Aaron and Jonnie Helfrich on Oregon's Mckenzie River in their Okoume 17X52 ADH Middle Fork model.




Our Story

Aaron is a third generation wild and scenic river outfitter in Oregon and Idaho. His grandfather, Prince Helfrich pioneered river running in the Pacific Northwest rowing wooden boats and along with Woodie Hindman designed the McKenzie Drift Boat as we know it today.

Kurt Selisch • P.O. Box 2222 • 88 Pioneer View Drive • Hailey ID 83333 US •  208.720.9609 kurtselich@yahoo.com

Aaron Helfrich keeping his passengers dry at Marten's rapid on the McKenzie River.


All boats are made with either Meranti Hydrotek, Okoume, or Sapele marine plywood. These are Mahogany species that carry the highest international rating of BS1088 for marine plywood.  Alaskan Yellow Cedar is used for the frames. It is a traditional Northwest boat wood that is renowned for lightness and strength. It turns a rich golden color with spar varnish that creates a beautiful and strong interior. White Oak is used for gunnels, inside handrails, chines and battens. Stainless steel and bronze fasteners are used to construct the boat assuring lasting enjoyment. There are wood drift boats still in use that were built in the 1950s. Wood boats will last generations if stored and cared for properly.

I have designed the boats using traditional lines of the original wood drift boat builders on Oregon's McKenzie River such as Woody Hindman, Prince Helfrich, and Keith Steele. The hull has a medium rocker and is nearly equal  in bow and stern rise. There is a bit of a flat spot in the bottom and along the chine batten allowing the boat to track well and hold easily in fast current.