McKenzie driftboats have been around a long time, in fact you trace them back to the river that bears it's name. They first appeared on the McKenzie River in Oregon in the mid-20th century. Records show that Torkel Gudmund "Tom" Kaarhus, an early Eugene, Oregon resident had skills necessary to make fine furniture and boats. His love of fishing drew him to the McKenzie River and ultimately to boat building. In fact, as a planer at a Eugene lumber mill, it was he who milled the spruce planks for some of the first light board and batten boats. In the 1940's Tom Kaarhus built and sold the first square ended style McKenzie Drift Boat. Since then numerous builders have made subtle changes to the original style. Transoms were added to accommodate outboard motors, and many wood boats were replaced with fiberglass and aluminum. The basic look and design is pretty generic, so what could boat builder Chuck Gros, a young guy from Oregon who just wanted to make rowing a boat better, do to offset and upset the competition? Where do I start? The Doors: The most obvious and the most asked about are the doors. The doors are just killer. Anyone that has ever been in a driftboat more than a few times has struggled to get in and out. It is just plain difficult to get your leg over the side while you are in the water or worse trying to find bottom before you fall when you are getting out. The doors work, period. They don't leak, they don't make noise and clients love them. The Bottom: The bottom of the boat has been dimpled, like you see on golf balls, dimples equal less drag, provide lift, and create a more stable flight. On the bottom of my Pavati the dimples create bubbles that add lift, but the biggest advantage is the ease to break away from the drag of moving water when you're stopping your boat to fish. I am not getting any younger and my boat is big and heavy, and stops and rows like a dream. Anyone is free to contact me if they would like to take a test run. The Bow: The wave cutter bow, everyone calls it my ice breaker, as it looks just like one and who knows, perhaps this winter I will try it out. The bow cuts the waves; I don't know how or why, it just does. I have run the entire Salmon River in over 1500 cfs and we were dry, never did we take a wave over the bow. I have soaked several clients in years past in other boats. The Seats: Take your pick, I went with three pedestals and they are adjustable from front to back and side to side. I am happy as are my clients. Removable Floors: Yep, my level diamond plate floors lift right out, so I can hose out leaves, fish slime and anything else that may accumulate. With about forty trips under my belt thus far, all I can say is I am impressed.
I spent the last 20 years rowing a Willie and a Fishrite. I cut my teeth in those boats and loved them, I felt it was time to upgrade. I rowed most major models either from a friend or a demo. After weighing all the options, I decided on a 17x61 Pavati Warrior. From the first call, to the day of delivery, customer service was superb. Any time I called and said "What do I do about _____?", great explanations were given to me and the order was modified quickly.
Boats look awesome, love the creativity and forward thinking.
I have been the proud owner of a Pavati Warrior 17'x60" for about a year now. I would recommend Pavati to anyone interested in a drift boat. My boat is the hottest boat on the Skagit. I even have sled owners turning their heads. Chuck and the Pavati team treat you like family during the purchase & sell. I still keep in touch with them on a regular basis.
I ordered a boat at the end of May and waited in anticipation all summer for the "New" boat. When I got my new boat, I instantly had an "OMG" moment, and have had the "OMG" feeling since taking delivery of the boat. It is amazing! The boat is beautiful, and the attention to detail is obvious everywhere you look. The boat handles like a dream, and is so roomy and spacious that it is tough to believe that you're in a drift boat. The friends that have gone on the river with me agree that it is by far the nicest drift boat that they've seen, and been in. They too experience the "OMG" moment. I figured since I was getting this nice new boat, I would upgrade to the custom trailer with a catwalk down the center. One time using it and I'm left wondering why I took so long to get that! The catwalk is a wonderful addition to the trailer, and again, the attention to detail is everywhere. It's a beautiful boat and trailer, and one that should last a long time. Thank you, thank you, thank you for making such a great product! I couldn't be happier.
These boats are simply amazing. They are hands down better than the other boats on the market. My clients always spend the day complimenting all the features of my Pavati. They can't believe how comfortable the seats are and everyone loves the doors. As a guide I love the fact the boat is so versatile. I can move my seats around the boat to accommodate the style fishing we are doing that day. Measuring fish is simple thanks to "The Truth". There is so much room to move around and store gear. I not only row on the Salmon River but also row many still waters in the area. The boat handles great in both moving water and calm water. I can troll 5 rods with no issues. They motor very well too. Do yourself a favor and purchase a new Pavati. You won't be disappointed. I am going to be a Pavati owner for as long as I am able to row a boat.
I wanted to thank the crew at Pavati with helping me set up my new boat. I have to tell you, this was my first drift boat to own, but not my first to row. I've been in different friends' drift boats and rafts, but none of them handle like my Pavati. The 17 x 61 seems so big in my garage, but on the water, it handles much "Smaller" than other boats I've rowed. I've gotten a lot of compliments and comments on the river. It's been called a "New York City Boat" or "Pavarotti" by some of the guys in "Brand X" boats, but then when they look at all the features and versatility, from the full flat floors and tackle tower, to the fully adjustable seat boxes and removable leaning braces for fly-fishing, they've all admitted that "this thing is pretty cool!" Keep up the good work, and thanks again!
The doors are a blessing for the elders, children and tight waders. We love our Paviti Warrior , spendy but worth it 100%. Now we have to practice opening doors for our clients , like a chauffeur limo driver. Lol! Thanks Chuck and Steve and the Pavati crew.
Your boats are the best I have ever seen. I am going up to Pulaski NY in 2 weeks. I see where you have a used driftboat listed for sale at Fat Nancy's shop. I don't know if it's still available but I will be stopping there for supplies and will be looking for it. Great web page too.
Hey Steve, Had an awesome summer and fall in the nicest boat on any river I fished. I couldn't be happier with the whole package. My clients this year were amazed with the boat and its performance. At one of the holes on the Humptulips river I had another guides client step out of his boat and rolled right into the water. Got up and pointed at my Pavati and claimed " thats the boat I need to be in" I just smiled and opened the doors and let my guys out. Hope you like the Pictures. If you get up this way give me a call and we can hit the river. Merry Christmas and Happy new year. May the mighty Steelhead Bless you in the new year.
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