Boat Maker Willie Illingworth

May 30, 2007 By: Marshall Cutchin

“Before 1971, most drift boats were made of wood. Willie Illingworth … changed all that when he came up with a light aluminum design. One of the reasons for his innovation was because he had lost most of his left hand in an accident as a child.” John Geiger writes on about the passing of drift boat pioneer Willie Illingworth, whose disability led him to perfect a great idea, and whose wild ride through life mirrored the river he was so fond of.