Gallery & Testimonials

These are some of the many testimonials to the quality and craftsmanship of Don Hill McKenzie Drift Boats we have recieved but the most important one you will hear will be your own when you own one. Check out the next wood boat you see on the river, chances are it will be a Don Hill boat and ask the owner for his opinion. I am sure he will be just as positive as the people you see here.


Andrew Richter

Don, Having built my 16' from plans nearly 10 years back I feel the need to continue thanking you for the wonderfully drafted and easy to follow plans. Also, for your help when I remember calling for

The boat has recently been in limbo due to job commitments and travel.
Fortunately we are moving tomorrow to a new home on the banks of one Michigan's steelhead and salmon rivers. Before the needed hot water tank is installed, before the dog's fence put up...I went back to get
my boat out of storage and bring her home. I can't wait to be behind her oars chasing big fish and enjoying the compliments I regularly receive while floating.

Thanks for the pleasure your efforts have delivered.

eagle boat

John Eagle

Finally lanched the boat. Thanks for ALL the help. My Son, grandsons, family and I have had a great time building this - again I REALLY appreciate all your help and time emailing me back.


king boat

Kenny King
in his custom built 16' drift boat

First man to be inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in the Northwest. Full-time guide in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana for over 40 years. He has been boating for over 60 years and his favorite river is the Rogue River because he can fish steelhead there all year.

"I like it because it's a wooden boat, which is superior to other types of boats. I don't care for aluminum or fiberglass boats. The plastic bottom that Don puts on this boat is almost as strong as metal. Rocks don't even dent it, you'd have to take a hammer to it to dent it. It's the best thing to come out for the bottom of a boat, it's very durable."

turpin boat

Russ Turpin
Durango, CO
16' Standard


Here are a couple of photos of a 16' Standard that I just completed, built from your plans. Not only have I been enjoying fishing from this boat, I have become addicted to rowing and navigating the rivers we fish. I have been on multi-day trips with friends that own "production" boats, and we have traded boats, to try out each other's boat. One friends comment (a flyshop owner and professional guide) about my boat was" this boat is a Ferrari, compared to mine". I get so much satisfaction, floating in a boat that I built, fishing with flies that I tied, and catching fish in areas previously unreachable. I have never been to the river without someone commenting on what a beautiful boat I have.

The plans are very complete making construction easy, and the video takes out any guesswork. I have recently purchased plans for your 17' Flyfisherman and hope to begin construction in the near future.

Thanks for all your help, providing supplies and information whenever needed.


Peter Van Gytenbeek
in his custom built 16' drift boat

Publisher of "Flyfishing in Salt Waters". Likes to boat in the Northern Rockies.

"I have an interesting story about this boat. When I first picked it up I used it on the Yakima River and it was oozing a little water near the chine. I called Don about it and he said to drop it off, so I did. It turns out that they hadn't put any glue on it yet. They fixed it up right away, of course, but that says allot about the workmanship of these boats, you can take it down a river with no glue on it and have it only ooze a little water. He takes a lot of time putting them together. The boat still looks brand new and I've used it quite a bit. Everything Don does is a quality job, and it shows. Plus, he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet."

wallin boat

Tom Wallin
Renton, Washington
16' drift boat kit

"The 16' standard kit that I purchased from you is now in the water and ready for adventure. I wish to thank you for all of your guidance and help during the past year. First, the materials that you supplied in the kit were excellent. The drawings were clear and understandable. however, the video was by far the most instructive. Your crew makes it look easy - like something the average person could do. And, with patience and some basic skills, the average person can do this. I also very much appreciated the time you took with me over the telephone to discuss various issues. It is apparent that you really enjoy what you do for a living!"

meyer boat

David Meier
Eugene, Oregon
16' drift boat built from plans

"After looking at the plans (I started with plans only) my first thought was "this is to hard and to much work". Well, I was wrong. The plans are easy to read, it explains all the cuts, how to build the jigs needed, and shows you all aspects of the layouts. I started to cut parts in Oct. '96 and had it in the water by late April of '97. The time I spent was a couple of hours a week and every other weekend.

If you love to work with wood, you'll thoroughly enjoy building one of Don Hill's boats. And there's nothing like going down the river in a boat that you built!"


David Edwards
Eugene, Oregon
16' custom kit drift boat

"It took about 200 hours to build this boat and I loved every minute of it. It was fairly easy to build since the plans are very complete making construction easy, and the video takes out any guesswork.

This boat handles like a dream. I have taken it down the Deschutes from Trout Creek to Maupin (class IV water), the Middle Fork of the Willamette (class III - IV water) and the Mckenzie (it's in class III Marten Rapids in the picture). Nothing is better to run a river and fish from than a wood boat."

spradling boat

Greg Spradling
Cuba, New Mexico
18' drift boat kit

"Please find enclosed some pictures of the quest to build the boat. As you can see it turned out pretty nice and it was allot of fun to build with my wife and friends. Your kit is first class. We have had it on the river 4 times now and have gotten several positive comments from other guides and owners. Thanks again".


Martin Litton in his custom built
20' Grand Canyon Dory


Film producer John Fabien in his
custom built 16' Fly Fisherman

Ed Rice

Founder and Chairman of the Board of The International Sportsman Exposition. He has been boating for over 50 years, has used drift boats for over 20 years and has fished everywhere in the world. He uses his drift boat in the Pacific northwest.

"I use it more than my other boats. Don has continued the tradition of the great wooden boat makers. He has developed new methods following the traditional rules of craftsmanship. My boat is very responsive, it's like a sports car, and it's roomier than a float boat. I use this boat mostly in Northern California. I fish all over the world and I'd take my drift boat with me if I could get it on the plane! You couldn't ask for a better boat."

harris boat

Boat built by E. Harris of Ontario, OR.