I just found this Forum the past week and was pleased to see all the interesting discussions. I have previously (2006) built and launched a 16 ft. Peterborough Stripper from Tom Moore's original Canoecraft. The Bear Mountain Boats Forum was a wealth of information, as I had not built anything from wood that was expected to float, in water. The stripper was a lot of fun to build.

About a year later I discovered/purchased Roger Fletcher's book and decided to make a go of it and build a drift boat. Last April I laid out all the framing on poster board full scale. I am a retired Mfg. Engineer with 41 yrs in the Machine tool and Automotive Industry with lots of hrs. Hanging over a drafting table. After making the decision to build I spent many hours deciding materials, features etc.

I have 210 BF of White Ash from a couple of trees infected with the Emerald Ash Bore (big issue in Mid-Mich). So the framing is Ash (3/4" x 3.00"). I finished the last one in December. I just need to coat them with epoxy (been waiting for 60 degree temps). The frames are constructed using Half-lap joints. I discussed this in 2011 with Jim Watson of Gougeon Brothers and he offered their services in testing the joint strength (they have a MTS Tensile Test Machine w/ 100K Load Cell). I just received the results and test pieces a couple of weeks ago and will post them soon in this discussion. (I need to figure out how to post pictures here.)

The Stem blank is solid Ash. I just finished the transom a couple of weeks ago. It was made from African mahogany. The sides are going to be 1/4 x 7/8" WRC w/bead & cove. I have a couple of planks left over from the canoe. The sides will be encapsulated in 6 oz. glass and West System 105-207 Epoxy prior to being fastened to the frame. The bottom of the boat will be "cold molded" ash at 1/4 x 2 1/4" in two layers one oriented Fore Aft and the other 90 degrees to the first. Planning to add graphite to epoxy on the bottom.

Next work is to build a strong back and begin assembling the framing. Am looking foreword to your comments and assistance.

Thanks for being here.

phil w. (Dorf)



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Well it took three years but it finally happened.  Yesterday I hit an unseen deadhead broadside and put a nice hole in the boat.  I was luckey it was above the waterline and we only took in a small amount of water. 

I was on the Lower AuSable River looking for Steelhead.  Was lucky at least the fish cooperated, We got a couple of fresh chromers. 

My fishing buddy, his first time fishing from in a drift boat, was inpressed with fishing from the boat (He's primarily a wadeing fisher) except for the crash part.  He didn't fail to remind me of it several times the rest of the day.  I blamed it on the snow and cold (21*0), couldn't see.

Had a roll of duct tape and covered the hole after it happened.  It would only stick to the cold wood after we applied a couple of those chemical hand warmers against the tape against the boat.  Tape was still there after I took the the boat to the Quarter Car Wash (pressure washer), on the way home.

Here's a couple of pics of the damage.

Started the repair today.  I will make a plate from cedar strips and patch it in placee.  The left side will be supported by the frame and the right is scarfed.  Some epoxy and f'glass should meke a decent repair and at least be as strong as the original side panels.

If you live long enough to get to experience a lot of things, most are good some are not the best.  Oh well, it still floats.

Wish me luck,


Ouch. At least its fixable, good luck with the repair, she has a little character now 

You might want to scarf your cut out you will get a better bond for your patch!! You wouldn't have to cut it out all the way to the ribs! Have fun it's just a scratch


Thanks for your comments.  I have scarfed the forward (right side).  The top and bottom will be fit with bead and cove same as the rest of the side construction.  It should be, when complete, the same strength as the original.  Your right, its just a scratch, however a big one.


I had a repair similar to your project on a 4 panel Alder door that a renters dog gnawed on.

I patched reconstructed the area with bondo..

Got the surface sanded smooth put a coat or 2 of finish on the patched area...

Then I matched the grain, color and value , using artists oil paints.. (Walmart)

Then put a final coat of finish the door.... 

The damaged area disappeared, as tho it was never there...

You can do the same technique with your patch , matching each strip of wood color on either side of the patch and projecting  that line of cedar strip color thru your patch area and blend it in on either side 

Basically you would do a Faux Finish over your Patch ....  between the layers of finish (so the oil paints don't stain the wood) to match your cedar stripped hull on either side of the patch... 

Repeat the process on the other side......

Then the final finish of the original hull .... Looks like you used glass and epoxy....

Good Luck !


Interesting idea, I might need to do something like that to match the cedar strip colors after the patch is installed.  My concern for the moment is wether I'll need to steam the strips to match the curvature of the boat's side at theat station.  I do not want the patch to be a flat spot on the side of the boat.

Thanks for your input,


I made some clamp blocks that matched my gunwale so I could curve the patch pieces. Worked a lot better than trying to fit them flat.


I watched a guy make a wooden wagon wheel .... he steamed the rim in a long pipe with water welded closed at one end and heated it with a torch and it curved around his jig like spaghetti.  

The other thought I had is to laminate each strip horizontally and vertically one strip at a time to get the hull curvature.

I wonder if you could route out a step, on the top and bottom of the cut so the patch bends around to match the sides.

man, bummer Phil, couldnt have happened to a nicer fella! You needed something to work on anyway :)

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to all you Wooden Boat People! 

Looking forward to 2018 and putting more time fishing in the DB and not working on it as much.

Merry Christmas to everyone too. Hey Dorf, once that repair is done, looks like the trailer needs some touch up too :)


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