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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. Now that I have access to a shop, I want to build a drift boat. Does anyone have much experience doing this? I'd like recommendations for plans or kits, as well as any tips from people with experience. Thanks.
 

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Hi Ambler I built a 14 foot Ken Hankinson high-side a few years ago. The whole process was very rewarding and a lot of fun.



I also built the trailer.











 

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Stupid question, but under what circumstances are these drift boats used? What kind of rivers or river conditions are they good for? Are they ok on flatwater? BTW, great job on the boat and trailer - its looks awesome. How much does the boat weigh in at? How many hours did it take to build?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
pgBilly,

That is a very cool boat. I've seen it in a few pictures on here, and I like it. I'd like to know the answers to some of Iconel's questions. I really don't know how big a project like this is.

I am not familiar with the 16x54" Willie boats. I'll do a search and see what I find.

I hadn't even thought about building the trailer. It's just more fuel on the fire now.
 

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Iconel:

Generally speaking, drift boats are very nice to row and make for very stable fishing platforms. Some drift boats even have the ability to use an outboard motor. They have a clean classic look, but are often deceptive in how strong they are and the kind of pounding they can take from rocks. Excellent boats, IMO...and PGBilly has built a beautiful and functional example. Well done, PG! :cheers:
 

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I worked on the boat over two winters, few hours here and there. Everything goes fairly quickly until the fiberglas stage. At that point you can only sand and re-coat then wait until the next day etc. The total time spent on the boat was maybe 250-300 hours including trailer, materials list was a little different from spec on the original plans since I used hardwoods for the seats and lid covers for storage. Originally the plans called for the boat to weigh in at slightly over 200 pounds I believe, but with the changes and extra wood used, it might tip the scale at 275 pounds now, I have flipped it over with 3 guys although it wasn't something I would want to do on a regular basis.

I use my boat on rivers like the Kitimat, Morice and Bulkley. The boat rows like a dream, and gets me on fish safely and is very stable for a rower and two friends, however if backtrolling plugs I prefer just one buddy with me, easier on my arms and lets me really wrk the boat down through runs. As far as flatwaterthe boat will do well as long as there is not a lot of wind. There has been a few times on the Kitimats lower end where it flattens out and the wind has picked up and I have found myself having to row the boat down river. There is usually a modification in the plans that gives you the option of high-side or a lo-side boat, lo-sided boats have less trouble dealing with wind where as high-sided boats can usually pack more weight.

All said, I would build another in a heart beat and have plans to. It is a lot of fun and when you are able to do the little changes to the plans to personalize the boat, it makes those trips that much sweeter. :beerchug:
 

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For the whole package boat, oars, trailer and canvas top was arround $3000.00. I had a couple of deals worked out with the trailer, I traded a used axle for a brand new axle, rims and rubber. For all the materials to build just the boat was arround $2000.00, give or take, its been a few years now since it was completed.
 

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Here is a link to a builder down south who produces some of the finest boats going albeit pretty pricey, near the bottom of the page is an online forum that was very helpful in my building process. There is many fine boatbuilders that sell plans for driftboats of all sizes and shapes, look arround and find one that suits you or just stands out. There is also a difference in how they are constructed mine is screwed and glued, some are stitched and glued. I used scarf joints to get the lenght for my boat which was considerably cheaper than purchasing full length plywood.

http://www.montanaboatbuilders.com/

If you have some spare time and space it is a great way to burn up some hours. I am sure if I had really buckled down I could have had it finished in one season. But I do like to spend a little time on the flows. :thumbup:

By the way I put a UHMW bottom on the boat after the first season, this really reduced any maintenance required on the bottom and it slides like its on butter through low water spots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Those are some beautiful boats at montanaboat builders. Realistically, simpler is probably better. As for materials, it's glass over wood for me. I'm going to take some time over the holiday to figure out if I can really take this on. I'd hate to get part way and then run out of time. I should probably do a tool inventory.
 
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