Building a Drift Boat

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by JTS, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Hi everyone. Lately I've been thinking about building a drift boat as a project for the end of the year. For now, I want to buy the plans but I'm not sure what to get. I did some searching and found quite a few plans....too many to choose from. I also searched here and found a couple posts that are a couple years old now. I was wondering what is a good 14-15ft boat for fishing around here...I live close to the Skykomish and may try the Yakima too. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. That Chinook looks pretty badass.
  3. If you look at the Koffler's and some others, you will see that the widest part of the boat is ahead of the center of the boat. Also, take a look at the rocker, the amount of "bend' in the bottom of the boat. More rocker, and shoulders forward make for a drier ride in dicey water. Also, fiberglas adds a lot of weight...

    FYI, and my $.02.

    Good luck, looks like a great project.
  4. Check out Ray's River Doories out of Portland. I build one of their Rogue's back in '99...decent amount of (fun) work. Great boat!
  5. I would second that. Im not a boat builder but he has given me a ride in one of his boats and they are nice. Definitely hit him up!
  6. Thanks for all the help. I've been looking at these sites,,,, and From what I've seen, it looks like there are alot of good designs out there. I friend of mine recently built a drift boat and my Dad was really researching it for a while, but never got around to actually building something. I will be talking with them and a good friend of mine too.

    For now I am just looking for some plans to keep me occupied until I can get a few other projects done...I have a couple suburbans to fix and I need to build a storage loft in my shop so I can get some floor space back. Thanks again for all the help and info, I will post up when I start the project.
  7. I'm almost complete with my boat which was loosely based on the Beavertail plans from You pay about $20 for a subscription and get access to all 3 of his sets of plans. Overall quality of the plans is so-so but plenty good enough if you're wanting to be creative anyway. I used the plans just for the hull and have custom-designed the interior. Check out the forum on that web site - it has a great set of people who can answer questions. Too bad the forum technology is so crappy!
  8. How long has it taken you and are you going to give it fiberglass? I was hoping this could be done in a weekend.
  9. What do you think of that boat? Thanks!
  10. I would second Ray's River Dories as well. They are designed well, beautiful and handle amazing. They also use the best materials available. Plus, Ray and Cy are always there to help if you have any questions along the way and are very nice people. Good luck and have fun with your project.
  11. Don Hill still sells his plans I believe. Building a driftboat is definitely not a one weekend project. For a framed boat, if your an experienced hand, I think you might be able to do one in the 80 to 100 hour range, depending on finish, details, etc. Fun project and you'll end up with a nice boat.
  12. Does that 80-100 hours include beer time?
  13. I think I am going to buy his plans for the 14' standard boat...for now. Then later on buy the plans for the 10' boat. The site says it will fit in the bed of a pickup, I'm hoping I can squeeze it in the back of my Suburban.

    One question I have is, how do you build the bottom of the boat survive a hit from rocks?

  14. In short, place triaxial fiberglass cloth over the boat's bottom plywood panel. Then epoxy over that. Do not use Gluvit. Call Ray or Cy at Ray's River Dories for more info. I believe this is how they construct the bottom of their dbs as well.
  15. Sorry, no beertime in that estimate! bawling

    Regarding bottom construction, there are several possible routes, uhmw, bedliner, etc. I really think the best bet though is about a 24-30 oz. epoxy/cloth laminate, then coat and fill the weave with graphite enriched epoxy resin. It makes an extremely tough, slippery bottom.

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