New Guy Introduction
September 06, 2020 07:36PM
Hello everyone. I have been using this forum for quite some time and have been lurking around for the information I have needed to build my first drift boat. I am using Fletcher's book to build a 16' double ender with a transom. I am using meranti plywood with white oak frames. I have some cypress that i am using for the inner chines and gunnels and I will use white oak for the outer chines and gunnels.

I am at a sticky point in the build and I need some advice. The answer may very well be somewhere on this site but I have not been able to find it. What is the suggested process for installing the outer chines and stem cap? Should I wrap the hull with glass first and then install these pieces or should I install them first and then wrap with glass? It makes most sense in my newbie mind to wrap the chines with glass but I don't know where to stop the different types of glass if that makes sense.

For context, I am planning on 2 layers of 10 oz glass on the bottom and one layer of 6 oz on the side. I am using MAS epoxy and have been pleased with it so far. I will mostly be using the boat on the Hiwassee and Clinch rivers here in East Tennessee and the Toccoa River in N GA.. These are fast tailwater rivers and you can float sections of them without hitting a rock.

Any help will be appreciated and I can't wait to get this thing in the water!!
Re: New Guy Introduction
September 07, 2020 03:37AM
Thank you for posting. Keep us posted on your project. Photos are cool too, although they need to be resized first, before uploading, so they are no bigger than maybe 700 pixels wide. Someday I'll hack the forum software so it allows bigger images to upload, and so it then does the resizing on the server, after the upload. This forum software I use is old and no longer really supported. i use it because it does a good job on keeping hackers out.

================= RE> your question:
You don't have to use a chine cap. That's a building technique that predates the combination of glass and plywood together.

A chine cap also causes "chine dip." When a boat with a chine cap gets sideways to a current the chine cap has too much friction and the boat lurches downward on the upstream side.
Re: New Guy Introduction
September 09, 2020 01:16AM
Thanks Mr. Sandy, that makes perfect sense. I guess the alternative is to lap the different layers of glass over the edge? My glass should be here in a couple weeks so until then I'll be twiddling my thumbs.

Re: New Guy Introduction
September 09, 2020 01:56AM
Yes lots of glass at the chine. You'll have to patch it. But by the time you need to you'll be good at it.
Re: New Guy Introduction
September 09, 2020 02:24AM
Just looking at J-Mo's photo of the framework on his boat really hits home to me. I haven't built a framed boat in forty years. But I'd like to. I'd like to make a framed boat without any glass at all. Or glue. I'd want every piece to be screwed or bolted on. And caulked too. With one of the hotrod caulks now available. 3M 5200 Urethane adhesive is scary stuff. If you put two parts together with 5200 you'll never get them apart again. Not easily anyway. Old fashioned hardware store silicone caulk, on the other hand, is almost but not quite good enough to replace glue. Some of the newer silicones are good enough to replace glue.

I'd make the chine strip a full four quarters thick. 1" inch ash or white oak laminated from 1/4" inch strips. I'd make it two or two and half inches tall too. You couldn't bend a one piece chine strip that thick and tall. But you could--easily--if it was built up from strips.

Then you'd have something massive extra stout to fasten the bottom and the side panels too at the edges. You wouldn't have to glue anything. Use lots of screws, on 4" inch centers, with marine grade silicone caulk instead of glue. Then the bottom could come off ten years down the road. No big deal. Back out all the screws. Pry off the bottom (without damaging anything) and then put on a new bottom.

Dowsil 795 silicone caulk is stretchy grippy stuff. But it isn't glue. It has bounce and give and yet still stays stuck to what ever you apply it too. It's stout too. But not that stout. You can get stuff apart if you need to.

The historical problem with traditional framed boats is maintenance. Once the bottom gets spongy and water logged it rots out quickly. But that bottom panel was glued to the ribs and to the chine strip it's almost impossible to get off without collateral damage. With screwed on caulked on bottom bottom replacement wouldn't be a show stopper.

If you were a guide you might even want a new bottom once every five years. No big deal. No glass has class.
Re: New Guy Introduction
September 14, 2020 12:49AM
I think the traditional framed boats have a lot of beauty in their craftsmanship. It has been challenging to get to this point, but it has been awesome to see it all come together. I put the first layer of glass on last night and another coat of epoxy tonight. I just ran out of hardener so I will have to wait for more to come in to proceed. I would post some pics but my shop is a disaster

I like your method of laminating the chines. Do you mill them 1/4" yourself or are you able to get them milled? I'd like to try that method myself but I don't want to cut them down with my table saw and planer.

Thanks for all the great advice and bits of knowledge, it's been a huge help to get me to this point.
Re: New Guy Introduction
September 14, 2020 04:34AM
Table saw and planer.

Been thinking about this. Tha laminated chine strip is not a requirement. A person could build any framed Dory with Marine caulk and screws. With all else the same. Just swap glue for, for instance, Dowsil 795. Or so I think.

Hay I'm not recommending it for you. I'm just making pronouncements. In my old age.

Your work is excellent. I'm really looking forward to following your progress.
Re: New Guy Introduction
September 29, 2020 02:01AM
I've just finished putting three coats of epoxy with graphite on the bottom. I know my glasswork is not the best but I'm blaming it on being a rookie. I've definitely learned a ton on this one and will do some things differently on the next one. I plan on painting the lower edge with a flat black paint to hide the areas where the glass is thicker. Maybe. Maybe I'll just get it in the river ASAP you never know. I couldn't have gotten this far without all the wisdom on this site, so THANKS!


Re: New Guy Introduction
September 29, 2020 02:03AM
Some more pics. Disregard the messy shop

Re: New Guy Introduction
September 30, 2020 01:35PM
Looking good! Looking very good. You'll be glad you don't have that chine cap when rowing.

But with a plywood bottom under glass you will have to monitor your chine. If you do smack a big rock and split the chine edge get it dried out and patched sooner rather than later. I built with plywood bottoms (under glass) for many years. When and if I did split a chine I often just troweled on some epoxy putty as a temporary fix.

At the end of the season I'd sand it out and patch it more carefully. Grinding/sanding fiberglass is messy. Wear a mask and do it in the driveway rather than inside your shop. A small chine split doesn't require much sanding. But still.

That looks like a mighty fine boat.
Re: New Guy Introduction
October 04, 2020 02:50PM
Thanks, Sandy.

I'm on my fourth coat of varnish on the outside. How many would you recommend?

Also, would you recommend any further action on the bottom of my boat? I have applied 8 layers of epoxy with two layers of 10 oz glass. The final three coats received graphite no more that %10 by volume. I am about to flip this thing over so I don't want to have to come back to it later.
Re: New Guy Introduction
October 05, 2020 11:41PM
Sounds good to me. You could go as far as ten coats of varnish. It would be more impressive to look at but it wouldn't last any longer.
Re: New Guy Introduction
October 13, 2020 09:28PM
I got the boat out the other night and started working on cutting the frames down. Couldn't resist taking a pic. I have added some black walnut pieces to the sides of the frame notches where the gunwhales attach to give some more meat when attaching. The color contrast is pretty sweet. I'll have more pics soon.

Question for Sandy or others more experienced than me. I haven't done much with oiling wood, so I am not sure about the process of it all. I have thinned down some tung oil with naptha, which I read from one of your previous posts. After one coat, there seems to be a waxy residue on the white oak. Is this normal? What do I need to do from here?

Thanks for the help.

Re: New Guy Introduction
October 13, 2020 11:20PM
Very cool. Keep them pictures coming.
Re: New Guy Introduction
November 13, 2020 02:03AM
I've been tryin to post some pics of my build but I can't seem to figure it out this evening. I have made a lot of progress, and I'm to the point of needing to figure out the oar situation. How long of an oar would you recommend? I don't know if it matters, but I am a pretty tall dude. Also the rope seat is about 16" off the deck, which is a comfortable height for me. I will probably buy my first set of oars so I can get in the water.

Also, I need to figure out the anchor system. I would prefer to run the line through the transom because I can't stand the look of the anchor arms that mount to the back of the transom. What hardware should I use for this type of setup? I have been researching but I am at a loss as to what to use. Please keep in mind I have no experience whatsoever as this is my first boat, so simple explanations or links would be a great help.


Re: New Guy Introduction
November 13, 2020 04:14AM
On both my boats I used a through transom system. Used Barton Marine size 4 single upright blocks - one on the interior and one on the exterior. For my first boat I got the hardware from Jason at Montana Boat Builders. Now Cajune Boats. I don't think he sells stuff at the current time. Jason used this setup for some of his earlier boats. You may find pictures of some on his website. For my most recent boat I got the blocks from Anchor Express.

Also, take a look at the pictures at Down Home Boats. Dave uses a through transom anchor setup. Don't know the source of his hardware.
Re: New Guy Introduction
November 13, 2020 04:18AM
If you look at the pictures on my 7/29 post: 14' x 54/78 skiff, you can see the blocks on both of the boats I've built
Re: New Guy Introduction
November 13, 2020 12:21PM
Thanks Eric for the direction. Very nice boats by the way. I know this next question may seem obvious for some, but I am green. What hardware did you use to run the rope through the transom? Some sort of sleeve that prevents wear on the wood I am assuming, but not certain enough to find what I am looking for.

Also, would you have any recommendations on an oar length?
Re: New Guy Introduction
November 13, 2020 03:55PM
If the boat was made with 16' foot side panels and is chopped off at the upstream end for a transom you will end up within a few inches of 14' 7" inches long. Depending on side flare you'll be vaguely around six feet wide across the oar locks. Boats like that can be rowed with oars from 8-1/2' long to 10 feet. But ten footers are a mistake. 9'6" works but it's too long for me. I prefer 9' footers. 8-1/2' foot oars will work too but they raise you hands a bit, which makes it harder to row. I recommend 9' footers.

I have a pair of 9' Smoker Lights I bought in 1979 when I built my first boat.
Re: New Guy Introduction
November 13, 2020 04:24PM
On my first boat, a standard drift boat, I didn't put any fitting in the hole in the transom. Since I built using the stitch-and-glue approach I did thoroughly epoxy coat the edge of the hole. I've not seen any wear.

On the second boat I bored an oversize hole (1.25 inch if I recall correctly), filled it with System III Ez Fillet, and once hardened bored a 5/8 inch hole for the anchor rope. So the hole in the transom has a cast-in-place epoxy bushing. You could also purchase a brass bushing from a local hardware store and epoxy it into a hole in the transom.

West Marine sells a Ronstan Thru-Deck Screw on Bushing (model 16014250) that might work. Since it has plastic side edges that screw into the transom these might interfere with attaching the block hardware. I did use these on the drift boat where the anchor rope went thru reinforcing floor frames. You could use these on your frames.

On my recent skiff I just put one fairlead along the bottom to keep the rope in-line. You will also need a block where the rope goes from the tracking along the bottom and turns to track up the transom. I used a Schaefer 300 series fairlead block - West Marine model 251942. On the drift boat, I purchased the block from Montana Boat Builders.

The skiff has a Regal anchor foot release as the endpoint for the anchor rope. I'll try to get some pictures later today or tomorrow and upload them.

You might pose these questions to Dave at Down Home Boats. He use to post here as Framer Dave, and posted regularly on WoodenBoatPeople. Not so much any more.
Re: New Guy Introduction
November 13, 2020 07:53PM
I didn't realize Framer Dave was the same as Down Home Boatworks. No wonder now. He always seemed to know.
Re: New Guy Introduction
November 14, 2020 07:26PM
Here are pics of the thru-transom anchor system I use.

I suspect that one reason many use an extended arm for the anchor is to avoid the anchor sway from hitting the boat....I may be incorrect about that. A few years back A.J. DeRosa from Jackson Hole showed how to attach an anchor so it is cinched up tight to the pulley on the I include a picture of how the anchor is attached to the rope and what it looks like cinched up.

Re: New Guy Introduction
November 14, 2020 07:31PM

The forum is not letting me easily add picture files so it may take a couple of messages ....

Re: New Guy Introduction
November 14, 2020 07:33PM

Re: New Guy Introduction
November 14, 2020 07:35PM
Okay, that's it.

Re: New Guy Introduction
December 12, 2021 03:54AM
Sorry it’s been a while but here’s some pictures. Again I can’t thank everyone enough for the help. The seats weren’t finished in the last pic. Every time I go fishing I have to allow for extra time for admirers and their questions. It’s a beautiful boat and I’m very proud.

Re: New Guy Introduction
December 12, 2021 04:22PM
Nice fish too, as well as nice boat.
I'm in Texas for the Winter. 2000 miles from my shop.
I'm 73 now and still trying to recover from Covid, now less than three months away from two years.

We came for the skiiing. Although I do see some guys are finally starting to use drift boats on the Colorado River, from Austin to the salt, for bass fishing.
Re: New Guy Introduction
December 15, 2021 12:52AM
Thanks Sandy. I hope the warm weather will help you recover.
Re: New Guy Introduction
July 05, 2022 08:30PM

I made these drawer lids from QS white oak with black walnut inlay. I added some cabinet door cushions underneath to keep them quiet
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login