My drift boat build was completed in 2011 and I used it for both fishing and a commercial gig to transport a photographer around Montana and Idaho. His long term project is the photojournalistic documentation of Lewis and Clark's travels. Before I got involved he hiked almost all the trail out west that they travel at exactly the same time of year to document the geography, flora, fauna of the trail at the same time of year that they traveled.

When he found out I could transport him via my drift boat we started on the Clearwater and Missouri rivers. It was a multiyear project so we di a variety of trips. However, Lewis and Clark traveled in the spring time on the White Cliffs section of the Missouri. Springtime in the Rockies can be cold, cold and wet, cold and wet and windy all in just a few minutes. The moisture from the sky mixes with the Montana Gumbo, most of us would call it mud. I deem to classify it as a heavy, abrasive, sticky, admixture of rough materials. Not only dies it make your boots heavy when you exit the boat and return to shore it also collects on your gear. Repacking the boat each day meant more Montana Gumbo would be adhered to the interior of my boat.

When I initially finished the boat I used a clear polyurethane finish that looked good and seemed to protect the wood on the interior well. It's abilities to resist abrasion from Montana Gumbu had not been tested. Combine storage under two polyurethane tarps that had been carefully aged in Eastern Washingtons' high UV summer conditions and an abundance of snowfall resulted in a wet environment perfect for removing the interior finish!

I started on wooding the finish so I could apply a new finish in 2019. Covid conditions have proven to be a godsend for forcing me to take the plunge, grab the multitude of sanders, scrapers and tons of sandpaper. I have been spending many hours bent over the interior of the boat and now have the interior pretty much ready. The interior floor has 18 oz S-glass laminated to it. At least on 95 % of the floor. Remember that moisture from excess snow. It too can be used to reduce the tenuous hold of epoxy to the plywood floor in small area. I have sanded the floor, removed non-adhered fiberglass and loose debris. The upright ribs had decided to acquire a wonderous coat of black mold. That is all gone and now the have a protective coat of Total Boat varnish as initial protection.

Note the lack of seats and all other boat furniture, you can see th...

Okay, so now I have almost gotten the boat prepped for finish, which should be coming soon. At the moment I need to prvide a ride for my wife so I will need to add a section continuing where I left off. Butt first a few more pictures before I go.

An overall image of the port side.

In the image below you can the initial body filler application over the now further recessed ring shank nails. Details later!

Rick Newman

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I will send pictures..thank you for the reply.

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