increase budget a little, it does seems like they hold their value pretty well??
    Last edited by jpcmoriarty; 06-12-2019 at 10:01 PM.

  9. #9
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    Speaking of skiffs....just found this one and itís local. Again not what I was originally thinking but newer boat/has rod storage. Would be great but limited to tailwater and lake fishing
    https://fortcollins.craigslist.org/b...901180624.html

  10. #10
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    With a raft, I donít know why you wouldnít be strongly considering that ro. I have a Hyde drift boat and have liked the time spent in an adipose or ro skiff more. This on rivers like the s fork and Henryís fork. Theyíre pretty capable and I think fish better. Marginally huger too with the right stickers.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifelinksplit View Post
    If ya wanna stop fishing buy a driftboat!....had to be said.

    I could never do a cooler seat unless that person wants to constantly stand up while handing me beer but I like beer.
    .
    The price of me rowing someone down a river is the up and down motion of getting me a beer, nothing is free my friend!
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpcmoriarty View Post
    I found a good condition 2005 Clacka 15 LP, listed for 5K but it’s a 5 hour drive away.
    Unlike snapt, I don't like to row the 15ft LP. It has less primary stability than the 16 and it tilts whenever the load shifts off the center line. I rowed a friend's many times and it would drive me crazy when seated passengers would put their feet on the gunwales. Two seated guys facing the bank with their feet up and the boat tilt is noticeable. The weight shift of an 80lb dog bouncing from side to side would tilt the boat enough to require extra effort to clear the oar from the water. It is the same if a guy is leaning over the side with the net. Its a fine boat to fish from, just a pain in the ass to row with 2 passengers compared to the 16. Just sayin', for our "drift boat rivers" around here, a stable platform and ample storage space is more valuable to me than some extra maneuverability. If my home water was a 100 mile rock garden like the Madison, maybe I'd feel different. For around here, I rate the 15' LP Clack among my least favorite boats. Clack discontinued that hull design, which says something about its popularity, I guess.

    My least favorite boat ever? Those pretentious wooden clunkers made by Montana Boat. Only a clueless millionaire would buy one of those. Like rowing a fucking piece of furniture and it is sooooo heavy. Despite weighing a ton, the frou frou interior cabinetry and wooden seats are fragile as twigs. The most expensive boat I ever rowed was hands down the worst boat I ever rowed.
    Last edited by neckdeep; 06-13-2019 at 01:01 PM.

  13. #13
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    Agree with the others, I def prefer the flat rod holder on the clacka vs the round tubes on my Hyde.

    Saw this on another site...fits the low end of your budget but I don't know shit about the boat manufacturer. Hopefully someone can provide some feedback. https://www.washingtonflyfishing.com...hreads/148762/

    Anyone around Victor know if Mountain Drift Boats has anything on the lot? He has this 2001 16WF Clacka at $5695 w/oars & anchor on the site but I would think he would have far more on the lot based on previous experiences driving by. I have no personal experience with the dealer but maybe a few around here might? http://mountaindriftboat.com/usedboats.html

  14. #14
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    Guys, back to the skiff question. I had originally ruled it out, but after thinking it through some more it might be a good option for me. Specifically because there is one here in town I can check out, and this isnít a CO boat so I might be able to get a good deal. The primary runs that I fish often that are not conducive to the raft are The grey reef and miracle mile of the north Platte. Other than a few fast riffles these are primarily flat and windy, with a good amount of time spent backrowing. Skiff could also be fun for puttzing around horsetooth resavoir which is right out my back door

    Whoís rowed one these? Are you guys seeing them around on the WY/ID rivers? They seem to be very popular in MT

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooseknuckles View Post
    Agree with the others, I def prefer the flat rod holder on the clacka vs the round tubes on my Hyde.

    Saw this on another site...fits the low end of your budget but I don't know shit about the boat manufacturer. Hopefully someone can provide some feedback. https://www.washingtonflyfishing.com...hreads/148762/

    Anyone around Victor know if Mountain Drift Boats has anything on the lot? He has this 2001 16WF Clacka at $5695 w/oars & anchor on the site but I would think he would have far more on the lot based on previous experiences driving by. I have no personal experience with the dealer but maybe a few around here might? http://mountaindriftboat.com/usedboats.html
    He is a good guy.

    Don't buy an 18 year old boat for $5700 when you can find boats less than 5 years old for only $2000 more. Gary has got a 2015 LP 16ft on the lot with a galvanized trailer and Sawyers for $7900.


    Guys, back to the skiff question. I had originally ruled it out, but after thinking it through some more it might be a good option for me. Specifically because there is one here in town I can check out, and this isn’t a CO boat so I might be able to get a good deal. The primary runs that I fish often that are not conducive to the raft are The grey reef and miracle mile of the north Platte. Other than a few fast riffles these are primarily flat and windy, with a good amount of time spent backrowing. Skiff could also be fun for puttzing around horsetooth resavoir which is right out my back door

    Who’s rowed one these? Are you guys seeing them around on the WY/ID rivers? They seem to be very popular in MT
    I've rowed the old school shorties like the South Fork Skiff and the new ones which are mostly chopped down 16ft hulls. The only problem with skiffs is you can stuff the bow under water in some situations. If drops and tall wave trains are not an issue, then skiffs are fine. They are easier to fall out of, so attention has to be paid to elderly passengers and children.
    Last edited by neckdeep; 06-13-2019 at 11:44 AM.

  16. #16
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    ^ thanks neckdeep. I have only heard good things of Gary from other locals however I have had no personal experience with him. Valid points on the age of the boat for sure. I am all for OP increasing his fleet and blowing his budget.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by neckdeep View Post
    He is a good guy.

    Don't buy an 18 year old boat for $5700 when you can find boats less than 5 years old for only $2000 more. Gary has got a 2015 LP 16ft on the lot with a galvanized trailer and Sawyers for $7900.
    Neckdeep totally get what your saying here. Iíve been amazed what these 15-20 year old boats are being sold for.
    7900 though is too much of a stretch for me, considering this is a secondary whip.

  18. #18
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    I think for what you are after a skiff would be just fine, especially considering you have a raft for rougher water. I see a lot of them here in Idaho. If it was my only whip I would opt for a drift boat. In water like the North Platte they are fun to row. Like Neckdeep said, in bigger water that nose is easy to stuff.
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  19. #19
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    heres the current boat and a nice NP rainbow rom last week

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by neckdeep View Post
    They are easier to fall out of, so attention has to be paid to elderly passengers and children.
    THIS. I was on the sticks and 2funky was in the back of the Headhunter II last summer on the Clark Fork...until he wasn't.

    I won't take my kids out in the skiff.

  21. #21
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    You never know, tho... some 18 year old boats have spent 17 years and six months in a garage. Some three year old boats have seen 400 days of commercial use, three winters exposed in the back yard and the trailer has done over 50,000 miles.

    Gary makes a good living selling boats to vacation home owners who get on the river less than 10 times a year. Those are the used boats to buy. I remember this old rich guy who bought the full package and then put it up for sale for $1500 less after two years. He had used it seven times in two seasons. After a few tuneups on the Teton, he went out on the South Fork at 15,000cfs and got his ass beat. Never wanted to row a boat again, just wanted it out of his garage as quick as possible.
    Last edited by neckdeep; 06-13-2019 at 12:48 PM.

  22. #22
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    Sometimes ya just gotta say...Name:  FB_IMG_1560450674469.jpeg
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    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using TGR Forums mobile app

  23. #23
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    So I pulled the trigger on the RO skiff!!!! Overall its in good shape. A few dings and scratches here and there but nothing major. Trailer is solid. she's going to clean up nice.

    Sort of a funny story, seller had pulled a Gates of Ladore permit for next month and was itching to sell so he could build out a raft setup.....his wife wouldn't let him have two boats. In my head I'm laughing that i just convinced my wife that two boats was a good idea. He hadn't had too much interest so ended up letting it go for $4200. I feel like I can get that back pretty easily if it ends up not being the boat for me. Overall super stoked. Who wants to fish the Reef this weekend ???

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    Last edited by jpcmoriarty; 06-13-2019 at 10:30 PM.

  24. #24
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    ^^ WOW. That is a nice boat.
    "Zee damn fat skis are ruining zee piste !" -Oscar Schevlin

    "Hike up your skirt and grow a dick you fucking crybaby" -what Bunion said to Harry at the top of The Headwaters

  25. #25
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    Congrats!

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