Drift Boat Rebuild

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by LtSuth, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. LtSuth
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Boise, idaho

    LtSuth LtSuth

    I just acquired a 12 foot home built drift boat that has been outdoors for quite awhile. The side, gunnel, was on the ground and has rotted, plus a few other spots. The frame is in excellent condition. My question is to begin with is there anyone out there that has undertaken a similar project? What type of plywood, what type of screws, glue, finish, etc.? Gunnels and chine of oak? Bending? Any words of wisdom will help me get started. Thanks, Dick.
     
  2. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 885
    Likes: 31, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 453
    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    Those aren't too tough. Some photos would be a big help though.
    One summer, I helped a guy (who knew what he was doing) to put several Drift boats together. I even took some guys down the river in them. Wonderful trip.

    Plan on making the bottom a sacrificial part of the boat. You really scrape, bang and grovel over the river bottom in those drifters. If you fish a lot, you may have to replace the bottom every year. I built one in AK and glassed the bottom. That was an ameture's great idea but it was a waste of time and money. When I replaced my beat up and gouged bottom with the Glass ripped off in spots, I just painted the bottom.

    The good parts of the boat, above the water line etc, use Stainless Screws. They dont cost much more than those Wall-board screws and the Stainless wont stain your boat.
    On the bottom, since I was going to replace it pretty often, I used the screws for Porch n' Deck. The ones I had were grey and dipped in Zinc or some other metal. They wont rust in one year. You can use Stainless if you want to though.
    I used 1/4" Marine Ply for the bottom. I put screws ever 2" or 3" along the outside of the bottom.

    That bottom might be OK with regular Plywood, the good stuff or the Cheap stuff, because the Epoxy paint might keep it from de-laminating on you or getting soaked to the point the bottom is spongy. Either way, your gonna replace that bottom if you fish a lot.

    Now in my old age, looking at a young guy with obligations and not much time, I'd use the marine Ply and go fishing.
    I wish I lived close enough to earn a ride or three in that thing.

    On the sides etc, you should use Marine plywood. You can see what can happen if you dont.
    You dont need to glass it. Just paint it.
    You can use Oak (the rub rails and chines) if you want to. Its heavy and hard to bend. I think we used Pine.
    Screw it in place and plan on replacing it if it gets scraped, gouged, shredded, catches your line and the net, etc!
    It's a really easy boat to replace all the parts. They are all temporary. Just parts n' pieces.

    If you've ever fished in one of those Drift boats, you know they get some water in them.
    So what? You can tip it out. Dont waste a lot of time Fiberglassing the seams. Make the boat as close to water tight as possible, and go fishing.

    I never broke an oar in a drifter, but I did have the pleasure in a Rubber boat, while negotiating the Talkeetna River in AK.
    Wooohooo boy.
    If I were you, and you dont have oars, or dont have the money to buy them, and know the value of a good strong oar on a fast moving river, I'd look up some plans (on this site I think) and make a set.
    Then you'll know more about the second set. Oars get used as pry bars, staff's, push poles, levers etc. They are another thing that you might replace before you learn all you need to know about owning a drift boat.

    Dont put Rubber on the hand holds. Just a really good two or three coats of paint. No grip of any kind. You need control and dont want some artificial surface failing on you as you negotiate a big Rock in the River.

    Your gonna need a good heavy Diamond or Pyramid Anchor and a method of dropping and retrieving the Anchor from your rowing seat. You passenger is going to be in the front of the boat and the Anchor is going to be upstream.

    Be a real drifter! Dont put a motor on it.
    I dont think there's any more of a grand experience than a great fising trip down a good river in a Drift boat!
     
  3. LtSuth
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Boise, idaho

    LtSuth LtSuth

    Thanks for your reply. Will get some pictures ASAP. Stay tuned.
     
  4. LtSuth
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Boise, idaho

    LtSuth LtSuth

    Drift Boat Rebuild Pictures

    Here are some pictures. The weight on the bow and the stern seat are to take some twist out from sitting on the side for quite awhile. Will patch the plywood sides first, then on to see what the bottom beholds.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009

  5. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 885
    Likes: 31, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 453
    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    To post pictures, go to "Advanced" and when that screen opens, click on the Paper clip up at the top. Follow the directions (or offers)
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.