This subject has been around in recent posts, so I am adding this to help folks here better understand how the different construction methods compare.

When I decided to build a drift boat back in 2011-12 I read Roger Fletcher's book and selected Woody Hindman's double ender with a transom.  I did some additional research on Wooden Boat Forum and a couple of others.  I decided the conventional framing with lap joints wasn't for me.  I decided to use half lap joints and NO Screws in my boat just epoxy.  Later, thanks to Rick Newman I added wooden dowels, straight and tapered (trunnels) as a means to improve on the strength of fastening different elements to the boat.

About the time I was studying the plans I contacted Gougeon Brothers in Bay City, Michigan and spoke to one of their experienced techs.  He suggested I make sample of the joint I wanted to use and one or to others and they would test them for me.  they did a real professional job on preparing my samples and running the tests on their tensile test machine.

I made three different designs of No. 5 frame; the first was a half lap with just epoxy, the second was a lap joint like shown in the plans with epoxy and wood screws, then I added a third a butt joint with a plywood gusset, epoxy and wood screws.

All three were coated with neat epoxy and thickened epoxy all from the same batch.

The three pictures below tell the rest of the story.

As you can see they added feet to support the pieces and reinforced the "legs" to cause the force to concentrate on the joints.  Based upon these tests I decided the half lap joints were for me.

I you have any questions, just ask.


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That is good stuff. The standard lap joint didnt have the chine cutout and had 4 screws in it. I think you gave that one the benefit of the dought. I dont regret doing mine with half lap, and I`ll do it again if I build another boat. I dont think my wood dowels added anything other than fill the temp screw holes, but gave it character :)


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