For a long time, the drift boat centered on the famous wooden McKenzie style built in the 1930s and 1940s by Woodie Hindman or Tom Kaarhus from Norway in McKenzie river country. With the appearance of new materials such as aluminum and fiberglass we have seen an evolution in design and shape; sometimes for the good and sometimes for the worse. A number of drift boat companies were started by passionate fly fisherman who wanted to make a living building drift boats, but knew little about composite materials in particular and boat design in general. The movie "A River Runs Through It" gave a boost to fly fishing in 1998 and helped those companies survive for a while.

The way these companies succeeded was by making a copy of a copy with little or no modification and no consideration for the aesthetic. The result was a lot of frustrated drift boats owners. For example, 15 years ago boats were built with core material in the bottom and, as a result, today they are falling apart. Potential buyers are very skeptical, because they have heard the horror stories.

With a Nord West drift boat, expect more than just a floating platform to convey you down the river. In sailing design there is an old saying, "if the boat is beautiful, she is fast." Nord West owners take a lot of pride in the design, function and appearance of their boats. And with good reason: each boat is hand-crafted to order. While most drift boats come off a mass production assembly line, each Nord West drifter is custom-built. The process is a collaborative effort between you and the owner, Philippe Naudet. Before any work begins, Philippe discusses how you plan to use the boat and what features you need.