To All,

Good Morning!

My wife and I are looking at purchasing a drift boat from a member of this forum.  I have worked with boats all of my life... but they were all aluminum, with some fiberglass.  So... this would be my first exposure to owning a wooden drift boat!  (We looked at it last night and we are both very excited!)

Something that I enjoy is "Learning"... and I love really great books and or DVDs' on the subject matter.  So... Does anyone have any recommendations for some really good Books and or DVDs' on Building & Maintenance of Wooden Drift Boats???


Donnie Clinton

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Donnie, see my reply this morning to Tatum 17 post.


Thank you so much for the info!  I found these two books on Amazon and it looks like "Drift boats and River Dories" (By Roger Fletcher) looks like a great book to have!  (Very high reviews as well!)

I re-read my post and realized that I wasn't very clear.  I was really hoping for Books or DVD's on Refinishing Wood Drift Boats.  I have been around aluminum drift boats most of my life... and used them many times... (even welded at Koffler Boats for a while,) but Wood is new to me... and refinishing a boat... or should I say... "really Meticulous Maintenance of a Wooden Drift Boat" is VERY new to me!!! ;-)

My Wife and I fell in love with the particular boat that we looked at the other day... and the current owner said that it needed some work.  (I thought it was gorgeous!)  I know that certain types of products (varnish, ect... ect...) dont play well with others... and I would love to learn some of the basics to "Wood Driftboat Refinishing".

Again... "Thank You!"



Hi Donnie,

David has been giving me some answers amout finishing my Tatman 17. Good info.

My boat bottom and six inches up the sides was compost. Complete with mushrooms, insects, etc. I can share from a novice viewpoint. Just shout.



WOW!!!!!... "Mushrooms and Insects" as well!!!!.... Yer an adventurous man by ANY mans standard!  I have actually been glancing at your thread with some interest... and its one of the reasons I joined.  I figure that there were other folks who would have special projects and I could simply read and learn while cowering safely behind my computer screen! 

But!... I think that here, pretty soon, I will actually be putting what I have learned to the test... and am really looking forward to it! :-)  I look forward to hearing more about your project!




   I will figure out how to post before and after photos. Just do not expect my photos to be like the awesome Jayson Hayes shots in this thread. Maybe I can use photoshop. Or maybe all of the beautiful boats were photoshopped. !?

   Right now I am varnishing the seat portions and hope to be very close to installation by this weekend.

   Take care, Scott


I cant wait to see yer project!

Donnie, the finishing process is really quite simple and would be happy to give you the run down of the basics. I am currently finishing up a build at my shop and would be happy to have you over for a discussion of the basics to help point you in the right direction. Im located in Cedar Flat just outside of Springfield. Give me a call if you'd like 541-912-9146


Oh!... THAT'S Pretty!

If you wouldn't mind... I would really like that!  I'm just up river from you at the East end of Deerhorn. (Next to the old Gold Course)  I'll get this week going at work, and give you a call sometime!  

Thank You!



If you go back to the nearly the start of Wooden Boat People you can find a series of posts concerning replacing sections of plywood in an older drift boat. AJ DeRosa, a very competent old hand that has been around from almost the beginning of Wooden Boat People shared the techniques of splicing in sections of plywood. Sounds like what you might need to get rid of the insects and mushrooms. Are any of the insects good for fly fishing?

When I tried a quick search in the above search bar I typed in scarfing in plywood and got 24 pages of responses. I have been hanging around here almost as long as AJ and have tried to read everything ever posted. Check it out and see what gems of knowledge you can find.

Rick Newman

Hi Rick,

There were a few grub looking things, should have saved them.

When I was dealing with all of the rot, I fortunately found Greg Tatman. He was working on a boat damaged in a long rapid while the boat was submerged. He showed how to make curves matching the new and old plywood sides. I replaced the bottop plus about 8 inches up the sides and added some curves to reach some of the worst areas. I am near the end of this adventure.

  Thanks for the input, Scott

That is great news. Did you take any pictures to share with the rest of the wooden boat community? I for one, would like to see the pictures!


Will get some photos together. I am going for the worst "before" picture.



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