Hi all, 

I am new to this group and also new to the world of wooden boats!  But I am a seasoned river rafter.

I am planning some flatwater (Ruby Horsetheif) trips this fall with my 7 year old son and would like to take him in a smaller boat than a raft, for both convenience and to make it easier on my back (I can't lift a raft by myself!!)

I am considering buying this little boat.  The owner says it fits two people, and there's ample storage under the decking.  He built it himself and has built many boats in his lifetime.  He says it tracks well and is stable.

Is this crazy to take on a river?  Too complicated?

Any input is much appreciated.


Katie Lewis 

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Nice boat, but how about the Austin Healy smiling at you. Is that for sale?

Katie, it looks like this was once a sailboat. What do the hand cranks power? All boats are a compromise of design features, compromises to accomplish often beyond the intended design. While any boat will float on water and potentially get you down the river it is far from ideal. Perhaps looking for another boat more suited for river travel will be better. I would keep looking. There are a few drift boats for sale in the Western States right now. After I suggested "Search All Craiglists" last night to Jacob who is looking for pricing ideas for selling his boat I tried www.searchtempest.com and found it pleasantly easy to use. I have heard of Ruby-Horsethief but beyond that, I assume it has whitewater and a capable craft would be better for your intended trip.

Have you checked with local universities or community colleges for rental gear? Years ago I ran a rental program at Eastern Washington University and we rented rafts at a good price. The University of Idaho also has a raft rental program.

I don't know if any of them also offer a trailer to carry a raft. Will anyone in your party have any space on their trailer for the upcoming trip?

Rick Newman


This is a nice little boat, but I agree with Rick, it appears to be a sailboat.  The best bet would be a drift boat, and if it would just be you and your son, one smaller than the 16' standard would be fine.  There is, or was, a 12' for sale in Eugene Craigslist offerings.  If you are a veteran rafter, you will pick up rowing a drift boat easily. 


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