No discussion of minimalist boating can be complete without including Gavin Atkins's wildly popular mouse boat.
In his book Ultrasimple Boatbuilding Gavin Atkin describes the simple building methods used and offers several variations of the original mouse boat. The reality is that you can buy a second hand boat on Kijiji or Graig's list often for less money than you can build one, certainly cheaper if you count the labour, but where is the delight and pleasure in this.
A great source of information for one sheet boatbuilding is the Yahoo Group One Sheet Wonders. Many one sheet boatbuilders have a goal of getting on the water as quickly and cheaply as possible. I built a model of the 1 sheet coroplast boat and am in the process of making the folding boat now.
Previous boats on this page have been build out of plywood often using stitch and glue method of boatbuilding.
Not only is the coroplast boat fast and easy to put together but it folds in a tidy lightweight package. This may be one of the smallest double ended rowboats ever designed and this one is made of a single sheet of 4mm plywood.
Anyway - I am going to build this boat because this is my attempt to create the one sheet design with the highest capacity possible that can still be called a boat and I think it's a cute and funny looking little boat. If the transoms, sides or any other parts of the hull are made of something else, the boat is not a one sheet boat, but something else. The load carrying capacity is connected to the maximum displacement of the boat (displacement just before swamping), or the maximum enclosed volume, if You like. I am going to use this sheet of 4mm Sapeli plywood (250 x 125 cm) which is slightly larger than a standard sheet so the boat will be larger by 2,46%. The short panels and the huge amount of twist require unusual steps and some improvisation to get the panels connected. I glue these wedges to the delicate pointed ends of the bottom panels to be able to apply clamp pressure to get the ends together. Unfortunately the bottom panel cracked at the location of maximum stress shown in this picture (red colour).


At the time he approached me I hadn’t started my own build so I could not give him any advice.
So I am happy that I was able to assemble the hull successfully but wanted to inform potential builders of this design about the problems that might occur.
I wanted to be sure that after removing all temporary fasteners the panels wont disassemble because of the enormous twist.
Using cheaper construction plywood instead of marine, On a regular basis the question shows up on these forums regarding saving money by using construction grade plywood instead of the more expensive marine grade plywood.. Model boat hull design - building model boats, Here is an attempt at demystify model boat hull design and construction. Free Plans from Duckworks for the Mouse Boat I printed the plans on card and made the model above.
People often add a deck and flotation chambers which take more than one sheet, but it can be succesfully built using only one sheet of quarter inch plywood. Not only is it made from one sheet plus an additional 2x4 piece for transom, flotation chamber and bulkheads, but it comes apart for easy storage and transport. It pushes the envolope of what can be done and helps us understand what goes into making a boat stable, easy to move and enjoyable to use. You have to join but inside there is an active boatbuilding community with lots of free boatbuilding plans and photos.
It documents the meticulous boatbuilding technique used to create a lovely one sheet canoe. If you try you can pull it off but it stays on.Scotch extreme duct tape also worked for me.
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The Sapeli plywood is much harder than Okoume and my fingers almost got sore but I was persistent and finally had all panels neatly cut.
I tried to make them as accurate as possible hoping they will bend almost the same way as the symmetric panels without joint. But this was another reason for me to build my own boat because I wanted to know if I would have the same difficulties and if it’s possible to build this boat at all.


So I glued small pieces of ash at the places with the highest tension on the outside of the hull. The wedges are made of a very soft wood (paulownia) so sawing is easy and sanding flush should be as well. It is maintained and was started by Phillip McCracken who also has his own website on boatbuilding.
Here the excellent design and careful building methods are not particularly fast but result in elegant minimalist crafts.
It is built out of one sheet of corrugated plasticI built one using plans from Ken Simpson. Now with all panels assembled I can say it is possible though it’s really not easy and until the end I was afraid that my panels might crack too. There are many free plans and instructions on using less traditional materials as a simpler and cheaper alternative to epoxy. He uses a stitch and glue method of boatbuilding except that he tapes rather than stitches. He offers plans for it hereKen Simpson is at the opposite end of the boatbuilding spectrum from Flo-Mo above. On his website he has a link to a small video where he shows his half pea being rowed and another one rocking in the water.
He also tacks his seams using Super Glues before using epoxy for the final gluing.He links to the wooden boat forum thread on this boat. Old plans often suggest materials that are now considered unsafe such as lead paint, be careful.
If you've never built a boat but would like something to get on the water quickly then he's your designer.



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