Need to build me a driftboat...questions

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by BOBLAWLESS, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. BOBLAWLESS New Member

    Posts: 2,879
    Port Ludlow, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I would like to build the boat as I have a full shop of tools, lots of time, love building things etc. How difficult is this using the stitch and glue method? Seems easy but then I have no experience with it.

    Questions: does anyone know of any good plans available that you have had personal experience with? I have used the search engine and I have not come up with much.

    I figure about 2K will slip through my fingers for this project. Is that about right?

    What about just getting a used boat and saying the hell with it? Does anyone have one they might be willing to part with? How much? PM me.

    I would like not to have to scarf the plywood. Does anyone know where you can buy some 12' or even 14' sheets?

    I might want to fish with a friend. Is 12' big enough or do I need 14'?

    Would a small motor well for an electric motor be worth it to traverse long stretches of frog water in the fall?

    Any advice will be most appreciated and might land you a free drift somewhere.

    Bob, the Just call me “drifty.” :cool:
  2. Scott Behn Active Member

    Posts: 1,201
    Lk Stevens, Wa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Bob...its not so much the end result, but the trip you take to get there.

    If I have the means and the time to build one myself, I would build one.
  3. Fishunter Member

    Posts: 47
    Centralia, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Wood boats are the best looking on the water. If I had the time to build one I would. You can customize it to fit what and where you fish. Rod storage, holders, coolers, seats, etc.
    Good luck! I hope you post a picture when you are finished.
  4. Monk Redneck

    Posts: 709
    Marblemount, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Bob, I have a buddy who just finished one. I'll have him shoot you a PM. He is a very talented craftsman and he created the plans from scratch. A sixer might convince him to relinquish his plans. :thumb:
  5. YAKIMA AKA: Gregory Mine

    Posts: 766
    Las Vegas
    Ratings: +24 / 0

    PM with me with the type of plywood and sizes your looking for. I work for a wolesale building material distributor, and I may be able to help you with the costs...

  6. Matt Burke Active Member

    Posts: 3,642
    Ratings: +56 / 0

    If you build it, I will come. I'm serious. Those kinds of projects always need gophers and sanders. I would come over once a week to help do whatever, but I would very much like to see how it's done. I'm no slouch as I have a desk and a few other things under my belt. I would imagine you would need two more hands fitting wood into a jig, warping and fiberglassing, etc. I would be very glad to help and would only accept coffee poured liberally into a large cup.
  7. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,702
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,744 / 0
  8. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 3,976
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +644 / 0
    Look for "Andy" at Edensaw Woods in Port Townsend, off of Otto Street. He built a Drift boat from Plywood materials that Edensaw provides for boatbuilders.

    I think he used plans from "Montana Boatbuilders". Done properly the scarf joint is as strong as the rest of the panel surface.

    Also:"Don Hill" and "Ray's River Dorys" have kits, plans etc.
  9. gregs Save Hood Canal

    Posts: 40
    .Union, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    One of the best kit builders is Greg Tatman outside Eugene, Oregon. he has a great website that will tell you just about everything you need to know to get started. website is
  10. Davy Active Member

    Posts: 2,021
    SIlverton, OR
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    I would second the Don Hill boat recommendation,I have built 4 but none the last 8 or 9 years.
  11. Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

    Posts: 1,740
    Yelm, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +110 / 0
    Bob, Before I got one heck of a deal on a 14' wood DB witih trailer I was looking into building a boat myself. I looked real hard at They have a couple of boats that intigued me and they are a local company.

    I may decide to build a smaller boat for those days when I need solitude and want to float a river alone (usually a bad idea), so I'm still looking.

    If you live anywhere close to Yelm, I also have a shop full of tools and a ton of wood working experience under my belt. If you need a hand let me know. I also accept large amounts of coffee in exchange for labor.

  12. yellerstone Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Bob, just for fun you might want to check out the old Briggs style boats. I've used these in the Grand Canyon and were great in heavy water. Look carefully at the chine it is straighter which helps tracking. Also notice that they are decked over (Otherwise you WILL sink in the big water) this provides a huge amount of dry storage. Some of the older boats are plywood/ epoxy and are very durable (and repairable). Andy Hutchenson of High Desert Boat works is now building them (Hulls) out of a laminar PVC material that is tough as H#LL and does not require all the sanding and epoxy work and vitually no maintenance.

    I realize these these boat are way overkill for the kind of water and short trips around here but there are neat concepts that could be incorporated besides its nice to see what people are doing outside of this region. I've been thinking about the possiblities of a scaled down version.

    I also really like the Montana boatbuilders designs.

    Andy's Contact Info. (hard to get a hold of) and pictuce of the Briggs design.[IMG]

    Food for thought. Your lucky to be so close to Edensaw.


    Attached Files:

  13. Jim Kerr Active Member

    Posts: 693
    Forks Wa
    Ratings: +138 / 0
    Bob, Some time ago I was discussing a similar project with some ship wright friends of mine and some one sugested TVP as a substitute to plywood. TVP as I am sure you are aware stands for texurized vegitable protien, and is often given out by relief workers to famine victims, or sold at food co-ops to hippies. The thought was it could be poored in a mother of epoxy type matrix as a cheap substitute to fiberglass. Ads a twist to your concern about 'SCARFING".
  14. BOBLAWLESS New Member

    Posts: 2,879
    Port Ludlow, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    :eek: Hey, where else can you ask for a little advice and get reponses like these. I mean, guys will work for coffee. (My wife uses French roast; it is very black and very strong). I have a trailer to put a few guys up over Sat. night. I am overwhelmed by my riches. If this isn't the best damn site in the U.S., I ask you which one is? And Monk, a guy I had pegged as sitting to the right of Hitler, wants to help me, a confirmed liberal for life.. Geez. Is the world a crazy place or what?

    Bob, the Let me Mull this over. It could be outrageous fun or a total disaster.
    I've got to think. I need to research some more. I need to write some Pm's.
    Shoot, I'm getting started and yet I don't know my ass from apple struddle. :eek:
  15. Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

    Posts: 1,740
    Yelm, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +110 / 0
    Mmmmmmmmm, French roast!
  16. yellerstone Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'll throw in some help too. I've got some twenty years as a journeyman carpenter in and put myself through college by running the woodshop at The Evergreen State College so I can screw up a joint as well as anybody.

    Creative Genuis is a response to disaster.

  17. mat1226 Active Member

    Posts: 409
    Bellingham, WA.
    Ratings: +28 / 0

    You can do better than spend 2K and lots of time in your garage. My dad spent $800 on a used 14' Lavro that is in my front yard at the moment. I believe it is about 20 years old, rolled gunnels, real nice little boat.

    I bought one of Ron Lavigeur's kit boats years ago and was very happy with it. He no longer sells the kit, which is just applying the wood gunnels. It was like an old Eastside, which was his brothers company.

    As much as it seems that you like spending time on the water and as it is now heading into prime native return time on the OP, I would look around for a used boat.

    My $.02

  18. nomlasder Active Member

    Posts: 1,320
    Ratings: +111 / 0
    Bob, I'm in the middle of my fifth boat. Check out my web site. If you are in town for some reason give me a call and I will would be glad to show you the shop and talke you through the process.
    Aproximate budget for specific items
    Plywood $400
    White Oak $250
    Epoxy and Fillers $100
    Screws, misc hardware $100
    Shop supplies, sand paper, saw blade etc $100
    Paint, varnish, finishes $75

    I purchase my oak from Edensaw also, great material. I do need to find a new resource for plywood though. I scarff the plywood together which is nothing more than an 8:1 glued joint so the glued surface area is much greater than the thickness of the plywood. I just use a hand held power plane for this.

    I just made a couple of 4 foot models first from scrap material to understand how the materials bend into shape.

    Finished projects are a bit over 120 hours of construction.

    Oars, oar-locks, anchor and anchor release system are another $600.

    Check out the site, give me a call, maybe we can take one out for spash so you can see how they row.

    Attached Files:

  19. BOBLAWLESS New Member

    Posts: 2,879
    Port Ludlow, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Just talked to the father of my granddaughter and he said to buy something used unless I was willing to make whatever sacrifices might be necessary (lots of bucks and time) to build one.

    So I'm looking around in the used market. Like boat

    He also said to buy a sled and go upriver, not down, forget the shuttle and reach water that few even see, let alone fish.

    Could be fun just zooming up and down as long as I don't bother the bank boys, particularly the fly fishermen. If things go south with the motor, I can always float back to the ramp.

    Comment? Pros or cons?

    Bob, the I need alot of money--send me some. :D
  20. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,650
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +540 / 0

    For what its worth:

    This Fall, either on this site or somewhere else, I heard someone saying that they saw alot of driftboats for sale on the Oregon coast around Reedsport and Port Orford areas over the Labor Day weekend. I forget exactly where I heard it.

    Also, I floated a good stretch of the Grays once in a ten foot glass mini-drifter. It was one that had been popped out of a mold, with rolled edges. Light enough for two guys to carry to the water. I felt a little cramped in the bow, but it got us down the river, which was an easy drift anyway, but it was too unstable for me to stand up in the bow. Something that size might be fine for going solo, but I thought that particular boat seemed a little flimsey. It slid into the back of a full-sized pick-up, though.

    We saw an old timer in a sled on the lower Wynoochee this Fall, and he was very courteous when passing us. He even stopped to chat, said he'd been fishing the area for over forty years. Now stays mainly on the Nooch, Sop, and Chehalis. Told us what lures/baits worked for him, and went on his way.
    He had his act wired, and looked like he could go where ever he wanted, just zip around and check out his favorite drifts and holes.

    I'll keep my eyes peeled for anything that might be for sale around here. :thumb: