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all the time due to the limited freeboard. A colleague recalled West’s complaint: ... you went through the rapids with one oar in the


water and a bailing can in the other. West tired of the heavy boat, and he and his brother, Roy built the first McKenzie riverboat with a bot-


Eddies of Evolution on the McKenzie Veltie Pruitt’s light board-and-batten


attractive and the boat became the standard for McKenzie River guides - even Milo Thompson.


In the mid 1920s, having tired of work associated with navigating


the heavily timbered McKenzie boats of the day, Veltie Pruitt designed and built an even smaller, lightweight riverboat than the West boat for his personal use. The boat was highly maneuverable and it was eas- ily transported to and from the river. Veltie and his little boat caught


Prince Helfrich and guides with a covey of West type boats, circa 1930.


tom length of less than 16-feet. It was a bit lighter, turned more quick- ly and it covered water the more heavily timbered boats couldn’t. The boat was different enough that Milo Thompson, presumably the first person to take a dude fishing and got paid for it, jokingly called the new boat a “bathtub with oarlocks.” The boats performance proved


Veltie fishes from his light board and batten boat


McKenzie River Guides 81 Years of Service 1931- 2012


2012 Bicentennial McKenzie River Recreation Guide


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