Hello Everyone,


My name is Guy and this is my first post in this forum.  I am here because I want to build a wooden drift boat and, undoubtedly, I will occasionally need advice of the pool of experts and experienced drift boat builders on this forum.


In preparation for this project I have read and studied three books: Drift Boats and River Dories by R. L. Fletcher, Boatbuilding with Plywood by G. L. Witt, and Covering Wooden Boats with Fiberglass by A. H. Vaitses.  I have also developed my own set of construction plans based off of the "Original McKenzie Double-Ender with Transom" in Fletcher's book.  I used and MS Excel spreadsheet to calculate all of the dimensions, cut angles, compound angles, and bevel angles of all frame components and I used Pilot3D software to calculate the as-cut dimensions of the plywood sides and bottom.  At this point I am pretty comfortable with the mechanics of construction and I think that I am just about ready to start purchasing lumber.


Presently, I plan to use Meranti Hydro-Tek plywood; 1/4-in. on the sides and 1/2-in. on the bottom.  I found plenty of places to purchase these materials, but they are all far away from Idaho Falls, Idaho, and as a result shipping costs more than the materials.  Are any of you aware of a business within a few hundred miles of Idaho Falls that sells this plywood?  I have a few requests in to the local lumber companies, but I have yet to talk with someone who has heard of this material before.


I also plan to use Port Orford Cedar (CVG) for the straight frame sections and White Oak (quater sawn) for the bent frame sections (chine logs and sheer rails).


Thank you, Guy

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Porcupine’ing the frames. Gorilla glue and toothpicks in each old screw hole. 

I like it! I thought for a minute that it was the remnants of some 5200!


I’ve already gone through about 7000 toothpicks. :)

Porcupine’ing the port chine rails. 


About 2000 more toothpicks. 

Guy, you are very thorough and dedicated! Impressive!

Rick Newman

One of these days I’ll turn the corner and start putting it back together. 

The port side bottom planks have been cleaned, scraped, lightly sanded (inside surfaces only), and coated with penetrating epoxy sealer (inside surfaces only). Next I will fill all the screw holes with epoxy putty and apply a layer of fiberglass to the inside surfaces. 

A labor of love! Where will you use this fine watercraft?

Rick N

Rick... I’ll be afraid to use it after all this work... : )

Jackson Lake, Yellowstone Lake, and Red Fish Lake are on the list of places I want to go. And I’d like to take it to some of the Idaho boat shows. 

I’m starting on the starboard side. All the port side planks are cleaned and ready for more finish work. 

Almost got the starboard bottom stripped. 


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