My first glimpse of a drift boat was on the Cal Salmon as a kayaker in the late 70s - i was intrigued by the way the boat rode through the wave trains and could handle the water. I got a better look a bit later on a couple of Rogue trips, watching them through Blossom Bar... I thought I'd like to try that. The idea of building one was cemented a few years ago after a visit to Andy Hutchinson's shop and seeing his build of a decked boat in sapele - what a beautiful boat. So as a start, I got Roger's book and built a model, getting an idea of how things went together and where the challenges might be. This spring, I traveled to Flagstaff to attend Brad Dimock's class, where I met an incredible variety of skilled folks, all interested in building - not to mention a shop to die for. Then it was off to Oregon and the wooden boat festival. I stopped in Bend, where I picked up a trailer and a bunch of great information from Mike Baker - now I had a trailer, and needed a boat. Materials were a bit of a challenge - I originally wanted Port Orford Cedar for the frames - in Bend, there's a reliable supply from Orepac, but in Victor, where I live, no such luck. I ended up with Alaskan Yellow Cedar for about $7/bf. Hydrotek was next on the list. McBeath lists it on their web page, but there was a 2 month wait, so I ended up getting mine from Edensaw. Following Brad's lead, I'm using epoxy from Resin Research. Now for the fun stuff...

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Baker Trailer tabs. On my Baker Trailer those tabs are welded and the padded portion is up, not down. Looks like someone screwed them in incorrectly.

OK, based on the info (and a bit of prodding) from the folks on the site, I dealt with my wimpy bow eye install. First, I drilled and tapped two more holes

and added two more pieces of 1/4" allthread

installed it with a liberal dose of Life Calk, and backed it up with a !/8" aluminum plate.

Dorf would be proud. 

Good work!

That is what this community is here for. Better to be prodded for being under engineered than be like the guy in my story. You would be bummed if you tied the boat up and came back to find a bow eye attached to the end of the rope and no boat. I'd love to see this boat in person sometime. I'm over the pass in Jackson. If you are ever in town you should swing by my shop and check out the dory too, it's almost done. Mabye we'll see you at aj's boat show in May? River trips have given me a poor attendance record the last few years but I'm gonna really try to make it this year.

I've visited the Wilson show for the last 2 years getting ideas - this year I'm planning to bring the boat over. Your project sounds pretty amazing - it would be great to get in touch. 

Looks Real nice and tidy! You'll now only have to worry about what fly to use.

Hats off to Dutch Gottschling for his suggestion of Montana Canvas as the go-to place for drift boat covers. 

They've been in business for 30 years, and Pat, who's their drift boat guy, builds several covers a month - he really knows what he's doing, and the results are excellent

Thanks, Dutch!

That is quite a cover David. What I would like to know is how is your boat supported on that trailer. Looks like its sitting on the roller in the back, whats on the frt? And is there anything between the roller and the frt cross member? (Like in the axle area), thanks

Mike - Sorry for the late reply, I took an extended trip to the wooden boat festival.  The trailer has two cross members, one right before the roller, and another further forward where the front of the hull rests. 

Those are the only cross members. Hope this helps. 

Has anyone out there had experience using a small Tohatsu outboard motor with a 16x48 hull? I'm wondering if the long shaft is long enough - Roger's plans show the top of the transom 28" above baseline. I'm also curious about the amount of tilt available - my transom is raked about 30 degrees off plumb. 


I looked at this motor a year ago and decided against it as their long shaft in the  2.5, 3.5, 4 and 5 hp motors are for a 20"  transom.  Therefore you'll have to make an external bracket to mount it to the DB out in the rear or cut the transom down to 20" and I think you'll still have a problem as the rocker in the rear is going to bite you in the butt.

Just my $0.02 worth,



I tried the motor on the boat in the parking lot, and the water intakes are right at the bottom of my transom - which is normally out of the water. What did you end up doing for a motor?

I put the motor on hold. Two reasons; the hassle to mount one and the registration w/ State of Michigan to register it for a motor. Besides a thousand dollar motor will justify a bunch of $ 20 spotting fees
Not what you were looking for, but that's where I am at now.


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