after 3 months of trying, finally got Wood!!! (driftboat)

Growbug
Well, it finally happened. I must have looked at over 50 boats. Main tactic has been to drive around the countryside out here and politely ask at the houses/farms that i see around here that have all sorts of boats and cars rotting.
Well.. seems that most of these are exactly that.. rotted.
It really saddens me to see so many classic wood boats just sat rotting in peoples yards, especially when there are so many of us looking for boats. Other hand is, that if these boats didn't rot, then no-one would need to buy a NEW boat...

Finally found a boat that 'felt right', had to go to Craigslist and expand my search. The wood seems solid from the checking so far. Paint is worn, and so are the rails. Some footboards broken, but easy replaced. Bottom looks sound, a few scuffs that needs filled. Fiber/Epoxy bottom, scratched through the epoxy.
Came with LOADS of extras, even though i got the boat for a few bucks less than he was asking, seller threw in LOADS of stuff, including an old Eagle portable system.

Papers say this was registered originally in '72. Does anyone have any ideas of its vintage??
Supposedly a 'local made' McKenzie.
16ft long, will edit this with other details when i get my tape out.
edit
front to back
- centerline 14'8"
- outside edge 16'
width
- floor 3'10" (46")
- beam 6' (72")
side height 22"
flair 60deg (if i calculated correctly)

Immediate plan is to give it a once over and then completely repaint. Want this one out on the water soon and the family (kids) are excited about going out.
In about 6 months, i plan to put the boat up, give it a good sanding and, if its not ratty underneath, probably stain and varnish.


Whats a good paint to use on the outside?
What should i use to fill the scratches in the bottom?
 
Last edited:
Throbbit _Shane
Nice boat! I'm gonna have to get one some day.
 
Combat Chuck
Best title to a thread... ever!!!!
 
Growbug
and so appropriate.
 
RunWithSasquatch
Congratulations
 
Moe
Sweet boat, although I thought you got something else after seeing the title. lol.
 
Markcanby
I was expecting something smaller an blue.
 
Growbug
One of the paint options that i have been throwing around WAS (overwritten by wife) certain shade of blue, with a V on the prow and a sticker on the transom "Got Wood?"

Now, I am thinking more a slightly lighter shade of British Racing Green in a nice gloss that will reflect the water. Things gonna be stripped and redone soon enough. Whatever paint goes on it now will probably come off again next 'down season'.

OK.. i have a few moments. Need to go over and resume the inch by inch check.
 
GDBrown
Nice looking boat! I does take a while to find what you want when you can't buy new. I bought mine last week after looking for two months but I only looked at fiberglass. Mine is only 12ft and that is why it took so long and I'm happy with what I got. I want to use it mostly on lakes and a few floats that are easy. I only have room for two and that's fine with me. Kids are gone and when my grandkids come to visit we can take the other boat up to Hagg lake for the day and they are happy. Oh, and mine only cost me $50 more than I sold the Little Blue Drifter for.

GD
 
Armando Garcia
Nice boat.
 
GDBrown
He kept hearing banjos when was driving around out there in the woods.......
 
Growbug
OnTheFly said:
So why did it take so long?

Coz I wanted a boat, not a collection of dry/wet rot and screws floating in very close formation.

No joke, there must be at least 30 old wooden drift boats within 5 miles of here that are just that, well without the floating part. Some of the stories that i have heard "yeah that was my dads boat, always meant to get it back on the water", etc. I have no idea what there excuse would have been about the cars, trucks, tractors and various other lawn / pasture ornaments. One place even had an old Cessna in the back, sat just outside a falling down hanger. The old girl split the land after her husband died, lost the 'airfield' and left the rest out to rot.
Saw a completely rotted wooden 32ft sailboat, some race-boats (both had catamaran hulls), loads of dinghies, driftboats, etc. All dead or about to depart this world.
Sadden me actually.
There were a few that i saw that were definite contenders, but then the price was wrong for what i would have been getting. I didn't want to overspend my limited budget. I also knew that i would have to keep a few hundred in reserve to do any immediate repairs.
I was going to give up and wait until after the Sportsmans Show before continuing the search and then i saw this one on Craigslist. Weird thing is that i had limited my searches over the last 2 weeks to 'picture only' listings. On Saturday evening i reloaded without that tab and this appeared. I had almost no idea what i would be looking at until the guy sent me a couple of photos.

Anyhow... I have now been over the entire inside floor with a close inspection.
Lots of paint work needs re-doing. Lots of little jobs like fixing the raised walks, etc. One medium to nasty job of dealing with a patch of damp wood 3.5" by 1.5". The wood isn't bed enough that i can get a screwdriver blade in until i hit the glass on the outside bottom, only goes in about 1/8 inch, and i have a heat lamp over it at the moment (the chickens can freeze for a while).
After making a couple of calls and writing some emails, as well as lots of web searching, I am thinking of using some System 3 "Rot Fix" epoxy. Get as much of the wood out thats 'too well gone' and then soak the rest of the dried out wood in the epoxy mix. The fungicides, etc in the mix will kill anything left over and the wood will end up encapsulated. I can then fill and continue.
 
Last edited:
FishFiddle
Congrats! you will have a blast with her!!
 
Armando Garcia
I must have looked at over 50 boats. Main tactic has been to drive around the countryside out here and politely ask at the houses/farms that i see around here that have all sorts of boats and cars rotting.
Well.. seems that most of these are exactly that.. rotted.
It really saddens me to see so many classic wood boats just sat rotting in peoples yards

So, were are all those boats at, that are in need of some loving. I want to get a hold of a project boat, actually I want to build a boat. But I thought it would be a good idea to get my feet wet on a project boat first. All those beat up, rotten boats sound like a perfect start for me. If you didn't mind PMing me with possible leads on those threshers you have found, would greatly help my search. Unless some friendly OFF'er has a vary cheap drift boat project they would like to off load.
 
GungasUncle
If you don't mind my asking - how much did you spend on that boat? I love wood boats - and keep kicking the idea around of either building one, or buying and fixing up an older wood drifter. I keep hemming and hawing, and I've passed up some opportunities when I had the funds that I've since kicked myself for. There's a little wood dory style 12' boat in Beaverton that I keep meaning to stop and ask the owner about - it hasn't moved in a couple years. Would be a great boat to put a 6 horse on. Be a great lake boat.

As for what to fill the bottom with... thickened epoxy. And I would seriously consider coating the bottom with a graphite-epoxy mix - kind of a standard thing on wooden boats now. It will glide over rocks and sand better.

You're also right about the au natural look - wood boats that are epoxied/varnished are just sexy, at least as long as the wood looks good. If the wood or the wood work looks like crap - then a painted boat will look better.

I've got some minor repair work to do on my boat - my dad built it when I was 6, and I got it as a birthday present a couple years back. It's wood with fiberglass overlay. My brother in law had it for a few years and didn't really take good care of it - so some of the fiberglass overlay has cracked and needs repaired, and there's a couple soft spots on the bottom of the hull. Needs new paint. I was actually thinking about taking it to the Maaco in North Portland, as they do marine paint work, at least if it isn't too expensive for them to do.
 
Top Bottom