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  1. #21

    Default Re: The Perfect Boat

    Don't know if anyone has had any experience with mini pontoons. We have been using them back home in Nebraska for fishing smaller lakes, sandpits, and rivers and I personally love them. Way lower to the water than normal pontoons. Crazy stable, it's like having a moble dock. Speed is an obvious downside but they are actually vary maneuverable. Gas or electric. I have no idea how to post a picture on here so here's the company of the one I use for fishing.

  2. #22

    Default Re: The Perfect Boat

    I've heard the saying, "There are two best days in a man's life.... The day he buys a boat, and the day he sells it". LOL

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: The Perfect Boat

    I've owned 40+ boats over the years and still keep 14 at the present. None were perfect . All were excellent for a particular application but lacked (sometimes badly) at others. EVERY boat design has trade-offs. Yours will be no different.

    Suggest you focus on the particular waters your going to frequent and start
    building your criteria from there.
    Last edited by wee hooker; 09-12-2017 at 12:48 PM.

  4. Likes jangles liked this post
  5. #24

    Default Re: The Perfect Boat

    I bought a Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker 10 raft for this . Stable as all get out and built to last . Seats two people or leave the front seat out and take your dog .
    This is NOT a swimming pool / pond type raft , it's built to last . Good luck

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Berrien Springs, Michigan

    Default Re: The Perfect Boat

    Few things....

    There is no such thing as a boat that does everything well, in order to do one thing great, you have to give in other areas...

    I used to be the sales manager for one of the companies mentioned in this thread, StealthCraft Boats... Was a long time customer prior to that and even have been instrumental in some of the current offerings from them... Over a decade of guiding experience and have spent thousands of days rowing boats of all shapes and sizes from a plethora of companies...

    This is not a sales pitch, I truly could care less what you buy, but hopefully my input helps you...

    The better a boat rows, all things being equal, typically the worse it will run under power...

    The reasoning for this is for the most part, rocker...

    In order to float through choppy water, rapids or back-row, rocker is a good thing...

    The latter you want rocker on the upstream end of the boat, for rough water, it's most important on the downstream end of the boat...

    You can have rocker in the upstream end "typically what you would call the bow, but in drift boats sometime the term bow is hard for folks to understand which end it is, so I will use upstream and downstream end in this post." and the boat will motor well and back-row pretty well.

    A great example of this would be what most call a "Power Drifter"...

    Power Drifters excel with jet drive outboards, allowing them to run in 3" of water or less, literally...

    Because of the squared off transom, they row a little differently than a drift boat that has points at both transom and bow. They don't spin as well, but you can use that long flat chine to your advantage by spinning the boat to an angle and allowing the current to push you laterally across the river, on slower rivers and even faster water to an extent, you can save yourself a lot of rowing by learning how to utilize this to your advantage...

    Also because of this squared off transom, they have more surface area on the water, thus enabling them to float higher than a similar length boat that has pointed ends at each end. It also makes them more stable when anglers stand on the edge of the boat while you are rowing...

    Because there is no rocker in the downstream end or the transom if you will, they don't row well in rough water, it's kinda like hitting a wall as they don't want to roll with the waves quite as much. They do better than you think, but not as well as a boat with rocker in the downstream end... I have rowed them down the Yellowstone and some rougher water up to Class 3's. In faster water, you are better off blasting bow first downstream on step or using the motor to slowly back you down... Unless you are trying to float and fish, then you have to row...

    Many companies sell aluminum jon boats that would be somewhat comparable, just typically wouldn't have as much rocker in the bow as a Power Drifter and aluminum is no where near as advantageous a material to use as what we used at StealthCraft, Plascore/Fiberglass combination...

    Some companies make aluminum Power Drifters too, but they are very expensive and having owned them myself, no where near as nice as the Power Drifters constructed of Plascore/Fiberglass...

    The next style of boat that is pretty much only sold by one company would be something like the StealthCraft ATB "All Terrain Boat"...

    This model is basically a combination of a drift boat and power drifter... It doesn't motor as well as a Power Drifter and doesn't row as well as a Drift Boat, but it does more things pretty darn well than anything else out there and allows you to use a small outboard prop which is way lighter and cheaper than jet drive outboards...

    It has rocker in front and rear, less rocker in the rear than a drift boat, but still has some to help it row better and handle a chop while being rowed better. This rocker hurts its ability to get on step and run flat like a boat would without rocker. Think of how much drift boats want to "wheelie" under power and you get the point. You can still get on step with the ATB just fine, but it's definitely more likely to want to wheelie than a Power Drifter and doesn't work well with a jet...

    The bottom is concave to allow you to suck the prop up higher and thus, run almost as shallow on step as a boat that has a jet drive...

    The back end does have a slight point to it "snub nosed" unlike the squared off transom like a Power Drifter has, this makes it spin better when rowing, but changes the way it turns under power. It's not bad, but it doesn't handle quite as well on step...

    You can also remove the outboard and run it like a drift boat, it will row almost as good and actually will be more stable because of the more squared off transom...

    Like I said, in order to gain in one area, you have to give in another...

    These are all flat bottom boats essentially so you also have to consider what kind of waves you may be running in on lakes, flat bottom boats will beat you up in a chop... Plascore absorbs some of this so is better than aluminum, but still can rattle your teeth a bit...

    If you will be around much weeds, jet drives suck... literally, they suck in the weeds and have to be cleaned out... Props will just cut their way through...

    A drift boat would be horrible for your applications, only because they motor horribly, but would be cheaper... If you are fine with just putting along slowly, hey, go for it, but go with one that has the least amount of rocker so it motors better since the ability to be motored is a priority for you...

    Not sure what your budget is, but that at least should help you design boat design and performance a little more and help you choose what would suit you the best...

    ---------- Post added at 12:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:27 PM ----------

    I took my old Power Drifter down to NC/TN a couple years ago, fished the New River and the Holston Proper...

    Couple pics...

    @kory_boozer • Instagram photos and videos

    @kory_boozer • Instagram photos and videos

    I made it work, but I had a 115/80 Jet Drive on my 18' boat so it was definitely bigger than I would suggest for everyday use down there...

    I would run a 16' by 54" Power Drifter with a 60/40 jet drive or a 16' ATB with a 30hp outboard prop...

    Those boats row almost as well as any drift boat made...

    The State of Kentucky uses StealthCraft Power Drifters for their river boats the game wardens use... They love them...[COLOR="Silver"]

    ---------- Post added at 12:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:49 PM ----------

    Apparently I can't share my instagram photos on here, the links just go to my instagram page, but if you scroll through the photos, lots of pics and videos of my old Power Drifter...
    Last edited by kwb; 11-03-2017 at 04:52 PM.

  7. #26

    Default Re: The Perfect Boat

    Well I've had Fiberglass, wood, and aluminum. IMHO aluminum scares a lot of fish. When waves slap against it- there is noticeably more sound. So wood or fiberglass. Everyone says a john boat is best in small water but I've used both that and a V hull, as well as a tri-hull and a V hull doesn't really sit that much deeper in the water. The extra freeboard on a V hull is good on rough water with waves or chop.
    If you set up a kneee brace of some sort you can stand in a V hull. The tri-hull is like a floating dock but they need a large engine and would be hard to row.
    So....I'd go with a 12' V hull utility boat in fiberglass- unfortunately no one makes such a boat any more so I'd keep an eye out on used boat sales.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Berrien Springs, Michigan

    Default Re: The Perfect Boat

    A V-Hull would row horribly in current... Is no where near as stable a platform either so it will create waves as well as it rocks back and forth everytime someone moves...

  9. #28

    Default Re: The Perfect Boat

    Well, I was addressing the original question. I assume the rivers in central Alabama are about like those in Florida. You can row a 12' john boat but my experience is the V will do as well. If you want something for salt water, a john Boat doesn't have much free board. I've used both. I got on the John Boats because they are supposed to be better in very shallow water but a V hull works as well and the V will take a rougher water. It will rock more but only goes over so far and then sort of self rights.
    If I was to create a boat, I would build it out of wood, 42" wide in the middle and 13' long and have the oarlock mounts on the outside of the hull. I would have both ends pointed- that way you can row forward around Lilly pads, etc. Maybe 15" depth. You could do a shallow V or flat bottom. Put a shallow keel on the end and maybe a shoe keel lengthwise to track. I would row from a middle position but then have a second seat a little farther back with a pedestal chair with a back rest. Maybe counter balance that with a bait well .
    If the free board was minimal you could deck the stern and bow a little to help keep out water in rough conditions.

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