The drain on the starboard side has a pipe welded thru the huntdeck to the inside of the hull. This is your traditional drain for the water trapped inside the hull. It must be plugged when the boat is in the water. The drain on the port side drains trapped water inside the enclosed huntdeck and must be plugged when the boat is in the water. The lengthwise bracing is closed, hollow channel and will allow water to get inside the hull from the bow. Water can drain under the lengthwise braces and into the enclosed huntdeck. Both drains should be unplugged when the boat is not in water so that it can drain freely.
Gator Trax uses a longitudinal bracing system. All of the braces that touch the bottom of the hull run lengthwise from bow to stern. No brace that crosses perpendicular to the longitudinal bracing touches the bottom. This is to prevent hooks and dents. Because there are no cross braces touching the bottom, any underwater obstruction (rocks, logs, stumps) that hits the bottom of the hull can now flex the hull between the lengthwise braces and pop out at the transom without ever contacting a cross brace, which is where the dent would most likely occur. This is basically a dent prevention bracing system, another true shallow water feature, not found in traditional hulls. That being said, the Gator Trax Boats one piece hull is pulled up and held together in the front by the deck, in the back by the transom, and midship by these braces. Placing them below the false floor will not only give the hull two places to “catch dents”, but would also give our current lengthwise braces, (which are one solid piece), two interrupted weak spots.
Due to the lack of displacement. We have found that a boat shorter than 15', when loaded heavily, will draft an unacceptable amount of water for effective shallow water operation. The more surface area you have in contact with the water, (not to exceed extremes) the less water you will draft. Through research and development, we have found that shorter than 15' loses performance. However, if you are in need of a shorter hull, for whatever the reason, we will build it.
The crimps on traditional flats are just that, crimps. They are not keels. They are on hulls that lack the rigidness and strength to stand on their own. The aluminum is just too thin to not be doubled over every so often to add strength. In short, they are for strength, not performance. Gator Trax Boats are made of .125 aluminum (5086 Marine Alloy) and have longitudinal bracing on the inside of the hull. This keeps your bottom free of crimps that hang on logs, banks, stumps, etc. to prevent hooking and dents.