Building a drift boat

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Chuck289, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Chuck289

    Chuck289 Air cooled

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    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!
    #1
  2. Chuck289

    Chuck289 Air cooled

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    Here is the old boat we have.
    [​IMG]

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

    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.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. Chuck289

    Chuck289 Air cooled

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    Here are some pictures from Oct-Nov.


    What the hell is a drift boat?
    [​IMG]

    Drawin' some pitchers
    [​IMG]

    Buildin' some models
    [​IMG]

    We had this polyester canvas material to play with
    [​IMG]

    Practice
    [​IMG]

    Will it float? :lol3
    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

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  5. Tbone

    Tbone off-ramp slayer

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  6. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    So, you wanted a new custom boat real cheap and are getting them to build it for you? :dunno














    I like it! :thumb
    #6
  7. Spad

    Spad Been here awhile

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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.

    - Spad
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  8. Smithy

    Smithy Avoiding the Skid-Demon

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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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  9. ducnut

    ducnut Long timer

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  10. Chuck289

    Chuck289 Air cooled

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    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.


    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. :lol3
    #10
  11. Chuck289

    Chuck289 Air cooled

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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:lol3
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Then we patched holes and got it sanded
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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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.
    #12
  13. Chuck289

    Chuck289 Air cooled

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    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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  14. Chuck289

    Chuck289 Air cooled

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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.
    [​IMG]

    5 layers of this stuff. Buff like car wax.
    [​IMG]

    Then layup some fiberglass scraps.
    We will check it tommorow to see how it turned out.
    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. Fe Man

    Fe Man I am Iron Moran!

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  16. Chuck289

    Chuck289 Air cooled

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    The sample layup turned out fine. The mold release works great. We got a much better finish than I expected.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    We had a small delay ordering more fiberglass. Hopefully it will be here early next week and we can start laying up the hull.
    #16
  17. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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  18. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    Don't forget Mary-Ann on the cruise. :deal
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  19. Chuck289

    Chuck289 Air cooled

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    Oh ill be sure to get it on video
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  20. ducnut

    ducnut Long timer

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    Be sure to get Mary Ann in the video, too. :lol3
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