Down Home Boatworks is owned and operated by Dave Zielinski in Western Pennsylvania. I started building drift boats out of the love for flyfishing, rivers and big wild fish. I am a long time fly fisherman and my earliest memories are those surrounded by water and boats. I grew up around a family of "do-it-yourselfers" and I inherited this trait at an early age. I built our first boat in the spring of 2000 from a set of lines off an original 16' driftboat. One boat build led to another and before I knew it, I was building boats for my friends who shared my passion for fly fishing and river running.
Out of a desire for better performance suited to my local rivers (and perhaps winter boredom) I designed my first original design; the square-ended "Z's Drift Pram." This boat was an instant hit, with plans sold worldwide through Riverstouch. Following the tradition in wood drift boat history left behind by Tom Kaarhus, Woodie Hindman Jerry Briggs and others, all of these boats are connected-and well, here we are, evolving my designs just like the original makers. As my good friend and mentor Roger Fletcher reminds me, "these are the eddies of evolution." The designs are an evolution in traditional drift boat forms-retaining classic framed construction techniques and aesthetics, but with purpose-specific characteristics and functionality. Often the boats have been designed with a particular river in mind.
I build our personal and custom boats and frame kits with materials sourced from sustainable harvest hardwood and softwood suppliers, and often use reclaimed lumber and unwanted logs sawn with our own sawmill.