drift boats

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by river runner, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. river runner
    Joined: Jul 2011
    Posts: 172
    Likes: 6, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 91
    Location: Colorado

    river runner baker

    A while back, I became interested in buying a drift boat/river dory. When I did a search potential candidates, I found that they were all the same basic design. Single chine, flat bottom, lots of rocker, and a transom. Many of the web-sites have descriptions of how to operate a drift boat. In my view, the designs don't match the description of how they are rowed. So I designed my own, which is nearing completion. I seem to be the only one that sees anything wrong with the way drift boats are designed. Am I insane, or is everyone else?
     
  2. TeddyDiver
    Joined: Dec 2007
    Posts: 2,589
    Likes: 125, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1650
    Location: Finland/Norway

    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Not insane.. just remember most of the drift boats plans are for white water drifting. They are there fore quite clumsy to row on a bit peacefull and wider rivers, where a bit longer and lower type is better..
     
  3. garren
    Joined: Mar 2009
    Posts: 31
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 11
    Location: Billings, Montana

    garren Junior Member

    Can we see your design? Or at least provide the dimensions/specifications?

    Thanks - Gary
     
  4. HJS
    Joined: Nov 2008
    Posts: 376
    Likes: 80, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 288
    Location: 59 45 51 N 019 02 15 E

    HJS Member

    skandinaviska forsbåtar

    In the northernmost parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland there are many great whitewater boats, forsbåtar. These are long, low freeboard and a high bow. They were often built with very wide boards, maximum width quite far forward and a long stern. These boats are suitable for whitewater as well as rowing against the stream, and rowing on the calm waters. I am confident that they could be converted to a flat-bottomed boat like a dory.

    js
     
  5. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 5,055
    Likes: 531, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 1485
    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

    ?What do you see "wrong with the way drift boats are designed"? Western drift boats have evolved for a hundred years plus. A good reference is Roger Fletcher's book Drift Boats and River Dories. http://www.riverstouch.com/Book.htm

    Another type of boat for drifting down a river and fishing evolved in Michigan. Used on more placid rivers it is commonly called an Au Sable river boats, and is much shallower than the western boats. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Au-Sable-River-Boat-Association/147056411984

    Along the Ozark the john boat evolved for much the same purpose as the Au Sable river boats. I'm refering to the original, relative narrow type which was paddled. http://hootentown.wordpress.com/what’s-in-a-name-like-john-boat/
     
  6. river runner
    Joined: Jul 2011
    Posts: 172
    Likes: 6, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 91
    Location: Colorado

    river runner baker

    Let's start with the transom on most drift boats. A drift boat is a bit backwards. The pointy end points down stream, but the rower faces this direction and actually rows in the other direction, doing an upstream ferry. In essence, the boat has two bows. So why not design the boat so it rows efficiently in the direction it is rowed? If putting a transom on the bow of a boat was efficient, canoes would have one, kayaks would have one, and rowing shells would have one. A single chine, flat bottom boat has some advantages for the purpose of a drift boat, but it also has disadvantages, which no one selling drift boats bothers to mention. Why not combine the advantages of a V-bottom with a flat bottom? The result, a two chine boat.
     
  7. HJS
    Joined: Nov 2008
    Posts: 376
    Likes: 80, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 288
    Location: 59 45 51 N 019 02 15 E

    HJS Member

    nordiska forsbåtar

    I am absolutely convinced that you are on track. This is exactly how I understood the Nordic whitewater boats. And a hull with a total of five boards is the absolute best. And of course the boat should be long to be easy to row. Show your sketches, please.
    js
     
  8. river runner
    Joined: Jul 2011
    Posts: 172
    Likes: 6, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 91
    Location: Colorado

    river runner baker

    I have more than sketches. I have photos of a nearly finished boat. I'm putting my email here is you want me to send photos. This is not how I originally envisioned my boat. I was trying to acheive perfect developability in my panels and the easiest way to do that seemed to be to merge the end points of the panels. I also had to make compromises due to limited build space. I haven't even had the boat in the water and I already see things I'd change, but it is what it is.rlpurrett@aol.com
     
  9. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 5,055
    Likes: 531, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 1485
    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

    Roger Fletcher's book has photos of drift boats with the transom facing both upstream and downstream in white water and the rower facing downstream rowing against the current. Photos of the boats with transoms forward being rowed in flat water show the transom considerably above the water due to the rocker of the bottom. Fletcher's book also has photos and plans of drift boats which are pointed at both ends.

    Fletcher has a lot of information about the history and development of the drift boat which has involved a lot of experimentation and developement over the years.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 5,055
    Likes: 531, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 1485
    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

    Absolute best in all situations? For the Grand Canyon and other very large white water?
     
  11. TeddyDiver
    Joined: Dec 2007
    Posts: 2,589
    Likes: 125, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1650
    Location: Finland/Norway

    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Never for such place.. even on one single river there's somewhat different boats depending of the local circumstances. Shorter with higher freeboard for whitewater and lower slender type for more peacefull parts.. Here all of them have three (or 2.5) boards.http://www.tenonvene.fi/
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. river runner
    Joined: Jul 2011
    Posts: 172
    Likes: 6, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 91
    Location: Colorado

    river runner baker

    I not only have a much better, and more objective, book on dories (The Dory Book, by John Gardner), I have a DVD on how to row a drift boat and I have actuallly experienc rowing rafts, which are rowed much the same way. There are certain limited circumstances where you push on the oars, rather than pull, but 90% of the time you pull on the oars because you can apply much more power. On long calm stretches, it would pay to turn the boat around and face upstream, which I did with my raft, but this only reiforces what I'm saying, that the boat needs to be efficient in that direction. There are drift boats which have the blunt end facing downstream with a pointed end upstream, which makes more sense to me than the other way around, but none of the big players in the business make one. I have spent hundreds of days floating down rivers in the west. I have paddled and rowed many boats and have seen many boats being rowed. I didn't come up with my ideas in a vacuum.
     
  13. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 1,854
    Likes: 71, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 896
    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

  14. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 5,055
    Likes: 531, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 1485
    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

    Why do you say The Dory Book book is "more objective"? Style of writing? It has nothing about western drift boats. John Gardner spent his entire life in New England and didn't have any experience with drift boats.

    Have you read Roger Fletcher's book? It has considerable material about how drift boats evolved. In many respects modern drift boats were derived from flat bottom river skiffs.

    Fletcher's book also has two plans for two historic boats which are pointed at both ends so that idea has been around for a while.

    Let us know how your boat does.
     

  15. srimes
    Joined: Sep 2008
    Posts: 283
    Likes: 30, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 214
    Location: Oregon

    srimes Senior Member

    :rolleyes:
    Obviously we have nothing more to offer someone so learned. Please allow us to bask in the light of your wisdom.



    The boats are flat because that's best for very shallow water. And as one may gather from the name, they tend to have low relative speed to the water. They mostly just drift along.

    A rubber raft will flex and conform to the water, in a sense the rocker varies. Hard boats don't, so you use different designs in different situations. Western drift boats for big rapids, Ozark jons for shallow flat pulls.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.