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Old 08-14-2012, 02:42 PM
Bamboo Bryan Bamboo Bryan is offline
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Default Drift Boats

A couple questions for the community here:

Thinking about saving up and making the leap into purchasing a drift boat next year. My questions for you guys 1.) Are there decent places to drift in NH? Up north I'm assuming?
2.) I keep coming up with two names in my search Hyde and Clackaclack boats. Do any of you have any experience with or own either of these boats (or any drift boat for that matter)? Anyone ever take a guided trip where these boats were used?
3.) For those of you guys that have fished NH and the rest of New England for longer than me (which is probably most if not all of you) did you ever even find yourself wishing or thinking that you would be able to fish our rivers more effectively with a drift boat?

Any input or advice you guys could shed on this topic would be awesome. Thanks.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:27 PM
peter harding peter harding is offline
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Default drift boat

I have a 17 ft 60in bottom Willie in Alaska.I enjoy it a lot more than the NRS raft my son and i have.First a drift boat can be loaded and unloaded by one person.Second it is a real stable platform to fly cast from.Third plenty of room.I have thought of one for the white river until this yr Lack of rain has decrease flows in all rivers.I have watched a clacker craft float in front of my house on the conn.One man rowing and 2 fly casting for bass.The pemi may be an option for drifting i would want to raft it first.Also the deerfield in ma may be another.
peter
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:04 PM
Bamboo Bryan Bamboo Bryan is offline
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Thanks Peter for the input, I really appreciate it! Do you like the brand of drift boat you have currently or have you ever wished you could have/try any other brand?
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:29 PM
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Capt.Dan Capt.Dan is offline
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You should talk to lowwall, he knows all about drift boats. Last i checked he had two. I fished out of one of them and it was really nice.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:03 PM
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FurFace FurFace is offline
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I used to guide on the upper Andro (Errol down through 13 miles woods to Bayview area) and CT (Colebrook to North Stratford area) with a 17-1/2' McKenzie River style boat that I built. My career has been as a cabinet maker/woodworker/trim carpenter. So as I had the tools and know-how...

I went with wood as it has some advantages over boats made from other materials. A wooden boat (if built right) tracks nicely because of the chines along the bottom edges, at least mine did! It's quieter than an aluminum boat. (IMHO - the quietest of all boat materials.) Wood doesn't crack like a fiberglass boat if you should make hard contact with a boulder/ledge. My boat had a sheet of UHMW (ultra-high molecular weight) plastic on the bottom that protected it from such contact. UMHW is very slick and allowed me to slide over boulders. Just had to be careful to slow up beforehand.

A wooden boat is warmer in cold weather conditions. Did have to maintain the finish every couple of years, but it was a wonderful off-season pass-time. And finally, wood is aesthetically pleasing to the eye if it's built well and finished right. Mine was barrier coated with epoxy, then sprayed with epoxy paint on the hull, in and out. Rails, seat tops, casting brace, rub strips and floor boards were all stained and urethaned hardwood. It was/is a very handsome boat. Had custom cabinets I built under the seats and bow, and was sooo much fun to build. Every spare moment in the waking hours of two years of my life went into that boat. I miss her, can you tell?

Rafts do have some advantage when it comes to gliding over, or bouncing off boulders (which both the Andro and CT have no shortage of, especially in drier summers like this one). Sold my boat a few years ago when I left New England for a time. But I'm hoping to pick up a raft here soon, and get back out there (in Montana?).
Not to sound biased, I've rowed quite a few boats made of different materials over the years, and I've liked some of them. I will say however that I wouldn't have anything to do with an aluminum boat as they are soooo noisey. Drop a splitshop and let every decent trout in the area know that you're there. And -- frickin' cold on a cold day, and roast on a hot day!
Both Hyde and Claka's have some nice models. It would be good if you could row some somewhere on moderate currents to get the feel. Dan's advice is good, talk to Lowall, and other rowers. and try to get feedback on particular makes and models.

Just one other word of advice, if you buy a boat, practice rowing on slower to moderate currents until you've learned to "slide" and build up oarsman skills before attempting faster, trickier, boulder strewn waters. Rowing a driftboat is not like rowing Grampa's 12' aluminum out on the lake. Though the concept is somewhat similar, handling a boat in white water and hairpin turns around boulders is a whole 'nother story.

FF

Here's a photo of me setting anchor in one of my favorite pools while guiding a couple of clients on the Andro in "The Brookie Barge" Sure miss that ol' girl
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:35 PM
brooktroutangler brooktroutangler is offline
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I concur with Furface; if you have the time, money, and discipline to maintain a wooden boat go for it.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:04 AM
Bamboo Bryan Bamboo Bryan is offline
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Thanks again guys! That is some really great info to have. Wood sounds nice but I would expect the price to increase since the craftsmanship is increased, would this be a correct assumption?

And I for sure would get my strokes in on slow and moderate water, I'm actually looking into some guide schools/drift boat classes out west for my vacation next summer. A grad student such as myself only gets about 2 weeks of vacation for the entire year so I have to pick my days wisely...I usually choose fishing.

Fur Face if you have any more pictures of the ol' girl I'd love to see them, she's a beauty!
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:14 AM
natefish natefish is offline
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have been looking into getting a drift boat myself. How do you guys feel about the large flat backed canoes with an anchor off the back? I've seen these used on big Maine rivers and they seem like they would be easier to control in some situations.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:54 PM
Aljack Aljack is offline
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I worked in the rock crushing industry for some years and we used lots of the UHMW plastics for bin and chute liners. Fantastic impact and abrassion resistance. This attached link also mentions using this plastic on boat bottoms.

http://www.itinerantangler.com/podcasts/2011/04/
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:36 PM
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FurFace FurFace is offline
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That UMHW is amazing stuff. My boat was sooo slippery when it came to sliding over boulders and gravel bars. But as I said before, just had to make sure that you slowed the boat down AMAP before making contact. When most boat manufacturers talk about wooden boats, they don't make mention of these "skid plates". Not all wooden boats have them, but those that do have very good protection. Those without... well let's just say, I wouldn't own one without.

Bryan, if you're really interested in a boat, you might want to check this link out. If I were to get a boat again, I'd be taking a long look at this boat. http://boulderboatworks.com/drift_boat_crt.php
Not as pretty as a wooden boat, but appears to be a functional, affordable boat that kind of has a lot of the attributes and feel of a wooden boat. Would really like to try rowing one of these. Wish there was a dealer in this part of the country.
I have some other pictures of The Barge, and have been meaning to scan them into the computer. Will work on that when I can find a little time.

FF
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