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: 100889

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Martinac. I made a paper pattern to cut the plywood panel for the inside of the transom. The transom is now comprised of two layers of 3/4-inch marine plywood. Originally it was just one layer. 

Martinac. I finished the port and starboard patches near the transom. Starboard patch shown. Next I’ll remove all the transom repairs, saturate the wood with Smith’s Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer, then reassemble it all with 3M 5200 and silicon bronze wood screws. 

Martinac. The pieces of the transom rebuild have received two coats of Smith’s Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer. 

Martinac. Today I started the final assembly of the transom repairs. Lots of 3M 5200. 

Martinac. Outside transom panel attached. 
Sanding and seal coating the inside of the original transom panel. I should have done this earlier, but no big deal. 
After sanding. 
After seal coating with Smith’s Penetrating Epoxy Sealer. 

Martinac. Port side hull patch. I’m being pretty generous with the 3M 5200. 

I hope you don't have to be the one to take this boat apart. 3M stockholders should be very happy with you! Very solid work!


Hi Rick. I’m pretty sure the next refit will be someone else’s problem. : )

Martinac. The transom repairs are done. 

Martinac. The next major tasks are to 1) reinforce the chines, 2) replace the bottom frames and add additional bottom frames, and 3) make and install the engine stringers. 

Martinac. I’m preparing the port chine to accept another strip of white oak. The purpose is two fold. It will strengthen the existing chine. And it will prove additional chine surface to put in another course of wood screws from the bottom. What you see in the picture is about 12 ft of chine length. After the chine work is done I’ll start on the bottom frames. 

Martinac. Now the weight of the hull is resting on the transom and the keel. All the weight from the side supports that warped the hull have been relieved. 
I’m mostly making decisions as I go. This morning I removed most of the bottom frames (side to side) and did some scraping and vacuuming. 
The boards on the bottom that run the length of the hull I’ll call bottom stringers. I’ve decided to replace the bottom stringers. Not because the wood is rotten. But because the fasteners are failing and they are not well sealed. 


© 2022   Created by Randy Dersham.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service