Drift Boat Building in the Foyer

By Greg Hatten

McKenzie drift boat

The McKenzie style drift boat is designed for maneuverability and is especially suited to get you down wild rivers…

Greg Hatten fishing in his drift boat

…to not-so-wild rivers (below) where the fish are.

The wet winter months in Oregon are perfect for garage projects like boat building and car restoration. They are less than “ideal,” however, if you want a perfect epoxy finish for your boat and your garage is unheated.

After failed attempts at space heaters and patience (waiting for a four-day warm front in January), I had to improvise. My wife graciously let me move my boat building indoors to a perfect 72°F, dust-free, climate controlled environment. The WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy set up great in our front entry way and produced just the finish I was after for my 16′ McKenzie Style Drift Boat.

Moving the shop indoors was not without precedence; the winter before, I restored an FJ40 Land Cruiser that required warming up parts in the kitchen before I could paint them.

I married a saint.

Panels curing in the foyer

Hull side panels curing in the comfort of Hatten’s warm and cozy foyer.

drift boat near completion

The drift boat is close to completion in the normal setting for boat building.