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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I’m still waiting on oars to arrive. But I did install two 4-in.-dia. deck plates to access the drain plugs without removing the deck itself.

My oars arrived today, but they arrived damaged in transit and Hyde didn't accept delivery from the carrier. So I'm back to square-one with the oars.  It’s frustrating, but these things happen.

I have a hard time believing that someone at Hyde drift boats doesn't have a spare set of oars you can borrow in the meantime. Given that u bought quite a bit of stuff from them to deck out your boat, I would think they could find something used you can borrow so you can take the boat out and get it wet. I think it's worth asking.


To their credit, Hyde did offer to loan me a set of oars.  And one of my friends offered to loan me a set of oars.  But for some reason that doesn’t appeal to me at this point.  I spent about a year and a half building this boat and the first time I take it out, I really want it to be “finished”.  It's kind of a goal.  That probably doesn’t sound very reasonable or rational, but that’s how it is.


When you explain to your coworkers and family friends that you have spent a year and a half building and finishing a wooden drift boat do they give you the look that your activity was rational? You have to be a little different, in a good way, to spend the time, money and effort that we do building boats.

I can totally understand that you want it "finished". While I floated in April at the Wooden Bot Festival my boat hasn't touched the water but one time since. However that will soon change. I have been doing finishing touches to my boat (pictures soon) and I will be doing a 20 mile float on the Clearwater River in Idaho as a precursor to next years longer floats on the Clearwater and some Montana Rivers that Lewis and Clark visited for a photographic expedition for a friend.

There is also a great series of posts on Wooden Boat Forum about "You know your a wooden boat builder when:"

Rick Newman


I am 100% with you on this one!  I'll be launching my boat on my terms also, however, it'll probably 2014 by the time it's ready, OH Well!

Hang in there, it'll be worth it in the long haul.


Thanks Rick and thanks Phil.  Thanks for understanding.  But isn’t this just a bit like the inmates guarding the asylum?  : )

The 10-ft oars finally arrived!  I decided to install Oar-Rights. 

And I installed a beer cooler.  Very important.

Maybe I can finally get this boat on the river.

Nice looking oars!

What cooler is that?  I've been looking for a decent quality not outrageously expensive cooler option for my boat.


The outrageously expensive Yeti model 45!

Dave, I would have though so too at the beginning of this project. But talk about scope and budget creep. Guy

Drink up while it's cold, ladies---Captain Hadley

Couldn't think of a better accessory for a DB.

Looking Great Guy


PS:  Personally I'd fill it Molson's Golden Ale for the maiden voyage.


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