I grew up in Eugene, Oregon which is considered the center of the universe for drift boats, the famed Mackenzie and Willamette Rivers providing plenty of action for these types of boats.  In fact, the Mackenzie River Drift Boat really evolved on these rivers and over a period of more than 50 years, it has undergone a lot of exacting refinement. In the early phase of my career, I built almost a dozen of these drifters with my Stitch and Glue process and would have kept building them had I stayed in Eugene but the salt water beckoned and in 1982, we moved our shop and workers to the shores of Puget Sound where we have kept pretty busy building salt water type boats and cruisers.

But as it happens over time, customers have been asking about a drift boat design and amateur construction plans from Devlin Boats. We’ve finally had the time to put together plans for a nice little 15 footer and the object of this write-up. The Drifter is a McKenzie-styled boat constructed from 3/8″ (10mm) BS 1088 plywood with our Stitch and Glue method. The bottom of the boat is additionally reinforced with an additional cold-molded layer of 1/4″ (6mm) plywood and there is an option of fastening a layer of UHMW board to the bottom, in addition to that layer, to help this little boat really slide over the rocks. She’s equipped with fully adjustable seats which allow the solo fisherman to take the bow seat out entirely to clear up the cockpit for fishing. An ample forward deck keeps non-spooled line neatly in one place while fly fishing. Foam-filled floatation compartments port and starboard do double duty as convenient storage shelves. This is a sturdy craft wanting to be rowed and fished hard. Simply and durably built, she will provide a lot of great memories to the builder and the fisherman. – Sam Devlin

The Drifter 15 is available in study and construction plans.


Drifter 15 Specifications

Length 15 ft. – 13/16 in.
Beam 5 ft. – 11 3/16 in.
Draft 7.5 in.
Power Oars

Artfully Designed and Crafted Boats since 1978

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