drift boats

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by twistaround, Aug 28, 2002.

  1. twistaround

    twistaround New Member

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    Have any of you guys ever built a wood drift boat before? Would like to know any pros or cons on the kits vs. the plans. how much would a trailer run me? Are these boats high maintainance and heavy? Im a carpenter by trade and have a college degree in carpentry so the woodwork should be no problem. Im new to drift boats and cant really afford to shell out like 5 grand for the one i want. any help or advice would be gratefully appreciated.

    thanks alot,
    nate
     
  2. SpeyRodBeBop

    SpeyRodBeBop Member

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    Hello Twistaround. I haven't built a drift boat, but I built a stitch and tape flyfishing pram two years ago. I'm a clutz, but I found it so easy that I am considering a drift boat. Check some web sites on home built boats--It really is as easy as it looks.
     
  3. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    posted this on your ad page as well

    My Dad and I used to build our own little "prams", DB's, and saltwater boats growing up. The saltwater boats where more wood with homemade fiberglassing done. But we did DB's and prams soley out of wood.
    Here's pro's and con's from my point.

    Pro's. You build yourself. It's your baby and noone else has their fingers in production, it's the boat YOU want. They're extremely beautiful if you go to point of actually glazing/clear coating the wood.

    Con's. They are high upkeep. You have to keep your eyes on them. Especially on the seams. They're extremely heavy. And rocks aren't friendly to them (if you fish the coastal rivers, you'll scrape/tag at least one rock in your career). Best kept in garage when not in use.

    May be more, kind of tired working hours I am. I'd say go for it, it's a work of the heart.



    Steelheader69
    "You haven't lived until you've run a cataraft. Friends don't let friends run Outcasts."
     
  4. twistaround

    twistaround New Member

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    posted this on your ad page as well

    Thanks for the insight im going to order a plan and book tonight.
    Now how much harder is a heavy boat to control on tne river? drift boats you pretty much aim and not push. right?
     
  5. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    posted this on your ad page as well

    Take a look at Montana Boatbuilders, they have some sweet stuff; plans , kits etc. Saw one up on the Bighorn last fall, it was awesome and the guy did a great job on beginner's skills.A halfway experienced woodworker could build a whicked god drift boat.
     
  6. JAV

    JAV New Member

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    Nate,
    I am currently working with my friend on a 13 foot drift boat. It looks like we will have this one built for less than a grand. He bought plans from a web site and the wood separately.

    Neither of us are woodworkers, but have been able to figure everything out on our own. It has been both frustrating and fun. I would say order good plans (ours lacked some important info) and go for it. Good luck.
    Jon
     
  7. twistaround

    twistaround New Member

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    thanks for the info!

    hey jav[- what company supplied your plans? who do you think would be better?

    e-mail me if you dont want to say in public

    thanks alot
    nate

    sharp_skill23bc@hotmail.com
     
  8. woodchuck

    woodchuck New Member

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    Here is a link to Hill's drift boat kits that is worth checking out http://www.dhdriftboats.com/index4.html. My wife is pushing to build two of the kayak kits from pygmy boats this winter to use on lake chelan. http://www.pygmyboats.com/ They are simply beautiful, we are heading to the wooden boat show in port townsend next weekend to check them out.
    woodchuck
     
  9. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    So, after about a year, did you get one done. I began thinking the same thing and have completed three DB's now. The first one, I've used, the second i gave to my best fishing buddy and he now has it in Jackson Hole, and the the third is so close to being done i bought a traler and oars for it.
    Each one has cost about 1000$ in materials, 300 to 400 to out fit it with oars anchor and hardware, and of course the trailer. I tried to buy a used trailer and fix it up, but wow was that amistake/ I just went and spent %950 and bought a new one for the newest boat.

    Let me know how ya did.
     
  10. Long_Rod_Silver

    Long_Rod_Silver New Member

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    Hey nate,
    Building your own drift boat can be very very rewarding. However, if you aren't very good at welding, i would suggest calling a drift boat manufacturer and telling them which plan you have decided to use and see if their trailer will fit your plan, I found a lot of people get trailers for right around $350. I used the Glen-L plans which were very easy to follow. I'm sure someone with your skill in carpentry would thrive getting the plans as opposed to the kit. The plans allow people with more skill to customize their boat to a greater degree, and ultimately only save the builder a couple hundred dollars. The boat weighs around 400 lbs (takes 3 people to lift it). Maintanence is an anual thing. Depending on how much varnish you use (ie. if you paint the hull or varnish it). If you are going to use the boat very frequently in rougher waters I would suggest painting the outside, mostly becuase the varnish is the quickest to go, and is fairly delicate. Best of luck to you.
    Matt
    fatmike@u.washington.edu:thumb
     
  11. Chris Scoones

    Chris Scoones Administrator Staff Member

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    posted this on your ad page as well

    I check the budget but it just wouldn't allow the extra $14K for the kingfisher. Too bad, I really would like as a backup boat. :p
     
  12. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    About twenty years ago I built a 14ft. drift boat based on plans from Don Hill. I bought my own wood and hardware.
    All framing was white oak, gunnels were teak. Sides, bottom, transom, front seat and deck were marine mahogany. Rowing seat was rope. Most hardware was silicon bronze except were additional strength was desired. I fished rivers all over the pacific northwest in that boat, doing many multi-day trips.
    I think it is still afloat. It is a built like a tank.
    If I wanted another drift boat I would probably build one although I would go for less bulky frame work but not necessarily change the materials much.
    The construction is not terribly difficult. Basic cabinet making tools will suffice.
    You will need to put an extra protective layer on the bottom and maybe a rub strip on the sides. About the best thing you can use for this is 1/4" or 3/8" UHMV (Ultra High Molecular Volume) plastic. It is both extremely slippery and impact resistant. Most major plastic suppliers carry it. For a finish, consider epoxy. Clear is prettier but opaque is much longer lasting. If you use clear epoxy, you will want to use a good UV filtering marine varnish on top. Like Zspar Flagship varnish by Woolsey. UV breaks down finishes much more than the rest of the outdoor elements.
    You can keep it in a garage and touch it up every year or keep it outside and throw a tarp over it and drive it till it drops (10 to 15 years) and then build another one.
    The choice is yours. Either way it is a rewarding project.
     
  13. James Boldman

    James Boldman Wood Nymph

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    I was in the same dilema a couple of months ago about building a driftboat. One thing you want to consider is if you want to do a ribbed boat or a stitch and glue (i.e. no ribs). After making the decision of doing the stitch and glue, I ordered plans from Jason Cajune at Montanaboatbuilers.com. His plans are the most complete plans I have seen. Every part of construction is clearly described step by step.

    Good luck in your decision.
     
  14. Dan Soltau

    Dan Soltau New Member

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    before you start building have you looked at the used clakas, lavro, or hydes? The company redoes their hull and touched up on everything. It ends up costing about 3-4 grand cheaper. Thats what i did and its perfect, we drove over to montana for three days and fished, then went over and picked it up in Idaho Falls. On our way back we fished some more. If its your first boat claka or hyde or who ever you choose will give you a free rowing lesson on a local river. ITs a great deal. :)
     
  15. BOBLAWLESS

    BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    I've been giving some thought lately to a home made drift boat. I think it would be a blast to build because I love woodworking. But then I said naw because:
    I have a small pontoon boat already.
    It can travel on top of my truck so I can still pull my trailer.
    It has little or no maintenence.
    It can be pulled in and out of the water much easier than any drift boat.
    I have a sneaky suspicion that it can manoever easier than a drift boat and therefore is safer but I'm on shaky ground here.
    You still have to pay for materials and they can be very pricey.
    Ain't no free lunch as they say.
    Bob, the Yea, that's my funky little pontoon job.
     
  16. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Yeah,but Bob. Just think if you built one. Or by the time you got it built you'd probably be too old to use it as fast as you move. But if you did I could come over there and fish with you. Just think about it,two old guys in a boat that know nothing about them.

    Jim
     

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