+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Sandy's one man drift boat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    bozone, mt
    Posts
    518

    Default 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.





    Last edited by pittendrigh; 07-23-2012 at 08:07 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    Colin -

    Sorry to hear about that died stuff. Until I heard about the remarkable come back.

    Kind of like tying original flies - can't be beat.

    Hats off to you - and best wishes for finding that motorized bike. Of course, you could make that your next project.

    John
    The fish are always right.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    bozone, mt
    Posts
    518

    Default

    :=))
    Thanks John. There's a place in Billing MT that sells "heavy duty" fold up bicycles. $400 bucks. For another $600 bucks you can buy a one cylinder motor that mounts below the seat. Has a chainsaw like pull start. After you get it running you can lever it down onto the rear bicycle wheel. 20mph max. That's 10-15 miles per hour faster than I can peddle my mountain bike back up hill. A thousand bucks for the shuttle bike is more than it cost me to build the boat.

    But I sure do like the idea of NOT deciding in advance where to take out.

  4. #4

    Default

    Sandy -

    I came very close to buying an NFO Outlaw Assault about a month ago for similar reasons. It is a frameless model that weighs only around 25 pounds and deflates and packs down to a size that would be easy to transport on a bike. My thought was to carry the bike along on the float, as you are doing with your rig, then take out as convenient, but not too far from the put in, and take the Assault along for the ride back to the truck.

    Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, the person I was working with on the purchase had to take off for a couple weeks and the deal never got done. At this point in the season, it's not worth putting the money into the Assault. But it something I plan to get after again next spring.

    For the time being, I can do just fine with my regular bike. But's it's good to know about that power rig you described. Hmmmmmm - maybe you could change out the rear wheel on the bike to a paddle wheel, mount it on the rear end, and fire up the motor while you're ....... nah, that probably gets in to some special licenses and taxes / fees.

    John
    The fish are always right.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Santee, Ca., U.S.A.
    Posts
    181

    Default

    What's the approximate weight of that fine looking boat?
    Dennis

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    bozone, mt
    Posts
    518

    Default

    What weight? Good question. I have not weighed it yet. Oarlocks, seat and anchor hardware add a lot. I think it's about 125lbs. Which is heavier than I wanted. Disappointingly heavy. The bigger one man pontoon boats range from 70-90 lbs. I didn't want to be heavier than that. But I did end up that way. I can load it into the back of my pickup by myself........one end up. Then pick up the other end and push. Strap it down. Drive away.

    There is a lot to be said for a one man pontoon. My boat is faster. Far more maneuverable. And wider. I can use nine foot oars. And because it is so wide it floats in shallower water. And so stable I can stand up on it and fish, even while drifting. But because it is rigid fiberglass, it is more prone to shallow water impact damage. I like to make things, so I made it.

    (bigger) one man pontoons are probably a better choice for most. The little one man boats are too scary in big water for me. I don't want to have to row around the big rollers, no matter what I'm rowing.

  7. #7

    Default

    That's an interesting boat. I'm sure it was lots of fun to build and row.

    After owning a few different boats, I'm convinced there is no such thing as a single best one for every purpose.

    I traded my LP Clackacraft last fall for a low profile XL Hybrid Hyde, mostly to get some of that boat's unique features, but it's a slug to row, and takes a 35# anchor to stop it in moderate current, so I appreciate what you say about your boat being maneuverable and fun to row.

    I don't think, personally, that having a faster boat is a significant advantage compared to many other of the boat's features, but I have a 10' Outcast Ferrari Series pontoon, with mini-magnum Cataract oars that is pretty fast, maneuverable and stable in moving water. (I think it would handle Yankee Jim Canyon on the Yellowstone, but I haven't tried it there yet - which I have done in my slightly larger and heavier 11' pontoon.)

    John

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts