Build the McKenzie River Drift Boat



Five-day hands-on workshop
April 22, 2024 – April 26, 2024

  • Tuition: $850
  • Class limit is twelve (12) people
  • Taught by Jayson Hayes of Hayes Custom Boats

Learn the process and skills necessary to build your own McKenzie River Drift Boat or any similar small skiff or dory from a kit. This 5-day class is hands-on. You will learn how this boat can be built free form, have a clear understanding of how it “hangs together,” and through your class experience gain the confidence to build your own boat. And if you want to test your “`luck of the draw,” you could go home with this boat for the cost of the kit.

The class will build the iconic 16 x 48, the McKenzie River classic. First designed and built on the McKenzie by Woods (Woodie) Noble Hindman in 1948, this boat set the standard for fishing the country’s wild rivers. Not only is it a beautiful riverboat, it’s a lovely piece of history. This boat will handle the oarsman plus one or two anglers for day trips, or the oarsman and one guest and gear overnight or multi day river trips. It’s a two-for-one boat: a great fishing platform and in the hands of a deft oarsman, a classy whitewater dory.

Out of stock

SKU: PROG-1 Category:


You will become confident in scarfing plywood and assembling the boat using the free-form method. The stem post, frames and transom will be installed to the marked side panels in a sequence that causes the boat to take shape and assume its natural rocker. You’ll see why a strongback is not needed. You will craft and install the inside chine, affix the bottom panel, the rowing and guest seats, inside and outside rails, chine caps, rub rail, and fly line deck and oar blocks. At the end of this five-day workshop, you will have the confidence, knowledge and skills necessary to build your own McKenzie River Drift Boat or any similar small skiff or dory from a kit.

The McKenzie River Discovery Center is pleased to offer this workshop through the talented hands of Jayson Hayes of Hayes Custom Boats. He is a skilled and artful boat builder and instructor. This will be his fifth workshop for the MRDC and his popularity results from his proficient approach to boat building, and his congenial and comfortable teaching style. Jayson builds for some of the most experienced guides in Oregon and Idaho including Helfrich River Outfitters. His work is both highly respected and valued. Jayson’s home eddy is Cedar Flat on the McKenzie.

Registration, Tuition, Cancellation

Registration and tuition are handled online. This 5-day workshop tuition is $850, payable when you register. You will receive a confirmation letter within a few days of registration. If you must cancel or withdraw, the following policies apply:

  • A refund less $75 will be granted if you cancel within 30 days of the workshop (Not later than March 22, 2024)
  • If your notice of cancellation or withdrawal is received between 15 and 30 days of the workshop, your tuition is not refundable. However, it may be applied to a future workshop.
  • If you cancel within 15 days of the workshop, we cannot refund your tuition or apply it to a future workshop.
  • In the event of an unforeseen emergency beyond anyone’s control, MRDC reserves the right to cancel the workshop. Registrants will receive a full refund.

Lodging is on your own. However, The Wayfarer Resort is cooperating with us to provide offseason rates at their lovely resort. It is located just a short distance from the MRDC. They may also accept a few trailer/campers. More details of this and other options will be included in your confirmation notice.

Additional information

Call for Questions

Need more information or have a question. Please call the workshop coordinator:

Roger Fletcher

Hope to see you there.