Advice needed - LTB Driftboat

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Growbug

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I am looking at some drift boats around town and on craigslist.
I have decided that i really want a wooden boat, around 15-16 ft.
Been reading up on the net about the different materials, etc. but now i actually want some input from people on here who have them.

What should i look for (or avoid) on a used wooden driftboat, i have looked at a few 'older models' (70's and 80's) that are in the 750 to 1500 range and although i can spot rot (usually) i dont want to buy a lemon.
I want to use this for family, so there are going to be 3 or 4 people in it on lakes, 2-3 on rivers. Is 16ft ok?
It seems like non painted / varnish on wood commands a premium somehow, is this normal? Couldn't I just buy a painted one and strip off the paint?
Is a UHMW bottom worth an extra $$$$$?? how much does it cost to get one put on a boat that doesn't have one?
 
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RunWithSasquatch

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Wood boats with UHMW on the bottom are not a good buy, you can call the guy at Tatman boats up on the McKenzie for more details, he also has a forum for wood boats. When I bought my kit 2 years ago he explained that if you're not going to use your boat like a guide, 7 days a week, you dont need UHMW. The UHMW traps the water between the plastic, and the bottom of the boat, and will cause rot prematurely. I put glass, and epoxy layers on the bottom of my boat, then a several coatings of graphite and epoxy mix, and its super strong, have banged rocks, and it still looks almost new. Its also really easy to repair, touch up if a problem happens. One problem with the pastic is it expans and contracts drastically, and fasteners used to attatch it to the boat will stress, and that will lead to weakness where water can gain access. I would say 750 to 1500 is not going to be a terrible price for a boat thats been around that long, my opinion the trailer also really needs to be a part of that value. My total price for my boat from start to finish, including material to build a new trailer was a little over $4500
As far as non painted boat price, its more likely that an ALL painted boat didn't start that way, and they had problems with water penetration, and its a lot of work to sand and revarnish your boat, and its really easy to just slap some paint on it to reseal and cover any blemish, and MAYBE any rot problems. All varnished boat you will be able to see whats what. ( I painted and varnished mine) IMG950103.jpg 1124100819.jpg
 
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Fish-On Fred

Fish-On Fred

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My Father in law has a homemade drift boat from a craftmans, that buildt many excetutive homes. It has been easily handeled in easy water and not stressed . Great boat but neads some little work. Stored with protection. My father - in -n law is a little aged belives that he boat that is is of great quality. I would buy it personally, but I already have a quality drift boat that is aluminum. If one who knows that wood is the queit mode of drifting into fish..then this boat may be your boat. Please be gentle with the old man. Call me first and I will help you on your way.....541-847-5226...Fish-On Fred
 
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halibuthitman

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Never trust fresh paint or detailed stories... or 30 yr old wood boats that cost $900...
 
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Razz

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Wood boat needs covered and it will give you a quiet and warm ride had (5) over the last 50 yrs.Now it's metal just because I've got no inside storage and I'm too OLD for the up keep.Wood boats are not real good with a motor,but they ROW like a( sports car ) lite and fast.
 
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DirectDrive

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If the boat was always stored inside, have a look.
If the boat was stored outside, in any fashion, run the other way.
 
F

FishFiddle

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All good info on wooden boats. With varnish you can see any damage and or rot. I have had two wooden boats and really liked both of them. I put on a glov-it (epoxy) bottom on one of them and it held up very well. It took a few hours of labor to apply but is not technical in any way. My brother stripped/sanded and re-finished my last wooden one and it was well over 100 hours, not an easy task, and it looked very nice when done (Clear Urethane) and it gets lots of compliments on the water. That boat is now with my nephew in Montana, much drier climate and kept inside, plus I get to use it anytime I am there! My last boat is a 15' Koffler aluminum. I like the low upkeep and I don't mind at all if it sits outside. I really want to come float the Mo sometime soon so if you want to do a float and get a little time on the sticks in an aluminum boat, just send me a PM. At any rate, I would recommend doing a float first in any wooden boat as my two were quite different.
 
G

Growbug

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Thanks for all the advice.
Here's what i am looking at. 16ft Mac!!!
Wood looks solid through out. Did go over most of the floor with the back of my knuckle. Sounded sharp and not dull as i would expect from rot/damp. Some of the raised wooden walks need replacing.
Quite warn paintwork (non fresh.. no fresh fills, etc.) Bottom has fiberglass/kevlar. Scratched but scratches easily are filled. Anchor mounts on front and back. Reinforced transom for outboard.
Trailer looks solid, needs two lug nut studs replaced ASAP. Currently has three fine and two holes with heavy bolt and lock nuts. Should last me til i get home, then i will knock then all out and replace (prob both hubs). Bearing buddies, carpetted bottom, guides, winch, etc.
Comes with what you see, plus what looks like a 20lb pyramid.
yeah it looks 'heavily used', and hasnt had 'looked after' for around 2 years. Looks like it was at least stored under a 'car port' and tarp. No rust anywhere that i would expect if it had been outdoors.
Looks like an 'honest boat' to me.
Overall $1000

So???? worth it???

DSCF0330_resize.png

driftee_resize.png
 
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T

todd_brooks

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I don't pretend to know much about it but that looks like a deal to me. Nice trailer to, with some sweet equity you'd be set up.
 
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RunWithSasquatch

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doesn't look like a kit boat, atleast I dont recognize the build, trailer looks good, but it will take elbow grease, I Bid $750
 
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RunWithSasquatch

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Looks like one made from scratch, I think that if it were a local boat maker it'd be worth $1000
 
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Growbug

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dont have pics of them. Most were quickly written off from a hollow, dull sound when some of the floor was 'rapped'. Others were priced too much for what was offered. Some didn't come with trailers.. Etc, Etc, Etc. Been looking for a couple of months.
This is the first one that really felt like it had 'value' compared to the asking price.
I even thought of waiting until the Sportsmans Show to look for deals, but, my pocketbook can't afford the price of a NEW wooden boat. Even looked at the kits. $3000 aint bad for a complete kit. But then, how much time will i have to build it? Two likkle sprats running around. I want something that i can put in the water now. Maybe do some immediate 'repairs' with epoxy fill and paint. Then later on to replacing the rails, seats, etc.. restoring it a little.
 
R

RunWithSasquatch

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Yeah absolutely understand. I think the boat you posted should go for under 1000, though it has a decent trailer/oars. I dont think you will be disapointed. And always, those boats can be taken apart and repaired to your liking.
 
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FishFiddle

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Don't look bad, but check out those oar locks and that they are well attached. Every oar lock I have ever seen have been drilled through the wood block where these are screwed or bolted along the inside of the rail. Needless to say, they need to take a lot of abuse.
 
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FishFiddle

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Oh yea, you probably will not be happy with a 20# anchor.....you'll probably want a 30# one and maybe carry the small one for a spare.
 
H

halibuthitman

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That boat looks VERY heavy... and the beam to beam slat deck boards are dangerous and should be changed.
 
G

Growbug

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That boat looks VERY heavy... and the beam to beam slat deck boards are dangerous and should be changed.


Suprisingly it didn't feel that heavy, and the deckboards (slats) are going to be the first thing to be checked and replaced, i dont need my foot going through one on the first drift.. grin
 
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DirectDrive

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Doesn't look bad.
Would be nice to see a full side view so that we can see the "rocker".
Rocker is a way to describe the basic shape of a DB's hull.

Agree that the deck planking is funky...looks like 5/4 material.
The oarlocks are OK, it's the sockets and location/angle that may need re-working.

Before doing any improvement, look at a Tatman for proper material sizing/spacing, etc.....that's a very good example of a McKenzie.
 

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