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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Martinac. I cut the pieces for the swim deck from a Sapele board that was 15-ft x 11.75-in x 1 in. I have about 8-ft of the board left. A beautiful piece of lumber from Intermountain Lumber in Idaho Falls. 

Chris Craft.

I’m rebuilding two distributors. A Auto-Lite IBB 4301A (single point) that was original to my 1961 engine. And a Auto-Lite IBB 4201B (dual point) that was on the 1959 engine I purchased separately. Pictures are of the later. I want to rebuild these distributors with electronic ignition but I am having difficulty finding the correct kit.

The engines are Chevy small blocks. But Chris Craft changed things up. Where the distributor would normally go, they installed the connector for the tachometer rotary cable. They relocated the distributor to the transition mount between the engine and transmission. And they selected a distributor that has nothing to do with Chevy engines. I don’t yet know if these Auto-Lite distributors were custom or, as I suspect, from some car or truck from that time.

I’m giving them a thorough cleaning. If anyone has any information on these distributors or the appropriate electronic ignition kit, I would very much appreciate you sharing. I can go with points and condensers, but I want to avoid that. Thanks!

Chris Craft. The distributors cleaned up nicely. I removed the old paint with CitriStrip and then soaked the parts in Evapo-Rust for a few days. I’m still searching for the correct PerTronix electronic ignition. If they don’t make one, I’ll have to go with the points and condensers. 


I am restoring a real old Craftsman 6" Joiner and have tried White Vinegar (as recommended by a friend) to de-rust the steel components.  I've used Mt Dew and Coke in the past but it kinda gets expensive and doesn't work much better than Vinegar.   So far after a week in a cold garage  (36-39* F) it's not doing much.  So where did you find the Evapo-Rust, on-line or in a big box store?

phil w.

Hi Phil, I bought the Evapo-Rust on Amazon. I haven’t noticed it locally. I looked at the MSDS for Evapo-Rust but it didn’t give much information on the chemistry.

Phil. I’ve seen videos on rust removal by electrolysis using a DC power source. I’ve never tried it. But it works. 

Martinac. I’m nearly finished with rebuilding the carburetor for the Martinac. It’s a 1957 Carter WCFB No. 2655S. I still have to check the adjustments in the linkage. I learned a lot. 

1) “Carter WCFB” is a family of carburetors. There are over 220 variations. 

2) The number on the identification tag should be the reference for exactly how the carburetor is configured. “Should be”. It could have been modified from the original configuration. If the identification tag is missing, good luck. It’s much more difficult then. 

3) A carburetor stand really does help. It was easy to make one. 

I’ve been hunting down small parts for the distributors and carburetors. And I’ve been reading up on the technical aspects of ignition systems and fuel systems. My best resources for such information has been eBay. On eBay I’ve been able to find old training materials from Autolite and Delco Remy that do great jobs of explaining these systems in sufficient detail.

There are countless YouTube videos as well. But my experience shows that nearly all of these videos get it wrong. The people really don’t understand what they think they understand. Good examples are the convoluted explanations of how points, condensers, and spark coils work. I haven’t found a single video that explains it well.

I’ve also tried more modern books describing old engines. But these mostly gloss over the details of the most basic principles.

The basic systems include the battery, starter, ignition solenoid, ignition switch, generator (on my engines), voltage regulator, distributor (points, condenser, mechanical advance, vacuum advance), coil, ignition resistor, spark plugs, carburetor (temperature compensator), fuel pump, and crankcase ventilation. It’s remarkably complex even on a 60 year old V8 engine.

It is wonderful to share your explorations! Thanks for sharing.


Thanks Rick. 

Martinac. Rebuilt distributor for the Martinac’s Chevy 283 engine. This is a standard Delco-Remy distributor for that engine type. The PerTronix electronic ignition replaces the original contacts and condenser. 

Smart to go electronic and move away from points and condenser.  Over 40 years ago I worked in a specialty auto parts store that did a lot of distributor rebuilding and modifications using a Sun machine.


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