I’ve made the decision to get a boat. My son is 8 and getting into fishing; my wife has given her blessing, and we’re going to spend family time this summer floating rivers and camping (mostly in Colorado). But I’m just not sure what kind of boat to get… a raft or a drift boat. What do you think?

A raft with a frame is great because you can break it down, it stores easily, and you can bump off rocks with it/run a little heavier water. But I’m not going to run through big rapids with the little guy on board. And the thing with rafts and fishing… I’m just not into feeling like you’re standing on a waterbed when you cast, and the frame/casting platforms don’t quite do it for me.

The right drift boat rides comfortably, steers nimbly, and can last almost forever. So I’ll admit I’m leaning in this direction. But they cost a chunk more than the rafts. I’m thinking about building a drift boat from a kit to save money. That might be a huge mistake though… tying flies is a mechanical challenge for me. Anyone have insights on building a boat from a kit?

Raft or dory? High-walled or low-walled drift boat? New or used? Kit or completed? I’m all ears. Thanks for the advice.