Find exactly what you're looking for...

1954 Rybovich 34


Edgewater, MD, US
  • 1 Staterooms
  • 1 Heads
  • 1 Engines

DRIFTER Is A 1954 36’ Rybovich Sportfish That Recently Completed An Exhaustive And Extensive Four-year Reconstruction.  Starting With Less Than An Empty Hull, A Team Of Highly Skilled And Dedicated Craftsmen Poured Years Into The Well-documented Project, Culminating With The Reincarnation Of A Truly Classic And Historic Sportfish.  Epoxy, Foam, And Fiberglass Strengthened Her Hull And Reduced Weight.  A Single Cummins Diesel With Propeller Pocket Is Simple And Incredibly Efficient.  All Systems Are New Except For A Handful Of Carefully Selected Original Or Vintage Components Adapted To Work In Modern Ways. 

Since Her Relaunch In The Fall Of 2019, She Has Fished And Cruised The Chesapeake Bay Extensively, Purposely Built To Be Equally Adept And Comfortable At Each.  A Restomod To Some And A Complete Refit To Others, Timing Is Right For The Next Owner To Take Over The Legacy Of Hull #12. 


Galati Yacht Sales is pleased to assist you in the purchase of this vessel. This boat is centrally listed by Hinckley Yacht Brokerage.

  • Last updated Dec 21st, 2023


Quick Specs

Builder: Rybovich
Country: US
Category: Power
Model: 34
Model Year: 1954


Cabins: 1
Heads: 1

Hull Information

Hull ID: MDZ01274E919
Hull Material: Composite


Length: 36 ' (10.97M)
Beam: 12 ft' (3M)


Cruising Speed: 19 Knots
Displacement 14,000 lb lbs
Fuel Capacity: 240 G. 908 L.
Water Capacity: 5 G. 18 L.
Holding Tank: 10 G. 37 L.


Engine 1

Engine Make: Cummins
Engine Model: QSC 8.3
Engine Year: 2017
Engine Type: Inboard
Power HP: 600
Fuel Type: diesel
Engine Hours: 1,750



Few names are as synonymous with the early Florida sportfish boatbuilding, innovation, and fishing adventures as Rybovich.  They are credited with many of the industries firsts, and DRIFTER, originally built as BUTTERBALL (Hull #12) in 1954, is an excellent example of this style and design.  Through her storied and well documented history, she’s changed hands a few times, eventually landing with her current owner in 2015.  He wanted a project, a boat that was equally adept at catching fish as relaxing in a cove, and to save a piece of history. 

With a capable team in place, work began in tandem along her nearly identical sister TIMID TUNA (Hull #18) under the watchful eyes and capable hands of Reid Bandy of Bandy Boatworks.  While the team retained some of her original structure, DRIFTER is now modern epoxy encapsulated construction.  Her hull is sheathed in multiple layers of fiberglass, completely sealed on the inside, and her decks and house are light and stiff foam core construction.  All electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical systems are completely new.  Some original and vintage hardware remains, but only after cleaning, re-working, and adapting to work as new but with a classic and period correct look. 

One of her most notable features is the conversion from twin gasoline engines to a single 600hp Cummins diesel with a propeller tunnel.  This driveline offers a surprisingly economical cruise- 13 gallons per hour at 22 knots, with her engine turning only 2,400rpm at 40% load. 

The scale and comprehensiveness of the restoration process, which some might consider a restomod, caught the attention of many local and national publications including PROFESSIONAL BOATBUILDER magazine who chronicled the project.  DRIFTER graces the cover of their No. 170 issue and in the Rybovich Rebuild x2 article of the same edition ( ). Chesapeake Bay Magazine also delved into the project in their article Persistence, Pink Paint, and the Big Tuna ( ).

For the past four years, she’s cruised the Chesapeake extensively in search of both excellent fishing and quiet coves for rest and relaxation.  DRIFTER is recognized everywhere she goes both by locals familiar with her frequent outings and aficionados hoping to get a glimpse of one of the boats that started it all.

As new projects and new adventures are on the horizon, DRIFTER is looking for her next caretaker to take on the next phase of her life and build upon her long and storied past. Revel in her simplicity or take her to the next level and truly make her your own.  The future is up to you.

Please contact listing broker Brad Holbrook directly for further information as he was intimately involved in every aspect of the project and fishes the boat extensively.


DRIFTER’s Significant Features include:

  • Extensive reconstruction from 2015-2019
  • Modern epoxy encapsulated, cold molded, and foam core construction
  • Cummins 600hp 8.3 QSC, 1,750 hours
  • ZF transmission with trolling valve
  • Garmin electronics suite
  • Pleasure use only- never chartered
  • Surprisingly efficient cruise- 13gph at 22kt, 2400rpm, 40% engine load
  • Comfortable accommodations for day trips and weekends
  • Solar power system eliminates need for shore power


DRIFTER is a convertible sportfish with an expansive aft cockpit, open and airy pilothouse, and comfortable accommodations below.  The pilothouse is a comfortable step up from the cockpit, and the large overhang helps to keep the weather out.  To starboard is a convertible dinette, port is the helm and large galley or countertop workspace.  Three steps down is the cabin with two berths in a simple, open-style layout, and a custom curved beadboard bulkhead and door encloses the head.  This arrangement lends her to perfectly function as a dayboat for entertaining and cruising.  She fishes beautifully with her aft station and large cockpit, plus her interior lends itself to long runs and overnights.  Sliding side windows, sliding aft door, and “bus heater” engine heat ensure ventilation and comfort. 



DRIFTER is modern epoxy encapsulated construction- cold molded and fiberglass bottom, fully sheathed and encapsulated sides, fiberglass plywood foredeck and washboards, and foam core decks, pilothouse, and furniture.  This is a significant departure from her original Rybovich conventional plank on frame method, and represents the most time consuming and labor intensive component of the reconstruction project. 

  • Fighting Lady Yellow Awlgrip
  • Cream Awlgrip decks with Moondust Awlgrip non-skid
  • Blue bottom paint
  • Cream boot stripe
  • Stainless steel half-round rubrail and


Hull Bottom:

Epoxy construction with three layers 17-ounce biaxial fiberglass cloth over cold-molded plywood set in thickened epoxy.  Longitudinal stringers are Douglas fir and sistered to the original stringers.  Rybovich replaced most of the oak bottom frames and chine logs prior to the project and cold-molded the bottom.  The tunnel design and cold-molded construction is new to the project.  


Hull Sides:

Epoxy construction with two layers of 17-ounce fiberglass cloth over Resorcinol-glued mahogany planks fastened with Monel Anchorfast nails to oak frames.  The 2019 refit replaced or refastened planks as structurally necessary, prior to encapsulating the exterior with fiberglass and sealing the interior with epoxy. 



Epoxy construction with two layers 17-ounce and one layer 10-ounce fiberglass cloth over ½” plywood and oak frames, both installed by Rybovich and the previous owner prior to the refit.  Toe rails are hand-shaped foam with five layers 17-ounce cloth. 


Cockpit and pilothouse sole:

Epoxy sandwich construction with two layers 17-ounce cloth on either side of foam core; the top of both decks has a third layer running longitudinally.  Deck is cambered to shed water quickly and efficiently through fiberglass-lined scuppers on either side.  Splash guards minimize water entering at rest and underway.



Epoxy sandwich construction with three layers 17-ounce fiberglass cloth outside and two layers 17-ounce cloth inside of foam core, with core deleted in way of forward-facing windows.  The restoration team digitized the surviving cabin components and created a jig to retain the original characteristics. 



  • Nonskid painted deck and washboards
  • Slightly cambered self-bailing deck drains through two fiberglass-lined scuppers
  • Forward hatch opens for easy access to the fuel tank fill, fuel filter, and back end of engine
  • Aft hatch opens atop propeller tunnel with storage either side
  • Starboard helm station with vintage control levers and wheel connected to modern controls
  • Storage compartment under helm
  • Port side aft facing seat with removable base and back cushions
  • Built-in insulated icebox below seat, and an inboard facing drawer bank in the back
  • Large flats above seat and helm for laying out tackle and refreshments
  • Clear window aft fishbox with 5/8” tempered glass
  • Natural cedar fishbox lid
  • Raw water washdown
  • Nine flush-mounted rod holders
  • Stainless steel half-round coaming protection
  • Rod racks under gunnels
  • Two Sony stereo speakers
  • Custom LED floodlights
  • Blue LED-under gunnel accent lighting
  • Palm Beach-style cover



  • Painted non-skid decks
  • Hand-shaped fiberglass toe rail
  • Aluminum framed hatch forward
  • Two fixed bow cleats and two fixed spring line cleats
  • Aft cleats mounted under gunnels with hawse pipes
  • Stainless steel rub rail on gunnel edge
  • Two original Wilcox-Crittenden steps on starboard side
  • Original side navigation lights
  • Original roof-mounted hand rails
  • Two handholds on each end of pilothouse roof
  • Aluminum mast supports radar dome, navigation light, and antennas
  • Two permanently attached semi-ridged solar panels
  • Manual spotlight
  • Horn



One step up from the aft cockpit, and through an easy-to-slide door is the open and airy pilothouse and main salon.  Tinted side windows slide open, and are slightly larger than original.  The forward facing windows are also larger than the original to improve visibility.  Aft, glass panes are set into fiberglass-epoxy structure, and the foam-core door slides on a bronze track.  The helm is forward to port, just aft is the galley which functions as a large working surface, and convertible dinette is to starboard.  All furniture is fiberglass over hand shaped foam and painted. 

  • Cream interior
  • Gloss finished cedar ceiling boards
  • Grey dash helps reduce glare
  • Sliding side windows
  • Three tinted fixed forward windows
  • Intermittent windshield wipers clear the two outboard forward windows
  • Extra thick marine grade carpet with sound absorption underlayment
  • Large, varnished clear fir countertop with custom laminated oak fiddle
  • Space reserved for a refrigerator and future sink
  • Flip-out waste basket
  • Ample storage below and in a drawer
  • Cabinet face partially removes for excellent access behind, and to one of two engine hatches
  • Fore and aft facing settees bookend a large table top
  • Table top fits between settee bases to become a third berth
  • Base and back cushions upholstered in red and white striped Sunbrella fabric
  • Table top features chart of the Bahamas with multiple layers of clear epoxy and red-painted edge
  • Four Lumitec red/white dimmable LED overhead lights
  • Blue accent lights
  • 120v outlet
  • Two Sony stereo speakers
  • Two fire extinguishers
  • Bus heater engine driven heat


Helm Station

  • Custom glass on foam helm pod and seat
  • Garmin electronics suite, with multi-function display set into helm pod
  • Double-width helm seat with cushioned base and back
  • Storage shelf directly under seat, additional storage below
  • Original engine control handles and vintage steering wheel
  • Cummins engine panel inset into base of pod
  • Wide armrest shelf to port
  • USB and 12V power ports
  • Remote battery switches
  • Vessel system and control switches
  • Fusion stereo head unit



  • Three-step removable staircase for excellent access to front of engine compartment
  • AC and DC electrical panels to starboard, with clear hinged protective cover
  • Magnum inverter/charger panel
  • Double berth to port with storage below
  • Queen berth forward with extensive storage below
  • Custom laminated curved wooden nosing around queen berth
  • Partial bead board bulkhead separates both berths
  • Forward hatch provides natural light, ventilation, and a second means of egress
  • Six portlights are original (each painstakingly disassembled, cleaned, and reinstalled)
  • Multiple removable horizontal rod racks on hull sides, and overhead forward
  • Luimitec red/white LED dimmable overhead lights
  • Exposed hull framing is epoxy coated with either clear or painted finish
  • Bus heater engine driven heat



  • Curved bead board bulkhead with custom door and frame
  • Raw water head with manual flush, holding tank, and y-valve for overboard discharge
  • Painted countertop with stainless steel top-mount sink
  • Manual pump water with freestanding tank for simplicity and easy winterizing
  • Access to back of electrical panel
  • 120v outlet
  • Hidden LED up/down interior lighting
  • Shelf outboard for small item storage



  • Garmin Gpsmap 7616xsv multi-function display, integrated with engine data
  • Garmin GMR Phantom 24 radar dome
  • Airmar B175M transducer
  • Garmin VHF210 vhf radio
  • Fusion RA70 stereo with four speakers
  • Vintage manual-control spotlight (new old stock)
  • Ritchie compass



Every wire and electrical component is newly installed as part of DRIFTER’s refit.  Andy Fegley (of Yacht Electronics Systems) designed and supported the installation.  Both AC and DC systems benefit from a simple approach with quality components, and include solar panels which eliminate the need to plug in at the dock.  A 30a shore power system with Magnum inverter/charger provides flexibility when power is present or necessary.  All underwater fittings are bonded together, and there is a traditional copper bonding strip running the length of the boat. 

  • Blue Seas DC panel
  • Blue Seas remove battery switches
  • (2) Deka AGM 12v 800MCA start batteries
  • (2) Lifeline AGM 6v GPL-4CT 220ah batteries wired in series for 12v output
  • Magnum MS2000 inverter charger
  • (2) 100w Sun Power semi-rigid solar panels
  • Victron SmartSolar charge controller MPPT 100/30
  • 30A shore power inlet in aft deck



One of the most visible and significant improvements is DRIFTER’s single Cummins diesel engine and propeller tunnel. Originally built as a twin gasoline engine boat (with stories of top-end rebuilds overnight between trips and crew sleeping with speed wrenches under their pillows), her single Cummins offers a surprisingly economical cruise, long-term reliability and durability, and elegant simplicity.  A trolling valve enables exceptionally smooth and precise maneuverability around the docks, infinitely variable trolling speeds for fishing, and near-zero forward speed when cruising creeks and harbors.  Her propeller tunnel reduces shaft angle for more efficiency and a shallower draft.  The engine compartment is epoxy coasted (as is all of the interior hull) and painted bright white for excellent visibility.  Every mechanical system is new. 

  • 2017 Cummins 600hp QSC8.3 fresh water cooled diesel engine
  • Cummins ReCon Remanufactured engine
  • ZF 286 transmission, 2.481:1 ratio
  • Aquamet 2.5: propeller shaft
  • Tides dripless shaft seal
  • Nibral 4-blade 28” x 32” propeller (reconditioned July 2023 by Black Dog Propellers)
  • Custom oversized stainless steel P-strut and rudder
  • Custom engine mounts


Recent engine service-

DRIFTER follows a routine maintenance and service schedule with fluids, filters, anodes and other periodic items addressed per Cummins’ recommendations.  Significant and recent items are below:


1,800 Hours – December 2023

  • New engine belt and tensioner checked


1,500 Hours – Winter 2022

  • New raw water impeller
  • Cleaned aftercooler
  • Flushed heat exchanger
  • Flushed cooling system


1,000 Hours - Winter 2021

  • Transmission oil change and new filter
  • Coolant and pressure cap checked


Mechanical and vessel systems include:

  • Hynautic two-station hydraulic steering
  • Cummins digital engine display panel with data integrated to Garmin GPS
  • Racor 1000HF fuel filter
  • 8” fiberglass wet exhaust system
  • Custom Centek Centublar exhaust muffler
  • Fireboy fire suppression system
  • Rule 3,700 GPH primary bilge pump
  • Rule 360 GPH ‘day’ bilge pump
  • (2) 800 GPH automatic bilge pumps outboard of tunnel
  • 214 gallon ¼” thick epoxy coated aluminum fuel tank by Atlantic Coastal Welding (Speedytanks)
  • Manual pump head
  • Vetus 10 gallon polyethylene holding tank
  • Jabsco self-priming macerating overboard discharge pump with keyswitch lockout
  • Freshwater tank with manual pump
  • Reverso oil exchange pump
  • Shurflo Baitmaster II raw water washdown pump with strainer
  • Life raft
  • Engine spares


Items excluded from the sale:

  • Owner’s personal effects
  • Fishing tackle


The Company offers the details of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. A buyer should instruct his agents, or his surveyors, to investigate such details as the buyer desires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.