The Sea Chest  

by David Nichols - Austin Texas - USA


Brian Builds a Drift Boat

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Brian Neely, the shop manager at WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine, started my drift boat design Conchita in September last year. I took these photos when I was at WoodenBoat School this year teaching a Build your own boat class.

click to enlargeBrian is fitting the white oak outwale


click to enlargeThe outwales are on and Brian is cleaning up getting ready to put on a coat of primer


click to enlargeThis photo is the tombstone transom that will be finished bright


click to enlargeThis photo shows the oak outwale and the mahogany rub rail. The sheerstrake or sheer plank will be finished bright as well.


click to enlargeHere the boat is off the strong back with the sheer plank coated with epoxy, the paint is on the mid- plank and half the garboard, and the bottom and half the garboard are masked off ready to be sprayed with pick up bed liner. The bottom and garboard have a layer of 9 oz tape covering that joint and they also have a layer of Kevlar and fiberglass cloth over that, both set in epoxy. Between the cloth and sprayed liner the bottom and garboard are just about literally bullet proof. It will be bullet proof when the tape and cloth go on the inside. At this point the hull weights about 220 to 225 pounds. Brian and I could lift her without much trouble.


click to enlargeBrian is standing between the boat and strongback to give a idea of scale.


click to enlargeBrian is standing inside the empty hull to give an idea of the large volume of the hull. I’m always surprised when these hullsl are turned over just how much volume there is. Brian plans to put in water tight compartments in the bow and stern along with seating and leaning posts. The rowing seat will move fore and aft so the boat can be kept in trim when there is a large difference in the weight of the anglers at the bow and stern. On either side of the rope seat will be water tight storage compartments.


click to enlargeIt’s always a pleasure for me to see one of my boats being built and Brian has done a truly fine job.

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