Aluminum Fly fishing Drift boat refurb project.

Well, after trying like hell to save for a clack, then a raft, and having "something come up" each and every time, I have decided to refinish and refinish my old (80s) alumaweld drift boat and trailer. The trailer was a (poorly) home built job that some rednecks fabbed up somewhere along the line. I am in the middle of refinishing that with Tylor Strand.

Here are some of the mods we are doing to the trailer:

-Grind trailer to bare metal, smooth out and inspect all welds, re-weld some of the crappy stuff.
- dissassemble the bearings, hubs, spindles, inspect and repack with grease.
- new fenders (the old ones were rusted and shitty)
- all new wiring and lights including 3" flush mounted LEDs in the fenders.
-new safety chains and tie downs with 2" weld on clevis mounts.
- New tongue and coupler, new bunks and a solid wood floor.
-all new stainless hardware
-roll on herculiner exterior finish.

As soon as the trailer is finished we will be starting on the boat. Right now, it is a gear chucker special with a bench seat up front and no seats in the rear. Here are the future mod plans for the boat itself

-Replace the bench seat with a flat floor and pedastol mount. Swivel seat and front casting brace.
-Add rear seat, or rear cooler with rear casting brace.
-Build anchor holster inside the transom for safe anchor transportation.
-refinish the outside with fresh paint, or grind down existing paint and pollish the underlying alumiunum.
-Re finish the interior of the boat with rhino lining or something similar.
-Polish existing interior parts and diamond plate floors.
-fab side pull anchor system.
-fish pond boat bags on both sides of rower.

I will post pics in the days/weeks to follow. and if anyone has any brilliant ideas about thier perfect drift boat interior, please chime in!!! We are still in the planning phase of the boat, but we will start working on it next week.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Jesse, sounds like a time consuming but well thought out project. I wish you the best during the process and hope that some photos hit the site...before and progress would be cool, memories of your labor of love.
Thanks alot mumbles. I forgot to mention that I will be recoating the bottom of the boat with GLUVIT. I will try to create a writeup for that as i hear the stuff is slick as snot and really changes the way the boat slides over rocks..... The last few summers I have been doing my best bobsled impression pushing the boat through the shallow stuff and jumping in as it gets deep.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
I did some bobsledding on the Satsop one dry summer and of course on the Hoh a month or so ago when the flow was around 950cfs or so. I'll keep checking back. Maybe you'll inspire me to find a cheap drift boat that needs some wife hates you already.

Itchy Dog

Some call me Kirk Werner
I salute your efforts to restore your old boat and trailer on two accounts:

1. The time and effort will rekindle your love for the old skow in ways that a new boat could never touch.

2. It's a great example or recycling and reusing- very green of you :thumb:

Looking forward to a photo essay and of course the finished product! :thumb:
Might consider sandblasting the trailer and powder coat it.

Then using soda blast the aluminum boat. This worked out quite well for me one time. It won't chew up the aluminum, but makes it ALL clean. Wash away too.

I did a boat with my son, and we have great memories of the work, and of course the first time out.

Thanks guys. I will be on the coast this weekend, But monday I will start the writeup. I got some decent pics of the trailer halfway torn apart. I wish I had full "before pics" but nevertheless, you will be able to see a ton of progres......

Thanks for the reccomendation for the sandblasting, but the trailer is already shiny and smooth because we spent 3 nights grinding and sanding it with grinding wheels. I will use roll on bedliner to coat it. The boat however, might get blasted and refinished. We will see.

Thanks thus far for your suggestions and encouragement.

Tight Lines.
my wife hates you already.
So does Tylers Wife! Shes about to have a baby in a week or so and tyler is always in my garage! BTW kudos to TYler for some great design ideas and some kick ass welding.....

Dont overlook this guy if you have projects that need to be done.
My son is now 21, and the origin of the bag of soda has been lost in the moving waters of time. I got the info from a antique car restorer from Massachusetts, who has since moved to Key West and is now a pirate (or something like that, maybe attorney).

The boat looks today, like it did the day it was painted, so I know it works. Looks the same minus the three feet of snow on top...

Have fun. Pictures are great.
ALAKSKA, What can you tell me about painting on the aluminum? what type of paint and primer did you use? Should I rattle can or invest in a sprayer unit?
Jesse 1 can of black 1 can of green 1 can of tan and a couple fern leaves = REDNECK CAMO hurry up with the boat will ya I need a ride on pass. I am boatless at the moment..
DANM ZANE! What happened to that "baller" skiff you had? Get a new one stat!

And thats a "no go" on the redneck camo. Its gotta match my jeep! Call it what you want..... All I know is i have yet to see an all black drift boat.!