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Wooden Boat Plans

Updated on June 27, 2017
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My major interests and career include piano tuning, aircraft piloting, and nature walking. My talented wife made the chain-linked armor.


Wood Boats

Many boats are made from fiberglass but the advantage of wood is that it is naturally floaty and bendable. Wood is mainly used for smaller boats measuring up to 20 feet in length.

Some wood like pine softwood will rot easy so stay away from that type and go for something more durable like cedar and some hardwoods.

You can use plywood but don’t get the cheap stuff, and use waterproof materials to cover it. Your life may depend on it someday when you are out in the middle of a lake or ocean.

Most of all stay safe. About 700 US citizens die from boating accidents every year. The biggest thing you can do to stay safe while boating is to stay away from alcohol. Alcohol is the biggest factor in boating fatalities.

Always have enough flotation devices for everyone aboard.

Wooden boats are fun to build and will give your the satisfaction of a job well done. However do your research before starting so that you will be satisfied and not have any regrets.

Tips on Building your Wooden Boat

  • One of the funny things about boat building are the folks who build a boat in their backyard and forget to plan how they are going to get it to the water. Once their boat is built it might be bigger than expected and the backyard fence will have to come down. And maybe permission will be needed from the neighbors before crossing their property with a large boat on wheels, while trying to avoid making ruts in their lawn.

    Then you have to be ready for all the Noah’s ark jokes as your boat becomes a reality.

  • Check with your local ship yards and marinas to make sure they would welcome your boat. Many think a wooden boat would stick out from all the shiny white fiberglass ships that are docked. Of course if your boat is a tiny rowboat then you won’t have that worry.

  • Make sure that building your boat is actually cheaper than buying one. Add in the hours for your labor. Your time is valuable and needs to be counted.

  • Check out the permits needed. Yes, the government will stick their noses into your boat building to make sure it is safe, and that they will get their cut.

  • Calculate the cost. Check you boat plans and make a list of all your materials. Add up the cost and make sure you have the finances to finish the job. You can start the job and keep a look out for bargains from the Internet, friends and boatyards.

  • What type of boat will fit your lifestyle and family. Will you need help in sailing or running your boat? Does your family share your enthusiasm?

  • Don’t turn your dream into a nightmare. Stay in your budget and build a boat that won’t break the bank. Many times a smaller boat will work better than a monster that is hard to maintain and requires a ton of work.

Wooden Boat Plans

When choosing the best plans for your boat go with something that fits your budget, that you will love and enjoy. You don’t want to have regrets halfway through your project.

Even if you are skilled in all things wood there will be a steep learning curve, so keep it as simple as you can. Stay away from fancy embellishments unless you know what you are doing. Someday you want to be on the water and not spent all your life building your wooden boat.

Carefully choose the plan that is easy to understand and will answer all your questions. Don’t build something that will go beyond your skill level.

Make sure the plan you choose will cover the complete project. Some might give you a outline and not guide you every step of the way. This might be okay for the expert but not for the beginner.

Check that your plans include a list of all the materials you need including part numbers. You do not want to guess on anything unless you are already experienced.


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