"Just like we planned, but better"
- Created on Monday, 21 November 2011 22:00
- Last Updated on Friday, 23 March 2012 23:38
- Written by Administrator
- Hits: 2223
Saturday, John and Jeff took the drifter out for a row. We're extremely pleased with her behavior and performance.
The design brief of the drifter was a nimble and rugged drift boat which is also a useful and burdensome utility skiff. One should not have to choose between river fishing, trolling the lake and crabbing on the bay. One boat can do it all.
The rowing ergonomics are surprisingly good for a boat with a 75" beam. The addition of a couple of foot braces and a type IV PFD to sit on would make the position almost ideal.
The rowing performance is what I find most gratifying. While river drifting, the normal mode of operation is for the oarsman to turn around on the longitudinal seat facing the bow, rowing upstream transom first as needed to maneuver. When on lakes or open water, the boat is rowed in normal style, pointy end first. This is why the forward third of the boat has a shallow v-bottom, and it does exactly what it is intended to do, eliminate the bow wave that a normal flat bottom dory experiences while rowing. Drifter is no competition rowing shell, but a sustained 3.5 mph is not really taxing, and it maintains course very well. Because of the v-bow, she glides through the water. Because of the long flat run midships, there is zero hobby-horsing. This longitudinal stability also allows her to utilize an outboard nicely, and 3-5 hp should be plenty to push her at hull speed.
With 210# standing on the bow platform, the chines where they meet the bow are a few inches above water. Standing on the side seat yields only a small amount of heel. With one person, draft is about 3". With two people, about 4#.