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No matter if you have never built a thing in your life or if you are a woodworking genius, it’s easy to design a boat if you have the proper boat building plans. The most important thing you will need to build your own boat is a workshop, garage, or a place to build it.
Since this is something you have complete control over, let your mind run wild as you start with your boat building plans. The great thing is that you really don’t require any woodworking guru skills to build your own boat as long as you have detailed enough boat building plans.
Building a boat is one of the most rewarding projects you can do to create something beautiful and useful for years to come. See how we built a 20ft trailered houseboat that can be used on the water and as a camper along the way. If you’re dead set on building a Dory Boat, these are hands-down, the best dory plans you will find on the internet.
The most comprehansive boat design package ever made with all the boat building basics to help you get started immediately.
This construction sequence starts with building the ladder frame, on which we will set up the molds, transom, and stem. Since this will be a lapstrake boat, we'll build it over molds and put the frames in after the boat is planked and right side up. After we installed the skegs and sternposts, we coated the bottoms with a mixture of epoxy resin and graphite powder.
After we rolled the boats over, we installed frames, a center seat with flotation, a stern deck, two circular blocks to support pedestal seats, and finished the gun'l. The boats will be oiled with Cetol on the interior and painted Forest Green on the exterior.


We are located on the Snohomish River in the Pacific Northwest, about 20 miles north of Seattle. You could just go to the sporting goods store and buy yourself a great boat, but it will be one of those soulless, plastic, mass produced things that will never give you the pride of knowing you actually built it with your bare hands out of a stack of wood.
Once you have this and a good set of starting plans, the rest just comes down to having a few basic woodworking tools and after a few weekends, you will be cruising around in your brand-new, hand-made, wooden boat. More than anything, you are going to want some basic plans so you will have a grasp on how the whole thing comes together. Think of all the details that will make your boat unique and something that no one else has.
If you already have the skills, the shop and great equipment, then you already know that building chairs all day is fun, but building your own boat will be the most satisfying thing you will do as a wood worker. You can download boat designs today, read through them tonight, and after a trip to buy some supplies, you could be make the first cuts to building a boat by tomorrow.
This software automatically does all the calculations to help your boat cut through the water. Since this is a small boat, we built the ladder frame on legs above a ladder frame for a larger boat.
Really, how would I be able to make something as cool as a wooden boat and not have it sink or leak all over the place? Once you understand how to seal all of the seams together and how to properly brace your boat so it’s not flimsy, then the only limitation when you design a boat is how to get it out of your garage.
The best part is that since you are not dropping thousands of dollars on a factory made boat, you can now afford to make the boat you build bigger and better than you thought you could afford.
And when you see your boat out on the water and everyone’s checking it out, you will know that your skills built that boat.


Depending on your dedication and how complex the boat design is, you could be hanging out in your very own boat within a month. Here we have the molds and stem clamped or screwed to the ladder frame, and the bottom plank installed on the setup. This specialized epoxy coating will make a very slick, durable, and rather scratchproof surface for skidding the boats up and down the beach. This one will mount properly on the stern and be remote controlled by the pilot sitting in his swivel chair.
We were in a big rush to get these boats on the truck for delivery and weren't able to get finished photos.
I know how to swing a hammer and how to cut wood, but how would those “hobbyist level” skills actually translate to building a boat that floats? Now I have something great to focus on and by this time next year, I’ll be cruising around on a boat I build completely myself! Notice that the grain and scarfs in the bottom planks run athwartships, meaning at 90° to the length of the boat. We did that to make the bottom stiff enough to walk around on even though it will have no bottom frames.



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