Drift Boat Rocker?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by DRD Boats, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. DRD Boats
    Joined: Mar 2012
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    DRD Boats Junior Member

    What does the rocker do to the performance of a drift boat?
  2. souljour2000
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    souljour2000 Senior Member

    Rocker generally imparts alot of stability but it's not noticeable right "off the bat"....initial stability is one thing alot of rocker will not impart to your boat...so a boat with lots of rocker will seem more "squirrelly" or unstable than a flat-bottom jon boat at first when you step into it...but the boat with rocker will give you lots more stability in a fast-moving,swirling,swollen river in Montana when the boat is pitching and rolling than a jon-boat can...this "reserve stability" is not noticeable until things get a little rock and rolly...that's when a boat with rocker shines...the shape of boats with rocker is like a bowl being pushed haflway down into water...it creates form stability around it...a flat plate doesn't push down and stay in place as well...it's harder to push down but then slides off to one side quickly and sinks...that's it in laymens terms...flat bottoms for flat water surfaces...curved bottoms for not-so flat or calm surfaces....others in here can extoll all the hydro-dynamic principles.....
  3. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    What do you mean by "stability"? How does rocker affect it?
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Longitudinal stability and I think more importantly extreme maneuverability in difficult conditions, when your butt might be on the line.
  5. souljour2000
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    souljour2000 Senior Member

    ...Like when your in a raging river in the rapids....full of boulders....in a boy scout aluminum grumman canoe full of camping gear and that "extra cooler" that weighs 80 lbs that one of the kid's dad's asked if you could carry in your boat...and the newbie greenhorn they put paddling in the bow....and you really need to avoid that big boulder...that if you hit it ...will ruin your day and send your crap floating all over the river and you'll have to endure endless ribbing and smirks from everyone?...Man, whitewater canoeing was fun back in the day...probably still is...I never have been in a driftboat but they look alot like Jersey surf boats the lifeguards used to use...I like the relatively high freeboard too...a mini drift/lifeboat surfboat would be fun to have...just small enough for just myself to launch in the surf-zone....could fish right off the beaches with it too...and have a pair of binoculars for occasional views of the pretty girls on the beach...:cool:
    but I digress....
  6. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Souljour has it only half right.

    Drift boats though not common in Florida, would have some utility here. Over the hill types, like me, place the boat on the beach, not in the water. Comfortably ensconced in the boat, we use it as a rocking chair while watching the pretty girls. A bimini top does not belong on a drift boat but it would be welcome in the Florida sun.

    Fantasy aside; Drift boats are marvels of efficiency on wild and rocky rivers like the Rogue or the Columbia. I have watched drift boatmen do their thing in both those places. It seems that a considerable degree of skill and athleticism is involved.

  7. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    If you mean an open, single hull rigid construction like the kind fly fishermen use, it does increase manuverability, as mentioned by others. Allows very quick spin on its own axis to point in any direction so you can face which way you will collide. But it is higher draft and slower requiring more energy to propel on straight runs due to continuous corrections needed, like rowing a washtub or life raft. Not built to go upstream, requires too much energy, hence the name "drift" boat because the main propulsion comes from river current. They can still break up under large force of impact and fill with water to sink though. Inflatable river boats (catarafts, etc.) overcome most of these issues, because they are self bailing
    and can take a huge pounding bouncing/sliding over boulders without damage/sinking/loss. Small inflatable river boats come with various degrees of rocker. http://www.northforkoutdoors.com/home.html

    Hope this helps.


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