A Drift Boat Made Entirely Of Bamboo

Anyone remember the most over the top drift boat ever built?

The one based off of Jason Canjune‘s 17’ Kingfisher plans. The one with elk antler anchor arms, cup holders and Mahogany pulley wheels?

Well, apparently people take those plans to extremes and really like that design as I’ve come across another home build of that design from a bamboo rod builder named Ron Knowles. He decided to build the entire thing out of… bamboo!

“As a bamboo rod builder you must embrace the entire process and enjoy it to succeed,” said Knowles, who lives in Missoula, Mont. “So it was with me and the bamboo drift boat.”

Knowles said he has always admired the look of wooden drift boats, especially well-made ones.

“My urges got the better of me and I embarked on the nine-month adventure,” he said. “If you can make a drift boat out of wood, why not bamboo?”

The nearest Knowles could source the bamboo materials for the boat was Portland, Ore.

“Then I purchased plans for a boat and modified them to my liking,” he said. “I made a mock-up of the boat out of used wall paneling, stitched it together with plastic cable ties so I could shape the look of the boat in its actual size.”

Knowles then had patterns for the sides and bottom of the boat to work from.

Sourcing all the other materials was truly interesting and fun, he said.

The materials include engineered bamboo plywood and planks, stainless steel fasteners, Marine UV resistant epoxy, Plascore bottom, Kevlar fabric, 100z and 60z fiberglass fabric.

“Lots of nice people helped me through this process,” Knowles recalled. “I only wanted the best for this craft. Everything that you think might be wood on this craft is bamboo — the oars, the landing net, even the cupholders.”

The adventure took 700 to 800 hours of work time.

And what’s next for the boat? Well, that depends. It’s currently for sale and, according to Knowles, priced to move.

So, if you’re interested in fishing from a truly unique craft, contact Knowles at 406-544-3524.

By Tim Romano.