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Thread: Project Drift Boat

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Long story short, I had been looking at drift boats. A friend made me an offer I couldn't pass up on his old boat. Been fixing it up since last fall and it is getting close to being done.


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    wow thats awesome you made that thing look like a new rig. is it fiberglass or aluminum and what kind of paint did you use.

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    The boat is a 1978 Alumaweld. I used Interlux polyurethane paint from West Marine. The bottom was redone with Gluvit. I had Home Depot add some pigment to the Gluvit and it didn't end up the color (another story) I was hoping for but it'll be fine.

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    That looks great JR!! Only problem where's my seat?? between you mom and the boys its a full boat. Now you have a pattern for the next one, just build it at the shop. I like the blue hull. See you guys at the shows.

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    The thought of building one from scratch had crossed my mind many times. I just couldn't convince myself that I wanted to bite off quite that much. I did have to add another seat to fit the family in there. I wasn't sure exactly what would work the best so I may have to make a few changes once we get it wet.

    I'm not opposed to leaving the family at home on occasion, lol.

    I bought the boat from a friend who's health has been not so good the last few years. He made me a good deal on the boat with the stipulation that I get him out in it a few times before he moves out of state next fall, how could I say no, its a win win imo. I sent him the link to this the other day and he was tickled how well it is turning out. I can't wait to get it wet.

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    Member Mark Collett's Avatar
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    Default J R You did an OUTSTANDING Transformation there

    Very nicely done,dude.I made fiberglass mini-drifters for a few years so I'm very cognizant of the work involved.My hat is off to you,ya did good.
    A couple of additions you might want to consider to make your life easier out on the water would be a low back rower's seat.If you spend enough time on the sticks you will learn to apprreciate a bit of lower back support at the end of a long day.Glassing in an anchor nest may be something to think about also.Not a neccessity jusy a nice feature to have.Your pulley system looks like it'll do the job just fine.
    A bit more compicated project would be adding some storage/bait boxes along the sides.underneath your seat supports.They are easy to fabricate,add some stability to the sides of the boat,and are kinda handy to have for throwing in extra stuff you don't want to be just laying around in your boat.
    All in all you did do a fine job restoring that drifter.Have fun out on the water with it.027.jpgHere's a picture of one of the mini-drifters I used to make.12 feet long,150 lbs,made to fit in a small truck bed.Dynamite little boats.
    IMG_0550.jpg

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    I appreciate the compliments and input. Still have some work to do on it so I'll post more pics as it goes.

    This being my first drift boat and not knowing exactly how I will be using it or what I need I wasn't sure how far to go. That said, I'm sure I will be making some mods in the near future.

    One thing I've been comtemplating is what is the best method for storing rods. My wife is a bit concerned with them just laying around. Any ideas or pics would be appreciated.

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    Member Mark Collett's Avatar
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    Hey JR,
    If you need some more ideas take a look at Pavati Drift Boats.Chuck has some really cool inovations on his boats.His rod storage systems as well as the movable seating arrangements are super cool.If I ever go back to a metal drift-boat it will be a Pavati.Besides that Chuck Gros (the owner) is a hell-of-a nice guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBighorn View Post
    I appreciate the compliments and input. Still have some work to do on it so I'll post more pics as it goes.

    This being my first drift boat and not knowing exactly how I will be using it or what I need I wasn't sure how far to go. That said, I'm sure I will be making some mods in the near future.

    One thing I've been comtemplating is what is the best method for storing rods. My wife is a bit concerned with them just laying around. Any ideas or pics would be appreciated.
    I wouldn't worry about rod storage, i'd worry where your gonna carry all the food for those 2 boys of yours !!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Collett View Post
    Very nicely done,dude.I made fiberglass mini-drifters for a few years so I'm very cognizant of the work involved.My hat is off to you,ya did good.
    A couple of additions you might want to consider to make your life easier out on the water would be a low back rower's seat.If you spend enough time on the sticks you will learn to apprreciate a bit of lower back support at the end of a long day.Glassing in an anchor nest may be something to think about also.Not a neccessity jusy a nice feature to have.Your pulley system looks like it'll do the job just fine.
    A bit more compicated project would be adding some storage/bait boxes along the sides.underneath your seat supports.They are easy to fabricate,add some stability to the sides of the boat,and are kinda handy to have for throwing in extra stuff you don't want to be just laying around in your boat.
    All in all you did do a fine job restoring that drifter.Have fun out on the water with it.027.jpgHere's a picture of one of the mini-drifters I used to make.12 feet long,150 lbs,made to fit in a small truck bed.Dynamite little boats.
    IMG_0550.jpg
    Did you do a hand layup or did you use a chopper gun for those beauties?? I've always thought of finding a beat Tolman and using it for a mold to layup a glass one. It would be the best of both worlds, a great hull design and solid glass, no wood to worry about.

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Still need to get the rims powder coated, put on new tread and replace wheel bearings. Other than that, minor details.

    Where is a good place to get a cover for the boat?




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    Member Mark Collett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    Did you do a hand layup or did you use a chopper gun for those beauties?? I've always thought of finding a beat Tolman and using it for a mold to layup a glass one. It would be the best of both worlds, a great hull design and solid glass, no wood to worry about.
    Hey Steve,
    My mini-drifters were all laid by hand.I built 23 of those units down in Grays Harbor,Washington.Sold a few to Fish&Game ,most went to private individuals.To the best of my knowledge,this is the only one of it's kind in Alaska.Makes a guy feel kinda proud as I go down a river knowing that I won't see any duplicates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Collett View Post
    Hey Steve,
    My mini-drifters were all laid by hand.I built 23 of those units down in Grays Harbor,Washington.Sold a few to Fish&Game ,most went to private individuals.To the best of my knowledge,this is the only one of it's kind in Alaska.Makes a guy feel kinda proud as I go down a river knowing that I won't see any duplicates.
    Nice looking little boats!! What happened to the mold? Do you still have it or is it still in Grays Harbor? Might be a nice little hobby/business to have here??

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  15. #15
    Member Mark Collett's Avatar
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    Default I Feel Like We Are Stealing AKBigHorns Thread Here

    Don't have the mold anymore,not sure where it is.I did bring a mold up to make Kayaks but I don;t have a shop to build them in.
    It was/is a joy to see your work come out of a mold all shiny and clean.Might get back into it some day.Had a nice shop in Aberdeen for several years.Then too many folks wanted me to repair thier "glass" boats and that got to be a big pain.So I put an end to my glass work.
    JR where are you going to make you 1st run ?Will look forward to seeing you on the water.Maybe the Kasilof ?Spring's a coming...............

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    No plan at this time. The first spot of open water will be calling I'm sure. Definetly hitting the Kenia this year. Haven't fished Kasilof for a long time and didn't learn it very well when I did but I'm open to anywhere.

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    Member Ryan B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBighorn View Post
    I appreciate the compliments and input. Still have some work to do on it so I'll post more pics as it goes.

    This being my first drift boat and not knowing exactly how I will be using it or what I need I wasn't sure how far to go. That said, I'm sure I will be making some mods in the near future.

    One thing I've been comtemplating is what is the best method for storing rods. My wife is a bit concerned with them just laying around. Any ideas or pics would be appreciated.

    Beautiful job on your boat. I am working on my first model which will be an 18' and like a similar style of rod holders as the Clakacraft boats present. With a few alterations, I think it will accommodate my rods perfectly....Might be worth taking a look at for your project. http://www.clacka.com/section.cfm?wSectionID=4246

  18. #18
    Member Mark Collett's Avatar
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    Hey JR
    Have you had a chance to get that drifter out yet ?Any new modifications ?New pictures ?Looking forward to seeing her out on the water..

  19. #19
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    No I have been a bit busy and distracted with another new project. I still have a few things to finish up on the boat. Maybe in two weeks there will be some good open water to go play in.

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    Hey Guys, I'm fairly new to this forum, but couldn't help but be impressed with the execution on this project. Great work!

    I have an older aluminum smokercraft drift boat with rotten floorboards that should be redone. What material did you use for the floor? What is the floor covering?

    Cheers!

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