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. Laying fiberglass on the inside surfaces of the side planks. In total, there are 44 planks on the hull including the transom. 

Chris Craft. They are just dry fit and held on with a couple of wood screws, but it does my heart well to see some planks going back on.

All the old wood screw holes are filled with Smith’s Fill-It. I changed my mind and decided to lightly sand the planks prior to installing. But I’m very careful and I keep the orbital sand moving. 

Chris Craft. Backer-boards for the transom planks installed. 

Looking really good!

Rick Newman

Thanks Rick!

Chris Craft. The planks are dry fit on the port side. I opened up some of the seams between the planks to at least 1/8 inch for caulking with a marine sealant. Time to start working on the starboard planks again.

The green tape is the waterline. Where the tape is and everything above it (in the photo) will be fiberglassed and painted. Everything below it will be stained and varnished. 

Keep up the good work!



Beautifully done, Guy.

Thanks Rick and Shawn!

You are most welcome! your work is worthy of our praise!


Chris Craft. Working on the starboard planks. 


I've been watching (lurking) at your progress over these last few months and have been impressed with your engeering and workmanship on this boat.  It's really going to be a first class boat when your finished.  I enjoy you posting your progress, can't wait to see the final result.



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