Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Croff Craft Chronicles: Substance

The drift boat build over at Croff Craft continues feverishly.  When I got there this morning the gunnel rail and bow arch had been added.  The gunnel rail goes a long way towards stiffening the sidewalls, and the bow arch is both decorative and functional- the front casting stanchion will be attached to it.  The shot below gives a pretty clear view of the gunnel rail and bow arch in place.

When I stopped by later Phil had added the seat box frame.  The empty shell of the boat had been quite flexible, but the seat box has stiffened it considerably, and now it begins to take on the character of a drift boat.
 Phil spent some time going over quite a few innovations he's incorporating into this boat.  For instance, those holes at the bottom center of the seat box are drainage holes for the water that always makes its way into the boat, but when you see the finished design, how the whole boat is designed to funnel water for easy drainage, you'll appreciate the level of craftsmanship at work here.
I guess you could call them "aqua ducts" as these will allow easy drainage.  Dry storage will be to the sides.

The picture to the right shows Phil demonstrating the rod tube placement.  Good storage is very important on any drift boat.  This isn't just a glorified raft, it's going to have all the features and more that you've come to expect from a good riverboat, and we spent quite a lot of time discussing the dry storage and placement of the rod tubes.  Phil fishes a lot and has come to learn what you need in a boat.  What makes Phil's boats sweet is all the custom features he can build for you- adjustable seating for the rower, custom oarlock placement both in height and fore and aft.  Cup holders

To the left here Phil was showing me the seat placement.  The seats themselves are beautiful.  He ropes them with a rather fine cord stretched tight that is very comfortable.  He explained some sort of arched slatted configuration that will allow the seat to be adjustable, AND accomodate the anchor rope- I'll have to see this to figure out what he's talking about.

By the way, if you're interested in his boats, or would like to commission one, you can contact him on his website or at  I've spent many hours rowing these and can tell you that they row like a dream.  This boat is slated for completion by May 5, so it's going to develop rapidly. 

Philly-boy was here


  1. Looking pretty fantastic! Think I'll stick to tying flies and building rods for now. Looking forward to the first fishing report from the boat.

  2. That thing is amazing!! What a work of art!!

  3. Awesome photos, especially like the one frome inside the seat box and I'm really diggin the B/W. Great work, wish I had a digital camera that would do that good.

  4. That boat is looking great! The thoughtful details will be appreciated later on. Thanks for the update.