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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I wish we lived closer to each other. I could use you mechanical skills. : )

I can always try and answer mechanical questions.


The adapter is attached with a single bolt to the crankshaft. However, they often require a press to remove. 

Things are escalating on the Martinac. I removed the bulkhead today because I want to replace the cross frames and add a second chine along the back half. The plywood bottom is fastened with iron nails. At least some iron nails. That’s not good. So I’ll lay a second chine next to the old chine and fasten the bottom to it using some silicon bronze screws. 

The interior actually seems to be in pretty good shape. You will have a great boat when completed!


The hull is in good shape, other than the transom. I’m going to remove everything from inside the hull and replace the bottom cross frames. 

Here are some pictures of Performance Automotive in Idaho Falls, ID. This is where I brought the Martinac’s engine. I love this shop. 

Wonderful shop. I remember when all automotive shops looked like this. The real deal!


Martinac’s hull is looking pretty bare. All the cross frames need to be replaced. 

Your boat has more extinguishers than my house! I guess I need a few more extinguishers haha.  Looking good Guy!

Thanks. One of the first things I did was to siphon 50 gallons of old gasoline from the tank and remove the tank. That’s when the fire extinguishers showed up. : )

A trip to the transfer station...


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