Drift Boat or Raft? - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Drift Boat or Raft?

Hey guys! Anyone out there have drift boats or rafts? I'm looking for suggestions, tips, or experiences with your river boats in Colorado.

I'm in the market for a boat, and I haven't floated the rivers enough to know what to look for. I'm not afraid to get the car and drive to the Western Slope, Utah, or Wyoming.

I'd like a little versatility and be able to use the boat on some lakes, so I've been looking at drift boats with good motor mounts (Hog Island and a few Hydes).

Anyone? Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drift Boat or Raft?

I love my Hyde! I wouldn't buy any other Drift Boat! Great storage, tracks well, great on a lot of different bodies of water. You can put a motor on it and that's cool! Good with the little ones(kids) also! However If I was to do it again I might think about a Cataraft. 14'-16' is an awesome boat to have. More versitale her in Colorado. The Hyde gets bumped up a bit on the Fork, Colorado, Arkansas and so on. They can be done, but a bit bumpy later in the season. If you were gonna be on bigger rivers only, the Hyde is the only way to go. If you plan to use your boat on lakes as much as rivers I think the Drift Boat also is the answer! Mainly cause you can put a motor on it!
However, if you plan on using your boat on rivers here in Colorado all season, a cataraft might be a better answer. You can get em down most navigateable rives even in lower water! Also if you have a chance or a desire to run "big water" or whitewater trips your cataraft will work great! A good friend has 16' Maravia that he took down the Grand Canyon. Didn't flip had a great time. We also take it down the San Juan for some awesome fishing! As well as The Colorado at Pump House at lower water with no issues!
If you want a boat for deeper/wider rivers and lakes, go with the Hyde! If you are looking for a boat for a large variety of rivers go with a cataraft!
Hope the info helps! PM me if you have other questions!


Jim
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drift Boat or Raft?

Thanks for your opinion baetisrun1. I think I'm leaning towards the drift boat with the motor mount. I'm hoping to get a little more familiarity with the rivers out here first. Let me know if you ever need company in the Hyde!
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drift Boat or Raft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaddisShack
Thanks for your opinion baetisrun1. I think I'm leaning towards the drift boat with the motor mount. I'm hoping to get a little more familiarity with the rivers out here first. Let me know if you ever need company in the Hyde!

10/4.
one suggestion, get a small single man pontoon. use that as a scout boat! play on a river if yer unsure. they are very portable. good on most body of water! if i go i will let you know!


Jim
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Drift Boat or Raft?

I have a 96 clackacraft drift boat with a 6 horse motor on it. I also have a 14' Hyside Raft that I mainly use on the rivers. I'm not a big fan of catarafts for fishing because if you drop something it's gone, and you will drop stuff. Catarafts have less drag then rafts and row well, but I just don't like them for fishing. My drift boat is ideal (for me) for the smaller reservoirs we have in this state, but I don't have electronics on it, which would help at times. I'm in my drifty in my avitar photo chasing Pike, sick!!I'll take the motor off and use it on the Colorado from time to time, but I mainly use the raft on rivs. 14' raft is about perfect for me because of the versatility. Load it with people and do a booze cruise; load it with camping gear for overnighters, and it works perfect for a day of fishing; seat in front and in back, and an oarman's seat in the middle, 80 qt cooler and drop bags. It's perfect for rivers like the Eagle, Fork, Ark. Drift boats tend to be better for bigger rivers like the Colorado. You don't want to be banging around rocks too much with a drift boat, especially an alluminum drift boat. Fiberglass drifties have some flex to them so they are more forgiving when hitting rocks. Alluminum dents. They make smaller rafts, like 12' that are a bit more stealthy and great for fishing. My boats are the best investment I've ever made besides real estate. They hold their value pretty good and upkeep is minimal. Good luck in your quest for a new boat!! Fun Times!!
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