Brad Dimock and Dan Dierker, and the McKenzie Double-ender with a transom

Brad Dimock is a Colorado River guide and author, largely responsible for bringing to life such legends of the Colordao River as Oregon's Buzz Holmtrom (The Doing of the Thing, The Brief, Brilliant White Water Career of Buzz Holmstrom by Welch, Conley and Dimock, August1998), Sunk Without a Sound, The Tragic Colorado River Honeymoon of Glen and Bessie Hyde, Dimock, 2001, and his most recent tome, The Very Hard Way, Bert Loper and the Colorado River, Dimcok, 2007. Check out his publishing house at Fretwater Press.

Brad is an intense guy who goes full bore into projects, sometimes aided and abetted by his good friend, Dan Dierker. Both Brad and Dan reside in Flagstaff. When Brad got his copy of Drift Boats and River Dories he became possessed. Last year he and Dan ordered a modeling kit and some plans for the original McKenzie double ender with a transom. Their plan was to build a fleet of boats for use by clients on the San Juan, the Green and upper reaches of the Colorado. There was no movement on the project -- until Brad got the book. Then, WHAM, he and Dan launched into the project using the plans in the book. It took them six days to build the hull and then Brad took another couple of weeks to finish off the interior. Brad reports the total cost for the project was about $250. Yes, they used exterior rather than marine grade fir. Brad's boat report, a run down the San Juan. In his words . . .

"The craft's nickname is now Juan, as Dan says it is our first juan. Here is the empty hull. Note the dip in the transom--a New England dory modification that makes a nice steering oarlock when combined  with the rope handle. You can also see the seat tracks and fly-deck  track.Harder to see are the extended oar-blocks which have seven oarlock  holes spaced 2" apart. Adaptable is the key here.
 

   
"Here is a close-up of the seat rails. First, I screwed a level board  to the ribs (level according to the boat plans). On top of that I screwed a flat board for the seats to slide back and forth on. Lastly I put 1-1/2" tall guides on top of the track and drilled lock holes every 2 inches. Note that the end of the seats toward the center of  the boat have wider tracks.
 
   
"Here it is with the seats in and slid all the way forward. Each seat  has four slide-bolts that lock into the track guides. The fly-deck  has two slide-bolts as well.
   
"And here we are with the seats all the way back. I ended up liking the back seat about in the middle of its range, and the forward seat all the way forward. I imagine that would change with various passenger/gear loads.

 
   
"By leaving the front floorboard in place and moving the rear floorboards up to meet it, a nice boat-bed is made.
   
"But should rain threaten, rolling the boat over and strapping on two oars makes a nice lean-to.
 
"The floorboards have pipe flanges bolted to them, and with the addition of some 3-foot segments of 1/2" black-iron pipe, a nice pair of kitchen tables emerge.
   
"With three pivoting legs, the fly-deck turns into the cutest ever cocktail table. The front seat/gearbox makes a nice couch. The latches are visible on its front, as are the slide-bolts that hold it in the boat. You can also see that the rear support board extends out beyond the front in order to reach the more widely spaced rear tracks.
 
   
"Here Lora demonstrates the rope-seat couch. This seat/gearbox has the front supports longer than the rear ones--again, to accommodate the difference in boat width. And since we have life-jackets and seat 
cushions, might as well pad the couch. In all, it makes a pretty nice lounge set-up.

 
   

"The seats hold a fair amount of camp supplies.
 

   

"And oh yeah--the set-up doubles as a handy little boat."

   

"Cheers!"
 

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