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’ve seen videos of those diagnostic machines for distributors. I haven’t looked into those services. I’m sure it’s still done somewhere. The Delco distributor for the Martinac is pretty straight forward for parts. Not so much for the Autolite distributor for the Chris Craft. I have two Autolite distributors. The springs on one were rusted beyond use. The springs on the other are in good condition, but there are two different springs. And that may be okay. I have been looking for new springs without any luck. But I have found a NOS distributor for the Chris Craft. 

Chris Craft. This is the original carburetor for the 1961 Chris Craft. It’s a Carter WCFB 3059S. I had it rebuilt professionally at a cost of $450. They returned it spray painted grey. But then as I learned more about carburetors, I took it apart, stripped off the grey paint,  and cleaned it more thoroughly. 

Chris Craft. I thought I would be able to reupholster the seats and engine box. But after digging into it, I’ll have to build new seats from scratch. I can maybe salvage some of the wood of the engine box. There seats were a mess. 

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You are makingreat progress!


Hi Rick. Thanks. I’ve been working on several small “loose end” projects. When I get back to the Martinac, I have more stripping and sanding to do. 

Aren't you lucky!


Martinac. I’m back to work on the swim deck. 

Good looking lumber you have chosen!


Hi Rick. Thanks. It’s some type of Mahogany. 

Martinac. Fun times trying to take apart a 60 year old obsolete transmission. A Paragon HF2D. I don’t see anything wrong with it. But it needs a thorough cleaning. 

Martinac. It came apart. Dirty as Hell inside. 


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