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The joys of a handcrafted driftboat

In a couple of words: maintenance and innovation!  Before building my first drift boat, I recognized a handmade boat would require a certain amount of annual maintenance.  For years I have derived great pleasure in the design and construction of custom furniture, so I guess it is not surprising that I have enjoyed the minor maintenance and tinkering a customized driftboat requires.  As this year’s guiding season came to a close, I began by spending a few evenings refinishing the gunnels and applying some fresh paint to the inside of the hull.  Next, I made a new and improved rod holder.  This one safely holds four or more assembled 9 ft fly rods.  After these chores were out of the way, I decided I could improve on my existing guide seat.

Although many clients have questioned the comfort of a rope seat, I know from three years of “seated” experience that the tightly strung 5/16″ dacron rope makes for a comfortable seat so any redesign would include the rope.   So –  I simply redesigned the frame to include a laminated arch-framed back rest made from several thin strips of white ash.  The accompanying photos include a shot of the original seat along with the work in progress.  Last night with the finish sanding completed, I applied the first coat of epoxy.   Two additional coats of epoxy, followed by three coats of marine varnish and it will be ready to be strung up and installed.  I only wish spring was around the corner and I could take my seat!


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