My Tatum 17 rebuild is almost finished.
If I wanted to use it on some class 3 runs, should I deck it out and add compartments? Should i keep the original open layout and stay on the milder runs? Maybe save the wilder runs for my next boat?
I assume it is a Tatman. If so, it is an excellent boat for all Oregon rivers, and class 3 and 4 included.
OOPS, yes Tatman.
Would I want to add a whitewater deck or keep it open?
Probably a matter of personal preference. I have had 4 or 5 Keith Steele 16' woodies over the past 40 years; all have the same open line deck as Greg's boats. They have worked well on the McKenzie, Rogue, Owyhee, Umpqua, Siuslaw and other Oregon rivers, as well as the Main Salmon and Middle Fork Salmon in Idaho. The boats are great, the weak link is the boatman (me).
Perfect, much easier, I have all the seats. Just veed to varnish and install.
As to the weak link, do you have suggestions as to learning how to proceed. I have never rowed anything. The way i learned to kayak whitewater is by trial and error. Some very long swims before I could count on my roll.
I don't mind minor repairs, I don't want to loose the whole thing. How easy is it to swamp the boat in class 3 water?
Do not do class 3 until you learn the basics of drift boat handling. It is way different than kayaking, where you use speed to navigate. A drift boat primarily uses braking to avoid obstacles. There has to be something on the internet directing you to books and/or DVD's. Dan Alsup's "Driftboats A Complete Guide," has chapters on the principles of rowing. Roger Fletcher's tremendous book, "Drift Boats & River Dories," discusses handling.
When you are ready, start on a safe stretch that has some gradient and flow so you can learn, then work your way up. Maybe we will meet on the Klamath or Chetco.
Perfect, I will keep in touch with my progress.