New Books: Drift Boat Design and History

December 27, 2007 By: Marshall Cutchin

Drift Boats and River Dories:Their History, Design, Construction, and Use (Stackpole Books, July 2007, 304 pages) came out in July and has since gained quite a following among boat builders and fly fishers interested in the lore surrounding the evolution of wooden western drift boats. Author Rodger L. Fletcher, along with illustrator Samuel F. Manning, created an enduring testament to the value of handcrafted fishing vessels and got admiring praise from reviewers like James Babb and Ted Leeson. This morning Roy Gault writes extensively about the recent book in the Oregon Statesman-Journal. “Fletcher first determined the original lines of each boat, drew a pattern, then built the boats as models, scaled one inch to a foot. His intention never was to build every one of the 11 boats himself, full sized. But his book does contain every angle for every cut, every measurement, every ounce of information necessary to build each of the boats. ‘I break out in a cold sweat over that, afraid something will be a sixteenth of an inch off,’ he said.”
Drift Boats and River Dories on Amazon.