View Full Version : Building your own Drifter!

03-20-2012, 07:46 AM
Greg Tayman makes awesome drift boat kits and they assemble very well even for those with little wood-working experience.

I helped build one of his kits about 15 years ago with a friend who had no skills at all and it came out beautiful. We did cover the bottom with the "optional" High Density plastic stuff and this was a good idea as it bounced off rocks like nothing and unlike aluminum it didn't stick to every rock like glue.

The boat in question was actually in an issue of Fly Rod & Reel back in the 90's in an article about fishing the East Outlet of the Kennebec River by Editor Paul Guernsey.... when we went over "Swimmers Falls" (a huge drop off over ledge, it was on a very low flow in October) I was in the front looking directly down a rocks, Paul was in the rear and Jeff (the owner) was rowing.... we broke a rib, they both got soak, I was dry and we all kept fishing.

The rib was easily repaired.

See more anout these affordable kits: http://gregboats.com/pages/driftboats.html

03-20-2012, 09:48 AM
I did not know you had mad boat building skills.:smile: Nice link and I love boat kits. Kits are about the only way for small boat builders to sell their boats without all the legal clutter. I may have to follow that path to get my boats on the water.

As for the cost; I think I can build fiberglass/RTM boats for that price range. The only issue with fiberglass right now is the volatility of the price of resin (pun intended)-petroleum based.

However; I do love handmade boats! There is nothing like building something and enjoying its use.

03-20-2012, 07:06 PM
shawm; the ultimate drift boat material IMO would be roto-molded plastic like the material used in Old Town Canoes.

I have built "plugs" before but it was a very long time ago.... we made a "male" mold for a 12 foot barnegat bay sneak box and then made two female mplds from the plug for a top and bottom. I did this with freinds in Jersey but then moved to Maine and lost touch with them over the years.... they only made a handfull of duck boats from the female molds, I took the male plug to Maine but eventually junked it.

My freind Mike in Maine who used to own FLY Fishing Only fly shop in Fairfield also made a Tatman boat by himself and it;s beautiful.... he later bought Jeff's boat after Jeff lost his guiding License for "Rowing under the influence" of POT. Idiot.

03-20-2012, 10:49 PM
roto molded boats have some problems, most importantly their tendancy to warp. There are several companies making them now, and they caught on briefly but have seemingly faded away.

I have been around quite a few Tatman style wooden boats and they are decent boats, however they are a maintenance nightmare unless they stay in a garage all the time and spend very little time on the water.

The best material which no one has figured out yet would be a kevlar woven material IMO.

Fiberglass does fine, and certainly takes some damage, but is easily repaired.

Mike Bone has built several boats over the years, and were true works of art. They have long since moved on to other homes, and he has gone back to glass last I checked.

03-21-2012, 11:25 AM
I like the roto-boats for the price. Also; I think it is hard to be competitive in that market with such a bottom line. There are issues with the material being degraded by chemical agents and UV exposure. Yeah; if it gets warped than it has lost much of its structural integrity.

Kevlar works great; but, there are much more cost efficient woven products for drift boats. I think it is a little overkill; but, well worth using if you do not mind spending the extra money in building your own boat. After repairing a few name brand drift boats; I was extremely surprised to find some odd use of directional mat in certain areas of the boats. Maybe they were just short on their specialty types of mat the days they were laying these boats up.:rolleyes: Fortunately; I was able to work under some of the top glass men in the World back in the day.