11ft Drift Boat?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Warren Messer, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Warren Messer Member

    Posts: 63
    Maple Valley, Wash
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I've been designing an 11ft drift boat for one to two persons, "but" would anyone want to build one? The hull models all come out to about 11ft plus an inch or two, with a 58" beam and a 42" bottom. The hull has a "bobed" nose, because I only wanted to use 3 sheets of plywood for the basic hull. The "wide" nose (at the top only, the bottom of the panel is still a "V") also helps to keep the flare at the bow of the hull for a drier boat. The hull will have storage/extra (water tight kayak hatches) floation at the bow and stern, also two tanks along the sides for more storage and flotation. There will be two moveable seat setups (with high backed seats) so you can adjust the postions to balance the hull to the number of persons on board.

    I started out with the idea to "shape" the hull for the Yakima River, but decided on a more aggressive design for rivers like the SoleDuck, Tieton, and Natchess. I've done some "tank" testing with scale hulls and weights on different designs, and have been happy with the final hull's load carrying capacity. It should handle up to class 3 water if the oarsman has the experience. "BUT" before I go out and buy three sheets of 9mm, and two of 6mm 1088 plywood and $300 worth of epoxy, I want to see what you think. You've seen one of the boats I have built at www.flickr.com/photos/flycaster. Let me know if this is something to continue, or file delete.

  2. Dave Hartman is tired of trout

    Posts: 591
    Whitefish, MT
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    Sounds awesome. It almost sounds like more of a pram, which I have become a huge fan of. Will it fit into the back of a pickup?
  3. Davy Active Member

    Posts: 2,021
    SIlverton, OR
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    For the Nook and others? I can see the Yakima, a few others. But...................

    This is what happens with 11ft DB's , I am sure with the wrong people as well , but jeeez. Sounds like a great design job though.:thumb: I would "stretch " it, just my OP

    Attached Files:

  4. flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

    I floated the Yak in a 10' or 11' boat with a guy from the board a few years ago. It was a very nice boat and handled well, but I would think it was somewhat limited for rivers at least. He had it all rigged up on a small trailer.

    Other than a scare when I first started rowing, I just didn't get away from the bank quick enough after getting the anchor up, it was great! Nothing dangerous, although the rods almost got tangled in the bushes, but not a fun way to start w/ someone I didn't know before floating with them.

    Anyway, I would go for a bigger boat, since it would give you a lot more options on where to float, but I'm sure there are some that would want a smaller one.

  5. Jon Borcherding New Member

    Posts: 535
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    That was a good question! This would make a big difference in the utility of your design. If you haven't tried it already, you could make a full size section mold at the point of widest beam and check it in a few different PU beds. Standard is about 48" between the wheel wells on a full size truck. I see your bottom width is 42". If the sides don't have too much flare they will clear the tops of the wheel wells.
    Will you frame the boat and fasten w/ hardware or use stitch and glue?

  6. APS New Member

    Posts: 7
    Shelton, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    If it's got the same bow as your photos I'd say nah, roundfile it. I used an 8' pram on the Yakima and Nisqually from ~66 to 74, and it was great for a kid with no brains and no passengers. But everyone is inclined to push their limits, and with no bow the limit isn't far out there. You can make it unsinkable but when you ship a wave you lose a lot of control when you need it most. Build it small but build it with a bow.

    After the pram I got a 14' Eastside kit boat. It was still possible to find ways to scare yourself but it took more work.

    Nice photos, by the way.
  7. nomlasder Active Member

    Posts: 1,325
    Ratings: +115 / 0
    Don Hill used to make a "Mini Drifter", I think plans are still available. Someone in the Seattle area had one for sale they had built this last fall and winter. I kept seeing the price come down and down, almost to the point the sales price wouldn't cover materials. I don't know if it ever did sell.
  8. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,663
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +544 / 0
    I've got a Don Hill Mini Drifter. Glass construction. They call it a 10 footer, but its actually 9'6" without the anchor bracket. It has higher and more flared sides than the rockered pram in your photos (Very nice work, by the way), maybe slightly more rocker, a cut-off square bow with a lot of angle to it, so it bounces over whitewater. (You don't want to hit a rock dead square-on with this boat, though). It turns on a dime, is quick and maneuverable, almost squirrely. I like it. I haven't seen any place on the Wynoochee, Satsop, Hoh, or Cowlitz that would be any more difficult in this boat than my friend's Willie 16. It could easily take that drop in Davy's photos without incident. Just depends on who's at the oars.

    Its an older one, and I picked it up used, still in decent shape, for $500. Came with Sawyer wooden 7.5' oars plus a spare oar and anchor setup. It will fit into the back of a full-sized P/U. I don't have a full-sized rig, so I haul mine on my convertible canoe trailer, which I must re-configure each time I switch boats. I can car-top the canoe, however, so once I've configured the trailer for the mini-drifter (takes about an hour to switch boats), about this time of the year, I start car-topping the canoe more.

    But the main reason I have it is in case I want to float alone and have to drag the boat around obstructions, or even back upstream after taking a "wrong braid" and finding a large cottonwood spanning the river from bank to bank. Smaller and lighter is easier to drag by one's lonesome. You have to hire a shuttle, though, for your rig.
    If you are floating with two people, a 16 footer doesn't seem all that big once you get it in the water. Sometimes my buddie's Willie 16 looks kinda small once you see it in the river.
    My mini-drifter would be cramped with two, but two could float from spot to spot OK in it and get out and fish. I'm able to anchor and stand and cast from it when fishing alone, though.
    Thats my $.02, for what it's worth.
  9. Jon Borcherding New Member

    Posts: 535
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Perhaps I've misunderstood but, I think the bow transom panel will be a "V" shape. Nothing like the pram in the pictures. Please correct me if I've got it wrong, Warren.

  10. Seattle Steelie Here fishy fishy!

    Posts: 5
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
  11. Josh Benjamin Member

    Posts: 988
    duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    lavro's got a couple different 11'ers, more driftboat-style than pram. thats a beauty of a boat you've got there, but you'd be hard pressed to get me into it for anything other than the yak thru the canyon. absolutely beutiful looking boat though.
  12. Warren Messer Member

    Posts: 63
    Maple Valley, Wash
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks for all the input. The drift boat design has a lot narrower bow panel than the "flycaster pram", and lots more rocker in the hull. The stern panel is a good foot narrower at the top than on the boat in my Flickr.com site. From the side and stern it looks like a normal drift boat hull. Only from the front end do you see the "deep V" wedge shape of the bow. At 42" on the bottom panel, it should even fit in small pickups. I wanted to do this smaller hull so people could take it out by themselfs. I think that they would be light enough so you could even "stack" one on top of another, so you could set up a simple shuttle (that was the thing I most disliked about whitewater kayaking) if just one person had a small trailer. I also wanted to keep the hull short so the adverage person could store the boat at home without hoging up all the driveway space. Just tip it up against the garage. I could streach the design out to 13-14ft with no problems and have a regular bow, but it would require more sheets of plywood. Materials wise, I think the 11ft boat could be made (by you) for around $800, the 14ft model for around $1100. I will take a couple of photos of the 11ft model and post them here in a couple of days to give you a better idea of what I am talking about.
  13. Roper Idiot Savant

    Posts: 4,317
    Glenraven Ranch
    Ratings: +797 / 1
    Warren, is the Pudgy finished???
  14. Warren Messer Member

    Posts: 63
    Maple Valley, Wash
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Roper: Yes the PUD-g is finished. I've posted the final photos at www.flickr.com/photos/pud_g I had the boat out sailing on lake wilderness last tuesday and had a blast. Sail was way to big, but what the hay.

    Davey: Thanks for adding the photos. I can see why the boat dumped. If the "boater" had been 6ft to "his" right he would have missed the "pillow rock" at the bottom of the drop. You can see the water pouring over it. He was lined up dead on to hit it. I would imagiane that he caught the bow on the upstream side of the rock and got turned sideways, held up, filled up, and tipped up. A well build stitch and glue epoxy wood hull would never have floated so low in the water, even if it was holed. I learned that aluminum boats "hang/stick" to rocks when I had my 17ft Grumman in the Isiask(sp) River on the Bowern Lake System.
  15. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,663
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +544 / 0
    Warren, I put the tape to my mini-drifter, and its maximum beam is 45" wide at the bottom and almost 62" wide between the top outer edges of the gunwales. Sides are between 18" and 19" high. Length on bottom is 7.5', and 9.5' on top. The bow is about 30" wide at the bottom and nearly 45" wide across the top...the guy I bought the boat from described it as a 14' er with 4' of the bow cut off.
    This boat is great for one person, cramped and minimal for two. I think an extra foot or two of length would make the boat more comfortable and viable for two persons. I say go for it with the 11 footer!

    To eliminate "stickiness" on aluminum hulls, products like Gluvit and Coat-It work great! Expensive and a hassle to apply, but worth it.
  16. Jim Byler Pram Guy

    Posts: 19
    Dalton Gardens, ID
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Depending on where you fish, a small like pram can be an advantage. I built a small pram (9' 6' x 52' with three planks to the side and flat bottomed) when I was living in Missoula, Montana, and floated quite a few local rivers there without difficulty. But I was careful about what sections that I floated and when. The big advantage was that I could roll it from the truck to the river on transome mounted wheels, and get on the river for an hour or two by myself.

    I built another flyfishing pram a few years ago, after moving to North Idaho. It is primarily a lake boat, for one or two fishers, that can also be used in rivers. It is my own design, 9' 7" x 51" with one plank sides and a V bottom. It has a very shallow v in the middle of the boat to give it good initial stability for standing (calm water only), but deeper at each for punching through a chop in lakes. I put narrow wheels on the transome so that the boat will track in lakes with wheels down, and spin in rivers with wheels up. It rows very well for a short boat and rides in the pickup bed.

    I don't have plans, but I do have photos if anyone is interested. I'm also thinking of selling this one, as I have built a number of other boats and am trying to clear a bit more space in the garadge.
  17. Warren Messer Member

    Posts: 63
    Maple Valley, Wash
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I've finally gotten around to taking some photos of my SolDuk driftboat model. The photos should explane what I mean about having a "flat nose". I did this so I could get away with only using 3 sheets of 9mm plywood. A longer hull would have forced me into using a lot more wood. The last photo shows the interior plan I will use for this hull. There will be several hatchs, bow and stern grab handles, anchor brackets, and two moveable/removeable seat platforms that will span the two side storage/floatation tanks.

    I will be holding off building this hull for awhile, and will next be building the 10ft version of my Nuthatch pram. You can see photos of the 8ft version at www.geocities.com/redbarnboats/nuthatch and photos of my other "10ft" flyfishing pram, the FlyCasters bigger brother, at www.geocities.com/redbarnboats/hudsonsprings

    Let me know what you think.

    Sorry, I forgot to add the interior photo. Will do it tomorrow.
  18. Warren Messer Member

    Posts: 63
    Maple Valley, Wash
    Ratings: +0 / 0
  19. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,663
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +544 / 0
    Very clean lines, Warren. Sweet looking design. Sounds like you've designed and built alot of boats.
    My Don Hill is way different, being very wide in the bow, much wider than the stern. When rowing down a river, of course, it looks like a pram pointed upstream going backwards downstream. When I use mine in a lake, the stern becomes the bow and it looks more like a pram. Yeh, mine looks like a chubby bass-ackward pram with rocker.
    I really like the idea of a smaller, narrower boat that will fit into the back of a smaller pickup, though. I suppose you would begin to lose stability going too narrow, but I think 42" wide at the bottom is still wide enough.
  20. TheShadKing Will Fish For Food

    Posts: 261
    Bellevue, WA
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    I ran into a guy last weekend at the Sandpoint ID Woodenboat show, who had a boat not unlike the one pictured, that fit into the back of a pickup, but alas I can't remember the size of the pickup ... might have been full size, might have been 3/4, it definitely wasn't a Ford Ranger-sized pickup. On the other hand, it wasn't a tight squeeze. :)

    The feller said the boat was 9' long, and I don't think it was a DH mini-drifter, but I wouldn't recognize one of those if I rowed into it. :rofl:

    It was a pretty boat, and for sale. I gave the guy a pointer to WFF, maybe a post will show up about it.