Difference between a Dory and a Driftboat - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-17-2015   #1
 
Great Falls, Montana
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Difference between a Dory and a Driftboat

I'm considering a Drift boat for the icy winter months when I don't dare chase trout with a rubber boat but doing my searches I see folks calling the same boats "Dorys" and "Drift boats". Is there a difference or is it like "cataraft" and "pontoon boat"? thanks

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Old 12-17-2015   #2
 
Buffalo, New York
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A dory is decked, bow and stern, a drift boat is open.


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Old 12-17-2015   #3
 
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Driftboat on left, Dory on right. Click image for larger version

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Old 12-17-2015   #4
 
Aurora, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amv48 View Post
A dory is decked, bow and stern, a drift boat is open.
I disagree.

I think that a dory is a more traditional name for the broader type of boat that encompasses old v-bottom fishing boats, Swampscott dories, river dories, etc. Drift boat to me implies fishing boat, but I guess doesn't have to.

A drift boat is a dory, but a dory isn't necessarily a drift boat, but I don't think it has to do with decking or not.
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Old 12-18-2015   #5
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Don't you dare call my cataraft a "pontoon boat"!
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Old 12-18-2015   #6
 
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In my best Australian Mick Dundee voice - That's not a dory, this is a Dory.
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Old 12-18-2015   #7
 
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
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In my opinion it's a regional thing. In my area a boat built for fishing (no flotation, open deck) is typically referred to as a 'drift boat' and a boat built for whitewater (covered deck and scupper drains) is called a 'dory'. Historically boats got named for the river they were designed for, a lot of drift boats are based on the Mackenzie river dory..

I wouldn't worry about the name as much as the function, do you want a boat designed primarily for fishing class II/II water with an open deck and no extra flotation or a boat with enclosed decks that could handle bigger water.

I own a Boulder Boat Works drift boat, I can highly recommend them. They are a nice balance between beauty and function. They use a plastic hull with wood trim and gunnels which provides the classic look of a wood boat with an indestructible hull. All wood boats require a lot of annual maintenance, mine has been floating for 6 years with only a little touch up varnish on the gunnels.

Pro Guide €“ High Side | Boulder Boat Works, Inc., Drift Boats
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Old 12-18-2015   #8
 
Bend, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by climbdenali View Post
I disagree.

I think that a dory is a more traditional name for the broader type of boat that encompasses old v-bottom fishing boats, Swampscott dories, river dories, etc. Drift boat to me implies fishing boat, but I guess doesn't have to.

A drift boat is a dory, but a dory isn't necessarily a drift boat, but I don't think it has to do with decking or not.

+1 on the above.

For us River folks, anything decked over for whitewater gets called a "Dory" a lot of history and plans, (if you want to make your own) in this book.

http://www.amazon.com/Drift-Boats-Ri...d+river+dories
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Old 12-18-2015   #9
 
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So I think it's a mixture of regional dialect and difference in use... Most of the folks I know from the white water world refer to them all as Dories. I've always refered to Mckenzie, style open boats (glass, wood, plastic or AL) as Driftboats... and dried in, compartmentalized river runners as dories. It's really moot because you certainly would not want to put a Dory (by most definitions) on a shallow, rocky trout stream and attempt to fish. You absolutely wouldnt want to do it on a regular basis - just too damn heavy with too much draft. Conversely you'd be asking for trouble taking an open boat with no floatation nor compartments down the Grand... It's all about the right tool for the job.

Now in this fancy modern age there are lots of variants of driftboats - high side, low side, skiff's and variants; each with various design differences between manufacturers/builders. That's a competely different forum really.

Colby my big question is why? Hard boats have their advantages for sure, but they are usually outweighed by the disadvantages IMO. I ran both for about a dozen years and when I started I was 95% DB and 5% raft. I finally sold the DB because I only used it once or twice a year by the end, usually just during Salmon fly season when we were rowing our asses off for 12 hours a day... Other than that; pure hard corp fishing, a raft is far superior up here in Montana. It's more versitle, goes in WAY more places, is easier for non-experts to row (You'll be rowing more and fishing less in a DB), the list goes on. Long story short is that I've been asked this question alot over the years: Should I get a DB or a raft. My answer is that unless all you're going to do with it is fish, I mean hardcorps pound the water fish, a raft is a better choice. Usually a much better choice.

Now as it seems you buy and sell boats every 6 months all this doesn't really matter, you could always give a drift boat a shot. There are plenty of used ones around and if you want to make some money, buy a glass boat in Oregon, drag it out here and sell it for 50% more the next year. Montanan's don't like aluminum for some reason, so buy glass, maybe plastic but they really haven't caught on. Wood boats loose value like a rental car in Vegas so you wouldn't want to go that route unless you find a really cheap one. At any rate, you want an open, low sided DB or a skiff for Montana fishing. Hysided boats grab wind and we really don't have much big water to justify the big sides. Skiffs are, simple, light open boats and if I were going to buy/build one that is the direction I'd head. Especially as I will always have rubber to use when conditions require it.

Guides need DB's as their clients usually whine when in a raft, but people that know almost all prefer rafts for personal fishing. Since fishing dorks idolize guides, there are way too many hard boats running around here. I guess I'm really fine with it though, because I love hitting the little side channels that they all go around. Fishing's always better where DB's cant go.
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Old 12-18-2015   #10
 
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
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I own both a cataraft and a drift boat. I prefer to row the drift boat over the the cat, mostly because it's just more fun to row. AND I can launch or load the boat in less than 5 minute, no tubes to blow up, no cam straps. With the drift boat and trailer I can launch or load by my self. The cat is too big for me to get onto the trailer alone. When driving I also prefer pulling the drift boat (lighter, better trailer, more aerodynamic) than pulling the raft.

The drift boat is a machine designed for fishing, complete with rod storage, an anchor system, thigh braces and even fly patches. The cat is more versatile and hold more cargo but not as convenient for fishing.

In my drift boat with the plastic hull I don't worry about hitting a few rocks or checking out the shallower water. If I do ground out it is easier to pull/drag the drift boat (about 300 lbs.) over my 15' cat (about 600 lbs)

Each boat is different, each boater and each river have different needs. Your mileage may differ
When I fish in Montana people poo poo the drift boat, in Colorado they stop and tell me what a fine boat I own.
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