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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The boat cover was made by Dan Brunson in Idaho Falls, ID.  His number is 208-681-6458.  I asked for and received his permission to post that information.  He does quality work!

The "Guytanic" on display at the Wooden Boat Show in Wilson, WY, on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Thanks A.J. and Dutch for organizing the event. It was a wonderful day.

Guy, how have you been doing? How has "Guytanic" holding up and working? I have often wondered how things are going for you. Many folks are online for a while and then disappear. I am glad to see you return, hope you stick around.

Rick Newman

Hi Rick,

I'm doing well. Thank you for asking. I stop by once and awhile to read the new posts. It's always interesting and educational.

The Guytanic is also doing well. It doesn't see much river time. On average I get out maybe two or three times during the summer. So far always around Swan Valley, Challis, and Salmon, ID. And half of those trips are just to take some friends out on the water for a tour.

How are you and your boat doing?


I have been fishing more this year than I have for quite a long time. I have been enjoying my time in the boat and bringing trout to the net. I have been working on refinishing the frames and interior woodwork as time and outdoor covered storage have removed some of the finish. I also floated on the McKenzie River at the annual wooden boat festival and enjoyed seeing the Oregon guys and AJ. I have been enjoying freedom from the pain I have been dealing with for way too long. Getting out and spending time with friends is wonderful. It's good to see your boat on these pages.

Rick Newman

Rick, great to see your getting out, fishing and enjoying your boat. I too am about to do a roll over. I haven't rolled the boat over to re-do the bottom in 3 years, maybe more. But the shallow summer runs have caught up to me and the boat and it's time. I'll have to do the inside as well. Many salmon, steelhead, kokanee and trout have cleared the gunnel's and the inside shows it. Fall is not that far off and coastal salmon is but only a couple weeks away. I left myself just enough time to get er done before the fish bender starts. Keep the pain free days coming your way is my wish to you and all of us. Pain sucks.

You are absolutely right about pain sucking. My pain med and the ARNP (Advanced Registration Nurse Practioner) that suggested it have both changed my life, I can fish, work and more. Life is good again. Thanks for the good wishes!

Rick Newman


Good to see your still around.  Lots of new faces and a few diehards.  Boat still looks great.


Hi Phillip!

Thanks. And how is your beautiful boat doing? I saw the repair pictures awhile back. As a result, I started packing two roles of wide duct-tape onboard my boat! : )



I have the boat patched and have been using it.  Got too warm here in recent days, water temps in the rivers are in the 70's which stresses the fish too much.  So we're waiting for cooler temps.  Going to update my boats condition soon as I am making some cosmetic changes to make the "patch" less noticeable.

Enjoy the summer.


This is my next wooden boat project. It’s a 1961 Chris Craft 17-ft Runabout I purchased out of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Look's like a fun project. Are you in the area now? How much have you used your drift boat?

Rick Newman


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