Welcome to the Black & Tan blog!
Thanks for checking out our site! We have just begun construction on a Mckenzie River Style drift boat that we have affectionately named the Black & Tan, which will be her ultimate color scheme. It is no coincidence that she shares her name with one of the greatest adult beverages of all time. We have chosen this proven design because we are confident it will serve us quite well in the waters we fish most, which include the The Housatonic and Farmington Rivers of Northern CT, The inshore waters Long Island Sound, and most recently the Great Lakes Tribs and the wonderful St. Lawrence River waterway, a place that Mack calls home. We obtained the boat plans online, similar plans are available through Rivers Touch. She will be 14 feet long with a relatively wide beam and bow rocker for safely navigating the rapids but she will also have a high and wide, slightly rockered, transom which can accomodate a up to a 10hp motor should we decide to venture out into the brackish bays and estuaries of Long Island Sound. Unlike most traditional drift boats, this boat can be used both as a flat bottom motor skiff and a rowing dory. Our project has just begun, and we are full of enthusiasm. The design and finish concepts change every day, who knows what the final product will look like, but thats half the fun! We hope you enjoy our site, we will try to update it weekly if possible. Thanks for stopping by!

For more info on the Rapid Robert Mckenzie River Skiff we are building, Click Here or better yet, Here

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Fun Begins....

Our Project began last week when Mack's Dad, Tom, dropped by with 4 wonderful sheets of 3/8 Okoume Plywood and a nice sheet of 3/4 inch Douglas Fir for the Transom. Thanks Tom!  Mack and I quickly ran out to purchase our studs for the ribs.  We elected to use Douglas Fir 2x4s which we planed down to 2.5x1.25 stock.  We then cut, beveled and joined the pieces to form our seven ribs, which at 1.25 inches should be plently strong. We chose to taper our ribs as they approach the gunnels to give the boat a lighter look.  The ribs were joined using a 5/8 inch notch to join the floor pieces to the sidewall pieces, then glued with west system gap filling epoxy (the caulk-gun version, highly reccomended!!!!) and tacked with a finishing gun and braces to aid drying.  They will be bolted with two T-nuts in each joint to add lateral strength and then re-epoxied during the final assembly process.  For our first try, we were happy with the way they came out, Mack did some great work on the table saw and added a nice routered round finish to the inboard edges of the ribs.  This was done over two days in Mack's driveway, total beer consumption is about 12 beers so far between the two of us, we will be keeping count along the way, but we can't guaranty that our estimates will be accurate:)!

 Planing the Studs.
Mack Cutting and Beveling.
Note: these papers are pieces by piece 1:1 scale CAD drawings which Mack drew up in his spare time using the Rivers Touch plans as a guide.  We were able to eliminate a lot of guesswork and "trial by error" this way.  They are incredible timesavers and came in handy many times throughout the refinement process, to quote Ferris Bueller, "they are so choice, if you have the means, we highly reccomend them. "

Braces for drying (thank you Nat for letting us use your room temp living room!)
nice router work Mack!

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