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Old 01-23-2013, 03:12 PM   #1
Chuck289 OP
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Building a drift boat

Want to see a group of college students try to build a boat??? OK then.

For a senior project this year, a group of 6 of us will be building a fiberglass drift boat. We are a mix of manufacturing and mechanical engineers.

We got our hands on an old beat up boat and our plan was to use it as a mold. We spent most of fall quarter doing research, writing up a proposal, getting a bill of materials together etc...all the boring stuff that I won't...bore you with.

So now we actually get to start the fun part. First we had to patch up the old boat and get it smoothed out to be used as a mold. Once that is done we will coat the whole thing in a mold release and layup the fiberglass for our new hull. Once we have the hull we can start work on the inside of the boat.

I'm going to try to update this thread regularly and post pictures of our progress as we move along.
We plan to be finished by June and hope to have a complete boat. Its going to be approx 17-18ft long with an outboard motor. We'll see how it goes!
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:20 PM   #2
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Here is the old boat we have.


It had a few areas like this that needed to be patched up, and a lot of smaller holes and dents.


We are changing the design a little bit. Instead of a motor-well like this, we are going to have squared off transom and use an outboard motor.


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Old 01-23-2013, 04:21 PM   #3
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Here are some pictures from Oct-Nov.


What the hell is a drift boat?


Drawin' some pitchers


Buildin' some models


We had this polyester canvas material to play with


Practice


Will it float?
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:39 AM   #4
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:37 AM   #5
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:15 AM   #6
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So, you wanted a new custom boat real cheap and are getting them to build it for you?














I like it!
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:30 PM   #7
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Can you get away with the square transom and still get the motor in the water enough? I would think the well was a solution for wetting the propeller with the extreme rocker of a drift boat.

I've only seen them with oars, and not in person, so don't take my question as experienced advice.

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Old 01-24-2013, 12:33 PM   #8
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He'll need a long shaft outboard, and probably an adjustable outboard bracket to lower the motor enough.

If you were on the east coast, I'd ask you for the original for restoration when you're done with it.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:16 PM   #9
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Hell, I thought a "drift boat" was like this. What did I know?
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spad View Post
Can you get away with the square transom and still get the motor in the water enough? I would think the well was a solution for wetting the propeller with the extreme rocker of a drift boat.

I've only seen them with oars, and not in person, so don't take my question as experienced advice.

- Spad
Yeah smithy said it. We are going to have to get a long shaft.
It will be a <10hp motor. Apparently if its less than 10hp it doesn't have to be registered.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ducnut View Post
That would be fun! But I dont know if I'd want to be test pilot for a 1000hp boat built by amateurs who have never done this before.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:39 PM   #11
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More pictures of us just cleaning it up


Taking out all the rusted eye-bolts. Couldn't find any bigger cutters






Then we patched holes and got it sanded




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Old 01-24-2013, 04:45 PM   #12
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Want a real project - learn to weld aluminum - and make an aluminum drift boat. vavavoom.

Actually there is a company making some slick aluminum drift boats. I would be sure to explore concepts like dimpling the bottom to reduce drag, and anti-snag features so it doesn't get hung up.

Be real slick to do a small jet drive train.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P B G View Post
Want a real project - learn to weld aluminum - and make an aluminum drift boat. vavavoom.

Actually there is a company making some slick aluminum drift boats. I would be sure to explore concepts like dimpling the bottom to reduce drag, and anti-snag features so it doesn't get hung up.

Be real slick to do a small jet drive train.

Aluminum would have been nice. Part of the idea of the project is that its an exercise in working with composites. Which I think is more of a learning experience for me and alot of the guys on the team. I have a little experience with welding aluminum, but hardly any working with composites.
We are planning on adhering a UHMW Polyethylene sheet to the bottom for impact/abrasion which as far as we could tell, wasnt on any fiberglass boats currently on the market.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:38 PM   #14
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So today we tried laying up a small sample on the back of the boat to see how well our mold release would work and how the finish would come out on the inside of the fiberglass.



This is the mold release we used, called Partall Paste. Basically a wax.


5 layers of this stuff. Buff like car wax.


Then layup some fiberglass scraps.
We will check it tommorow to see how it turned out.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
He'll need a long shaft outboard, and probably an adjustable outboard bracket to lower the motor enough.

If you were on the east coast, I'd ask you for the original for restoration when you're done with it.
[QUOTE=Chuck289;20566316]Yeah smithy said it. We are going to have to get a long shaft.
It will be a <10hp motor. Apparently if its less than 10hp it doesn't have to be registered.
/QUOTE]

Cool project!
I have a fiberglass Hyde Low Profile blah, blah blah and I am running a short shaft (15in) Honda 5hp on it and it works fine as long as my fat-assed 325lb fishing buddy isn't in the front. One advantage of the short shaft is keeping it away from rocks. One trick would be to fabricate a motor mount to get the motor "back and down" a bit as this might let you use a std shaft. As far as motor size, I thought I had to have a 9.9 but the reality is that the 5 is much lighter and propels the boat just fine but my Hyde weighs nothing. As drift boats are displacement hulls, you're never going to get it on plane so save weight and expense. Unless you have a place to hide the fuel tank, buy a motor with an integral tank and just keep a one gallon gas can stored for reserve. If you are fly fishing, you know how fly lines get tangled on anything and gas residue isn't good for fly lines.

I have had several drift boats over the years, both aluminum and fiberglass and there are benefits to both. Fiberglass is fragile, aluminum sweats but is indestructible; by and large I like the go-anywhere capabilities of a metal boat. Its nice just to shove it down a bank or drag it back up out of the river without a ramp. If in your building process, you could make provisions for a replaceable chine guard, you would be happy in the long run!

Feel free to shoot me a PM if you wanna chat.
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