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Thread: Drift boat question

  1. #1
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    Default Drift boat question

    I'm new to drift boating. I plan to fish the middle Kenai and the Kasilof. Do I need to carry a spare oar? Any other safety equipment? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Do you need to? No.
    Is it a good idea? Yep.
    It is very hard to control with only one oar as you tend to go around in circles.
    Don't forget an anchor, and where and when you can anchor.
    It is forboten above the Killey.
    PFD's (personal floatation devices not permanent fund dividend ) for all on board.
    Spare rope is always good to have as well as a spare drain plug.
    A small first aid kit is another good to have item as well as bug dope and sun screen.

  3. #3
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    Yes....a spare oar is a very wise idea. I have seen guides on the Kasilof who broke one of their oars and had to use their spare. On the Kenai, we had an oar pop out of an oar lock (horns had been bent out a bit) and without a spare oar we wouldn't have been able to chase down the oar as it was floating down river.

  4. #4
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    Default Welcome!

    I love to see new drifters! Except on Mondays J/K! As said before on the oar I have never broke an oar in 20+ years, but I do carry a 3 piece breakdown. Bug dope is not allowed in my boat, but I have one of those thermacells in there, and would not leave home without it. A hand bilge pump is nice on those really rainy days, and I have L.E.D. bow and anchor lights that are clamped on and run on aa batteries, they are a must have when on the Kenai in low light. A spare plug or 2 for when a powerboat wake slaps ya in the ass and pops your plug out and it rolls somewhere you cant reach. (or a spin n glow)! Dont tie the end of your anchor rope to anything or put a knot in the end, make sure it can go through the pulleys if needed. A sare oar lock and clip is another must have. Have fun and if you see a black Koffler w/a flaming fish stop me, there is usually something cold to drink in there too!

  5. #5
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    What a great topic! I am new to drifting myself. Where do people usually put in or take out in the lower Kenai? From Centenial to Pillars, Eagle Rock, Cannery, city dock?

  6. #6
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    Throwable floatation device with a rope on it in case someone falls in (throw bag). Duct tape. Spare oar locks. Spare oar. Cellphone. Leatherman type tool or/and pliers.

    Centennial to Eagle Rock Campground would be a good float. Pillars to City Dock would be another if the tide & wind is right. No bad floats in the lower end for kings just depends on how much time you have and the conditions.

  7. #7
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    best float I have found isfrom agrium launch down to the pillars if you have the time.

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    Default Thanks for the help

    Thanks for the help with the drift boat question. I already had some of the equipment mentioned like the hand bilge pump and extra plug but I'm going forward with an order for a spare oar and now I'll add the oar lock and clip and probably the anchor lights since I don't want to miss those Mondays in July. Actually, I'll probably take those Mondays off to rest since I'm out there the other 6 days anyway. But, now I'm puzzled about the knot in the end of my anchor rope. I've had others recommend that I do tie a knot at the end of my anchor rope so I don't loose it by accident. Is it really a bad idea?

  9. #9
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    Default Anchor rope

    The knot in the rope is in case you get your anchor stuck you can pop it out of the cleat and float away without having to locate a knife to cut the rope. It may sound trivial, and I personaly have never had to do it, but I have been in a few situations where I can see the need could arise rather quickly. In a bigger boat it is not as big a deal, but in a smaller boat if you stick an anchor in fast water it can start pulling the back of the boat down and will whip the boat from side to side, this is even more of a problem if you and your buddy are trying to pull the anchor loose! (dont ask).

  10. #10

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    I have had this happen, Anchor stuck! It happen in a place that i least expected it to happen, but it did(Lower Kenai). Like kenaislider said, it can be dangerous. I was trying to unstick the anchor when my dad took a few steps towards the back to help and with the additional weight lowered the back of the boat, water came with in a couple of inches from coming over the back and started whiping like kenaislider indicated. In this case i was lucky, all the additional pressure from the water pushing against the back popped the anchor loose. I did not have a knot in the end of the rope but had i done that i could definately see the possibility for disaster. No knot boat side!!!

  11. #11
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    All these are great ideas here’s a couple more that I would add. Carry Bear Protection & a whistle hang it off your life jacket.

  12. #12
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    Okay, I got it and it does make sense. Thanks million!!! No knots for me!

  13. #13

    Default Gloves!

    All good advice so far. The one thing I didn't see is a good pair of gloves. I like the carpenter type. snug, but not tight fit and leather palms. The first couple of times you do the backtrolling or even a lot of rowing (lakes) your arms will get sore, but if you get out frequently, it either subsides or you get used to it.
    After some practice, youll find that you "row" much less than when you first started off running a driftboat. I worked WAY to hard when I first started, but with time you learn to just sorta let it "be one with the river", and correct as needed. (as opposed to constantly correcting and adjusting etc. You might try the upper Kenai for starters. While it does have some hazards, most are readily apparent well before your on them (CAREFULL with some of the channels up there early in year..sweepers can equal death.) The middle river is a nice float but can be long. Centenial to Pillars/Eagle rock is fun too, as is Moose to Centenial (again little long, and there are some "sporty spots" with rocks and such, you might wait till your real comfortable trying.
    Drifting really is fun, and I find it way more relaxing than powerboating.

    Congrats!
    -puter

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