I found a smoking deal on this wooden drift boat the other day. It will be a fun project for the spring. I’m not sure if I’m going to use it as my “daily driver” or just sell it soon after I make in new again. I guess I’ll decide once I row it around a bit. It was once a guide boat on the Madison river in MT, and it made it’s way down into Utah a few years ago. Since then it has clearly not been used or taken care of, but it’s in good hands now! I drove down to the Salt lake area a couple days ago to pick it up and was quite surprised at the good condition of this thing for the price I paid for it. I was also surprised at the size of this beauty! It is almost 19′ long, and is actually pretty wide. I think this will make a great boat for the Snake river once its shined up.
Once the weather warms up, I’ll be documenting my repairs on video and also creating a page on this site dedicated to it. I wanted to take some more pictures, but when I got back home with this boat it was -10 degrees and it was starting to snow. In order to keep it in as good of condition as possible and to prevent rotting of the wood I decided to get it covered and settled into my yard ASAP before it got wet. If I had a big garage I would already be working on it, but for now I’m watching the thrift stores for all of the tools I might need. It’s probably a good thing I can’t rush into this project, because the 4-5 months left of cold weather will give me time to decide exactly how to best handle it. Wooden drift boats require a lot of maintenance! So I’m going to try to figure out the best way to minimize the amount of work needed on it in the future, while keeping it natural looking.
Check back this spring to watch this boat get transformed into its full potential. I’m going sand it down for probably 50 hours, fully glass the sides/bottom and put all new accessories on the interior with a fresh coat of varnish. Pumped!