Well I'm building a 17 54 baker drift boat. So far I've got a pallet of expensive ply wood and one scarf cut

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also mocked up some knee locks before cutting into the big chunk of walnut I picked up

With the angle of the braces you are showing here your Angler up front will be resting his legs on the bottom angle of the brace instead of the side.
Yeah they'll get a bevel once I decide on final placement. This was just a pattern cut out of 1/2 inch material to decide what thickness and overall dimensions were necessary

been fishing and not finishing the boat

Thanks to davids advice I got my fly deck finished

heres where I stand, foot pedal is finally in

fly deck I hope will support some weight, 14 oz biax and three hardwood battens

Turns out the deck is strong enough to hold a 200 lber no problem. I did add an additional cleat for it on the stem

Still working on the boat, but fishing more.  Had my first big rock hit saturday. Boat came out fine without a mark.  That 20 oz triaxial bottom does the trick.  Finishing up my knee locks but figured I'd make my knee board look fancy in the meantime.  Fly deck feels like it could support me, but I'm too chicken to try

I've begun building my side trays and am kinda stumped on some things. 

1) Should a hardwood be used for the seat rails or is it ok to use douglas fir or in my case cypress?

2) All the pictures show square edged rails.  Is there any concern with doing a roundover?  maybe a 1/8'' where the seat will contact the rail, and 1/4'' everywhere else?

If by rails you mean the lumber that attaches to each side of the boat on the ribs and holds or supports the seat? The old kits used Port Orford Cedar in many cases. Bear Creek Lumber, here in Washington State shared this information on their web page. POC is a member of the cypress family and as stated below is a durable wood. I know it works fine in my boat and I am not a lightweight. The load is also shared by four ribs where they connect to the sides which in turn shares the load with the sides and the gunnels and is, therefore, part of a load bearing structure.

Rounding the edge or breaking the edge on the ribs, the gunnels, etc reduces the chance of slivers and allows the finish to adhere a bit better and is also recommended in the Greg Tatman instructions is very appropriate. Keep up the good work.

Port Orford Cedar

Scientific Name: Chamaecyparis lawsoniana

exterior paneling detailOther common names: Hinoki, pacific white cypress, oregon cypress, pacific white cedar. Originally grown only in southern Oregon and Northern California, Port Orford is a truly unique cedar species. Like all cedars, it is a member of the cypress family. It is a particularly hard and strong cedar, with the same natural durability as other types of cedar when it comes to weather, rot, and insects.

Port Orford Cedar has earned a reputation for strength and decay-resistance. Historically, as the strongest of all the cedar products it has been the preferred wood for Japanese architecture, building boats, railroad ties and fence posts (its heartwood has an in-ground life of 20-25 years by the Oregon State D.O.T.). Strength, durability and natural decay-resistance make POC the ideal wood for timber structures renown for its beauty and structural integrity, useful for both indoor and outdoor uses. POC is a light colored wood, allowing it to stain uniformly. It´s fine texture, straight grain, and pleasant, sweet-spicy scent, makes it an excellent choice for woodwork. Decking made from POC is not only strong, it´s safe for children. Its texture remains smooth with no raised grain or splintering, and its durability makes it ideal for use in high-traffic outdoor sites. (http://www.bearcreeklumber.com/species/portorcedar.html)

Rick Newman

Thanks Rick I'm just baseing my idea around Jason's pram because those are the most clear pictures I can find. Everything else in the boat is rounded over but in all the pram pictures I've seen the seat rail is always square. Didn't know if there was a reason. I just see it splitting when someone clumsily steps into the boat. Also my question about wood. I figured maybe people use white oak or ash and keep the edge sharp. I've got everything mocked up. Just have to cut my final pieces. I plan on epoxying it all together so the whole tray can be bolted in and unbolted out. But once I do that replacing the rail is a whole lot more expensive. Just trying to cover my ass. I picked up some cypress yesterday and once I got it home I realized it was trash. 45 bucks down the drain. Have had too many of those moments on this boat. It's the home stretch though. It's already a fishing machine. Just trying to polish it a little bit.

There are always many learning opportunities presented when building a drift boat. Sad to hear about the poor quality wood.


Hahaha oh yes there are! The good news is since I bought select grade and this stuff has some flaws that definitely disqualify it from that category I can get my money back.  Home stretch, finding two perfect 9'6'' cypress boards is tough but doable


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