LOA 14.5ft - Beam 68” - Bottom 48”
The Flat Head Drifter (FHD) is an enlargement of the Sol Duk Drifter(SDD) that I already have in my fleet of boats. I designed the SDD small enough to be a one person boat, and two should fish fine from it, but I wanted a bigger hull for really carrying two to three persons in it. The hull has enough size to carry a guide and one or two clients down a moderate river; in the class II/II+ range.
When I expanded the SDD to this newer size, I wanted to maximize the bottom to it's fullest width, and without having to scarf on extra wood to the sides. So the bottom is a full 48” at the beam, but will probably be around 49” with the side panels stitched on, and it tapers off to the bow and stern. The bottom will use two sheets of 9mm(3/8”) plywood scarfed together (either a 4.5” beveled scarf or a 2” finger joint) to make up the bottom panel. No matter which method you use, the overall length of the bottom panel set is just under 12.5ft. The leftover scrap on the ends can be used on the interior of the hull to finish it off.
The side panels of the expanded SDD hull came in too high in the first scale model, and required more plywood than I wanted anyone to use in the hull. So after a bit of “scratching”, I thought of a way to get the two side panels out of a joined set of two sheets of 9mm(3/8”) plywood. I could have made the FHD up to a full 15.5 feet, but that required a wider bottom panel that I had already determined would be 48”; so I shortened the hull back to the length it is now to make the hull “look right” and not be too fat or thin. Two sheets of plywood are scarfed together for an “overall panel length” of 15ft for the side panels. It still has a nice sweep out at the beam (at 68”) and has my standard cutoff bow, to give it a Pram look. The Flat Head also saves on plywood, keeps the beam a reasonable width, and in some states, the length comes under the requirements for inspections, and boat registrations.
I have started work on the build plan set, alternating between the “scale” design and the one that is downsized to fit on 8.5x14” legal paper. But since the FHD and SDD are basically the same hull, I will be using a lot of the construction drawing details from the SDD for the FHD. No use in redesigning the wheel when I already have the pages of detail construction drawings for pretty much the same hull. So keep that in mind when/if you get a set of plans. I will add extra pages for those details that cannot be scaled up from the SDD, and are for the FHD only. So you can download a copy of the Sol Duk Drifter study plans to look at while you make the PDF model for the Flat Head Drifter.
Hope you enjoy the model and will consider it for your boat building projects in the future.
Red Barn Boats
Free PDF Model to print, cut and build - click HERE