new boat

The River Master served me well, but at 14′ long, 48″ wide on the bottom, and with considerable rocker, it drafted quite a bit of water. With it’s bench seats and awkward layout it was also small and difficult to get around. It had none of the creature comforts of a modern drift boat like cup holders and a place to put fly line that didn’t grab it.

Of course it was tough as nails. You don’t see many fiberglass or composite boats made in 1989 still on the river, let alone working full guide schedules. But look around Michigan and there are plenty of 20+ year old aluminum River Masters still floating down the rivers.

Either way, it was time for me to move onto something more functional and comfortable, so I’m happy to say I’ve put a deposit down on a new 15′ Stealthcraft. The boat is 58″ across the bottom with a less aggressive taper and a much more reasonable rocker, it’s a boat designed for Michigan’s rivers but one that can handle itself anywhere. It will draft A LOT less water than the old River Bastard, which means a lot less scraping and walking for me in low water. All the seats are walk-around and there will be plenty of cup holders, not to mention dry storage.¬†Hallelujah.

In the meantime I’m using a Hyde that was refurbished by Stealthcraft a couple years ago, that’s it in the picture below. Prepare yourself for plenty of boat updates over the next several weeks.

michigan drift boat

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