Hey friends - hope you are all enjoying the holidays...
So just thinking about the various jet sleds I see running around on some of our rivers here... Has anyone ever built a really sweet wood jet sled? A jet-pump outboard - maybe a forward center console steering wheel with controls. But the boat would still be rowable in a pinch. Electric winch anchor system mounted on the bow of the boat.
I attached a few pics of the type of boat I am talking about. I think I might be getting sick again...
Let me know what you guys think - any experience with this type of boat? Waste of time to consider building one from trees?
I spent my allotted 8 days on the Dean this year and the wood sleds that all the guides run up there are indeed a special boat. They are all framed plywood boats with a glass and epoxy shoe. The whitewater on that river is certainly demanding in a few places and the guides up there are some of the best boatmen you will find anywhere. Nothing from Giants on down to the falls is anything I would hesitate to run a driftboat through, but under power is a different story. As AJ stated, they back the sleds down through the big and/or technical stuff which is impressive to witness. I've often thought of building a 20 foot wood sled to replace my Wooldridge aluminum sled. Less weight, lower horsepower, and more feel and finesse on the water. Maybe next winter.....
Thanks for the info guys.
I will be doing more research into this idea so all input is appreciated.
Also, thanks for the picture AJ - that looks like a really fun/functional boat. That boat looks like it has a semi-v and some chines to make it track straighter?
Randy, I would like to see the pic of George's Kaarhus sled. Would this basically be a Rapid Robert?
What are your thoughts on builder a larger (longer/wider) Rapid Robert inspired sled? I really like the idea of a forward console steering setup with controls to see where the obstacles are as you are running upriver. But I would still want it to row decent. I know there is a compromise there - but that is always the case with boats I am learning. I think it would be fun to have a versatile powered boat to run on some of the bigger rivers around the state.
How well does a flat bottomed boat handle under power compared to a semi-v?
By the way those Wooldridge boats are awesome - they look like a riot to pilot. They have a really cool video of their boats on their website, worth watching.
I have a 15' wood drift boat build from a Hankinson design that is everything I could hope for in a drifter and I am looking forward to working on the same in the sled.
I am fully aware that aluminum is more practical and rugged, but there is just something about the wood design that I am very interested in. The boat has plans to be used on the main Umpqua during the winter, the occasional sturgeon trip on the Willamette or Columbia, the Skagit in the spring and the Skeena, Bulkley/Morice, and Kalum during the fall, with the key factor in all of these systems being water I feel comfortable running a wood under power up and down.
The dean style design has had be reconsider my plans a few times as they are great boats for traveling between fishing spots, as they get up on step very quickly and can travel at very slow speeds making handling much safer especially in new water. But, their design limits the type of water where they really excel and I am looking for something with a little more versatility.
Previously I had been running a custom built 17' aluminum boat which was set for running and rowing, it was wide, and sat very flat in the water when floating making it possible to run the boat to the top of a pool and row back through it with anglers fishing. This is the type of boat looks to be similar to the Rogue Runner.
I just signed up for this website today, but I will try and post photos and updates of the build as it happens.
Jason - I am hoping to run a 40hp jet (30 at the pump), but it all depends on how much the final version weighs.
The boat is coming along better than I would have thought, some days are better than others, but I am happy with where I am at. So far, I have all of the framing finished and mounted onto my building frame. Today I hooked up the clamps to epoxied scarf joints on my chine logs and bottom battens. I am hoping to begin attaching plywood by the end of the week, or early next week, as long as fish don't get in the way too much.
Here is a photo from last week, I will keep updating this post with more as progress is made.
I have an awesome 14' Riverwild (Grants Pass, OR)
with 60" bottom and 84" beam. 10 degree bottom and tunnel hull @ transom; 40/30 Yamaha pump. This is one awesome boat with tons of room and extremely stable. Excellent power for two and gear. I have set it up with 91/2' oars at the bow area; rows like a dream. Runs skinny H2O and does not cavatate; with exception of heavy white water. I have had lots of power sleds (Duckworth, Wooldridge, Almar) and this is my favorite. I run the engine all day (including back trolling) and maybe use 2 gallons.