River Runner Report
by Jim Hauer - Green Bay, WI - USA
The details of this boat are modifications and additions I have made to Michalak's design which tailor the boat for river drifting/floating and fly fishing.
All I really wanted from Jim when I asked and paid him to do the original design for me was a good hull shape.
click images for larger views
Be glad to explain some details, especially "that thing that sticks up..."
The device is a fly casting station and knee lock brace to allow the fly caster/angler to safely stand up to cast. The angler stands and "locks" or rests a leg, thigh or both between the wooden "horns", pressing his weight against this brace while the boat is drifting downstream moving with the river current. If the boat bumps a rock, the angler won't topple over the side. One of the photos shows my friend Larry standing in the bow leaning against this brace and pretending to fly cast. If one doesn't need or want it on, the casting brace is removeable since it is fastened by one threaded rod through the bulkhead and a slotted bracket on the floor.
Note the black chine logs. The entire bottom and chine logs of this boat is fiberglassed. The chines are reinforced with 4" 9oz tape. I also added a coating of graphite and epoxy. This is a very tough and durable coating. I did it on my original "Jonsboat" "Angelica and it has three years of hard use on rocky, gravelly rivers. The sides are glassed also - done before assembly.
The bottom on the boat is entirely flat with no keels or wear strips. The boat handles and tracks well even without them. I suspect it has to do with the hard edge chine. It behaves like a ski. The smooth bottom is a nice feature that helps with maneuverability on rivers and even in fast water the boat will easily slide off or over shallow submerged rocks the hull might bump against.
Anchor systems are located on both the bow and stern transoms. Going frontward downstream, the person controlling the boat will drop the stern anchor immediately to stop the boat as soon as an angler in the boat catches a fish. This prevents floating over other productive water downstream until the fish is landed and released.
This boat paddles, poles, rows and motors very well. The little 2-horse pushes the boat along upstream at 6.3mph, which seems to be hull speed. I was very pleased with the trim on the boat while under way. She sits pretty while rowing and even when under power as you can see in the photos.
Because I offset the seats, but not their frames, the oarlocks can be located dead center on the butt blocks each side. The seats are a little wider too than on Jim's original plan, but the same height off the floor.