16' Driftboats

$106.00 - $290.00
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Rugged McKenzie/Rogue-type fishing dories for whitewater rivers

Our driftboat designs are the most-advanced available, yet specially intended for first-timers. They feature frame-free hulls (no ribs!) based on modern stress-skin engineering principles for faster, easier construction & reduced weight. Yet with our integral side trays, bow, and stern compartments with decks, strength and stiffness are superior! Special chine and gunnel designs are rugged, strong, and durable, yet simple to build. And the resulting clean interiors of our boats mean less maintenance, fewer casting snags, and a neater, longer-lasting boat.

Features and performance of our driftboats match or exceed those of production boats. Our hulls are designed for quick response to oar inputs, have exceptional stability, are dry running, and come in a wide variety of sizes to suit most any river fishing or whitewater river-running condition. Plans show adjustable, removable seats for perfect load balance, side trays, knee locks, and the option of an outboard motor up to 10 HP.

Plans detail easy ways to join standard 8' long panels to form side and bottom panels. Or you can plank with full-length panels where these may be available. You can use either a good grade of Exterior or full Marine grade plywood panels in any case. All plans also include FULL-SIZE PATTERNS for hull-forming backbone members (*) - NO LOFTING OR LAYOUTS REQUIRED! In addition, we include easy-to-follow instructions especially for beginners, material listings, and fastening schedules - NOTHING IS LEFT TO CHANCE! Although construction time will vary depending on a builder’s tools, experience, and conditions, reports over the years indicate that 100 man-hours is a reasonable "ball-park" approximation of required building time for most.

Fast, easy, accurate assembly methods.....

We detail hull assembly over three temporary forms (much like frames) made from any type of plywood of specified thickness, plus the wood-framed plywood transom (stern) and stem (bow member) cut from a 2" x 6" - both of which stay in the boat. We call all these the "backbone" members, and include FULL SIZE PATTERNS for their contours so you can make them easily and without error (plans & instructions show you how). A few longitudinal members (straight wood "sticks" if you will) are added to back the joints and stiffen the hull - these can be bought in most any lumberyard to size. Or if you have a saw, you can rip your own to size from wide boards and save more money.

Assembling our wood driftboats is straight-forward and simple. Hulls are built upside-down over the backbone members which are set up on a simple jig made from a few ordinary 2" x 4" members as fully detailed on the plans. Longitudinal members are then wrapped around these members. Fairing (hand-beveling for fit) is mostly unnecessary since bevels can largely be pre-sawn. Plywood panels are next laid onto this framework, marked around their perimeters, cut to shape, then glued and screwed back in place. Basically that’s all there is to it - no special tools or skills required. Anyone who can saw a board, drill a hole, and drive a screw can do it.

(*)For temporary frames, transom, stem, breasthook, rail braces, and knee locks.


I built this design 11 years ago. Have used it extensively as a guide boat for fly fishing and it's still going strong. The boat was easy to build and light enough to launch in some hairy places. Clients have caught 1000s of fish in it. I would highly recommend this boat to anyone. - Capt. David Hulsey GA