April 17, 2023 – April 21, 2023
The McKenzie River Discovery Center is pleased to offer this workshop through the able hands of Jayson Hayes of Hays Custom Boats in Springfield, OR on the McKenzie River. He builds for some of the most experienced guides in Oregon and Idaho including Helfrich River Outfitters. You will become confident in scarfing plywood and building the boat by assembling the boat using the free-form method. A strongback is not needed. At the end of this week-long workshop you will have confidence in your knowledge of the tools and skills necessary to build your own McKenzie River Drift Boat or any similar small skiff or dory. Or you may be fortunate enough to take home one of the boats.
Based on the luck of a draw, one or two participants will take a boat home for the cost of the kit, and Saturday, April 22, the boats may be displayed at the popular McKenzie River Boat Festival just upriver at Eagle Rock Lodge.
The McKenzie River Drift Boat is a responsive whitewater dory that evolved from the first lightweight board and batten boat used in the 1920s by Veltie Pruitt and Prince Helfrich to explore the white water rivers of Oregon into its current design of a plywood double ended river dory with a transom which was first made in Oregon by Woodie Hindman in 1948. Since then traditional whitewater dory design has been only slightly modified for specific rivers and differing conditions where guides have made adjustments to flair, side height, length, and rocker in order to fit the boat to specific river conditions. In fact, we at the McKenzie River Discovery Center call’s this the All Oregon Boat. It was conceived, born and grew up on the McKenzie, and it’s progeny now ply the rivers of North and South America as well as New Zealand and Australia.