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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1961 Chris Craft. I spent time working on the boat trailer installing new lights and some of the hardware for the bunks, bow guides, bow post, and winch. The rest will have to wait until I can fit the trailer to the boat. Then I went back to work on the bow planks. I decided to strengthen some of the framing. 

1961 Chris Craft: Top planks are positioned but not permanently attached. Next thing to do is to remove the planks again and finish the underlying framing. 

Please tell me what you're going to do with this boat after you finish it?

Hi Ted. First I was to cruise Palisades Reservoir, near Swan Valley, ID. Then I want to take it to some wooden boat shows in northwestern Idaho. Then who knows. : )

If anyone is interested, I post short videos about my boat work on my YouTube channel. I hope it’s okay to provide a link. 


Chris Craft: I know it doesn’t look much different. But all the planks are permanently attached. 

Chris Craft. Instrument panel. 


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