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: 87149

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion


Are those Beckson Deck Plates in front of the Cooler?  Access to drain plugs?  Just curious?



Yes.  They are Beckson deck plates and they do give me access to the drain plugs.  I bought them at iboats.com.



Nice looking oars, were worth the wait.  Don't forget we want to see some pics of the maiden voyage.

Great job!


Thanks Phil.  I'll be sure to take pictures!


Thanks Tom.  That's a "Yeti 45" cooler.

Ever since making the deck plates, I've been thinking about all the different ways of securing them to the boat.  (Mainly I don't want them flopping around on rough roads.  And God-forbid the boat ever capsized on the river.)  I finally decided that the least intrusive way is to bolt small blocks of wood to the frames at the corners of each deck plate.  This way, there is only a single 5/16-in. hole in the frame and the blocks can be easily removed.  There are 10 blocks on each side.  Right after varnishing the boat (which sucked by the way) I was a little too burned out to tackle this project.  But now I finally got it done.  Here are some pictures.

Some pictures from the first float along the South Fork of the Snake River near Swan Valley, Idaho.  There were three along for the trip, plus one dog.  My friends caught a rainbow, a brown, and a rainbow/cutthroat hybrid.  I was mostly learning how to row!


Well its about time!! Congrats,boat and varnish look great.

Well Done, Guy!

Thanks for the journey of all of your pictures, capped by a suitable, beautiful river run. This last picture is a testament to quality. Yay!


Beautiful craftsmanship and wonderfully documented.  I both learned a lot and decided I am not likely to ever build a boat nearly as nice.  Congratulations on a job well done.



Thanks for sharing with us.  Congratulations on a Job Well Done!


The boat cover was completed today.  The cover was made by a coworker who does this sort of upholstery/canvas work as a side business.

Are they taking orders?


© 2019   Created by Randy Dersham.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service