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Thread: ? wide and/or narrow river boat..

  1. #1
    Member atvalaska's Avatar
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    Question ? wide and/or narrow river boat..

    given the same length, same motor whats the pros/cons of the two?..toss a tunnel in the mix.. seen alot of older river boats (24' ,narrow,w/ 88 specials) scoot right along. need to stay in the 20' to 24' length range if we can...
    WHEN IN DOUBT> THROTTLE OUT.......

  2. #2

    Default Mine's wide

    We chose a 23' Wooldridge Sport Drifter because of the bottom width (7 feet) primarily. We often carry lots of weight and haven't been disappointed yet. An added benefit that I hadn't really thought about was that it is very stable while stopped fishing too and doesn't list much when pulling shrimp pots sideways. Ours is an outboard model and has the standard Wooldridge tunnel. We run a 200 hp Honda. There are faster hulls that are narrower, but getting a big load up on step was a primary concern for us so we can live with a little lower speed.

    Just took a trip that was about 110 miles with no real load, just people and day trip gear, 70 gallons of gas...kept it at about 4500 rpm, averaged 26 mph according to GPS and burned 10.6 gal per hour. I've had the boat with no load just touch 40 mph with the jet unit on at Big Lake..and had it just touch 50 mph with the prop on.

    Runs pretty shallow too and I think that's another attribute of a wider bottom.

  3. #3
    Member Crumm's Avatar
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    Default

    In my opinion wider is better. Sits higher in the water, more stable, more planing surface and more cargo capability. Only drawback I have found is when it comes time to squeeze through a narrow gap such as between logs or stumps.

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    Member atvalaska's Avatar
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    Post found some good reading here..

    http://www.soundingsonline.com/featu...ull-efficiency ..boats seem a bit big, but the info is the same as a jet boat boat design site i checked out...
    WHEN IN DOUBT> THROTTLE OUT.......

  5. #5

    Default options for scenarios

    different things for different options:

    1. Long, flat & narrow will run the shallowest (think Yukon style 24' x 54" flat bottom john with lightweight OBJ. These things take off nearly flat because they are so long and get on plane quick because you are not pushing a lot of water out of the way due to narrow width. They are made so long to take some weight. They don't corner quickly & put one in the ocean on a wave sideways and kiss yourself goodbye.

    2. Wide bottom, 8 to 12 degree deadrise will take a large load (due to width), corner quickly & be more stable side to side in waves (think 20' or 23' x 84" SportJohn, Wooldridges, etc...) The deadrise is optimized to perform with a well designed tunnel and with a V-bow also provide some ability to cut chop.

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    Cool What is the best width ?

    Most of the long, skinny older boats were manufactured in the 70's when horsepower
    options were limited. A skinny boat pushed easier than a wide boat with a 33 hp motor.
    To get the load capacity you simply stretched out the boat.
    Current trends are wider boats with anough power to pop them up quickly.

    Looking at fuel prices now I have been looking at the option of building a 20' boat
    with a 44" bottom and small jet tunnel. All welded construction out .80 aluminum. A 20 hp Honda on a jackass lift should run pretty shallow and burn a gallon an
    hour at 20mph with say 800-1000 lbs.
    Might start a new trend.

  7. #7
    Member atvalaska's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Mad boater i'm with u...

    I have seen lots of setups from town to town..and all these "jet boats" from he2hockeysticks ...there still out on the "main river... lossely" lookin for game, when i come out of the "no water/back water" with my new fine...... the old days ...400lb of boat and a 90hp 2guys and hunt gear for the Day = good times/good eats as alton would say!
    WHEN IN DOUBT> THROTTLE OUT.......

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    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    I'm sold on the wider is better idea.
    My Wooldridge Sport 17' with a 6' bottom gobbles up a load compared to my old Alaskan. Much more stable, stays on step at lower speeds, tons more room inside. Makes me want a 7' width boat
    If you look at wetted hull, a 17' boat at 6' wide will have about the same amount of hull on the water as a 5' wide 20' boat. Go wide, you won't be dissapointed.
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    What Yukoner said is very true.

    My new wider hull (21' WB XL) takes me *lots* more places than I could go with the old 17' WB Alaskan. 70 hours on it this year, and only got hung up 1 time (running at night). Hopped out expecting a big SLOSH as my boots hit the bottom, but it was more like hopping into a mud puddle. The water barely covered the toes on my Xtra-tufs, and the boat actually bobbed a bit once I got out (granted, I make good ballast these days)!!! Less than 5 minutes of rocking it side to side and we were able to shove her about 20' into deeper water. Blew the junk out and off the the races.

    The old 17' rig would have been an hour + to get out of the same jam. Wider hull rides much higher, fishes great (we can fish 3 dipnetters of each side easily), and corners like it's on rails. Wide is the ride.

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    The wide boats have more room which is always nice. Been around a lot of them and the only down side I have seen (If you could call it that) is if you frequent really narrow areas. Getting through the skinny places can be tougher. I have an older boat that is of the narrow persuasion and I have taken it everywhere plus some - I wouldn't mind a little more width for comfort.

    This is an old video that would show an advantage to the "narrow boat" I don't believe you could make this run with a boat much wider. With a wider boat we would have packed the moose out quite a ways.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS4bV9NeCMI

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rambling raven View Post
    This is an old video that would show an advantage to the "narrow boat"
    that's a narrow boat?...how narrow is it?...
    ------------------------------------------------
    pull my finger....

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    Wider is better? To what degree do you take the argument? Why aren't boats wider than they are long? Marine architects use proportions to achieve specific performance targets. Width is a percentage of length. The same thing should apply to river boats.

    I've had an 18' x 66" bottom with a 200hp jet. It worked great. I now have an 18' x 48" bottom that scoots right along with a 15hp prop. The 15 prop would barely move the wider, heavier hull. The 200 jet would sink the narrower hull. Width plays a part of it but it isn't everything. The best boat is only the best boat for a specific mission. The key is to get the right boat for yours.

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    If wider is better, why aren't boats wider than they are long? Marine architects use proportions to achieve specific performance targets. Width equals a percentage of length. The same thing should apply to river boats.

    I've had an 18' x 66" bottom with a 200hp jet. It worked great. I now have an 18' x 48" bottom that scoots right along with a 15hp prop. The 15 prop would barely move the wider, heavier hull. The 200 jet would sink the narrower hull. Width plays a part of it but it isn't the only factor.

    The best boat is only the best boat for a specific mission. The key is to get the right boat for yours.

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    Pardon my early morning typing. The higher powered boat I mentioned above had a 60" bottom. 18' x 60" versus 18' x 48".

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    that's a narrow boat?...how narrow is it?...
    5 foot bottom 6 foot beam.

  16. #16

    Default Depends on your needs.

    Check out bushrats report on his moose hunt http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=64062

    You aren't going to do much up in his country with a 23' wooldridge. He needs to motor slowly with very little draft while still carrying a load.

    The narrow boats are more efficient but they have their downsides. You can go to the extreme like my 18 ft canoe that scoots along nicely with a 9.8 merc. But don't lean over the side too far...it'll roll you right in.
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  17. #17
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Default

    I guess one needs to define what their priorities are.
    The original post isn't clear about what they want to be able to do. A few of us wider is better guys are talking about getting on step and running shallow with a load, either OBJ or IBJ.
    The link posted about Bushrats hunt (great read BTW) shows a whole different kind of boating experience. Low and slow. Freighter canoe would be the same sort of deal. Throw a small kicker on it and away you go. Your not getting a big load on step, you don't need to. Its not really a planing hull. No point putting a jet pump on it, you won't gain much, just suck more fuel. Keep a prop on it, and walk it through the shallow bits. Lots to said in favour of a set up like that, and most of the time, its just fine. Just don't go in lakes in rough water.
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    Default

    I have been wondering about the narrow -wide thing also, current boat is 60" by 20', and I thought it would be the perfect rig for weight, handling & fuel economy. it does ok but I cant help but wonder "what if it was a 72" bottom", how would it do w/ the same motor?
    Haul more weight? get on step quicker? and the big question is would it burn more or less fuel?

    We did a lot of drifting this hunted season and got hung up a few times, not a big deal when your going slow w/ the current unless the current is moving, then things start to get interesting as you do the grind-stop-rotate-grind-stop routine for a while.
    I know my boat sits low when drifting and gotta believe a 72 would take care of most of that.
    Any input on the above questions would be apreciated.
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
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  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    I have been wondering about the narrow -wide thing also, current boat is 60" by 20', and I thought it would be the perfect rig for weight, handling & fuel economy. it does ok but I cant help but wonder "what if it was a 72" bottom", how would it do w/ the same motor?
    Haul more weight? get on step quicker? and the big question is would it burn more or less fuel?

    We did a lot of drifting this hunted season and got hung up a few times, not a big deal when your going slow w/ the current unless the current is moving, then things start to get interesting as you do the grind-stop-rotate-grind-stop routine for a while.
    I know my boat sits low when drifting and gotta believe a 72 would take care of most of that.
    Any input on the above questions would be apreciated.
    With the same motor you would burn more fuel and get on step slower. You would need a larger motor to go the same speed with the same load.
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  20. #20
    Member Magnum Man's Avatar
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    Question one advantage

    My 1981 25 wooly inboard has a 6ft bottom and 12 deadrise. The one advantage I see over a wider bottom is I might not take such abeating going thru the saltwater on the way to the river. But im sure the diff is very minimal. But also the wider boats seem to ride with less boat length in the water and turn better. But my 6ft bottom boat seems to pack a load better because im using my planing surface more effectively even though its narrower I have a lot more boat lenght in the water. And I seem to be a hare faster than the 7'wide guys using the 3 stage like me. Also I havnt found any need for trim tabs.

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