Ray Heater, the founder of Ray’s River Dories, is on the podcast today to share the story of how he built one of the biggest wooden drift boat companies for over 30 years.  We find out why the 14 Rapid Robert is Ray’s favorite boat.

Ray also shares some tips on keeping your boat up including which oil to use, how to wet sand the outside of the boat with epoxy, and why he doesn’t just use wood for his boat panels. 


Click below and listen to the Wooden Drift Boat Podcast with Ray Heater:

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wooden drift boat
photo via: https://raysriverdories.com/history/

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Wooden Drift Boat Show Notes with Ray Heater

03:20 – Here is the Grant’s Getaways video with Ray Heater that we noted where Grant covers some of Ray’s shop.

03:12 – Francis Ames’ Fishing the Oregon Country book and Fred Huffman were big influences on Ray’s fishing experience early on.

07:00 – Ray noted Marty Sherman

09:00 – Ray notes the Rapid Robert and the details of where he first saw it on the Nestucca 

rapid robert boat
photo via: https://chiwulff.com/2018/02/02/wooden-boat-shop-2-february-the-rapid-robert-edition/


09:43 – Roger Fletcher and Joe Koffler noted the Rapid Robert as well.  Roger was on the podcast in episode 177 and covered the history of drift boats.  

11:55 – The fellow in Oretown was the first guy that gave Ray the design for the boat that became Ray’s River Dories.  Oretown Marine and Carl was the guy making a Rapid Robert and the exact design that Ray used.

15:36 – The river skiff vs the rapid Robert boats.  Boulder Boats were on the podcast in episode 182 and we covered the River Skiff. 

river skiff
photo via: https://www.boulderboatworks.com/

32:00 – Ray noted Bob Pritchett who he knew and talked about the flat spot on the bottom of the boat.  Here’s some more drift boat history where Bob is noted.  

37:00 – AJ DeRosa was a big customer for Ray and Cyrus over the years.  AJ has a great operation going focused on wood boats as well.  


38:50 – Koffler was on the show in episode 180 and talked about the need for a flat area on the bottom of the boat to get it up on step,

47:40 – Randy Dersham on McKenzie

48:20 – Jason Cajune was on the podcast and talked about stitch and glue.

50:00 – Daileys Sea Fin is the oil to used to protect the inside of your boat

55:00 – I noted OPST and the lightweight gear they have going.



You can find Ray River Dories.


the wooden drift boat
photo via: https://raysriverdories.com/history/



Resources Noted in the Show

Fishing the Oregon Country by Francis Ames

fishing oregon



Videos and/or podcasts Noted in the Show

The Grant McComie Video with Ray Heater


The Full Transcript from the Podcast

wooden drift boat
photo via: https://raysriverdories.com/history/


Wooden Drift Boat Conclusion with Ray Heater

Ray Heater who founded Rays River Dories wooden drift boats shares his story on the podcast today along with some tips and history of wooden drift boat building.