Smaller Boats

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by FlyfishingWA, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Hi all,

    Newbie here just seeking some advice on smaller drift boats/prams in the 10' to 12' range, basically something that would fit in the back of a pickup. Been a long time bankie and am interested in getting something I can row around by myself or with a buddy. I really want something versatile to handle NW rivers but also safe for a new rower to learn on. Does anyone have a recommendation on what I should be looking for? Any input would be much appreciated!
  2. If you are looking to do rivers, I think the conventional wisdom would be to go at least 14' and preferably 16 in a driftboat. I'm sure I'll get corrected if I'm steering you wrong on that. :) I would look into a 2 man toon--check Dave Scadden North Fork Outdoors and Catchercraft. Both have pretty good websites.
  3. Lavro makes an 11' drift boat that can fit in the bed of a pick up. Recently they had a couple listed on Seattle Craigslist.
  4. In your HO, would this do well on class 1-2 rivers such as the Yakima, Wynoochee, ect?

  5. Hey, you might want to look up Pat Gould on the forum - he makes prams.
  6. I'm not familiar with the Wynoochee but it I would imagine any class I or II river would be within the boats capability, provided the rower has a good grasp of the basics. Should easily handle the Yakima but again, learn the basics first.
  7. I second the two man toon. If you are dead set on a DB I would highly recommend a 15 or 16 foot boat. You could also look at a skiff like the X series or Clacka Headhunter. A 10-12' DB might be a little under sized, but a 12-14' skiff would be ok.
  8. I agree a bigger boat would be better but the original post stated he was looking for something to fit in the bed of a pick up truck.
  9. Hey guys,

    Thanks for the help. As stratocaster mentioned, I would preferably like to get a smaller boat to fit in the back of my rig. The Lavro does seem interesting, but again I would like something that would be sufficient for the rivers here in the NW. But this seems to be the best choice, unless smaller drift boats truly have a lot more disadvantages. I also like the idea of pontoons, but not sure how great these are for more than one person. As for prams, after doing some research it seems these are more of a still water vessel, please correct me if I am wrong... Either way, I appreciate the input! I am just trying to find something in my price range I guess. Sorry, if I am asking too many questions. Just thought this would be the place to get some good input.
  10. The Lavro 11-LRF is your boat but at 175 pounds dry you're eventually going to want a trailer/winch, especially if you end up fishing a lot by yourself using some of Washington's finest boat "ramps". It would still be nice to have the ability to leave the trailer at home and save on ferry fees if you head out to the coast. I've seen the little Lavro's on everything from the Sauk, to the Yakima, to the Hoh. Seems just fine for a river newb (definitely better than a pram). Not much else you can fish out of that can handle NW rivers and still fit in your truck bed besides maybe a small self bailer.

    Check out the Hyside mini-me or the mini-max. Both are Hypalon (super light) and would probably fit in your truck with some deflating. You would need to get some sort of custom fishing frame (check out riverboat works) but the fishing platform still wouldn't be as solid as the Lavro (hard to beat a drift boat). A buddy of mine just got a little 10.5' hypalon self bailer with an NRS fishing frame and it's the most badass 2 man fishing craft I've ever been in. Super nimble and easy to portage plus has the advantage of quietly sliding over/bouncing off rocks and taking on water like all self bailing rafts.

    Some mentioned 2 man pontoon boats and to each their own but after being forced to fish out of one a good handful of times this season I think they make the WORST fishing platform. I don't like the floor-less/gunnel-less design for carrying gear and moving around at anchor and I don't like how the toons grab water and keep you from staying on track. I find them to be sketchy at best and they create an unnecessary "pain in the ass" feeling throughout the day. They work for some people but I strongly urge you to spend some time in one with a buddy before you invest.

    If you want to comfortably fish with a buddy, or anchor up mid-river and fish a seam by yourself, stick to self bailing rafts and drift boats. That little Lavro is probably my next boat as I always find myself fishing with 1 other person 90% of the time and taking my big ass self bailer out gets old. Plus I want hard floors, a heater, and something better to pull plugs with ; )
    Jeff Dodd and FlyfishingWA like this.
  11. Hey thanks nutsack angler, great advice and cool name by the way. It seems like the DB would be the best option. I will be looking through Craigslist and hopefully can find one there.
  12. IMGP1420.jpg An outfit in Oregon builds and sells 10' min-drifters, as well as 13'ers. Their 10'er looks like a deluxe version of my older 10' Don Hill mini-drifter. Sometimes you can pick up a used Don Hill mini-drifter like mine for around $500.
    I'll see if I can dig out a pic of mine.
    OK, I found a good one: My friend's son rowing back downstream, after having rowed upstream.

    I am going to be doing some repairs on this one, as well as adding grab handles.
  13. I would recommend this Almarco drifter pram. The last pram you will own....
    10 1/2 ft mini drift boat - $1100 (Arcata Ca)

    I have a very gently used aluminum mini drifter 2 person drift boat. Has some scratches from sliding it in and out of the truck. It has never been in a river only lake used. It comes with new sawyer oars as well. These are very rare! Thanks for looking! 707-four nine eight 7473 IF THIS AD IS UP IT IS STILL FOR SALE.
    Mark Yoshida likes this.
  14. My little (13' 8") Clark Fork Drifter won't come close to fitting in a pickup because the flare of the sides won't go through the tailgate opening.
    I ended up buying a trailer for it.
  15. Little 13' 8":D We had to lift my mini-drifter over the rails to get it into the back to the kid's Yotacoma p/u. Wouldn't slide in between the corners on the back of the bed. But we got it to the creek.
    I removed the side rails from my utility trailer (only 6 bolts) and am installing a slick rub guard on the rear edge, so I can easily slide my mini-drifter up onto it. i might eventually put a roller bar on the rear, and I might even get a wench to help me load it, if I can just convince her to go fishing with me.:)
  16. If you're thinking of hauling it in and out of your truck bed by yourself go lightweight (pontoon boat), or get a trailer and winch for a heavier boat. Take it from me you don't want to screw up your back. I lost a year of my life to physical therapy after a back injury, and remember your wife will not be happy that your fishing hobby cost you the ability to go to work and do household and yard chores. I thank God I made it back, but I am always very careful to not do it again.
    Jeff Dodd likes this.
  17. Little drift boats row like pigs. The small footprint in the water causes too much displacement. I wouldn't go with anything smaller than a 16'x54" when it comes to a drift boat. If you are want a hard boat, it's trailer time.

    That said, a 12 or 14 foot self bailing raft with an NRS frame might be the ticket. They are pretty forgiving for new rowers and nearly impossible to park on the bottom of the river. You can roll it up and put it in the back of your truck, and inflate it at the put in with a battery powered pump. You don't need any sort of boat ramp to launch either.
  18. "Little drift boats row like pig"

    Hmm... thats interesting to know.

    Here is another question, how much of a beating can rafts take? I have seen a few awesome looking catarafts that are tempting. I am just afraid of getting holes in them and the cost of replacement. Are some of the rafts mentioned pretty durable? I would hate to spend 2-3K on a raft and have to always worry about patching holes. By the way, if I did get one I would likely buy new so maybe it would include a warranty?

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