Measuring draft

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Str8-Six, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. zthomas

    zthomas I Love!

    I hesitate to say this, but what no one has mentioned is the possibility that the vast majority of us are just not very realistic about draft. I know it's been said many times before, but do we realize just how shallow 6" is? Take out a tape measure or a ruler and look. Chances are, your skiff doesn't float in that. I know a few do. But I also know mine doesn't.

    On my last boat, just out of curiosity, I tried to measure resting draft. It's tough to do accurately, even if the boat is empty, which isn't all that meaningful a number anyway. At any rate, the results were so far out of line with what I believed the draft to be that I gave up and went fishing.

    In my view, an 8.5" resting draft with nobody on the bow is pretty damn good. I'd also say that in my limited experience weight on the bow almost universally reduces resting draft.
    bryson and sotilloa1078 like this.
  2. Str8-Six

    Str8-Six I Love!

    Hit the nail on the head! That is why I want to get an accurate draft with pic.

    Also SOME builders seem to exaggerate true draft as well as it is a major selling point for us skiff folk. I personally like the way Hells Bay does it, draft with Motor, Engine and Fuel. I would prefer that builders under sell and then over deliver but unfortunately that's not how it works.
    zthomas likes this.

  3. Sublime

    Sublime Well-Known Member

    Measuring draft is definitely difficult. Lots of variables. The tape on the stern routine will get you close, but unless you went to a lot of trouble, there is probably a running strake that is lower than the 0 start point of your tape for example. Also, even in the calmest of water rarely is the water going to be so static that it will be easy to see where it is hitting the tape.

    As far as a guy up front. Remember, a skiff is like a lever, and I guarantee that on most skiffs the fulcrum is not half way back, it will be closer to the stern than the bow. Therefore a guy on the front more than makes up for the weight of a guy on the platform, given they are comparable size.
    commtrd, Rollbar and LowHydrogen like this.
  4. topnative2

    topnative2 Well-Known Member

    What is the draft w/ motor down?
  5. Str8-Six

    Str8-Six I Love!

    Poling strake is 1" and I started my tape at 1". Good point, so is there a chance that with two people the draft being around the same as resting? Multiple opinions here and good discussion.

    The motor was slightly tilted in the pic but still in the water. Does this make a difference?
  6. topnative2

    topnative2 Well-Known Member

    You are moving the weight forward if it is trimmed out.Negligible.

    "Real" draft is w/ the motor down and boat fully loaded.Also, the boat will squat when moving forward. It is all a theoretical argument anyway.Bow draft and stern draft.................
  7. Vertigo

    Vertigo Carpe Diem

    Real world draft isn't measured with a ruler. Knowing where your draft will allow you to run is what's important. Load and balance your skiff, then go fishing. My skiff can run and float in water with 1/3 of a crab trap showing. Crab traps are much better at measuring draft than rulers.
    commtrd, not2shabby and Zika like this.
  8. Zika

    Zika I Love!

    Standard blue crab traps are 18 inches.
  9. Limp Shrimp

    Limp Shrimp Well-Known Member

    I would guess your boat drafts less than that.. When I run out of water in my boat, I have to push down on the bow to get it unstuck... you could be an inch or so off on the number you measured because of squat from the motor..
    Megalops likes this.
  10. Megalops

    Megalops Rex Kwan Do Dojo

    Do you have your plug in bro? Lol.
    LowHydrogen and Rollbar like this.
  11. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Well-Known Member

    Years ago (when most of us knew little about how to properly set up a poling skiff) the standard practice when putting together something for the skinny was to bring the hull to the ramp with the motor rigged, float it, then add the stuff you wanted battery(s) fuel tank(s), etc. while moving them around to see exactly where the skiff floated level (using that mark one eyeball...). Since many weren't exactly using skiffs purpose built for poling it was an eye opener.... These days as I look at brand new good quality skiffs with heavy four stroke motors sitting at one boat ramp or other it's pretty clear to me that some manufacturers aren't exactly scrupulous about selling skiffs that float properly - perfectly level with no one aboard.... Particularly for hulls in the 17 and longer size range...

    As far as draft goes - yes, your skiff floats at its shallowest when perfectly level with a given load... Lastly the only true way to measure draft is to pole your skiff aground then do your measurements with you on board. It will be an eye opener... Just like the first time you pole aground then step overboard and learn that you weren't exactly in as shallow water as you thought you were in....
  12. topnative2

    topnative2 Well-Known Member

    "Just like the first time you pole aground then step overboard and learn that you weren't exactly in as shallow water as you thought you were in...."

    too funny and true:).... and that is when u learn to take the wallet out of your pocket
    firecat1981 and zthomas like this.
  13. Smackdaddy53

    Smackdaddy53 Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!

    I crack up when I read some of the draft claims. It's just like the bay boats that run 70mph in 3-4 foot "chop" without getting anyone wet.
  14. Sublime

    Sublime Well-Known Member

    Like you allude to, it depends on the boat. But I don't want a true TPS to float level when there is nobody in it. If it does and you put a guy on the front and one on the platform, it will probably pole a little nose down.
    sjrobin, Smackdaddy53 and Rollbar like this.
  15. WhiteDog70810

    WhiteDog70810 Mostly Harmless

    Draft numbers are highly exaggerated. If you even want to get close, from the very beginning, you have to think about every addition to the boat in terms of weight, not comfort or convenience: find the lightest tiller variant of the smallest suggested HP motor, don't get a live well, have no batteries on board, pack light, balance the static load (motor, fuel) as best you can, move your cooler and tackle to balance the load based on whether you fish alone or with someone else, only fish with skinny friends if you don't fish alone, fish/pole from the bow if you do fish alone and lose fifty lbs around your middle. It reminds me of a hiker cutting the handles of their toothbrush to save weight.

    sjrobin and yobata like this.
  16. topnative2

    topnative2 Well-Known Member

    The original Carolina skiff.Period.
    Smackdaddy53 likes this.
  17. Str8-Six

    Str8-Six I Love!

    Haha of course. On the inside
    Megalops likes this.
  18. Net 30

    Net 30 Soy un Perdedor

    Get a heavy, high quality cooler & put it up on the bow when you're solo, fill the sucker with water and it will help the balance.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  19. devrep

    devrep Well-Known Member

    I don't really care what my draft numbers are . If I bottom out I go somewhere else or get out and wade, depending on the bottom conditions. I have bottomed out and been able to get out and push the boat over the high spot and keep on going at times also. I've been way back in the mangroves a few times with the tide dropping when I knew it was time to leave or I would not be getting out.
    Steve_Mevers and topnative2 like this.
  20. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Float skinny, minimal hull and engine weight, minimal horsepower, minimal gear, why does this sound like deja vu all over again? I bumped into this problem about nine years ago. I wonder, did I ever come up with a solution?
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