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Intro and Kingfisher build

Posted by baldtexan 
Intro and Kingfisher build
April 04, 2019 08:14PM
Hello all - Long time lurker, and first time builder. As a Texan transplanted to Oregon a few years ago, I had never even heard of a drift boat until I began fishing the coastal streams and rivers here. Wasn't long before I new I needed one and had always wanted to build a wooden boat. After a couple of years of research and trying to decide what I wanted, I narrowed it down to either a Honky Dory or one of Jason Cajunes Kingfisher boats. I knew I needed a hull plan to follow knowing absolutely zero about hull design and I wanted it to be multi-use as I troll the bays in the early fall, a little high mountain lake trolling in the summer, and drift the coastal tributary rivers winter and spring. I ended up building a Kingfisher with a slightly modified transom to better accomodate an outboard, and made the interior to fit my fishing needs. The flat center section and less rocker facilitates a nice level boat while trolling with an outboard compared to drifters with traditional rear rocker which have an issue keeping the bow from shooting skyward while being pushed with an outboard. The trade off is slightly slower responsiveness pivoting the boat when drifting, but I don't plan on this boat doing any white water.

I installed a thru-hull anchor release at the bow for anchoring while fishing tidewater with the outboard mounted as well as an offset rear anchor release for drifting which is pulled from the side shelf. I installed several Folbe JR rod holder bases to accomodate trolling and/or plugging and back trolling. I also made under shelf tackle tray cubbies and under the rower seat tackle storage to keep the floor clear of any tackle boxes and trip hazards .... in theory. I extended the front level floor to include a fish hold and stand alone seat boxes that can be positioned for one or two passengers up front. The rear swivel seat is mounted on a slide rail for positioning while outboarding.

Materials are 9mm Meranti marine ply sides, 1" Meranti transom - for my peace of mind mounting an 8hp outboard, 3/4" Plascore bottom, quarter-sawn white oak gunwales, bow stem and trim, with mahogany bow knee, oar lock blocks, and plug accents. I coated the bottom with Wetlander and the inside floor and sides are coated with Kiwigrip. I chose to wrap the hull in 3M vinyl instead of painting. I figured any thing I hit hard enough to scratch the vinyl would scratch paint just as easy. If it gets pretty beat up I can peel it off and paint. We've done 5 lake trolling trips and 5 river drift trips with it and its held up well. One small scratch from trailering on gravel roads. Unavoidable when you live on a gravel road.

I will very soon be starting a Dayak build after getting my basement shop setup since a recent move. I have Dayak build questions coming shortly Sandy - first time building on a plug and all :)

Here's some pics -
Photo taken right after wrapping and re-installing hardware

Sunshine showoff

Side tackle storage

Rear anchor release

Fish hold with removable stainless box

Jill helped sand and wet out fiberglass. She was a great sanding minion. I think she understood that she would be doing most of the fishing while I did most of the rowing. Happy girl.

Thanks for the wealth of knowledge and ideas here!


Oh yeah. We named the boat MORNING WOOD. :)
Re: Intro and Kingfisher build
April 05, 2019 11:56AM
Very nice work. I just dug my dayak out of the snow. Have a 7 or 8 day San Juan trip in May. More later....
Re: Intro and Kingfisher build
April 05, 2019 02:54PM
If you or anyone wants to actually build a Dayak I'll have lots to say but I'd rather do it here than with email.

My Dakak was an idea prototype. I've only built one. In many ways I think it's the best thing I ever made. When I think about fun and about being able to do special things the Dayak is definitely a smile maker.

But I would change a few things. I like the rocker profile. This is a very capable big water white water boat and it works fine for fishing river trips. If I was only fishing it (not occasionally doing white water) I might flatten the bottom a bit more. For me I like it the way it is.

I would make the sides 2 or 3 inches higher.

For fishing you need an anchor. Anchors are the kiss of death in white water but you do need it for fishing. I had it hanging off the rear at first. That made it rear-end heavy and it didn't trim right. I could have fixed that by moving the seat forward then it would be unbalanced when I didn't use an anchor. So I cut a whole in the middle of the boat, right behind the rower's seat, and put the anchor there (there are photos).

But that hole in bottom slowed the boat down and ruined its performance. I've since patched it up. I have some ideas. It's too hard to explain in words just yet. Maybe I'll make some drawings. Maybe I'll just make the anchor system I have in mind and take a photo.

The Dayak is a very special boat. I did flip it last May at Wire Fence, in Desolation Canyon. But that was because of stupidity and white water inexperience. I love the Dayak and it is also a lot of fun to solo fish from. It's short but wide (54" inches wide) so you can stand up any time you want.
Re: Intro and Kingfisher build
April 05, 2019 03:01PM
...........also, next time I'd make the seat at the very least adustable.

What I really want to do is make a sliding seat with foot pegs for the rower, like a rowing scull arrangement. I think I'd like to experiment with ball bearing rubber wheels from inline skates.

I want to make a rowing seat a little like a rowing frame so it includes seat, foot pegs and oar lock towers as a unit, where all them can be adjusted in relation to each other and so that whole unit could be moved forward or back, for custom adjustment, so Danny DeVito or Kareem could row and be happy. I'm curious about these new aluminum soldering rods there're pushing, where you can solder aluminum with a Mapp or Propane torch.
Re: Intro and Kingfisher build
May 03, 2019 05:17AM
Love this boat. Still waiting to run into it in the wild.
Re: Intro and Kingfisher build
May 07, 2019 07:38PM
Thanks Steve. We'll eventually run into each other. Only made 5 trips to the Wilson this winter and the over population of boats at the coastal tribs turned me off so we spent most of February and March trolling for Kokes and fishing the surf. A few Trask and Nestucca "drift and drags" soon.
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