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

Views: 90455

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I’m also adding wood to the bottom ends of the side frames where they join the bottom frames. 

I drilled out all the old wood screw holes in the gripe to 1/4-inch and filled with mahogany dowels and waterproof Gorilla glue. I decided to use dowels rather than toothpicks this time because it’s the bow and I want it to be as strong as possible. 

The gripe is starting to look good with the old holes plugged with dowels. 

I’m starting to fit the frames back onto the hull. This will take time to fair all the surfaces to the proper contours. 

That's really nice, I love to build wood ship kits and its my hobby. Currently I am a learner.

Hi Andrew. Thanks. Post a picture of one of your models here. I like to see one. Guy

I’ve got the frames bolted into position. I’m just about ready to dry fit the chines. 

Starting to dry fit the keel and chines. 

You have been busy! Looking good!

Rick N

Thanks Rick. I’m try to keep it moving forward. 

I got the frames and the old plywood bottom to fit together pretty well. So I took it all apart again. I’ll do some light sanding, seal coat everything with Smith’s Penetrating Epoxy Sealer, paint everything with Sandusky Bilge Paint, and reassemble it for the final time. 

This is the old plywood bottom. I will use it as a pattern to cut the new plywood. 


© 2020   Created by Randy Dersham.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service