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Calvin

Raft Question

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My wife and I are likely moving to the Helena Montana area sometime around the middle of next year. I currently live in Seattle and own half of a Hyde drift boat with a buddy. I'm thinking that the move to Montana will make it necessary to sell my half of the boat to another buddy in the local area, so I'm considering the purchase of a raft for myself to use on the Missouri and other fine rivers of Montana. Ideally, I'd like a standard drift boat set up, e.g. one fisherperson in the bow, one in the stern and a rower.

 

Can any of you raft owners give me a suggestion for what I want to look for in my ideal fishing raft and what raft brands I might want to look at/steer clear of?

 

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Calvin

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Well, what is your pricerange on a boat? There are lots of good brands out there. Not really any to "stay away" from. Most of the big names (maravia, sotar, Aire, wing, NRS, etc) are great boats. I'd stay away though from the Maxxims and Stars. But they are cheap alternatives, but you will get what you pay for. How new are you looking for as well? Was going to say, since you're in the area, I am selling a 16' cataraft (3-4 man setup like what you want). Has been to Montana many a times with my buddy. It's an older Aire, but cost will be well under half cost of a new Hyde (in fact, probably 1/3 the price). Has fishing frame and ready to go.

 

If you want, you can email me/PM me. I can give you alot more details on different boats, depending on your pricerange. Which frames to look at, or custom built. Etc. All goes off how much you want to spend.

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For what it's worth and far from an expert's opinion, I have observed an overwhelming number of Clackacraft boats used by guides and flyanglers here in east Tennessee. This would be followed by Hyde drift boats and a high quality inflatable used by some guides (can't remember the name). Good luck in getting one. I'm sure there will be many volunteers in helping with the shakedown cruise. I want a driftboat and my wife wants new carpeting. I proposed putting the carpet in the driftboat. My proposal was met with deafening silence. Wonder why?

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I think Aire is probably one of the better balances between quality and price. I would also look at Cats if it were me. That was my choice, along with a Clack.

Cats are easier to transport and much lighter when broken down. For two people they outshine a raft, in my opinion.

Here's a site to browse; Northwest River Supply

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