Don Hill
September 03, 2019 04:33PM
The boats listed on the Don Hill site are not fiberglass Sheathed. I find that appealing. Then he recommends "Coat-it" on the bottom. His 17 FF has lines similar to Honky Dory 17. Would it be possible to build the HD17 using frames and the Don Hill approach. Until this point in my BB experience all construction methods have been S&G.

Do any members have experience with DH boats and has any member built the HD17 with frames?
Re: Don Hill
September 04, 2019 11:24AM
In theory you could turn any stitch and glue plan set into a framed boat. Temporary rib-like formers in the S&G sequence would become permanent ribs, probably made with fir. Those ribs would need an angled notch cut into each corner in order to accept a long angled "chine strip" that provides nailing or screwing for joining side panel to bottom panel.

At a full 3/4" inch thick those chine strips can be a bit tricky to bend without steaming. 5/8" is easier to bend but it tends to be a bit spindly. I make them by building up a glue-laminated strip with Titebond glue and random length 1/4" inch strips. Then you can make the chine strip fat and tall, and to use ash or white oak instead of fir.

The Honky Dory has a sharp chine bend up front, which would make a not-laminated chine strip difficult without steaming. That sharp bend is a big reason why the HD is such a good white water boat. It keeps its width wide way further out from the middle up front. So when the HD hits a big wave it climbs right up the wave instead of knifing into it.

Briggs boats are narrow and they do tend to knife into waves. People love the boats they own so Briggs owners will sometimes tell you knifing into the wave is good. But those few rowers who have rowed both hull shapes like "climb up the wave" better. A lot better.
Re: Don Hill
September 04, 2019 01:35PM
Have you seen or looked at the Don Hill designs.
Re: Don Hill
September 04, 2019 02:07PM
Yes sure. I knew Don, sort of. Cool guy. He's gone now. Someone bought his designs and sells them online now (but not finished boats).

Don made good boats. Don was, I think, a proponent of river dories that had a "flat spot" in the middle. I don't think that's necessarily bad. Good in fact. I just prefer to build with a slightly curved "almost but not quite flat spot" in the middle. That is perhaps a minor difference that doesn't add up to much. It's just how I do it--that is slightly different than the way Don did it. My lifelong fishing buddy and fellow river guide Randy Berry started off with a Don Hill boat. I rowed it. It was a fine boat. Randy ended up with a Beavertail he rowed for over a decade.

I met Don in West Yellowstone once, in 1981/1982 or there abouts. We were both there at a Federation of Fly Fishers "Conclave" where we both went to show boats. I had an early generation Beavertail and a Buffalo Boat. Don had one of his 15' footers. I got the impression Don and his crew were determined to drink all the beer in West Yellowstone. He was a cool guy. We parted as friends, with ample mutual respect.

About the Buffalo Boat Don said "That's a good idea!" About a year later Don added his 10' foot Mini Drifter to his plans collection. I took that as the highest possible complement! :=))

Greg Tatman (who never sold plans but does or at least did sell kits and finished boats) also had a square ended Buffalo Boat like pram. When did that one first appear? I don't really know. Burt, the son of my good friend Steve, had a square ended Tatman boat that had once belonged to Tom Morgan (Tom was the owner of the Winston Rod Company). Tom used the Tatman boat and the Peter Mac Pram as the design inspirations for a square ended aluminum pram Tom had manufactured for a few short years. I've seen that Tom Morgan boat but never rowed it.

Anyway Burt also had a Buffalo Boat. Burt eventually sold the Tatman pram (that had once belonged to Tom Morgan) because "I like the way the Buffalo Boat rows better." :=)) Burt did say that. He's now a favorite son (of a good friend). Burt's a busy building contractor now.
Re: Don Hill
September 04, 2019 06:27PM
I corresponded with Peter Mac a few times. He's Canadian. Good guy. I've lost touch with Peter. I don't think he builds boats anymore. We both designed our square ended prams (his and the BBoat) without knowledge of the other. Peter's pram is a tad longer than mine. I never did have the dimensions.
Re: Don Hill
September 04, 2019 07:31PM
This is the first time I’ve been in a pram in current. I like it for the type of river it will be on mostly. I like the 17 foot boat for bigger stuff I’m thinking about. Thanks for the Montana and Beyond review. Must have been exciting times, pivital.
Re: Don Hill
September 04, 2019 08:21PM
Tatman has some good kits. My white water buddy Dave Inskeep has a 17' foot Tatman Dave turned into a decked white water boat. It is a very good boat.

Rays River Dories has good kits too. Cyrus Happy, who was Ray's business partner for many years, now owns the business, since Ray retired and moved to Bend Oregon. Cyrus is an under-appreciated builder and designer. Cyrus started off making musical instruments I think. He does very good work. He is one of the few who really understands the ins and outs of hull design too.
Re: Don Hill
September 05, 2019 11:45AM
Hey Sandy. I have only bent a couple chair backs and it was a poor effort (18 yrs old). But to bend Ash Gunwales doesn't it just take some rainspouting and a pot of boiling water? Or does it require pressure as well?
When you get a moment perhaps you might elaborate. Bending seems to be a lost tradition to the home craftsman.
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