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  • Stolen Drift Boat!

    I recently had my McKenzie style driftboat stolen and am desperate to recover it. I have pictures of it, posted at http://dominionproject.wordpress.com...t-boatanother/.
    It was stolen from Callaway Gardens and was last seen being towed behind a small white pickup on October 2, 2012. This boat and trailer are very, very special to me as they are one-of-a-kind hand-built originals. At first glance it looks like a wooden boat because it has wooden gunnels but it is actually fiberglass. I have a very strong sentimental attachment to this boat and trailer because I built it with my dad way back in 1995. It was the last project that he and I did together before he passed away. My hope was to share many days fly fishing with my 13 year old son in it and pass it along to him someday.
    Those who are familiar with the different brands of driftboats will recognize that it is a little different than any of them. The boat is 15’ 10” stem to stern and 54” wide on the bottom. The interior is laid out to put the maximum amount of distance between the two anglers. It has a shorter front casting deck than most and more distance between the oarsman and the front caster. When it was stolen it was white and royal blue and had “Coosa River Drifters” in white letters along the sides, although that can be easily changed. It has a small storage opening in the front deck, level non-skid floors, a storage box under the rowing seat, wooden gunnels, a foot release anchor system, two drain plugs in the transom, and a drain plug under the rowing seat. The front seat pedestal is fiberglass and looks exactly like an upside down Rubbermaid container because that is what I used for a mold. It had grey and blue seats when stolen. There are lots of scratches and gouges in the chines and bottom from many years of scraping rocks. The floors have a rougher texture than most boats. The rowing seat rests on two shelves that run along the inside of the boat, and those shelves have little compartments to keep accessories in.
    The trailer looks like a standard driftboat trailer except that it has a square tube axle and bolt-on rotors from an automobile. The full length roller across the back is larger in diameter than most and was a roller from a conveyer of some sort. The trailer was in grey primer when stolen.
    You can read more about how and why I built the boat at http://dominionproject.wordpress.com...g-stuff-boats/ and see a video with several pictures and scenes of it at http://dominionproject.wordpress.com...e-coosa-river/. If anyone has any information about this boat, if you see it on the river or for sale somewhere, or see it being towed, PLEASE pass along any information you may have (tag # etc). I will grant total amnesty just to get it back. You can call me at work at three-three-four-seven-four-five-two-four-six-four or e mail me at: tcs (dot) cawarmouth @ bellsouth (dot) net.
    Then Peter said, "I'm going fishing." The disciples replied, we're going too, and they got in the boat..." John 21:3a

    And now, I pray thee, take thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field and hunt me venison. Genesis 27:3

  • #2
    Oh my God...that makes me sick to my stomach. I'm so sorry to hear that.

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    • #3
      Carl, I just put your story up on our Face Book page. Hope it helps track your boat down.
      Jimmy Harris
      Unicoi Liars Club
      Unicoi Outfitters Online Store

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      • #4
        Thank you, thank you, thank you! Any way that anyone can help get the word out through club meetings or anything would be really appreciated. I literally wake up throughout the night distraught over this.
        Then Peter said, "I'm going fishing." The disciples replied, we're going too, and they got in the boat..." John 21:3a

        And now, I pray thee, take thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field and hunt me venison. Genesis 27:3

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        • #5
          All FLFA members have gotten an email with your post. I sure hope you find your boat soon. What a treasure!

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          • #6
            Thank you Moye. That's good of you.
            Then Peter said, "I'm going fishing." The disciples replied, we're going too, and they got in the boat..." John 21:3a

            And now, I pray thee, take thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field and hunt me venison. Genesis 27:3

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            • #7
              I would hope folks affiliated with other message boards would post this throughout the US so no matter where they go, somebody notices.

              Anytime a new drift boat shows up people notice. And that one is pretty unique. The cutout cupholder, the retangular cubby holes, etc.

              Cut and paste this:

              http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/foru...eferrerid=7292
              If this were rocket science most of us wouldn't be doing it. - Terry Creech

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              • #8
                That's terrible. Best of luck.

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                • #9
                  More ID

                  More ID would be useful, for example the license plate from the trailer and the SN if available as well as the GA registration number from the boat. As you built it, doubtful a SN, but did you leave any indelible unique ID like with a wood workers branding iron? For my vehicles, I always drop a plastic laminated business card down inside the driver's door. Just in case.

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                  • #10
                    Just embedding photos of the boat into the thread:

                    ETA: Johnkies, no license plate required for boat trailers in Alabama.



                    Last edited by Trout8myfly; 10-27-12, 10:44 AM.
                    "What's his offense?"
                    "Groping for trouts in a peculiar river."
                    ― William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

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                    • #11
                      Carl, I understand the sentimental connection with yourlate father. I'll be praying your boat is recovered undamaged. The thief doesn't get that much consideration.

                      Want to Help Ease DNR's Budget Woes? Buy a TU license Plate!

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for embedding the photos. Johnkies, as Trout8 said, a tag is not needed in Alabama and since both the trailer and boat were homemade in my garage, neither have an VIN type ID. However, there are many unique features of both the boat and trailer that set it apart from any other driftboat and trailer out there. Someone would have to know driftboats to recognize them, but anyone who does can see them. I can certainly ID the boat and I have... oh, maybe a hundred or so photos of it dating back to 1995. It was very common to have it on a boat ramp, even with other driftboats around and have people walk over and start inspecting it and commenting on the unique features of this particular boat and trailer.

                        For instance, look at the huge steps on the trailer. I wanted bigger steps than those on manufactured driftboat trailers so that I could stand on them and clean out the boat easily. The roller on the back is different (much larger in diameter) and is mounted differently. As you can see, the boat rests on it. The axle is square tubing and the rotors are from a 1977 AMC Matador because AMC bolted their rotors on that car (yes, I actually did research to find a bolt on automobile rotor so that I could confidently tow it around at interstate speeds.) Those rotors are bolted with grade 8 bolts on to a steel plate welded onto and gusseted to the axle. The winch stand is welded to the frame, not bolted on with u-bolts. This trailer was built with the idea that it would last for generations and be pretty hassle free. It is different although looks just like any driftboat trailer at first glance.

                        There are many unique features to the boat as well. The very material it is made out of is different. It is made out of a fiberglass cloth/matt hybrid called biaxial and the pattern looks different than what you would see on a hyde/clacka/lavro etc.
                        Check out the front deck. It has knee locks like a wooden boat and has a storage compartment for your sunscreen, camera, etc. Totally different from anyone else's boat. Notice the front seat pedestal. It looks like an upside down rubbermaid container because that's what I used for a mold.
                        The foot actuated anchor release (Bo's system) is from a wooden boat. It has an aluminum angle in the front that is supposed to bolt onto the frame of a wooden boat but I liked it for a foot rest when I had to really lean into the oars in the stairsteps on the Hiwassee.
                        There is a drain plug under the rowing seat and two on the transom.
                        The rear seat deck has two stress cracks in the corners of the storage opening from a design/construction flaw. They will come back even if repaired.
                        It has wooden gunnels and white solid UHMW plastic oar lock blocks.
                        The floors have a much rougher texture than most other boats. I used vermiculite instead of sand to make the non-skid surface.
                        The shelf-like rails that the rowing seats on are kind of like what you would see on a Lavro boat but they have various sized rectangular and square "pockets" molded in. There is a cupholder on the right side.
                        So yeah, the thief would have to make lots and lots of mods to make it NOT look like my boat and trailer. Even painting it and changing this and that will still not change the fact that it is different.

                        Here is a picture of the rear deck. The top corners above that opening have cracks in them. You can just barely see it here. The boat was a different color and had different seats when this pic was taken years ago.



                        Here is a picture of that shelf thingy:



                        And here is a picture of the boat in 1995 or 1996 when it was green/red/white.



                        Oh, and by the way... THANK YOU for all the concern and for reposting this message on various boards and facebook accounts. I have had nearly 600 responses from people in 10 states and six countries! Please don't give up. If you have friends in fly shops or that run shuttle services, please pass this along. Thank you Byron, Kent, Jimmy and everyone else who is getting the word out!!
                        Then Peter said, "I'm going fishing." The disciples replied, we're going too, and they got in the boat..." John 21:3a

                        And now, I pray thee, take thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field and hunt me venison. Genesis 27:3

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          i forwarded this thread to a guide friend of mine, hope he will pass it around and somebody will notice the boat on some river somewhere. The boat is very unique and is very noticeable to the eye so it should turn up if the word gets out.
                          Last edited by zug buggin; 10-27-12, 01:54 PM.
                          "Fly Fishing Is Not A Team Sport"----Tom McGuane

                          The fisherman now is one who defies society, who rips lips, who drains the pool, who takes no prisoners, who is not to be confused with the sissy with the creel and bamboo rod. Granted, he releases what he catches, but in some cases, he strips the quarry of its perilous soul before tossing it back in the water. What was once a trout – cold, hard, spotted and beautiful – becomes “number seven.”
                          Tom McGuane

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                          • #14
                            Carl......if it shows up on the Tuckasegee River.....I'll know it. I fell in love with that boat when you used to store it under the railroad trestle at Hiwassee Outfitters.

                            It's kinda like stealing the Mona Lisa.....you've got a nice painting but you can't show it or sell it to anybody lest you get busted.

                            I have a feeling this one will show up eventually.
                            The Drifter

                            The contents of this message might be totally inaccurate, misguided or otherwise perverse. If you are stupid enough to follow any of the tips listed here and mess up yourself or your equipment, I am absolved of all responsibility. The information contained herein is based on my personal experience and by no means constitutes the correct way to do it. Your mileage may vary.

                            Follow me on Instagram

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                            • #15
                              Keepin' an eye out fer it on the 'Hooch also too. However, if'n I run acrosst it firstest, I cain't guarantee that the blue flecks on the decks won't be joined by a few extra red (or oxidized red) flecks depending on how quickly we get it back to you after finding it. I really, really, really do NOT like thieves! (Partick'lerly boat thieves.) I do promise you, however, that whilst there may be a significant amount of color changing to the interior flecks, you need not worry 'bout enny 7.62mm holes ackshully appearin' in your boat. We rednecks pride ourse'fs on accuracy.

                              Seriously, though. . . the word is out, along with many of your photos. I hope she turns up soon, brother. I have little doubt that she mos' def'nitely will turn up, though.
                              If you have difficulty understanding the post above, read it out loud and it should make sense. This NGTO member is known for his poor hill-billy upbringing and his affinity for all things from Louisiana (particularly if it relates to LSU). It makes for a poor mix of accents and much difficulty in translation. He was doing well for so long, but now seems to have regressed.

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