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

Friday, September 13, 2013

Trucha de Oro

Mack has machined a nice brass centerpiece for the aft crossbeam....

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Custom made Oarlock collars

Check out these custom Delrin oarlock mounts Mack machined! Should make for quiet, drag free rowing and they can be mounted for or aft depending on the rower.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


This week brought the arrival of my baby daughter, Layla, this will of course lead to some delays in the finishing of the boat, but I sure can't wait to take her out on the water!

August Update: Rowing Seat, Bench Rails, Oarlock mounts, Paint, and Varnish

A lot of progress has been made in August, mostly in paint in Varnish, but a few hardware additions as well, and the B&T is steadily approaching her initial float!  After Priming the hull we used a 2 part industrial polyurethane as a basecoat, then topped it off with a coat of Petit Brightsides.  We will probably add another coat before she is splashed.  The First of 3 interior coats of Spar urehthane varnish has been applied and she is looking great!  when finished the interior will have 3 coats of epoxy topped with 3 coats of varnish.  You will also notice the custom made rope rowing seat and aluminum rails for the passenger bench seat have been installed.  The bench seat is being made from a 1.25 inch Mahogany board Mack borrowed from his family's home on the St. Lawrence River, and interestingly enough it has a legacy of its own, as it once served as the seat in a wooden boat Mack's father restored years ago.  The other notable installation is the oarlock mounts, which are fashioned out of Sapelle and sandwiched into the gunnel.  Another coat of paint, few more coats of varnish, some hardware for the motor well, and some floorboards and she's ready to go.  Can't wait!

Oarlock mounts

rowing seat