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
I hope this site isn’t crashing. The homepage has some issues.
Chris Craft: Since my last post I filled all the new wood screw holes with Smith’s Fill-It, applied a coat of Smith’s Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer, lightly sanded the bottom and washed with water, then faired the bottom with Total Boat TotalFair. Fairing the bottom was an iterative process of applying the fairing compound and sanding. In some places three times. Today I’m applying one last coating of SCPES. it should soon be ready for fiberglass.
The purpose of fairing the bottom isn’t for aesthetics, it’s so the fiberglass will lay flat.
Chris Craft: I changed my mind. Others convinced me to forego the fiberglassed bottom. I’ll prime and paint. More later.