Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Flycraft Boat Review

I have wanted a boat for a long time and just recently purchased one.  I have researched a lot of boats and asked many of you a lot of questions.  I never pulled the trigger on a purchase because each boat had one thing that would not fit my needs on the multitude of rivers that I fish.  The diversity of rivers and water here in the Ozarks may require multiple boats to satisfy every need and quite frankly I needed to let go of a few 'needs' if I was going to only purchase one boat. 
Recently, I ran across a boat that was posted on Instagram by a well-known flyshop in Utah.  It immediately caught my attention and I had another boat to research. 
After talking to the flyshop and getting positive reviews, I reached out to the owner of the company, Ben Scribner.  Flycraft is a relative new company but I think Ben has done a good job with the production of this boat. 
Ben was great to work with.  He was very upfront with what this boat is and discussed his research, the manufacturing, key features, etc.   He did not hold any details back and went above and beyond to make sure I had all the input that I needed.  He even gave me 6 references to call.  I did call them and they to were very open with me.  Bottom line, after discussing with Ben, the flyshop, and references, my boat was on it's way to the Ozarks from Utah. 
The boat arrived at my front door well packed in 4 boxes.  Before I got home on the day it was delivered, Ben called me to ensure it arrived safe with no issues.  He gave me a few assembly instructions but the assembly was very simple and everything went together smooth.   In about 45 minutes, I had it fully assembled.  Inflating is very quick and takes minimal energy.  I see no reason I would ever need anything more than the manual pump that comes with it. My wife never complained after airing up all 5 chambers! 
The boat comes fully equipped and has everything you need except an anchor.  It immediately became apparent that I had made a good purchase.  The boat is fully functional, quality, and simple.  I don't like a ton of gadgets.  Just make it last and make it work...for a long time.   I believe this boat will do that. 
Boat Specifications​ (these are also on the Flycraft website)
  • 0.9 mm 1100 denier polyester interwoven Max supported pvc
  • High pressure drop stitched floor.  Like standing on a piece of floating concrete.
  • Dry weight 93 lbs
  • Breaks down easily for storage and transportation
  • Rated class 2 water
  • glued seams
  • 2 year Flycraft CARE with optional 5 year (add $300)
  • Internal anchor system
  • Collaborative design by Aliens and Quadra Force
  • 5 Lefield C 7 valves (5 air chambers)
  • ROCKGOD Triple Layer wearpoint protection
  • Cateract composite 2 piece mini MAG oars
So, lets get to how it performs on the water.  I took the boat through all the different tests to see how it would perform. I rowed it upstream and down, fast water, slow water, tight conditions, etc.  This boat is super responsive to a single oar stroke.  It sits literally on top of the water and therefore is very easy to control.  I fished it sitting down and standing up.  This was something I was curious about as the floor is an inflatable cavity.  I am not sure how but it feels like a solid floor to me.  No issues. 
The seats are comfortable and the rack on the back is great for whatever you feel like carrying and I can't wait until spring to load it with a tent and gear for some overnighters. 
I got in and out of the boat from shallow water and waist deep water.  No issue and the buoyancy makes it super easy to get in the boat. 
This boat is narrow and made for some small water if needed but you can put this on our bigger tailwaters also.   The boat will float in virtually no water.  We had two people in the boat with minimal gear and I kept waiting to hear it scrape gravel.  You really had to hit the bank before you would touch gravel.  Three inches of water was no issue.
This is going to fit my needs perfect.  It will handle our tailwaters, will be perfect on NFOW, and our smallmouth streams just got more accessible. 
The only thing that I could find was that this boat will require good communication if you are going to stand.  A solid oar stroke will put you in the river.  No, this did not happen to me today.  But it will!  This is not an issue with the boat....it is simply very responsive.
I hauled it on my SUV and this worked fine (95 lbs) and a couple of cam straps is all you need.  It never budged at 70 mph.  A trailer would be much easier or I could even deflate the boat and put it in the back. 
Did I catch more fish with this boat?  Not on this trip, but I will.  It will get me places you can never wade to. 
Overall, I am super excited about this purchase. 

The boat also comes with additional benefits that were not marketed.  Ben should put these in his list of specifications. 
The boat doubles as a couch.
And also as a seat for shore lunch (with your wading boots off).

And if you are wondering, it does not get heavier after you inflate it with air!   This is the question that I got from the lady in the photo's above after we loaded it on top of our SUV the 2nd time.
If you want more information, drop me a comment or email or go to the Flycraft website


  1. Good for you Lynn! Sounds like you made a great purchase. Looking forward to more of everything.

  2. Congratulations on the new boat! Like you said , it will get you away from the accesses and into fish you otherwise might not be able to catch.

    1. Jeff,
      Maybe we can do an overnight trip in 2014. Would be my pleasure.....and your camp food looks awesome!

    2. It would be my pleasure to play camp chef on an overnight outing with you sometime. We'll have to make it happen sometime for sure....

  3. Nice boat! Looking forward to the adventures and the places it takes you!

  4. This looks like an awesome boat. My question is could you put a third seat where the rack is on the back? And do they have a lean-bar option for the front seat?

    1. Currently, the boat is designed as a two person boat. Personally, I don't believe th rack is designed for a 3rd seat.
      There is not a lean bar option either. What you see in my pics is all the current features. Feel free to contact Ben via the links in the article. He is more than willing to talk and take suggestions

    2. The rear rack has now been changed and has a 3rd seat option to attach to the rear rack. The 3rd seat is not rated for an adult size. Love the raft!

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  6. Nice boat nice review. I'll add a link on my site to chasing Alice.

  7. So after a year of ownership, anything you would like to add to the review? Does it still fit your needs? Still holding up? Would you make the same purchase?

  8. So after a little more than a year, would you still make the same purchase? Anything you don't like or wish was changed? How is the durability?

    1. Tom,
      I have no regrets about this purchase. It fits my style and needs. I am a small stream kind of fisherman and it is perfect for this. Boat is very durable and still holding up just fine.