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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Chris Craft. I finished installing the supports on the port side. 

Looking good!

I found a project sewing machine in Jerome, ID. It’s a 1907 Singer Model 31-20. Needs a little attention. It was last used in about 1995. I took off what was easy to take off and left the rest. I used a wire wheel to remove the old paint. The paint and primer on the bed was particularly tenacious even with a wire wheel. I then scrubbed it down with a gallon on Simple Green in a pan. Then I sprayed it down with CRC Brakleen Brake Parts Cleaner. Primes and painted it with Rust-Oleum. I’m refinishing the table and I ordered a new servo motor. 

Very nice! Do you want a volunteer job working on some TLC for a motor home?


Would love to Rick. But I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire right now. : )

Me too, way more irons than I can handle! Thanks for the thought though!


That is gorgeous, Guy!  My mom was a Home Ec teacher; she taught her sons to sew when we were little.  Our heavy machine probably dated to the 20's.

Well... I finished resurrecting the 114 years old sewing machine. I replaced the old clutch motor with a servo motor. Now I’m back working on the Chris Craft. I made the supports for the starboard backing rails. 

Wonderful, We had one very similar to this when I was growing up! Tough old machines.


The old sewing machines are beautiful. 

Chris Craft. The foundation is laid (sort of speak). I’m finally ready to dry fit the planks. 

Chris Craft. I preparing the port side planks. These planks are above the waterline. I decided to give them the same treatment as the bottom planks. I’m saturating the inside surface with Smith’s Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer and after that I’ll apply a thin layer of fiberglass. Then I’ll fill all the wood screw holes with Smith’s Fill-It Epoxy Filler.

I’m not doing anything significant to the outside surfaces of any of the planks until after they are permanently attached. There’s no point. Better to leave them until it’s time to fair the outside of the hull. 


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