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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can somebody give me the lowdown on how an older Alumaweld handles in whitewater to Class III? I'm seriously looking at a 30 year old boat. I've never rowed anything other than my woody, and won't get to row this one, the distance thang. How do these boats handle? The shape looking at it from the side doesn't have near the arch as my woody, and its deeper in the back. I hope its a good risk because it has all of the features I'm after. Or, any other tidbits in general.
Thanks,

Kevin
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Wade, I have a 1979 16x48 Alumaweld and it hadals great. I just bought it last year and had it in several rivers this winter. It reacts very quickly and rows very eaisly, it is not as deep as the newer boats and I had it in some pretty rough white water on the Sol Duck river and it did just fine, good luck!
 

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It will be fine. The older boats were usually rocker style boats. The more rocker a drifter has, the faster it will handle. But a flatter boat will pull plugs( backtroll) with less effort.

The person on the oars is more important than the sticker on the side.

I took my fathers 17' '85 Alumaweld down the Deschutes before a few times. A slow wide, flat boat. While it was slow, wide and flat, I lived to tell the tale. Actually, it was just fine.

Most of the concern over driftboat hull design is worrying for nothing. If you run lots of big water all the time( especially with heavy loads) them the hull becomes more critical. I would row any drifter made today down the Deschutes. Barring the low sided Montana trout boats. If something went wrong, a small amount of it may be blamed on the boat. But most of it would be my fault. If you really want to split hairs, you can.

I will probably get flamed for saying this, but oh well. A class III is not too bad of deal. Usually a wavetrain with minimal manuvering to miss obstacles. While you sure could sink a boat in a class III, I do not think you could blame it on the hull.

*Note, some class III rapids are very technical water and they require much more rowing to get a clean run. But most of them are just a wavetrain.* Rousso on the JD at 1000CFS is a good example of tight.

Have fun with the new toy.

Mark and the splash and giggle dog.
 

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Agree pretty much with Flatfish. I've rowed a few different sizes/brands. The "load" put in the boat has more to do with how it rows/handles than any other single factor. Any DB with one person in it rows great. You put two 200+ pounders fishing up front and all DB handle differently.
 

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Should be fine. Probably was designed by Willie.
I've rowed a number of older and newer style metal boats, and the old Alumawelds were the standard in their day.
 

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Older? He's talking about me and my driftboat. :grin: I've only owned two driftboats in my life, a 1978 Alumaweld 17 footer and the one I own now a 1982 16ft. Guide model. No worry. I've run the Deschutes and many other Class III and IV rapids with no problems. These older boats handle great in big water if you have the rowing skills which you need for any driftboat new or old. I know I will get some disagreements here but I can't tell that big of difference between my Alumaweld and my friends 17x54 Willie. :shocked:
 

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Rags, I do not know when your boat was designed. But Willie was with Alumaweld for a long time. Maybe the fact that your 16 rows like a Willie is no fluke. Hmmmm.

Mark and the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks a lot folks. I was just looking for somebody to say they maneuver like a bathtub but didn't expect it. I agree that its mostly the handler but I know there is a lot of experience here based on what I read on the North River thread so thought I'd throw this out there. Thanks again.

Kevin
 
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