Anatomy of a sled
Following is my "Toy Story." It is a progressive account of specifying, buying and following the build of a purpose-built fly-fishing-specific sled for use in BC, the PNW and California rivers. Delivery is scheduled for late March 2012.
The process is, surprisingly, agonizing for a newbie to jet boats. I have 21 years experience as a jet boat passenger in BC, and realized I had a lot to learn if I wanted to operate safely. The advice offered in responses to my initial thread on this subject (Wanted Advice on Bulkley River Jet Boat) was invaluable. The thread also prompted PMs that were very helpful, and I thank you all for taking time to give me the benefit of your experience.
Following are several key items that go into making a decision:
- Mission, optimized for fly fishing rivers
- Mission creep: family & friends
- Used vs. new
- Inboard (Chevy engine or SportJet) or outboard; two- or four-stroke
- Helm location
- Ease of exit and boarding
- Floor protection
- Rod storage
Most importantly: Professional training
Background: I have 21 years experience as a jet boat passenger in BC, and zero hours handling a jet. My power boat experience is 20 years with a 16' Ranger bass boat. I turned to guides, friends, speypages and boat manufacturers and engine suppliers for advice.
In response to my initial thread for advice on a Bulkley River sled design, the response was extraordinarily helpful. Following are key suggestions.
Ard: great photos, floor mats, tunnel hull, console steering. All guide boats in BC that I have been in have tiller steering, so this pushed my comfort button.
Yorkshire Dry: Size 18' w/90 hp, oars
Bruce: Rows like a dream (again oars)
Marty: 20' w/115 hp
Six Rivers: 18 to 19', center console, wide bottom with tunnel, oarlocks "positioned to worK." This caused me to do a weight and balance calculation (same as airplanes for those of you that are pilots) that located the fore-aft center of gravity of the boat, which is where the oarlocks will be welded to the side rails.
Salmo g: prefer tiller, add length for console, shallow-V hull, consider towing (great point), budget (!).
LpRpr: low sides, tiller
FredEvans: Consider Medford area manufacturers. I did so.
gammarus: 14' Wooly w/oars and tunnel. I also like the side storage trays
nobonk: Wooldridge Alaskan
Support Spey O Rama by joining GGACC (San Francisco's Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club) at http://www.ggacc.org/p/p.aspx?mlid=6.
http://flyfishingresearch.net/ for science based information on fly fishing.
Last edited by Bob Pauli; 02-25-2012 at 02:21 AM.
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