So even though my own boat is still incomplete but very fishable, I've been dreaming of maybe building a play boat.  I was thinking of something small, one manned, and decked over.  Tatman boats had a 12 48 kit at one point.  That could be something worth trying.  Now that all the rivers in the Blue Ridge are swollen Im kicking myself for not doing this earlier.  My basic idea is a little mini whitewater dory that fits in the truck bed, built out of exterior ply and maybe use pine lumber for frames.  Quick math says I can do it for a few hundred bucks.  All this in the understanding that I could smash it up bad on the Chattooga or Nantahala. 

Besides Mark Stuberrs IRH, has this been done?

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Ha! You officially have the bug, first boats not done and already planning #2.

My .02, 12X48 is a very small impractical drift boat. by the time you bend into shape you have very little of the bottom that is even close to 48" wide. You would be better off with a 48" wide pram. I think 14X48 is as small as you would want to go with the drift boat shape even those are pretty small.


Well I get that theyre small and impractical but thats kinda the point.  The pictures of the tatman one show it with 5 frames and one middle seat.  I'm thinking I may call the new/original owner and see if I can get measurements from him.  If not I may just play with some 1/8" mdf and try some stem angles until I get it right, then measure for the frames from that.  Think of a kayak style drift boat decked with a little rower hole that will get smashed hard.  The only bad thing I can think of is trying to bend non marine plywood.  May require a soaking...

This is the boat I'm referencing. I guess it's 4 frames not 5

Well then go for it! Little boats are a gas to build (and way easier to get down the stairs!)

Haha this one(and all future boats) will be built at home. My boss didn't know how much dust would come from a boat build

Sandy Pittendrigh showed up last year at the Wilson show with a boat he called a dyak - dory/kayak - just big enough for one person, and kinda like a sit-on-top kayak. He'd be a good person to talk to.

I would do it stitch and glue,much easier and lighter.I took the plans from Jasons skiff and shortened it.It ended up around 130 lbs.

I agree, but that would require both epoxy and epoxy work.  I'm thinking yellow pine frames and deck screw fasteners.  Basically a boat that I cant be too sad about destroying on boney class III/IV water.

For class III and IV, a decked boat isn't really necessary.  Roger Fletcher's book has designs used by the early runners of the Middle Fork Salmon using double enders....and even the Rapid Robert.  Roger's book has off sets for a small double ender that might serve your purchase.  Mark Stuberr, this site, built a decked play boat called IRH.  I've seen pictures of a decked Butler Boat pea pod design.

Open dory designs have been decked for whitewater .... but as the boat get smaller, the additional weight and placement of the weight might have negative consequences for boat handling in rough water.

Sandy Pittendrigh's dayak could be build with plywood and traditional decked boat framing.  It looks like it would make an interesting hard shell rowed play boat.


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