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Thread: rowing a raft vs hyde

  1. #1

    Default rowing a raft vs hyde

    I have a question for all you raft rowers out there. I will be floating the upper Kenai this September and am wondering how different it is to row a 14 foot Soltar vs a 16 foot Hyde Low Profile drift boat? I am sure it is nowhere as responsive but I guess I am lookiong for some hints or suggestions for a first time raft rower. I am just trying to be as prepared as possible. Also wondering it there are any problems with the side channels between Jims and Sportsmans? Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default

    I struggle when I row a drifter. I am so used to my 14 foot cat. I have no problems with the side channels on the upper kenai.
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  3. #3
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Little different

    You have to be careful of accomplishing some of the similar functions but all in all about the same. I use both now and again and it always takes me a day to re-adjust to the difference "I don't know" like hitting the brakes and swinging the boat (spinna-ramma's) are fun in a raft but will suck you some water in a drift boat :-(

    You should be fine.

    Best Wishes

    Blue Moose

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    If the load is the same in each boat, you'll have more drag with the raft. Drift boats are made for back-rowing and holding in mild current; rafts are made for floating downstream. If you've had much experience rowing a drift boat, you should catch on quickly.

    Oh, and if you flip your drift boat it will probably sink. The raft won't. :-)

    -Mike
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  5. #5
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post

    Oh, and if you flip your drift boat it will probably sink. The raft won't. :-)

    -Mike
    Now that is Quality info Mike. LOL. I have not seen a drift boat flip but saw one almost flip. This summer by buddy was floating behind us and hit a gravel bar. I could not believe how far the drifter rolled over. Lucky though sam was holding on as he about got shot out the boat.
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  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    Now that is Quality info Mike. LOL....
    I thought you'd like that one.

    Remember the upper Kenai logjam we removed last winter? There were three boats pinned in it at one time. The one completely submerged on the bottom was a drift boat.

    A few years ago I bought a 16' wooden drift boat that had a 3" round hole in the side, about 2' above the waterline. I asked the former owner what that was from and he told me he left his downstream oar unattended. The blade caught the bottom and crabbed the whole boat over, shoving the oar handle through the side of the boat. Fortunately nobody was between the oar handle and the side of the boat or they would have been skewered. They survived, but his grandfather was in pretty bad shape when they made shore. So things do happen to drift boats, but I think incidents are somewhat rare, compared to rafts. Up here, that's probably because there are more rafts on the water, and many of them are operated by inexperienced folks.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  7. #7
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Tippy

    Of course, all drift boats aren't created equal, but I fished from an older 16ft fiberglass boat yesterday and I realized I've gotten spoiled with my raft. Just simple things like leaning over the side to release a fish nearly caused us to take-on water yesterday. It occured to me that if the water came in from the up stream side, there would be nothing to stop us from rolling completely over. I thought we were going to swim when the oarsman decided to drop anchor in some moderate current to help me release a fish. I tried to give every reason in the book why he should pull-up the anchor, but he was convinced it would work-out. It did, but I had a bit of the old pucker factor there for a second.

    Not all boats are this tippy, of course, but I do like the stability of my raft. I've also come to really like how quiet my raft is compared to drift boats.

    As for rowing, I think drift boats are a bit less work, but the fundamentals are the same. I don't think you'll have any problems Chitown.

    Would anyone speculate that perhaps the reason there are more raft incidents vs drift boat incidents is because most folks wouldn't consider attempting class III or IV rapids in a drift boat?

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks for the info guys! It is very easy to catch the upstream side lip of a drift boat - almost happened to me last year when I got stuck on a rock. The guys in my boat didn't move fast enough to the upstream side. As for a drift boat being tippy on my Hyde I can have two to three guys get in at one time on the same side and be OK. Maybe it is heavier or wider and that makes the difference. Eiither way I am convinced a raft floats better than a drift boat when it rolls over. LOL

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