April 17, 2023 – April 21, 2023
A five day course teaching how to build a McKenzie River Drift Boat from a kit. Learn from an Oregon master dory builder, Jayson Hayes.
* Tuition: $800
* Class limit is twelve people
* Instructor: Jayson Hayes of Hayes Custom Boats
The McKenzie River Drift Boat is a responsive white water 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 1946. 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.
This class will build the most recent adaptation of this classic wooden boat which is currently preferred by the professional guides and outfitters at Helfrich River Outfitters. Several HRO guides use drift boats with these measurements to guide on the McKenzie River and the more technically challenging Middle Fork of the Salmon River in central Idaho. This boat is big enough to easily handle two anglers and the gear of a pro guide and yet small enough to manage the shallow water and narrow passageways of the most technical white water.
Jayson Hayes owns Hayes Custom Boats in Springfield, OR on the McKenzie River. His years of boat building experience have resulted in providing boats for some of the most experienced guides in Oregon and Idaho including Helfrich River Outfitters. You will become confident in scarfing plywood, applying a skin coat of fiberglass cloth to the plywood skin, and then participate in the full assembly of the boat using the free-form method without a strong back. At the end of this week-long class 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.
At the end of the week, any interested students can enter a lottery with the lucky winner taking home the class boat for the cost of a kit.