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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Yes. Boat was in the water last in 2015. Kept in a barn. Dry as a bone. 

It will be a fun project with numerous challenges. I am sure that by now you are a frequent visitor to Woodenboatforum.com as well.


On the Martinac. Prepare the transom for the scarfs. Cutting out the rotten/damaged sections of plywood and beams around the transom. It will be stronger than new when I’m done. At least this area will be. : )

A little more work on the Martinac’s transom. I’m squaring the cuts. 

Looking good, Are you going to use the boat's current name? It seems like it would be a good one!


You’re right. The name is very appropriate. I may keep it. : )

Or Phoenix Rising Two/ II / Again

I’ve been disassembling the Martinac’s engine. It’s a 1959 Flagship built with a Chevy 283 block and a Paragon HF2D hydraulic transmission (direct drive with reverse, neutral, and forward). It took me awhile to figure out how to remove the transmission. It’s a little tricky. Especially when it’s 60 years old and obsolete. 

Unfortunately there was water in the engine oil. I’m not sure of the source yet. But that’s not a good sign on an old marine engine. Could be serious. We’ll see. 

Down to the block! That wasn’t easy. 

How is the"snout" or extended drive unit on crankshaft pulley fastened on? Have you miked the cylinders and looked for unusual wear in the cylinders? Are the pistons stock sizes or are they stamped with an oversize dimension? Looking good, this is the easy part of the rebuild, you don't have to remember where to put things back!


Hi Rick. 
I know next to nothing about engines and less about transmissions. I’ll take the block and heads to a local performance shop and let them assess the situation. I’ll probably send the transmission to a marine shop to be serviced. 
The skills needed to fix these things are not part of my set. 

I can appreciate that. At one time I wanted to work on motorcycles because my parents wouldn't let me have one. So, I studied Automotive Technology and earned a degree in it. I never did work much on cars but I did do a fair amount of work on motorcycles, snowmobiles and remote site core drilling equipment! I then learned that the job field where I lived was much influenced by the gas shortage in 1973 and a rather new mechanic was often at the last hired, first fired position. I am thankful for all the knowledge I learned both in school and in the many years since that time. I haven't had to do any major engine work in decades but still try to do what work I can. That education has both saved me a lot of money and also cost some as I purchased a few vehicles that I thought I could repair. An Austin Healy 3000 MkIII requires frequent and generous donations of cash to keep operating. I finally figured out that car cost me about $200 an hour to drive! Oh well, the two hours over a year were worth it! Good choices on your boat mechanical repairs.


PS, I finally did get a few motorcycles. The last one I got for free 15 years ago is still awaiting my initial diagnosis! (Honda Trail 90)


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