Sandy's one man drift boat
This isn't a great photo. But I did shoot it this morning--on the Gallatin River near Bozeman, Montana. Man. What a fun boat. I did a seven mile float and then rode the bicycle back up to the put in where my truck was. Drove back down and then pulled the boat up a steep bank and then over a fence, and then into the back of my pickup, on the side of a steep hill. And then I fell over and died.
And then I came back from the dead and drove home. I'm not so sure about this bicycle stuff. Next time I'll use the cell phone and have my wife come pick me up in her nice little Honda. Either that or buy a motorized bicycle.
I did pass a guy who had a big one man pontoon. I had to ask myself: was it worth it to build this boat, when I could have written a check and bought a pontoon like his (he a big one). The answer is yes. Maybe. I've rowed those pontoons. They're good boats. But not as fast as mine. God that boat is fun to row. And I can anchor up and stand up and fish. That's hard to do from a pontoon. On the Yellowstone I can even ship the oars, stand up and fish while I drift.
Still. It's a lot of work to design and build a boat from scratch, when I could have driven down to Idaho Falls and bought a pontoon boat at NRS for about a thousand bucks or so....what ever the biggest one man pontoons cost.
I think the other part of the answer is stability in big water. Pontoon boats (even the big ones) are relatively narrow. So you end up with short oars and a somewhat tippy boat in really big water. My boat is only 9' long. But it's 54 inches wide across the bottom. When I punch it right into a really big roller it takes a lot of water over the bow. But so what? It keeps on going. And rowing a wider boat with 8 to 9 foot oars is a huge advantage. And I made it myself.
3/4" plastic honeycomb core (Plascore) covered with hand-layed fiberglass (epoxy resin and 2 to 5 layers of 8oz fabric). No wood. It's all honeycomb core and fiberglass. This boat is decked, so it can't take on water. In other words it's a bit like an wide flat surf board.