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Anyone build a drift boat yet?

John Schneider

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I am seriously thinking of tackling a drift boat project this coming winter. I have seen several kits and plans. Anyone around here have a boat that I could have a look at for dimensions etc. I just cannot get over how incredibly expensive it is for a kit or, heaven forbid, a used drift boat! I need something to keep me busy in the winter anyways...ice fishing sucks.

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You might want to pay a visit to Boat Craft.

6316 - 106 Street

Web Page at :


This is a small shop that specializes in self-made wooden boats,

kyaks and canoes with fibreglass water proofing.

They sell west system epoxy, fibreglass cloth,

fittings etc as well as kits, plans and details

for a variety of watercraft.

I've never looked specifically at what they might have

in the area of drift boats, but I have seen their sea kayak stuff

and Cedar strip canoes.

I suspect the owner would be able to put you onto where

you might be able to get proper drift boat plans if he dosen't sell them.

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I have built a rowboat, and I am now onto the second project, which will have a sail. My only comment on winter boat building (and I have not caved in on ice fishing either) is that you are lucky if you have a heated garage to work in. If epoxy is involved, temperature is critical, and full cure at lower temperatures (e.g., around 10C and below) is much longer than at optimal temperatures of around 20C. Same with paint, except now you have the added problem of nasty solvent fumes.


Boatcraft is our only local source of marine plywood, epoxy, and paint, and their prices are reasonable. I have seen a Glen-L plans catalogue on their counter. If you need to join plywood to get lenghths greater than 8 ft. (which you very likely will), they do a good job of cutting "dovetails" for a nicer assembly and less trouble on your part than scarfing. You also get more length out of the two joined sheets.


For general building of simple plywood boats, I recommend the books by Harold H. Payson and Jim Michalak, and two websites for sources of plans: http://www.instantboats.com and http://www.duckworksmagazine.com.


Of the plans I have seen, cheaper than the specialized driftboat kit/plans, the Mayfly 14 by Michalak seems promising as a general purpose rowboat with potential as a driftboat for quieter water.


I am very busy now, and I may not make it to any more meetings this season, but I would be happy to talk/show boats after the quieter season starts (for me) at the end of May. By then, I would also be in full swing with the current project, which is an "instant" Bolger/Payson design called June Bug.





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Guest Alberta Al

Hey Guys,


There is a wooden boat buiding shop in Edmonton. Check them out in the yellow pages. Always been a pretty good bunch to deal with in my opinion.




Alberta Al

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