Affordable Sailboats You Can Build at Home

Affordable Sailboats You Can Build at Home | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

September 13, 2023

‍ Key Takeaways

  • There are many sailboats that anyone can build from home depending on tastes
  • Budget will be the biggest deciding factor on a majority of the process
  • Consider kits that come with most of what you need or choose ones that are all-inclusive
  • Design complexities and new materials may make the building time process longer
  • Plan the best you can ahead of time to save money and your working hours

‍ Buying a sailboat can be expensive, but building your own can save you money. So what are sailboats you can build from home?

Sailboats that you can build from home will likely be a small boat under 20 feet. These could be from many different boat suppliers such as B&B Yachts, Brooks Boat Designs, and Chase Small Craft. Boat plans will vary based on your budget and how much time you have on your hands.

Based on my previous experience, building your own boat will take much longer than if a professional were to do it. You also have to be able to study plans, consider various sailboat designs, and have tons of supplies such as fiberglass tape or fiberglass cloth. On top of that, you will also have to be good with your hands.

Table of contents

‍ Top 10 Affordable Sailboats Anyone Can Build at Home

Building your own pocket cruiser or other styles from boat plans is an impressive feat, as this will need dedicated time and money to assure your boat sails safely. Boat building takes a lot of patience as well, especially since this will not be completed in a fast manner.

Finding boat plans and materials that fit your budget will be key to being able to complete the project. The time it takes to complete these projects will vary on your overall experience and needs. Below are 10 of the most affordable sailboats that you can build in the comfort of your home.

B&B Yachts

B&B Yacht

B&B Yachts have 14 different boat plans you can choose from to find the boat of your desires. Their shop is located along the Bay River in North Carolina where they construct all of the kits and have a 100 foot dock to show off your project once you complete it.

One popular model to check out is their Core Sound 15, as it is the perfect size for those wanting to build a modest size boat for a handful of people on board. Their website features some videos of completed projects and the plans or kits for purchase.

  • 14 different models to choose from plus some dinghies
  • Various monohull and multihull options
  • Friendly customer service with attractive prices
  • Might be too many options for some that are indecisive
  • Not ideal for those wanting to have a motor sailer

Brooks Boat Designs

Brooks Boat Designs

Brooks Boat Designs has a handful of options to consider for your next sailboat building project. They are located in Brookline, Maine and give the option to buy the kits or have them build one from scratch for you. They have plenty of knowledge, so do not be shy to ask about modifications or custom features you are looking for.

Depending on your specifics, they can attempt to accommodate some of their plans to help fit your desired outcome. By checking out their site, you can see many examples of their construction in progress and what the boats will look like when completed.

  • Offers a variety of kits
  • Plans vary around $50 and up, while materials will obviously add more costs
  • Some plans can be rowing boats that can convert to sailboats
  • Might take a while to hear back from them, as their contact section is a little outdated
  • Their plans may not accommodate a ton of extras for your taste

Chase Small Craft

Chase Small Craft

Chase Small Craft offers a simple process for building boats. Their kits are equipped with everything you need and will help save you time than just buying the materials outright and other parts you could need. This is arguably one of the best bang for buck instances if you want to save time and money searching for pieces to your boat.

They are located in Saco, Maine and will ship everything to your home from there. All the necessary materials are included and all you need are the proper tools and working space.

  • All-inclusive kits with what you need
  • Tons of knowledge on their site for boat building
  • Easy process to order and customize
  • Complete kits can range over $20,000 for larger boats
  • Kits may take up to eight weeks to ship out

Chesapeake Light Craft

Chesapeake Light Craft

You can expect high-quality boat kits from Chesapeake Light Craft . They feature 18 different sailboat kits that vary from eight to 20 feet in length. This should be more than enough to find one for you if you are newer to boat building.

They also have a wide variety of other kits in addition to the sailboat, in the event that you wanted to order a small kayak or paddleboard in addition to your sailboat. The prices vary considerably when considering a small or larger boat, so check the complete list of options to in order to potentially fit your needs.

  • Plenty of sailboat offerings to choose from
  • Different beautiful hull form options to consider
  • Easy to build and perfect for sailing
  • Only has basic materials needed for kit, so you may need to purchase other items
  • Has epoxy shipping fee no matter if you pick up item

Dudley Dix Yacht Design

Dudley Dix Yacht Design has an extensive list of plywood and single skin sailing boat options. They have plenty of sail plans and kits to consider depending on your goals. These follow a classic look for sailboats, which are aesthetically pleasing.

If you are wanting one to accommodate a small family, they have more than plenty to look through. The cost is not as bad compared to others, but keep in mind that you may need to throw in your own supplies or specific tools to get the job done.

  • Plans start at $30 and range up to $7,500 or more for kits
  • More than enough of options to consider
  • Affordable variety of sailboat offerings
  • Might be too many options for those new to sailing
  • Most are wood without the use of aluminum or steel

Farrier Marine

Farrier Marine

If you are in search of a multihull to build, then Farrier Marine is what you need. They offer a unique folding catamaran that is trailerable and give you the option to build it yourself. This not only makes it an appealing option, but anyone can take this multihull boat wherever they want with ease.

It features a thorough construction guide once you receive all of the materials. These also come with stainless steel fasteners and an aluminum mast for high-quality materials. Pricing will vary since you must request which model type you are considering.

  • Ability to build a unique catamaran
  • In-depth construction guide to help
  • Easily handled and trailerable
  • Price may be too high
  • Limited offerings since only a few multihull options

Glen-L Marine Designs

Glen-L Marine Designs

Building a boat from Glen-L Marine Designs can save you time and money. They feature an easy system to order and receive the kits, as well as an in-depth guide to building them. This is an appealing option compared to most boat kit sellers.

The beauty about Glen-L is that anyone can build these from scratch, so you do not have to be the best boat builder in the world to get it done. They offer guides and helpful insights from their team to point you in the right direction. Plans vary around $15, while kits can range well over $1,000 depending on boat size.

  • Nearly 50 designs to choose from
  • Complete guide to help anyone build it
  • Plenty of price points depending on size
  • Might be overwhelming with the amount of options
  • Could take a while to get parts since they are popular

John Welsford Boat Designs

John Welsford Boat Designs

John Welsford Boat Designs invites new and veteran boat builders that want a taste of quality small wooden boats. The boat plans are designed to meet your specifications and are catered to your desires.

There are seven sailboat designs to choose from so you do not feel overwhelmed in the process. However, they do not sell kits all the time, so you would need to have the materials or be on the lookout for the best prices when they are available.

  • Seven sailboat plans with different sizes
  • Quality boat builder and supporting community
  • In-depth knowledge provided to you when you order
  • Might be too small of boat size
  • Kits are not always available

Iain Oughtred

There are plenty of options on the wooden boat store, but you should narrow down your search for Iain Oughtred’s line of sailboat kits and plans. There are 25 different plans to choose from, which should accommodate most everyone looking to build their own boat.

While they do offer some kits, they do not routinely offer sailboat kits. You would need to purchase all of the materials if you are considering one of their sail plans. Keep this in mind if you are considering, as you would need to hunt down the parts yourself.

  • 25 different sailboat plans to look through
  • Various sizes to contemplate for you sailing needs
  • Prices will vary but are not bad compared to market
  • No sailboat kits, only plans
  • Newer boat builders might find too many options unappealing

Paul Gartside Boat Builder and Designer

Gartside Boats is a boat builder company based in Long Island, New York that showcases a variety of boats from traditional and newer methods of boat building. Within that variety, they have boat plans meant for six to 50 feet in length.

With an abundance of options, you will need to contact them regarding prices and any customizable options. Kits may vary as well, as they typically design in-house and build for you.

  • Experienced boat designer that can accommodate with custom plans
  • Many options are trailerable
  • Can have plans for up to a 50 foot boat
  • You will need to contact them for prices
  • Customized options may make process more complicated for new boat builders

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Sailboat at Home?

As you have likely already done so, the math between building your own boat and buying one may be a huge difference. Likewise, you may even enjoy the challenge of taking an older boat that is gutted and restoring with parts from a kit to build one new again.

But how much does it cost exactly to build a boat from the comfort of your own garage or workshop? The prices are going to vary dramatically depending on your situation and material needed to get the job done. In addition, the time that it takes to complete this will also vary.

Sail plans are rather inexpensive if you are aiming to build a small boat. These plans allow you to see the workings of the boat design and what you need to build the boat.

Without these plans, you will not know the exact details of the design and it can cause major issues with the boat’s hull or other areas of the boat. Think of these as the backbone or instructions of the boat’s infancy before being built.

Price Per Square Foot

You should assume to pay anywhere between $300 to $600 per square foot if you are interested in building a boat. Buying a kit outright can be a good way to save time, but oftentimes these do not come with everything you need.

Instead, you should try to source as much of the materials at the best price as possible. Thinking ahead is part of the process and you might be able to score a deal at a lumber yard or hardware store for parts.

Boat Designs Matter

The design of the boat will be much different from one boat to the next, regardless if they are the same size in length. If you are pondering boats that range anywhere between 16 and 20 feet, you should factor in the shape of the hull, any rigging, and various appendages.

Prices tend to increase when there are more complexities within the designs. If you are considering a kit with more details than others, you will also have to pay more for the designs on that as well.

Kits Can Differ

It is important to understand that all kits are not going to be the same. As you gander at sailboat kits online to stitch together, you need to thoroughly look over to see if you have everything you need before buying.

It would also be at your advantage to ask the seller if any additional parts or supplies are needed. This may change your dynamic on the kit buying process and you may pass up one for another if it has everything you need. An all-inclusive kit may cost several hundred, if not thousands, of dollars more to have the convenience of everything in the bundle.

Construction Approaches

Some boat plans may require you to have certain tools to get the job done. This means special saws or planers, which the average person simply does not have.

Purchasing specialty tools might be expensive upfront and hard to find depending on what it is. Your best bet would be to check locally for others trying to sell their tools or consider a boat plan that does not require extensive tools to finish the job.

How Long Does it Take to Build a Sailboat?

An easy to build sailboat could take a while to build from scratch. Many different variances come into play that are difficult to pinpoint for everyone. But how long is that exactly and how will your experience play into this?

A fun project to sail in the wind could take you several months to well over a year depending on the boat plan and how big your boat is going to be. In addition, the materials all need to be accounted for prior to starting in the event a hardware store does not have them in stock.

Time Varies

The time that passes for simple boat designs on small sailing vessels can be done in a few weeks. This is assuming you have everything you need and work non-stop around the clock.

Certain complex situations may make the process long, such as the difficulty of working with some materials. If you are a skilled laborer, it may take you half the time compared to a novice. The amount of time it can take will vary on your availability and skill level.

Planning ahead will undoubtedly offer the most time-saving features. It also helps if you can tackle parts of the project at your own pace.

Complexity of Design

The design of the boat may make the construction process longer. For example, it may take you longer to build a catamaran compared to a similar lengthed monohull.

More complex designs might require more materials, therefore making the process a bit longer to complete. Furthermore, you will also need more experience working with difficult designs and that will affect you more as a newbie.

Be sure to manage your expectations well and do not allow yourself to become too stressed over this fun project. If you can, seek expert boat building advice from a local builder or the company you purchased sail plans through.

Quality Materials

The quality of the materials will matter significantly when building a boat and will greatly affect the time it takes to construct it. Handling fiberglass or carbon fiber might require specialty tools, while wood also demands a certain level of craftsmanship.

If you are not skilled at working with the material at hand, it might affect the quality of the build and you may have to go back to fix mistakes. This will definitely add more time to your project, because mistakes are bound to happen with your first project.

To save time, consider adding the tools and materials throughout the year or as often as your budget allows. You may want to try testing your skills on fiberglass or other materials to get a feel for how to work with it.

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I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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Step-By-Step Guide: How to Build a Wooden Sailboat – Complete DIY Tutorial

Alex Morgan

small wood sailboat plans

Building a wooden sailboat is a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor that allows you to create your own vessel for sailing adventures. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a woodworking enthusiast, constructing a wooden sailboat requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a love for craftsmanship. This comprehensive guide will take you through the step-by-step process of building a wooden sailboat, from choosing the right design and gathering the necessary materials to assembling the framework, building the deck and cabin, and installing the sails and rigging. We will also discuss the finishing touches and regular maintenance required to keep your wooden sailboat in optimal condition for years of enjoyment on the water. Let’s dive into the world of wooden sailboat construction and embark on this exciting journey together.

Key takeaways:

Key takeaway:

  • Choosing the right design and plans is crucial: Research different sailboat designs and select suitable plans based on your skill level to ensure a successful project.
  • Gather the necessary materials and tools: Pay attention to wood selection and preparation, as well as acquiring the tools and equipment needed for building your wooden sailboat.
  • Attention to detail in the construction process is important: Prepare and assemble the framework carefully, focusing on lofting, laying out the keel, constructing the ribs, and the hull structure to ensure a sturdy and reliable sailboat.

Choosing the Right Design and Plans

When it comes to building a wooden sailboat, one of the crucial steps is choosing the right design and plans. In this section, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of sailboat designs and explore the vast array of options available. From researching different sailboat designs to selecting plans that match your skill level, we’ll guide you through the exciting process of bringing your wooden sailboat dream to life. So, hop aboard and let’s set sail on this exhilarating journey of craftsmanship and adventure.

Researching Different Sailboat Designs

When conducting research on sailboat designs, it is important to take into account a variety of factors in order to select the most suitable design. One of the primary considerations is whether you prefer a monohull or a multihull sailboat. Monohulls are more commonly found and offer superior performance when sailing upwind, whereas multihulls provide both stability and speed.

Another aspect to consider is your level of sailing experience. If you are a beginner, it is advisable to seek out designs that are easier to handle and forgiving. On the other hand, experienced sailors may gravitate towards performance-oriented designs that are ideal for racing or long-distance cruising.

It is crucial to think about how you intend to use the sailboat. Are you looking for a day sailer , a cruiser , or a racing boat ? Each design comes with its own set of distinctive features and characteristics.

Determining the appropriate size of the sailboat is another crucial step, which should be based on the number of people and activities you plan to have on board. You must also decide whether you prefer an open cockpit or an enclosed cabin .

To find the perfect sailboat design that aligns with your sailing goals and preferences, it is imperative to thoroughly research various options and take into consideration all of these factors. By doing so, you will be able to make an informed decision and select the ideal sailboat design.

Selecting Suitable Plans for Your Skill Level

When it comes to building a wooden sailboat, it is crucial to select suitable plans that match your skill level. This is important as it ensures that you have the necessary knowledge and expertise to effectively complete the construction. In order to help you with this, here is a table that outlines the different skill levels and the corresponding plans:

Skill Level Suitable Plans
Simplified plans with detailed instructions and minimal complex techniques.
Plans that require a moderate level of woodworking skills, including more intricate joinery and techniques.
Advanced plans for experienced woodworkers with in-depth knowledge of boat building and complex woodworking techniques.

Choosing the right plans for your skill level is essential as it enables you to navigate the construction process smoothly, avoid any complications, and ultimately achieve the desired result. It is crucial to honestly evaluate your woodworking skills and then select plans that align with your abilities. Keep in mind that building a wooden sailboat demands patience , attention to detail , and a willingness to learn and improve your woodworking skills.

As a pro tip, if you are a beginner, it is advisable to start with simpler plans and gradually work your way up to more complex projects. This allows you to gain experience and confidence in your woodworking abilities over time. So always remember to select suitable plans for your skill level and enjoy the process of building your wooden sailboat.

Gathering the Necessary Materials and Tools

When it comes to building a wooden sailboat, gathering the necessary materials and tools is key . In this section, we’ll dive into the exciting world of selecting and preparing the right wood for your sailboat, as well as the essential tools and equipment you’ll need to bring your project to life. So, start sharpening your creativity and let’s sail away into the realm of wooden boat construction!

Wood Selection and Preparation

Incorporating the provided keywords naturally in the provided text:

1. Conduct research on the different types of wood used in boatbuilding, such as mahogany , teak , or oak . This will help you make an informed decision regarding the most suitable wood for your sailboat.

2. Determine the specific requirements of your sailboat design in order to guide your wood selection process. Each design may have different needs and preferences when it comes to the type of wood to be used.

3. Take into consideration the durability and resistance to rot of the wood options available. This is crucial to ensure the longevity and overall quality of your sailboat. Choosing a wood that can withstand exposure to water and other elements is essential.

4. Look for straight , dry , and defect-free wood. This will contribute to the structural integrity of your sailboat. Any defects or irregularities in the wood may compromise its strength and performance.

5. Calculate the amount of wood needed based on the specific design and measurements of your sailboat. This will help you estimate the quantity of wood required for the construction process.

6. Mill or cut the wood into the required dimensions and shapes as outlined in the sailboat design. This step is crucial for achieving the desired structure and appearance of your sailboat.

7. Prior to assembly, it is important to sand the wood surfaces thoroughly. This will remove any rough edges or splinters, ensuring a smooth and safe finish.

8. Apply a protective coating or sealant to the wood in order to prevent water damage. This will help preserve the wood and extend its lifespan .

By following these steps, you can ensure that the wood selected and prepared for your sailboat construction is suitable and of high quality.

Tools and Equipment Needed for the Project

When embarking on the construction of a wooden sailboat, it is crucial to have the appropriate tools and equipment to ensure successful completion.

To accurately measure and obtain precise alignment and dimensions, essential measuring tools such as a tape measure , combination square , and level are indispensable.

For shaping wooden components, cutting tools like a circular saw or table saw , jigsaw , and hand saw are necessary.

Joinery tools, including a chisel set , mallet or hammer , and drill with different-sized bits, are vital for smoothly joining parts together.

To achieve a polished finish, sanding and finishing tools such as sandpaper with varying grits, sanding blocks , and a random orbital sander are crucial.

Additionally, brushes and rollers are required for the application of finishes.

When it comes to safety, it is imperative to prioritize the use of safety goggles , ear protection , a dust mask , and work gloves to ensure personal protection during the construction process.

When selecting tools and equipment, it is essential to invest in high-quality items that are specifically designed for the tasks involved in wooden sailboat building.

By doing so, not only will efficiency be maximized, but the overall quality of the finished boat will also be greatly enhanced.

Preparing and Assembling the Framework

As we delve into the world of building a wooden sailboat, we now find ourselves in the exciting phase of preparing and assembling the framework. In this section, we’ll discover the essential steps that go into setting up the lofting and laying out the keel , as well as the intricacies of constructing the ribs and hull structure. Get ready to immerse yourself in the hands-on process of bringing this magnificent vessel to life!

Setting Up the Lofting and Laying Out the Keel

To properly set up the lofting and lay out the keel for a wooden sailboat, it is important to follow these steps in a systematic manner:

  • Firstly, prepare the lofting area by clearing a large, flat space where the plans and measurements will be placed.
  • Next, securely attach the keel stock to the lofting platform, making sure it is both level and aligned with the boat’s centerline.
  • Using battens, rulers, and pencils, transfer the measurements and lines from the boat plans onto the lofting platform.
  • Ensure the accuracy of the waterlines, buttock lines, and other reference lines on the lofting platform by drawing them according to the measurements provided in the boat plans.
  • Utilizing the dimensions indicated in the plans, measure and mark the positions of the keel, stem, and transom on the lofting platform.
  • Thoroughly examine and adjust all lines and measurements to guarantee their accuracy.
  • Identify the locations where any additional frames, bulkheads, or structural elements will connect to the keel, by marking them accordingly.
  • Prior to proceeding, double-check all marks and measurements to ensure their accuracy.

The process of setting up the lofting and laying out the keel is an integral step in the construction of a wooden sailboat. It serves as the foundation and reference points for the boat’s overall structure. It is crucial to pay close attention to detail and maintain accuracy throughout the build. By following these steps, you will be on your way to constructing your very own wooden sailboat.

Constructing the Ribs and Hull Structure

When constructing the ribs and hull structure of a wooden sailboat, follow these steps:

– Measure and cut the ribs: Use the plans as a guide to mark and cut the dimensions on the wood. Cut the ribs accurately.

– Attach the ribs to the keel: Position and attach the cut ribs evenly along the keel using marine epoxy and screws.

– Install chines and stringers: Attach the chines to the bottom edge of the boat and install the stringers along the sides for strength.

– Attach the planking: Cut and fit planks to cover the rib and stringer structure, securing them tightly.

– Reinforce the joints: Apply epoxy and fiberglass tape over the joints to strengthen the structure.

– Shape the hull: Use tools to shape and smooth the hull, paying attention to fairing for optimal hydrodynamics.

– Apply a protective finish: Coat the hull and ribs with marine-grade varnish or epoxy for durability.

– Perform a thorough inspection: Check for defects, cracks, or imperfections and make necessary repairs before moving forward.

The process of constructing wooden sailboats has evolved over time, combining traditional techniques with modern materials and tools. Craftsmanship, attention to detail, and an understanding of wood’s properties are still essential in constructing the ribs and hull structure. This blend of artistry and engineering ensures sailboats can withstand the demands of the sea while providing a smooth and enjoyable sailing experience.

Building the Deck and Cabin

Let’s dive into the exciting world of building a wooden sailboat! In this section, we’ll focus on the crucial element of constructing the deck and cabin. Get ready to explore the process of creating the deck framework and adding those essential interior features . From laying the foundation to crafting a cozy cabin space , we’ll uncover the key steps and considerations for bringing your wooden sailboat to life. So, grab your tools and let’s set sail on this exhilarating construction journey !

Creating the Deck Framework

When creating the deck framework for a wooden sailboat, follow these steps:

  • Measure and mark the desired deck size and shape on the boat’s frame.
  • Cut and shape the wooden planks or panels to match the marked measurements.
  • Align the planks or panels horizontally across the frame, ensuring they are straight and evenly spaced.
  • Secure the planks or panels to the frame using screws or nails, ensuring tight fastening.
  • Add additional support beams or joists underneath the deck for added strength and stability.
  • Sand the deck surface to create a smooth and even finish.
  • Apply a weather-resistant sealant or paint to protect the deck from moisture and UV damage.
  • Install necessary features or fixtures on the deck, such as hatches, cleats or railings.

Pro-tip: Enhance the deck’s strength and durability by adding epoxy or marine adhesive between the joints before securing the planks or panels.

Installing the Cabin and Interior Features

When building a wooden sailboat, it is important to pay attention to every step, including the installation of the cabin and interior features. To install these features, follow the following steps:

1. First, measure and cut the materials for the cabin walls, floor, and ceiling.

2. Next, securely fit the cabin walls in place.

3. Then, attach the floorboards to the cabin base using screws or nails.

4. Align and install the cabin ceiling.

5. If desired, add insulation for extra comfort.

6. Attach interior features such as cabinets, storage compartments, and seating areas.

7. Install windows and hatches to allow for natural light and ventilation.

8. Properly wire the cabin for electricity, ensuring that lights and outlets are installed and functioning.

9. Finish the interior by sanding and applying a protective coat of varnish or paint.

10. Ensure that all installations meet safety standards.

Precision and attention to detail are key when installing the cabin and interior features of a wooden sailboat. By carefully measuring, cutting, and fitting each component, you can ensure a secure fit. It is important to optimize the layout and functionality of the interior features to create a comfortable living space with ample storage. The addition of windows and hatches will enhance comfort and enjoyment by providing natural light and ventilation . If electricity is needed, proper wiring is essential to ensure necessary lighting and power outlets. Finishing the interior with a protective coat of varnish or paint will not only enhance aesthetics but also provide durability.

Remember, the goal is to create a cozy retreat for sailors, so it is important to put in the necessary effort to install the cabin and interior features correctly.

Installing the Sails and Rigging

Set sail with confidence as we dive into the exciting world of installing the sails and rigging for your wooden sailboat. Discover the key considerations in choosing the perfect sails and master the art of setting up and adjusting the rigging. With expert tips and tricks , this section will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the waters with ease and experience the thrill of sailing your wooden masterpiece .

Choosing the Right Sails

When choosing sails for your wooden sailboat, consider the following factors:

– Type of sailing: Determine if you plan to cruise , race , or do both. Different sails are designed for specific purposes.

– Boat size: The size of your sailboat determines the size and number of sails you need. Larger boats require bigger sails , while smaller boats may need fewer and smaller sails .

– Wind conditions: Consider the typical wind conditions in your sailing areas. Different sails perform better in light winds , heavy winds , or various wind conditions.

– Sail material: The material of the sails affects durability and performance. Material choices include Dacron , laminate , and nylon . Each material has different trade-offs between longevity, performance, and cost.

– Reefing options: If you sail in varied or unpredictable wind conditions, choose sails with reefing options. Reefing allows you to adjust the sail area for stronger winds, improving control and safety.

– Manufacturer reputation: Research sail manufacturers for their reputation and reliability. Read reviews, seek recommendations, and consider warranty and customer support.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when choosing sails for your wooden sailboat. Remember, the right sails greatly impact your sailing experience, so take your time and choose wisely.

Setting Up and Adjusting the Rigging

When setting up and adjusting the rigging of a wooden sailboat, it is important to follow these steps to ensure proper and safe rigging.

To start, attach the mast to the deck using a mast step or mast partner for stability and support. This will provide the foundation for the rigging.

Next, secure the standing rigging , which includes the shrouds and stays , to the mast. This will help distribute the forces from the sails and ensure the stability of the mast.

Connect the forestay to the bow of the sailboat. This will keep the mast in line and control the position of the headsail.

To counteract forces from the headsail and maintain rigging tension, attach the backstay to the stern of the boat.

Use turnbuckles or rigging screws to adjust the tension in the standing rigging. This will ensure proper alignment and support of the mast.

Install the running rigging , including halyards and sheets , to control the position and tension of the sails.

Before and during sailing, it is important to regularly check the tension in the rigging to ensure performance and safety.

Make any necessary adjustments to the rigging during sailing in order to optimize the shape of the sails and enhance the performance of the boat.

By following these steps, you will be able to properly set up and adjust the rigging of your wooden sailboat, allowing for safe and enjoyable sailing experiences.

Finishing Touches and Maintenance

When it comes to completing your wooden sailboat and keeping it in top shape, this section has got you covered. We’ll dive into the art of applying exquisite finishes to the hull and deck, giving your sailboat a stunning appearance. And don’t worry, we won’t neglect the nitty-gritty details of regular maintenance and care, ensuring your wooden vessel remains seaworthy for years to come. So, let’s get ready to add those finishing touches and keep your sailboat sailing smoothly !

Applying Finishes to the Hull and Deck

When building a wooden sailboat, applying finishes to the hull and deck is crucial for durability and aesthetic appeal. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Prepare the surfaces: Sand down rough spots, fill in cracks and imperfections, and ensure a smooth and clean surface.

2. Choose the right finish: Consider the type of wood and desired look. Varnish provides a glossy and traditional appearance, while paint offers different colors and styles.

3. Apply the primer: Enhance adherence and create an even surface for the final coat by applying a primer.

4. Apply the finish: Use a brush or roller to apply the chosen finish coat to the hull and deck. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times and application techniques.

5. Allow for drying and curing: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying and curing to ensure the finish is fully set and provides maximum protection.

6. Inspect and touch up: After drying, inspect the hull and deck for missed spots or imperfections. Touch up any areas that require additional finish for a seamless and polished look.

By following these steps and applying finishes properly, you can protect and enhance the hull and deck of your wooden sailboat, ensuring it looks beautiful and lasts for many years.

Regular Maintenance and Care for Your Wooden Sailboat

Regular maintenance and care for your wooden sailboat is crucial for its longevity and performance. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Inspect the hull and deck for damage like cracks or rot. Promptly repair any issues to prevent further damage.

2. Clean the boat regularly with mild detergent and freshwater to remove dirt, salt, and grime that can accumulate over time.

3. Apply a protective coating to the hull and deck using marine-grade varnish or paint to prevent water penetration and protect against UV damage.

4. Check the rigging and sails for wear or damage. Replace worn-out lines or rigging components for safe sailing.

5. Inspect wooden components such as the mast, boom, and rudder for rot or decay. Replace or repair as necessary to maintain structural integrity.

6. Keep the interior of the sailboat clean and dry to prevent mold and mildew growth. Use a dehumidifier if needed.

7. Regularly check and maintain the boat’s systems , including electrical, plumbing, and navigation equipment. Address any issues promptly.

8. Store the wooden sailboat in a suitable location, such as a covered boat dock or boatyard, when not in use. Protect it from extreme weather conditions.

Pro-tip: Establish a regular maintenance schedule and keep a detailed record of all maintenance and repairs. This will help you stay organized and ensure your wooden sailboat remains in optimal condition.

Some Facts About How To Build A Wooden Sailboat:

  • ✅ Building a wooden sailboat can take approximately 100 hours over a span of 3 months. (Source: Instructables)
  • ✅ A wooden sailboat can cost around $1,000 to build. (Source: Instructables)
  • ✅ The boat is typically built from 4×8 sheets of plywood and measures 8 feet in length. (Source: Instructables)
  • ✅ Various tools such as a pull-saw, table saw, router, sander, and drill are needed for building a wooden sailboat. (Source: Instructables)
  • ✅ Fiberglass cloth, epoxy resin, screws, and other materials are used to reinforce and waterproof the wooden sailboat. (Source: Instructables)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. how long does it take to build a wooden sailboat.

Building a wooden sailboat typically takes about 100 hours spread over approximately 3 months.

2. What materials are needed to build a wooden sailboat?

To build a wooden sailboat, you will need 4×8 sheets of plywood, epoxy resin, oak plywood, various tools (such as a pull-saw, table saw, router, etc.), fiberglass cloth, screws, fasteners, and other supplies like glue, clamps, and mixing cups.

3. How much does it cost to build a wooden sailboat?

The estimated cost of building a wooden sailboat is around $1,000, including the materials and tools needed for the project.

4. Can I learn to build a wooden sailboat if I have no prior experience?

Yes, building skills can be learned gradually, and mistakes can be avoided along the way. With patience and guidance from boat building plans, even beginners can successfully build a wooden sailboat.

5. How long is the wooden sailboat described in the reference?

The wooden sailboat described in the reference is an 8-foot long pram, featuring classic lines and made from 4×8 sheets of plywood.

6. Can I launch the wooden sailboat in any body of water?

Yes, the wooden sailboat is designed to be light enough to fit in a small pickup truck or be rolled to a local lake on a dolly, making it suitable for various bodies of water.

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How to Build a Wood Sailboat


Introduction: How to Build a Wood Sailboat

How to Build a Wood Sailboat

I've been wanting to combine my two favorite hobbies - woodworking and sailing for a long time, so I thought I'd build a boat. It's got classic lines and looks so dazzling in the sunshine that people constantly stop me at the boat ramp to ask me about it. There's something unbelievably rewarding about building something like this from scratch. This is definitely a boat that is much better built than bought . Here's how I did it.

The boat takes about 100 hours to build. I did it over 3 months, working a little bit just about every day and full days when my schedule permitted.

It will take about $1,000 in total to build if you buy everything at full retail cost (not including tools you might need to buy), but you can spread that across the length of the project. For example, you only need to buy one $30 sheet of plywood at a time, take it home, draw out the parts (loft) that fit on just that sheet and cut them out. That will take a couple of hours right there. Some boating supply stores (chandleries) might let you setup an account which might give you a discount if you tell them you're building a boat.

All of the skills needed to build a sailboat can be learned slowly, one step at a time. For example, if you've never fiber-glassed plywood before, just practice on a small piece first to get your confidence up. This was my first boat build, so I did a lot of learn as you go . Not only am I going to show you the right way to successfully build your own sailboat, but I'm going to share with you the mistakes I made along the way to hopefully save you from repeating them.

The end result will be a very attractive little 8 foot long pram, that is easily made out of 4x8 sheets of plywood that is light enough to put in the back of a small pickup truck or roll down to the local lake on the optional dolly. Anything longer would require you to either make a scarf joint (which is a bit tricky) or buy longer sheets of plywood (which is considerably more expensive).

What you will need:

Boat building plans

8 panels of 1/4" oak plywood 4'x8'

Pencil, Sharpie, ruler, tape measure, yard stick, etc.

Long flexible straight edge

Box of 1" brad nails

2 gallons of epoxy resin

1 gallon of epoxy hardener - SLOW

1 quart silica thickener

5 quarts wood flour thickener

1" masking tape

Japanese pull-saw

Table saw (helps, but optional)

Round-over router bit

Flush trim router bit

Palm/random orbital sander

220 sanding discs

Combination square

Drill bit set

Drill bit extension

Basic hand tools

Small diameter wire or zip ties

Wire cutter

12 C-clamps - 3"

Mixing cups, mixing sticks, rubber/nitrile gloves

16' x 60" of 6oz fiberglass cloth

2" plastic spreader

Gallon of waterproof glue

Glue roller

Silicone bronze screws

Stainless steel fasteners

Small blocks

Gudgeon & pintle - dinghy size

Patience - large

Elbow grease - large

For more detailed explanations on each step and more specific info/reviews on the materials and parts used, check out my boat build blog:

Step 1: Cutting Out the Parts...

Cutting Out the Parts...

First, you'll need boat building plans. I purchased some very nice ones from a popular boat building website because I had a specific style in mind to build, a "pram". It's a Norwegian design with lots of buoyancy in the bow and building a pointy boat is a little more difficult. There are a bunch of free boat building plans (search "dinghy") online. Also, I wanted my boat parts to fit in a standard (read cheap) 4'x8' sheet of plywood. It also had to be light enough for me to load/unload/move myself. This boat weighs in at about 70 pounds. When on the custom dolly I built, it's very easy to move from the parking lot to the lake.

Next, you'll need to draw out the parts of the boat full-sized onto the plywood (lofting). I actually did this step on hardboard/masonite because I wanted to make templates of all the parts in case I ever wanted to build another one.

This step requires you to be very meticulous. Carefully transfer the measurements (offsets). They may or may not look correct because it's very non-intuitive to look at curved boat parts that are laying flat. Some parts actually bend the opposite way you think they should. To make the curves, I nailed a bunch of 1" brads into the panel and used a long, flexible straight edge (yard stick, etc.) bent to follow the curve, then I traced the curve with pencil/Sharpie. Once I removed the brads, I had perfectly smooth curves. Keep in mind that with the side panels that are symmetrical to both sides of the boat, only draw out one version and cut two stacked sheets at a time. This ensures the boat will not be lop-sided. Make sure to immobilize the two sheets together with screws outside of the boat parts or use double-sided tape/clamps, etc. to keep the parts registered properly.

Using a Japanese pull-saw allows you to control the cuts very carefully and it can follow the graceful curves. They cut on the pull stroke which means they're very easy to control. Make sure you leave a bit of your cut line, meaning cut just outside the line. This allows you a bit of a safety margin and you can always sand to the line to sweeten it up. This is where the elbow grease really kicks in. It takes hours to cut out the hull panels by hand, but it's worth it. I tried cutting the first part out with the jigsaw and it wandered all over the place and quickly cut inside the line before I knew it. Also, a jig saw blade can lean to one side which could mean two panels might not be the exact same shape. Using hand tools is a classic way to do woodworking and is a very gratifying process. With hand tools, things happen slow enough for you to be in total control, whereas power tools can quickly do unexpected damage. With the understanding that you're building a classic boat, using hand tools wherever possible is part of the philosophy.

The plans I bought were in metric and called for 6mm (1/4") and 9mm (3/8") plywood, but I wanted to make everything out of 1/4" plywood so the thicker parts in the plans were glued together with two layers of 1/4" (so at 1/2" they were a bit thicker than designed). I actually liked this because it made the boat feel sturdier and of course it was cheaper that way. The trade-off was that the boat would be a bit heavier.

For any of the parts that need to be doubled-up/laminated (e.g. the transoms), now is a good time to do that. Make sure you use "waterproof" glue instead of "weatherproof" glue like I did...

Spread a thin layer of glue over one of the "bad" sides (plywood usually has a good side and a bad side, glue bad sides together so good sides show on both outside faces), making sure it's completely covered (I used a special glue roller), then carefully place the other half on top. Align all of the edges together, then clamp them in place. Now put heavy things carefully on top to press the parts together. The glue should be dry in about 6 hours.

NOTE: It's considerably easier and safer to do any woodworking processes to the parts before you assemble the boat. This way, you can safely clamp pieces to the work bench and cut out handle holes, etc. Since my boat is a "lapstrake" design, I had to route a rabbet (groove located on the edge) carefully on the bottom edge of each side panel. This creates a shoulder for the parts to sit on, positively locating them while you're stitching the panels together. Likewise, the grab handles in the transoms are much easier to cut out before putting the boat together.

Also keep in mind that any mistake will be considerably more painful the further you are along in the build. For example, if I biff cutting out the grab handle holes while they're just loose pieces rather than when they're a permanent part of the boat, it's much easier to recover - just make another transom. If you had to patch a hole in the boat, it would be difficult and possibly never look perfect. No pressure...

Step 2: Assembling the Hull...

Assembling the Hull...

Once you have the bottom and sides cut out, you can start to "stitch and glue" the hull together. This is a technique used usually for smaller boats to be able to pull the hull form together without the need to build a frame or mold (which can take almost as long and as much wood as the boat itself).

I built a gauge stick to make sure my holes were perfectly spaced at 4" at 1/2" in from the plywood edge. It was 1" wide so either edge was the required 1/2" from the centerline. I worked my way down one side of each of each mated seam and drilled all those holes at once while the panels could lay flat on the bench. Make sure to use a backer block to prevent tear out on the back side, even with such a small drill bit.

With one mating panel drilled with a 1/16" drill bit, hold the mating panel in it's relative position. I used some spare twine to wrangle my panels into the proper orientation as I was marking them. Make a pencil mark where the mating hole should be, remove the pre-drilled panel and drill the second set of holes 1/2" in from the edge. This makes sure there's enough strength to hold the boat together.

The first pass on the stitches is just to get the hull together structurally. You can always go back and make the stitches fancier/tighter and tweak the position of the panels.

The stitches go from the inside out. Cut 6" lengths of wire and bend them into long, narrow U's that are the width of the distance between the holes. Stick the ends through the holes and carefully twist the tails together on the outside of the hull, making sure not to damage the plywood. If you're using zip ties, then the holes you drill will need to be bigger and you'll have to start on the outside, go in, turn around, then back out, then "zip".

Make sure your panels' rabbet shoulders are resting securely on the mating panel and carefully tighten all the stitches. For my boat, once I had two panels stitched to the bottom panel on each side, it was time to attach the transoms (ends). Once all of the exterior parts are stitched together, you should have something that looks like a boat. It will be a little rickety at this stage, but that's okay.

NOTE: In the photos I took of my build, you'll notice that the transom doublers (reinforcers) aren't in place. That was because I was following the instruction manual, but I think that was a mistake, so I highly recommend laminating (gluing) the doublers to the transoms before you stitch the boat together.

Step 3: Reinforcing the Hull Joints...

Reinforcing the Hull Joints...

Now that the hull is stitched together, flip it over upside down. You'll be surprised at how stiff it is, considering how difficult it was to wrangle all those panels into position. Be careful, there's lots of poky wire ends sticking out all over the place.

I used a technique called "tabbing", meaning I made small, structural tabs from thickened epoxy that fit between the stitches, then I removed the stitches and made one long, larger fillet to connect the hull panels together.

Make sure your panels are perfectly aligned and tightened. I used a nipper to lop off most of the tails so they wouldn't get in the way, but that left very sharp spikes.

Make sure your boat is square. Take diagonal measurements from corner to corner, make sure the boat parts are parallel to each other, etc. because if there's a twist in your boat, the next step will make it permanent, which will affect the boat's performance.

Now mix up a batch of epoxy and silica thickener according to the manufacturer's directions (meaning each type of epoxy has a different resin to hardener ratio) until it's between the consistency of thick ketchup, but runnier than peanut butter (make sure to mix the 2 parts of epoxy together first very well before adding a thickener). Too thick and it won't fill the void, too thin and it'll run down inside the boat. Both are bad. I used a small syringe to inject the mix into the V intersection between the panels and checked underneath/inside to see if there were any runs.

Once the epoxy has partially set, use a glove wet with denatured alcohol to smooth out the "tabs" so they fit inside the V groove and don't extend above the intersection between the panels. This will give you good practice for the seams that will show on the finished boat. Be careful of the wire spikes.

Repeat this process for every seam on the hull. Let it cure overnight.

Once the tabs have cured, carefully remove the stitches. If the wire seems to be epoxied permanently to the hull, heat the wire with a lighter. That will soften the epoxy enough to pull the wire out. Be careful not to scorch the boat (you don't want a Viking funeral). Now repeat the thickened epoxy process for each overlap, except this time each seam will need to be one long, smooth joint. Let it cure overnight. This goes a long way in making the boat hull structural.

Step 4: ​Fiberglassing the Hull...

​Fiberglassing the Hull...

Now that you've got a permanent hull shape, it's time to make it waterproof and rugged. Fiberglass and resin over plywood is a tried and true Do It Yourself boat building technique which makes it strong and light.

Mask off the bottom panel and roll out your fiberglass cloth. Smooth the cloth out very carefully so as not to snag or tweak the fibers' orientation. Mix up an unthickened batch of epoxy (it will be the consistency of syrup). Starting at the stern, pour a small puddle of epoxy and spread it out nice and thin. You should be able to squeeze most of the epoxy out of the cloth, leaving only saturated cloth with no dry spots (which will appear white) but the weave should still be showing (meaning no extra epoxy is pooling). You should easily be able to see the wood grain through the cloth now.

Let the epoxy partially cure and using a razor, slice the dry fiberglass cloth away on the taped seam. Then remove the masking tape. Let the epoxy cure overnight.

Flip the hull over and mix up a batch of epoxy that is the consistency of peanut butter. I masked off the joint, but this step is optional, but keep in mind that it will be visible if you plan on finishing the interior bright (varnished wood). It's not as critical if you're painting the interior. With a plastic spreader, carefully make a large radius transition (fillet) between the bottom panel and the first side panel (garboard). Remove the masking tape when the epoxy mixture is partially cured and carefully scrape/wipe any unwanted mixture. It's much easier to remove now than having to sand it all off later. At this point, it's also a good time to fillet the transoms to the sides using 3/4" radius tabs between stitches and 1" finished fillets after you've removed the stitches. Let the fillets cure overnight.

Now, repeat the entire fiberglassing process on the inside. Except instead of just doing the bottom panel, make sure both the bottom and the garboard are fiberglassed. This is basically the waterline of the boat. The fillet should allow the fiberglass cloth to smoothly make the bend between boards. Remove the excess cloth when partially cured and let sit overnight. Some people fiberglass up onto the transom at this stage which will make the boat stronger, but that means you have to have already filleted the transoms to the bottom.

Step 5: Installing Interior Parts...

Installing Interior Parts...

The bulkheads get stitched in place just like the panels. They will make the already stiff (and much heavier boat) completely structurally sound and push/pull the sides into their final shape. Then make 3/4" "tab" fillets between the stitches to lock them in place, remove the stitches and make long, smooth 1" fillets. The smaller fillets will get covered by the larger fillets. I used two different modified plastic spreaders to do this step. Each spreader was cut with a box knife and filed/sanded into its final shape.

While you're doing the previous steps, if you're in a time crunch, go ahead and build the daggerboard trunk. It's made of numerous parts that are pre-coated with a couple layers of unthickened epoxy, then glued together with silica-thickened epoxy. This makes it strong and waterproof as it will be below the waterline so must be completely waterproof.

The daggerboard trunk is the most important part of the boat, especially if you're making a sailboat version (this boat can easily just be used as a rowboat). Not only does it support the center seat (thwart), but it has to transfer all of the force from the sail to the water and if you run the boat aground, it takes all the shock loading from the daggerboard.

The daggerboard gets filleted into place like everything else. Make sure it's perfectly on the centerline of the boat as that will affect its sailing characteristics.

Next, let's make the daggerboard slot in the center thwart. I set up a straight edge with a spiral upcutting router bit. Make sure to enlarge the slots at the end of the center thwart so that it can fit around the fillets of the center bulkhead. Now is the time to ease the edges of the center thwart because you'll be sitting on it a lot, so it needs to be comfortable. Because it's so thin, I only routed the top edge of the center thwart that shows and just hand sanded the edge underneath (it's very problematic to use a round-over bit on the second side of a thin board). Paint all of the thwarts with three coats of unthickened epoxy, especially the undersides. Once the woodworking is done, the thwart can be epoxied into place with peanut butter (or you can jump to cutting the daggerboard slot in the bottom of the hull). Make sure the thwart fits snugly in place. Drop dollops of peanut butter on the top edges of the center bulkhead and daggerboard case and spread it out evenly (make sure none gets inside the slot to interfere with the daggerboard). Firmly seat the thwart (pun intended) into the goop and weight it down. Let it cure overnight.

While you've making sawdust, cut out the mast hole (partner) in the forward thwart by drilling holes in the four corners (for the square mast we're going to make), then cut out the sides, file it smooth, then round over the top edge with the router.

Any time after the bulkhead thwart fillets have cured, you can seal the airtank chambers. Paint the bottom, sides, inside of the bulkhead and transom up to the level where the thwart will be.

Step 6: Rail & Sailboat Parts...

Rail & Sailboat Parts...

There are several processes in this boat building instructable that can be done concurrently. While you're waiting for the epoxy on one part to cure, you can be doing woodworking or epoxying another part. This step illustrates that point. While you're waiting for the epoxy on the rub rail (outwale) to cure, you can be fabricating the sailboat accessories (e.g. daggerboard, rudder, tiller, spars, etc.).

In order for the outwale to be thick/strong enough to be effective, you'll need to laminate it in two strips on each side. You can't bend a single piece that thick around the curvature of the hull without either breaking the wood or softening it by steaming it which is a complicated process.

Take a strip that's half the final thickness and a little longer than the boat edge (I made mine a bit beefier), mix up some peanut butter with the colloidal silica and carefully spread it on the inside of the strip. Starting at the stern, clamp it in place, perfectly align it with the top edge of the plywood. Now you have a long, springy lever to bend the wood strip along the compound curve. It dips both vertically (shear), and bows out at the widest part of the boat (beam), then back in toward the bow. At least every foot, clamp it as you go, moving forward. More is better. Toward the bow, the strip will get stiffer as it gets shorter. Once clamped in place, scrape/wipe off all the squeeze-out. It's much easier to remove now than after it hardens. Let it sit overnight. You'll have to repeat this three more times, meaning this step takes four days (if you're using "slow" epoxy hardener).

During those four days that you're dealing with the outwale, you can make major progress on the sailboat parts. They're completely separate from the hull. If you're just making a rowboat, then you can skip making these parts.

The daggerboard and rudder are cut out and laminated. Then a bevel is ground onto the leading and trailing edges to make it slice through the water more efficiently. Then they're covered in layers of epoxy. The mast step is assembled. This has to be very strong because all of the force of the sail is transmitted to the boat through the mast step and the mast is a very long lever arm. The rudder cheek plates and tiller also have to be assembled similarly to the daggerboard case.

NOTE: Whenever there's a hole to be drilled into any part of the boat, you must take additional steps to make sure the water doesn't penetrate and damage the wood. The correct procedure is to drill an over-sized hole, completely fill that hole with epoxy (I usually put a piece of masking tape on the back side to act as a dam), then once the epoxy cures, re-drill in the center of the epoxy plug the correct hole size. That makes each hole in the boat possibly a 2 day process, so plan accordingly. You can also use 5 minute epoxy to knock out a bunch of holes quickly, but be careful, they're not kidding. This stuff gets rock hard very quickly and will permanently glue anything touching. This is exactly how you drill the hole for the pivot point for the rudder/cheek plate assembly. If the pin is 1/4", then drill 1/2" hole and fill that with epoxy. Now the 1/4" hole will fit nicely in the center and be completely waterproof.

Since all the parts need several coats of unthickened epoxy and they just about all have holes in them, I hung them up with some twine and painted them on all sides, one layer at a time, for several days. Make sure the rudder doesn't get too thick to fit inside the cheek plates.

Step 7: Making the Spars...

Making the Spars...

More sailboat parts you can make while waiting for other parts to cure are the spars, the structural parts that support the sail. The mast is another glue up. I used 3 - 1x3's of hemlock. A relatively soft wood, but with a nice tight grain with no knots. A mast would break at a knot, regardless of how strong the wood is. Using the waterproof glue, align the pieces as perfectly as you can then clamp up the assembly and let dry overnight. Then run it through a table saw to get the final dimensions. Use a router and a round-over bit to ease the edges. Cut to length and sand the sharp corners. It should fit easily, but snugly into the forward thwart.

The boom (bottom of sail) is a little more complicated. Cut out the gooseneck (boom pivot point) by using a hole saw first, making sure to clamp it securely to the workbench, then cut out the profile. This gets attached to another piece of 1x3 hemlock, after it's been cut to length and the edges have been rounded over.

The yard (top of sail) is easy. Just cut to length and round over the edges. Drill and fill any holes in the spars at this time. You'll need at least one hole on each end to lash the sail grommets to.

This time, everything gets covered with several coats of varnish, epoxy is not necessary. The varnish protects the wood from water and UV damage.

The reason we had to make at least the mast at this point is because we'll need it in the next step to establish the location of the mast step.

Step 8: Finishing Up the Interior & Exterior...

Finishing Up the Interior & Exterior...

Once the outwales are successfully attached, trim them flush with the face of the transom(s). While you're at it, use a flush cut saw (with no sawtooth offset to mar the wood) to trim the sides flush with the transom. This will show you how well your injected silica mix worked earlier. Now you're ready to install the mast step.

The mast step must be precisely located on the floor (sole) of the boat to give the mast the proper angle (rake). This is very important because it directly affects the boat's ability to sail upwind. Using your mast, insert it into the forward thwart (partner) and into the mast step. With the mast at a 3° angle (mostly vertical but with a small, yet noticeable and graceful tilt toward the stern of the boat), trace the location of the mast step. Use a combination square to make sure it's perfectly aligned side to side (athwartship). You can now set the mast aside. Drill and fill holes in the bottom of the boat so that you can securely screw the mast step from the outside of the hull. The mast base must also be epoxied to the sole with peanut butter. After it's screwed into place but before the epoxy cures, make sure to test fit the mast again and verify the rake angle is correct. It would be a little messy at this point if you had to tweak it, but at least you wouldn't have to cut it off.

Now comes the most unpleasant part of the whole build. On your hands and knees, make a 1" radius fillet on the underside of every part in the boat. I didn't worry about making these pretty, just structural and water tight (these create the flotation tanks that keep the boat from sinking if you capsize). Let that cure overnight.

Next is the scariest part of the build, making the slot in the hull for the daggerboard. Using a drill bit extension, from the inside of the boat, reach down through the daggerboard case and drill a hole at each end of the slot through the bottom of the boat (make sure to use a backer board). Drill a couple holes in between, then take a jigsaw and connect the dots. This weakens the hull enough so that the router won't tear out any extra wood. Note, this step can easily be done prior to affixing the center thwart. Using a flush trim/laminate router bit, let the bearing run around the inside of the daggerboard case. This will make the hole in the hull perfectly match the slot. This is important because you don't want a shoulder on the inside for the daggerboard to hit and you don't want to damage the waterproof lining of the case. Last, ease the sharp edge of the daggerboard slot with the router and a small radius round-over bit.

The skeg must be cut to fit the curve of the hull (rocker), then using silicone bronze screws, attach it to the hull using the same drill and fill/peanut butter techniques. Make sure to snap a chalk line on the centerline of the boat for reference. Then make a 1" fillet where it meets the hull which will support the skeg and make it strong. The skeg keeps the boat tracking straight in the water. I optionally used some fiberglass cloth to cover the skeg and overlap onto the bottom to make the entire assembly stronger and more waterproof. The skeg will take the brunt of the abuse when launching, beaching, loading and unloading, etc. I also installed a stainless steel rubstrake on the aft end of the skeg with this in mind. In wooden boat building, silicone bronze screws are often used because they won't corrode when encapsulated like stainless steel screws can.

Install the skids parallel to the skeg. These are solid pieces of hardwood because they will also take a lot of abuse when the boat is sitting on shore, protecting the thin hull from rocks, etc. They get installed the same way as the skeg, although it's a little tough to bend the wood along the rocker. Scrape off the excess peanut butter once they're screwed in place.

I also installed the optional outboard motor pad at this point because I plan to use an electric trolling motor on the back to quietly putter around the lake in the evenings to relax with the family after work.

That should be the last parts that go into making the boat!

Step 9: Finishing the Hull...

Finishing the Hull...

Now comes the last dash to the finish line. One of the more tedious steps is that you now have to sand the entire boat. I actually built the entire boat inside, but for the sanding stage, I took her outside. Several hours of sanding all of the fillets nice and smooth. Everything will show in the finished product whether you paint the boat or leave it "bright" (unpainted). If you've been careful about cleaning up the peanut butter as you go, you should be able to sand the boat with mostly 220 grit. Be careful not to sand through the thin veneer of the plywood. After the sanding is done (make sure to use a dust mask), vacuum the entire boat and then wipe it down with a tack cloth to remove any dust. I also reversed the hose on the shop vac and used it to blow the sawdust off since I was outside.

Next, you must coat the entire interior and exterior with 3-4 coats of unthickened epoxy. This makes the entire boat waterproof. It will also give you an idea of how beautiful the wood will look when varnished. This is why a lot of boat builders decide to leave their boats bright so the beauty of the wood shows through.

Mix up 1 cup batches of unthickened epoxy and pour out large puddles onto the surface. Taking a foam roller, distribute the epoxy in a smooth coat. Now take a wide foam brush and gently smooth (tip) the rolled out surface. This should remove any lap marks or bubbles. Move along to the next area, making sure to not touch the wet parts. Also, make sure no dust or bugs get on your finish or it'll mean even more sanding later.

Start with the exterior first. It'll be much easier to get good by practicing on the convex surfaces. The interior is more tricky because you want to prevent sags and pooling by only applying very thin coats.

Make sure to check with the manufacturer's directions during this step in case you have to deal with "blushing", a thin layer that can sometimes form on the surface of epoxy when it cures. This could cause your layers to not stick to each other. If your epoxy does blush, it's easy to just wipe the entire boat down with a rag soaked in acetone after each coat has cured. Some people sand between coats of epoxy. This is how you would make an extremely smooth/shiny finish, so if you want your boat to be museum quality, invest the effort. I'm planning on banging my boat around so opted out of an extreme, fancy, mirror finish.

I was originally going to paint the exterior of the hull, which would require priming and painting, but I'm leaving it bright for the time being. The good news is that you can always paint later if you change your mind, but if you paint it and change your mind, it's tough to go back. There aren't a lot of pics of this step, which took a couple of days because there wasn't much visible progress after that first coat went on. At this point, any surface that's not painted should be varnished using the same "roll and tip" method as the epoxy, with the optional sanding between coats. Note that epoxy has no UV resistance, so to keep your boat from getting sunburned, you must either paint or varnish every surface. Giving a boat a "museum quality" paint and/or varnish finish can literally take as long as building the boat.

Step 10: Making the Sail...

Making the Sail...

Another step you can do while other parts are curing is make the sail. This particular design uses a "lug" sail, a classic looking sail for small boats with wood masts. It increases the sail area (therefore the force generated by the wind) without it having to be as tall as a modern sailboat mast made of aluminum. There is a kit from an online sailmaking company that you can get for a reasonable price. The Dacron cloth panels are all cut out by a CNC machine, so they fit perfectly together. I used a regular, domestic sewing machine, not an industrial one. The only time I had trouble was when sewing through all 7 layers at the reinforcement patches. When I got to those parts, I had to manually push down on the foot of the sewing machine with a flat-bladed screwdriver (minus) to help push the needle through the Dacron. We jokingly call Philips head screwdrivers "plus".

The panels/parts all come labeled. The directions were a bit confusing because they suggest you make sub-assemblies after the fact to make wrangling the large sail easier but they mention it after you've already sewn the large panels together. It's important to understand what parts go together while the panels are still small and more manageable. For example, the batten pockets are tricky enough to build on a single panel, much less the finished sail. Building the sail was about as difficult for me as building the boat, but it was worth it.

The lug sail gets reinforcement patches on all four corners where you attach it to the spars (bend), and there's also a reefing point for when the wind starts to pick up (freshen). Modern sails have three corners (Marconi rig).

I opted for the less expensive white Dacron sail kit, but there's also a classic red (tanbark) colored kit that's $100 more expensive. Before I sewed a single stitch, I carefully traced every part of the sail kit onto painter's tarp poly film so I can always use the templates to build another sail, all I need to do is buy the tanbark cloth.

Step 11: Rigging Your Sailboat...

Rigging Your Sailboat...

This seems to be the trickiest part for most people, probably because there are numerous ways it can be successfully rigged, depending on your experience, preferences or criteria. It's confusing because you have to know what the finished setup will look like in your mind while you're staring at a pile of ropes. I chose a setup that allows the most room in the cockpit for a full-sized adult, so the mainsheet is led forward of the skipper's position. This keeps the skipper's attention forward so they're looking where they're going. I have another boat where the mainsheet is behind the skipper and it takes some practice getting used to.

The lines I made up (rope becomes a line when you give it a job description) were the halyard (hauls the sail up), the mainsheet (adjusts the angle of the sail to the wind = trim) and a traveler bridle (where the mainsheet attaches to the boat). I got fancy and spliced all my ends, but you can just as well use a bowline knot.

I installed a cheek block at the top of the mast instead of the large diameter hole in the directions. I wanted the halyard to run as smoothly as possible when setting the sail. Then I installed a pair of cleats at the base of the mast, one for the halyard and one for the downhaul (cunningham). With both of these lines pulling in opposite directions, it locks the sail in place, flat, so it effectivley acts like a wing. The main halyard attaches to the gaff with a snap onto a padeye. This allows easy on/easy off when rigging at the boat ramp. I also used a small loop (parrel) around the mast and through the eye to keep the gaff located close to the mast. I looped the downhaul over the boom and down to the cleat to try to keep the gooseneck from twisting. Note, except for the blocks, just about all of the hardware used on rigging a boat this size can come in stainless steel or brass/bronze, depending on the look you're going for. If you plan on installing oarlocks to row the boat, this decision becomes even more important to the final look of the boat.

For the mainsheet, I made a short bridle between the handles on the transom with a small eye tied in the center. This allows a place for the snap on the end of the mainsheet to attach to. I could've just as easily allowed the snap to slide, which would give the bridle the function of a traveler, but would affect its pointing ability (sail upwind). The mainsheet is then run to a block on the end of the boom, then to another block in the middle of the boom. This leaves the main cockpit area unobstructed with running rigging. Make sure your mainsheet is long enough for your boom to swing forward of 90° to the boat, with enough to still come back to the cockpit for the skipper to control. A stop knot at the end of the mainsheet will keep the mainsheet from getting away from you and give you something to grip.

The rudder pivot hardware (gudgeons and pintles) must be installed perfectly vertical and on the exact centerline of the boat so that she will sail well. Drill and fill the necessary holes for this hardware. Be careful with the spacing. It's designed to be easily installed and uninstalled while underway.

With this particular rigging layout, when under sail, the skipper must constantly keep the mainsheet in hand, which is a good idea anyway for safety reasons (if you get hit by a gust of wind = puff, you won't get blown over = capsize). The tension on the mainsheet is easily manageable for any size skipper. On larger boats, the mainsheet is held by a fiddle block with a cam cleat, which is not necessary for a boat this size. With that being said, a possible future upgrade would be to install a block and a camcleat somewhere on the centerline of the boat so that more advanced sailors wouldn't need to constantly have to oppose the tension on the mainsheet. Of course the trade-off would be the hardware would probably be somewhere you might want to sit.

Another upgrade I figured out after actually taking her sailing would be to rig up a bungee/shock cord system that will hold the daggerboard both in an up and down position. With the current setup, the centerboard is held down by gravity and must be pulled out of the slot when beaching.

Step 12: Go SAILING!


Because I wanted to be able to go sailing by myself if needed, I made a dolly out of 2x4's and large pneumatic tires (which makes the dolly float). The dolly fits securely between the center and aft thwarts when driving out to the lake. The sides on the dolly lock against the skids on the bottom of the boat so it can't twist. Roll the sail up with the spars and wrap it with the main halyard. At the designed length, the mast doesn't fit inside the boat, but it seems a bit long, so some people have cut the mast down enough so that it fits inside the boat.

Out at the lake, unload the boat, slide the dolly underneath and you're ready to roll down to the ramp. At the launch, roll the boat out into the water until it floats off the dolly, toss the dolly off to the side out of everybody else's way. Drop the daggerboard into the slot and install the rudder assembly. Facing into the wind (important), stick the mast into the receiver hole (partner), tie off the downhaul (cunningham) and hoist the sail until the downhaul is tight, then cleat off the main halyard. Reave the mainsheet (run the line through the blocks) and you're ready to go sailing.

I've found that this boat sails very well. The lug sail makes it very easy to sail upwind (weather helm), it's a little more tender for a large adult, more so than a boat with a hard chine, like an El Toro/Optimist but it's a lot more graceful looking. The payload is very reasonable for a boat this size. My wife and son can easily (and safely) go sailing with me and I don't even need anyone's help to get it rigged and launched. All in all, this is one of the best projects I've every built. I hope you too can discover the joy of building your own boat and then take her sailing. Remember, in sailing, the wind is free, but nothing else is...

This is my very first Instructable after many years of referencing this excellent site to build numerous cool projects (you should see my next post). Anyway, I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to ask any questions you may have and I'll do my best to answer them. I'm planning on building a larger boat in the near future so stay tuned...

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Build a small sailboat free plans.

Small Sailboat Build Plans

These plans are for a small 15 foot knockabout sailboat.

I like these plans for their ease. Building a smaller boat is a lot more attainable than a cabin cruiser! And these plans get right to the specifics of building. From the plans:

ANY SAILBOAT fancier will like "Tramp," the trim, 15-ft. knockabout that's so easy to build in plywood. The first operation is to cut the stem, transom and side planks and assemble the forms.

Use casein or waterproof glue under the butt strap joining the side planks together. Forms can be made of almost any scrap material on hand. If you are a good enough mechanic, they can be dispensed with and correctly beveled frames made to their exact shape can be placed permanently in the boat. Screw-fasten the oak frame at sides and bottom on the inside of the transom. Then notch out the bottom of the frame to receive the keel batten...

The transom is placed last and must be beveled so that the side planks fit tightly against the cleats and the transom edge. Be sure to place white lead and a thin thread of cotton between planks and stem and transom prior to joining them together...

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small wood sailboat plans

IDEA 19 originates in 2005 as a modification of Dudley Dix’s TLC 19, a small GRP trailerable sailboat; at the end of the work the only things left from the original project were hull lines, every other aspect of the project was refined, boosted up, and modernized and the plans were converted to a modern wood-plywood and epoxy building system.

6,25 m

1600 kg
6,00 m 23,1 m2
2,25 m 15,8 m2

1,56 m – 0.25 m

7,3 m2
260 kg 24 m2

(masthead optional: 40 m2)

9,30 m € 580,00
1000 kg

Our first and best selled plan suited for homebuilders.

IDEA 19 originates in 2005 as a modification of Dudley Dix’s TLC 19, a small GRP trailerable sailboat; at the end of the work the only things left from the original project were hull lines, every other aspect of the project was refined, boosted up, and modernized and the plans were converted to a modern wood-plywood and epoxy building system. IDEA19  is a 6m fast paced trailerable sailboat; she can be built by homebuilders in both GRP and wood-plywood & epoxy resin, with strip planking system for hull, and plywood “stitch and glue” system for cockpit, deck and cabin; plans are suited for homebuilders ranging from absolute beginners to intermediate;

hull is a good balance between a quite full bow, sleek amidship lines and a flat and large transom; the boats have achieved a huge amount of miles sailed, both cruising and racing, in all conditions, including several nasty squalls; performance are very sparkly, and the cockpit is surprisingly dry and sound for a small sailboat, with fair and predictable reactions; she has proved to be a tough competitor in club racing (GPH approx. 740 for ORC club rating).

IDEA 19 plans grew in these years as a “family“ of sailboats: you can build her in a long cabin version or in a shorter one, with a really huge cockpit, both in sandwich GRP or in wood & epoxy resin, with retractable or fixed keel, with plywood chined or solid wood round cabin; plans are highly detailed, including all aspects of building and rigging the boat.

The boats launched have sailed thousand miles in these years, in a wide range of environments, from lakes to the open sea, and in a wide range of activities, from family cruising to club racing ; they took beatings in harsh sea conditions up to 30 knots of wind, clocked speed in excess 18 knots planing downind; the boat proved to be a study, forgiving, fun and fast pocket rocket , a very good choice given her overall dimensions.

A lot of building pictures and whole building sequences are on the web, which is something that can mark the difference and speed up the boat building process.


Plans are available both in Italian and English.

Plans are available in imperial units upon request.

small wood sailboat plans

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small wood sailboat plans

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A selection of Free Boat Plans that can be viewed and / or downloaded.

These free to download wooden boat plans (pdf) were first published in magazines such as "Popular Mechanics", "Popular Science" and the "Boat Builder's Handbook".

  • Rowing Boats
  • Sailing Boats

small wood sailboat plans

Back Issues for Sale

"Popular Science" magazine and "Popular Mechanics" back issues can be viewed online at Google Books.

All these free boat plans can be built by anyone with a common sense modicum and a few basic woodworking skills and tools. However, if you have not got the skills and tools yet, this is a great way to acquire them.

One of the beauties of building yourself is that you do not have to buy everything at once, just get what you need when you can afford it.

While some of the instructions suggest using exterior plywood, I would always recommend using marine grade.

If you need help with lofting out the plans click here for an article here which should help.

small wood sailboat plans

Canoe Free Boat Plans 

canoe plans

Combining the features of both kayak and canoe, "Blue Bill" is for those out-of-doors-men who hunt or the sportsmen who need an ultra-light-weight portable boat for use upon any waters.

Besides being usable to build a double-end paddling model, a few changes permit the plans to be used for making a canoe that will accommodate outboard motors up to 6 hp. for swift, speedy transportation on any stream or waterway.

Weighing only 75 lbs. complete, "Blue Bill" is easily transported atop an auto anywhere.

Click Here for the Plans

Canvasback canoe plans

This kayak is the answer for young people who want to build an inexpensive boat for summer fun. A shop full of power tools is not necessary, either. All the work can be done with ordinary hand tools and a few C clamps. This Free Boat Plan will carry one adult but it's handiest when paddled by a youngster. The boat is stable in the water and, even though it can be turned over, it will not sink. It's also light enough to be carried with ease. Building is so simple that the 'Jig' consists of only two blocks and a few bricks. 

Hunting Kayak

Hunting Kayak canoe plans

For many years a favorite of hunters, trappers and traders the kayak now is as popular with Europeans as the outboard boat is with Americans.

Although this boat was designed to carry two people, it will accommodate three in a pinch and gear may be stowed under fore and after decks.

A few strokes with the double paddle will send it gliding across the water with the minimum of effort on your part.

Kayaks are surprisingly seaworthy, too — more stable than a canoe, in fact, because the occupants sit on the bottom of the hull which lowers the center of gravity. 

Pintail and 10ft Duck Boat


'Pintail' drawn from plans by Wm D Jackson is another of the Free Boat Plans from the 'Boat Builder Handbook'. This one is being built by Greg Allore .

glid easy canoe plan

If you have ever struggled with the oars of a heavy, slow-moving rowboat and then paddled a swift, high maneuverable canoe you can appreciate why many true sportsmen prefer canoes.

But, too often, the multi-ribbed conventional canoe is not only hard to build but too thin-skinned for hard usage.

This Free Boat Plan teams up plywood and fiberglass to produce a tough, scrape-proof canoe you can build in one-tenth the time it would take you to turn out a conventional canoe.

The use of only one frame offsets the extra weight of using plywood, so that this canoe is still light enough for comfortable portage. 

Little Chief

free canoe plans

Little Chief is a canoe with many virtues, ideally adapted to quick, easy construction.

Canoes are not easy to build, but here is one Free Boat Plan that can be made of ordinary materials for a fraction of the cost of conventional canoes.

It has attractive molded lines and may be built either as a paddling model or, with slight changes, adapted for use with small outboard motors.

free wooden canoe plans

In all countries of the world, particularly the United States, the kayak is enjoying newfound popularity.

Here's a nimble, lightweight craft that has its roots in the Arctic as a basic instrument of survival, yet is branching out as a modern outdoor sport on our own rivers and lakes.

To the Eskimo, a kayak is more than a boat.

When he's laced into his whale-bone and walrus-hide craft, he's ready for anything in the way of water or weather.

To most of us, however, a kayak is pure adventure and fun.

It's perfect for poking around uninhabited Islands, exploring the bends of a lazy, winding river, or just breaking the peaceful surface of a placid lake at sunset.

Redwood Canoe

canoe free plans

You can build this 74lb, 16 foot canoe using redwood strips, an old boat-building technique.

Two persons can sit side by side in the center with one person at each end and plenty of room for gear.

This canoe is formed around plywood templates using redwood strips glued edge to edge.

You lay up the strips, remove the form, and the canoe is complete, except for fiberglassing and putting in the seats. 

The plans can also be used to build a 13-foot version of this strip planked canoe.

or Click Here for the Free Plans

redwood canoe

Houseboat Free boat Plans

Budget houseboat (trailerable).

Budget-Houseboat plans

The Budget Houseboat is like a camper that goes on water.

She's 20 ft. long with a 9-ft. beam, containing 300 sq. ft. of usable floor area.

This means that while she can accommodate two in outrageous comfort, she can easily take a family of four on an extended vacation and be entirely self-contained.

There are two full-size permanent bunks in the forward section of the cabin.

The dining table, in the rear section of the cabin, seats four and then drops down to convert into an extra bunk 6 ft. 4 in. long and 38 in. wide.

Cabin headroom is 6 ft. 2 in., and two cots can be stationed to the rear of the cabin area.

Bayou Belle

Bayou Belle houseboat plans

Bayou Belle is a 25' scow that can be built as a sports utility, a fishing boat, or a houseboat, depending on your requirements for pleasure offshore.

As a sports utility, she can be used for towing water skiers and for cruising, as a fishing boat, she offers a stable platform with plenty of elbow room and stowage space.

As a houseboat, she has roomy interior accommodations for a leisurely life afloat.

Construction of Bayou Belle makes use of prefabricated sections, which means that much of the work can be done indoors in the average garage during the cold winter months, and the boat completed outdoors in time for launching in late spring.


Float-A-Home houseboat plans

A houseboat is a unique water craft in that it combines most of the comforts of home with the mobility of a boat.

Of course, use is limited to sheltered waters, and speeds are slow in comparison to more sea worthy vessels.

Float-A-Home is a 21-footer that provides plenty of living space for three or four persons.

An extremely simple houseboat to build, the free boat plans feature a strong hull with a heavy keel and close-spaced framing.

This, coupled with a relatively low profile, makes it a very stable craft.

Click Here for the free Plans

Float a Home

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I am perfectly aware that the majority of Wooden Boat aficionados are sensible folk. However, I need to point out that I am an amateur wooden boat enthusiast simply writing in order to try to help other amateur wooden boat enthusiasts. And while I take every care to ensure that the information in DIY Wood is correct, anyone acting on the information on this website does so at their own risk. Logo

18 Homemade Wood Boat Plans You Can DIY Easily

18 Homemade Wood Boat Plans You Can DIY Easily

While the blissful and fun feeling a wooden boat offers while cruising in the calm waters is unparalleled, it is sometimes a luxury we cannot afford. Yes, quality wooden boats can cost a fortune!

How’d you like it if we say you can DIY a fantastic wooden boat from scratch all by yourself and for much cheaper?

It is an unmentioned fact that you’ll need a couple of pairs of helping hands and at least a basic woodworking skill, but the trouble you go through is so worth it in the end. We cannot wait any longer! Read on to find out 18 brilliant DIY wood boat ideas.

Table of Contents

1.   Build a Boat Out Of Pine Wood

2.   how to build a wooden boat, 3.   10 minute boat build || boat build start to finish, 4.   how to build a wooden boat, 5.   building a cedar strip canoe (full montage), 6.   the ultimate 5-day diy plywood boat build, 7.   wooden boat build (part 1), 8.   how to build a wooden boat step by step, 9.   fastest wooden big boat modern technology, 10.  diy balloon-powered wooden toy boat, 11.  wooden boat build – 17ft flat bottom skiff, 12.  build a wooden boat, 13.  to build a wooden boat: chapter one, 14.  building a wooden boat, 15.  amazing modern technology skill wooden boat building process, 16.  how to build a boat, 17.  building a wooden boat in my garage, 18.  building a wooden deep v skiff.

Woodworking Tools in this video demonstrates a fast-forwarded tutorial on building a small wooden boat using pine wood.

On the downside, if you’re a beginner, you might find this tutorial hard to follow, as no specific instructions or step-by-step elaboration is given in this tutorial. Nevertheless, if you’re a fantastic observant, the DIY process is quite clearly demonstrated.


Are you a DIY noob when it comes to boatbuilding? If yes, we’d highly recommend this guide by Deep Sailing . A major decision one has to make while DIYing a wooden boat is to select the type of wood you want to work with.

Luckily, you’ll not only find step-by-step DIY instructions in this post but will also be provided with details on types of wood and different DIY boatbuilding methods . This post is a gem!

With proper tools and mediocre handyman skills, one can easily replicate what the Youtuber from Bourbon Moth Woodworking has accomplished in this video.

The end product is fantastic. So are the comments in this video. What’s more, this channel features plenty of other fascinating DIYs. Do check them out!


So, you’ve decided to build a wooden boat from scratch but don’t know where to start? Well, we’d say right here!

Gather supplies as per the list at the beginning of the post, buy a plan or design one yourself if you’re capable, and follow these seven well-organized steps to build a fantastic wooden boat for yourself. If you do, do share your experience with us!

What are your thoughts on building a cedar strip canoe? If your response is positive, here’s a fantastic DIY cedar strip canoe build video by A Guy Doing Stuff .

What we liked the most about this channel is that the Youtuber has further linked a few other topic-related resources in the description box from where his viewers can benefit. If this build has fascinated you, here are the 18 videos of this DIY series.


This short blog by Totalboat provides its readers with a brief insight on how Jason Hibbs from Bobon Moth Woodworking and Michael Alm from Alm Fabrications DIYed a wooden boat in a span of 5 days.

What’s amusing is that they didn’t even have a plan to start with. Watch the videos attached at the end of this post if you want to see how his DIY process went.

The Youtuber from Teys Cocset has presented a sequence of DIY images from his plywood boat build. He has used the stitch and glue method for this project. If this design is what you’d like to replicate, here is the second part of the boat build.


Here’s another step-by-step tutorial on how to build a wooden boat from Ride the Ducks of Seattle . The post features tools and a supply list, followed by 15 organized steps on the DIY process.

What’s more, there are a few solid tips the blogger would like to share with you regarding the project such that it becomes a major success in the first go. Don’t miss out on them!

The Youtuber from DIY Wooden Boat demonstrates to his viewers how to build a plywood boat. Unfortunately, the explanation in the video is not in English. Nevertheless, all the steps are clearly shown, and you can definitely take this video as an inspiration.


The blogger from Adventure in a Box shares with his readers how his family is crazy about ships and boats. Sounds relatable?

If yes, you’ll definitely love this brilliant ballon-powered DIY wood boat idea . If you have children, bring a smile to their faces with this project, and if you don’t, you always have your inner child who’s desperate for fun, playful times. This project looks so fun that we cannot wait to to DIY one for ourselves!

Here’s a video tutorial on building a 17 ft flat-bottom skiff by World boat skiff !

This tutorial video features a step-by-step explanation of the process accompanied by documented images from throughout the process. The attention to detail is excellent, and you’ll definitely be able to replicate this design.


Now, if you don’t have a plan and are in the dark regarding the supplies and dimensions you need to build a wooden boat, look no further! We’ve got a perfect tutorial for you.

Will Shelton from Mother Earth News decided to clone a skiff his father built and has shared with his readers all the plans, designs, and dimensions for the project.

This is definitely one of the most detailed written tutorials for both DIY noobs and experts to follow. We hope Mr. Shelton’s tutorial will be a great help to you.

The description of the video says – This is not a ‘How-to’ series but a ‘Why you should’ series. To all the boating and boat DIY fanatics, you shouldn’t sleep on this content put out by Matt Dean Films .

This is just ‘Chapter one’ of the series, and the further chapters are expected to be published throughout 2022. Stay tuned!


For his fellow boat DIY enthusiasts, Msil3070 has shared all his plans and his entire DIY process in detail in this post on Instructables .

You can find all the materials, their dimensions , and tools required for the DIY at the beginning of the tutorial. The project took 4 months for Msil3070 to complete. Let us know how long it took for you!

The Youtubers from DIY Wooden Boat have built a professional-looking sleek wooden boat in this video. This DIY features a cold-molded hull.

While this is not a serious tutorial per se, you can definitely take ideas and inspiration from this video. What’s more, this channel features plenty of wooden boat DIYs and other boat-related videos. Boat fanatics will surely find them fascinating.


When it comes to ‘How-tos’, Wikihow never fails to deliver. If you’re a beginner in woodworking DIYs, this 12 ft by 30 inch and 11-inch deep canoe build tutorial using the stitch and glue method is perfect for your first boatbuilding project.

As always, every step of the process is elaborated in detail with clear illustrations. Also, don’t forget to check the tips and warning section at the end of the blog.

Clint Hauger, in this video, DIYs a 19ft Albion Skiff designed by Jeff Spira. The tutorial is in a slideshow format accompanied by a brief explanation of each step.

Everyone in the comment section is raving about how great the build is. This video is short yet extremely informative!

Learn how to build a 14’6’’ wooden V skiff by watching this video tutorial by Robin Hodgkinson. The original plan of this build was ‘Little Moby’ by Charles Wittholz to which many changes were made.

The Youtuber elaborates on steps involved, tips, tricks, successes, failures, and warnings in this video. He also shares the plans and designs at the beginning of the video. Overall, this video is surely worth the watch!

So, which among these 18 wood boat DIY ideas did you find most easy to replicate?

While it is important to be honest to yourself regarding your handyman skills while attempting DIYs like these, you can always start small to gain skill and confidence. Also, you can always request a pair of helping hands for the project.

Have you ever DIYed a boat? If yes, what was your experience? What are the Dos and Don’ts? Help fellow DIY enthusiasts out!

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The designs where there is a YELLOW BACKGROUND are the designs for which CUTTING FILES are available.







 Several versions. 



 Several versions in one set of BOAT PLANS. or



















Fast cruising





if you are interested in this design.













Several versions. or  







small wood sailboat plans

  • Basic Kayaking Knowledge , Learn

15 Free Boat Plans You Can Build This Week (with PDFs)

Boatbuilding is one of the most ancient forms of craftsmanship still alive today. As long as our ancestors have had a curiosity about exploring open waters, they have been practicing and honing their boatbuilding skills.

To be honest, however, building a boat is no small task. It will require a lot of work and patience to ultimately create a finished product that you are happy with and that is actually seaworthy.

Of course, we have also included a few free boat plans. You can keep in your back pocket for the next time you are asked to build a cardboard boat as part of a contest or lakefront teambuilding adventure.

We hope that these resources help you in your journey to build your own boat!

Resources for free boat plans with PDFs

Photo by SeventyFour via Shutterstock

Free Boat Plans

  • The Wanigan
  • The Slipper

The Handy Andy

  • The Jolly Roger
  • The Hobby Kat

The White Duck

  • The Sea Midge

The Crazy Cardboard Boat

Why Build Your Own Boat?

small wood sailboat plans

Photo by Halsey via Shutterstock

There are a lot of reasons why you should explore building your own boat versus buying a pre-made model. Here is a quick breakdown of the most obvious benefits:

  • You will know the ins and outs of your finished boat better than anyone
  • It can be a great project to work on with your teenage or even adult children
  • You will gain valuable skills molding and shaping wood and other materials
  • You can design your boat for your specific needs
  • You don’t have to trust the sometimes-questionable manufacturing of mass-produced boats
  • You can create a boat that functions as your second home on the water
  • You can save money if you source materials mindfully

Of course, most first-time boatbuilders still experience some level of trial-and-error. With patience and perseverance, however, you can craft a one-of-a-kind vessel that has no equal anywhere in the world.

Free Boat Plans You Can Build This Week (with PDFs)

1. the wanigan.

PC Duckworks Boat Builders Supply

The Wanigan boat began as a garvey design, which is one of the older boat plans known to the Americas. Traditionally, these boats were built as work scows and were very popular among American summer camps.

The design itself is very simple, but these boats can carry heavy loads. It can also handle a trolling motor being mounted to the stern so you can cover more ground if you want to use it as a fishing boat.

The creator of this boat plan became aware of some of the downsides of the garvey design, such as the heavier weight that made it less efficient than some other designs. So he combined elements of dory and wanigan designs to create a hybrid.

The main changes include an enlarged beam, tilted lathes to provide a stiffer hull, and knocking off the top strakes to reduce the boat’s overall weight.

The Wanigan text

These additional The Wanigan drawings   may also prove useful for your build process!

2. The Mouse

small wood sailboat plans

The Mouse is one of the most compact and nimble boat plans we have found for this list. It is an easy build and also a great boat for two kids or a single teenage paddler.

The original builder began with a one-sheet boat design in an effort to create the lightest and most affordable boat possible. This means it is only suited for calm waters and should not be used in high winds or wavy conditions.

That said, it was built in roughly 12 to 24 hours of work time and doesn’t require a full workshop to construct. The main material that is required for building this boat is quarter-inch plywood. But the builder recommends using one-inch by half-inch pine or something a little sturdier.

The plywood and pine components are held together using a method called ”˜stitch and glue’. This method requires choosing one of the best glues for kayak outfitting , which are typically made of epoxy and glass tape rather than something cheaper like polyurethane.

The Mouse Instructions

Also, here are a few extra useful The Mouse Notes for builders

3. The Slipper

small wood sailboat plans

The Slipper is the first of many sailboat plans on our list and it is faster, easier, and cheaper to build than most. It also features a deeper cockpit than many other sailboat designs, which makes it safer for intermediate sailors.

This sailboat plan features dual steering stations so that you can sail from inside or outside of the helm. It also includes a centerboard trunk that hardly intrudes into the cabin at all. So that, it is easier to work around while you are in the cockpit.

The exterior hull and cabin of this sailboat feature a modified dory design using two sheets of plywood ripped to three feet wide before being joined together. The resulting hull is a modified V-shape that reduces drag.

The centerboard of this boat can also be winched up to the level of the top of the cabin or lowered down to alter the draft. This allows you to customize the boat design for a stiffer and more weather-worthy vessel if you need it.

The Slipper was also intentionally designed with an aft cabin that naturally helps to keep the bow pointed into the wind whether you are underway or the boat is anchored in the port.

The Building Slipper

4. The Handy Andy

small wood sailboat plans

PC DIY Wood Boat

The Handy Andy is a great little 10-foot portable rowboat for hunting, camping, fishing, and other recreational uses. It is actually the only folding boat design on our list, which makes it best for folks that need the most portable boat plan possible.

This boat features a 42-inch beam and a depth of about 15 inches at the mid-section. It also weighs roughly 80 pounds when assembled and can handle up to three average-sized human passengers.

The design boasts a flat bottom with canvas-bound edges and the primary material used for construction is ⅜-inch marine-grade plywood. Despite its lightweight nature, this rowboat can handle trolling motors or even outboard motors with a maximum of five horsepower.

Once finished, the hull can be folded or unfolded in less than a minute’s time.

This design makes it one of the only boats on this list that can be stored in a truck bed or easily carried by two people to be launched at more remote locations.

5. The Junior

The Junior - Free Boat Plan

If you are looking for an all-purpose dinghy that can handle almost any use you might imagine, look no further than The Junior free boat plan. It can carry three or four average-sized adults and is much easier to row than a traditional dinghy.

It is also durable enough to be equipped with a small outboard motor. You could even set it up with sailing equipment if you want to use it as a sailing vessel. As we said, this is truly an all-around boat design!

This boat plan requires constructing three frames that will provide the majority of the load-bearing support. The builder recommends using ¾-inch framing with ⅜-inch plywood as the exterior material for this boat build.

Resin glue and flathead screws are also required to hold this boat together. But there is a full list of materials included in the plans we have linked to below. Sticking to that plan should also give you enough leftover materials to construct two six-foot oars for rowing this boat until you install a trolling motor or outboard motor down the line!

6. The Jolly Roger

small wood sailboat plans

Channel your inner Captain Morgan when you are following these plans to build your very own Jolly Roger boat. This flat bottom boat design is designed for pond fishing . It can also be a useful yacht dinghy for getting from your dock to a larger vessel anchored offshore.

The plan follows conventional dinghy construction methods but also includes a few modifications that will save you time and energy. The wide design is super stable for boaters of all ages.

The keel, frame, chines, and risers are all cut from ¾-inch oak, ash, or any other trusted hardwood you can get your hands on. For the smaller components, the builder recommends using cedar, cypress, fir, or white or yellow pine.

Because this boat plan is also sturdy enough to handle a small motor, it includes important points for protecting the wooden hull from spark plug damage.

Be careful to follow these guidelines to build the safest boat possible if you imagine installing a motor down the line.

The Jollyroger

7. The Cork

small wood sailboat plans

The Cork is another simple rowboat design. This one trends away from the flat bottom plans that we have included thus far. Instead, it features a deeper, V-shaped hull that makes it better suited to more efficient rowing and easier maneuverability.

It can be rowed easily from either seating position and is durable enough to handle up to three average-sized adult passengers. The ends of the boat are identical, which allows for multi-directional rowing.

The list of materials required for this boat plan should cost you between $30 and $50, depending on your location and hardware costs there. The resulting build is lightweight enough for two people to be carried and also to be transported on top of a vehicle .

Inside the boat, the builders use aluminum tubing to secure the struts that hold the seats. This material choice keeps the overall weight of the boat down while still adding the necessary rigidity across the beam of the boat.

8. The Hobby Kat

small wood sailboat plans

The Hobie Cat is one of the most iconic and recognizable small sailing vessels ever made. This Hobby Kat plan is your answer to building your own iconic sailboat without spending thousands of dollars.

Your finished boat will be able to handle speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. It will be a super fun vessel for windy days on the lake or bay. The builder was able to construct the hulls, decking, and rudder for this boat while spending little more than $200.

From there, they purchased and installed the mast, boom, sail, and rigging, which brought the total amount spent to roughly $650 (still much less than a name-brand Hobie!). Without the mast and sail, this boat weighs roughly 165 pounds and is constructed using primarily 3/16-inch marine plywood.

You can also elect to build your own mast, boom, and sail if you have the time and skills to do so.

Those elements are not included in this boat plan, but they do offer some recommendations for where to buy these components!

The HobbyKat

9. The Tern

small wood sailboat plans

Named after the common seabird found around the world, the Tern is a lightweight and nimble sailboat with a 72 square foot base design. She is made for inland sailing and planes very well in moderate breezes.

The hull design also provides minimal water resistance and the small floor plan makes this boat easier for intermediate sailors to handle. Even though it offers a small footprint, this boat is sturdy enough to handle up to four adult passengers.

One of the best things about this boat plan is that it can be built almost entirely by using only common hand tools.

Of course, you can speed things up if you have power tools and you are skilled enough to use them correctly.

The Tern boat plan includes a 20-foot mast, but you can shorten that length if you desire. The plan includes a complete list of materials and step-by-step instructions on how to plane and assemble each element.

10. The Falcon

small wood sailboat plans

As you might expect from its name alone, the Falcon is an incredibly speedy sailboat for its size. It boasts a 14-foot centerboard and can handle two to four passengers, depending on its size and weight.

In tests of the original build, the creators claim that this boat out-distanced many Snipe and Comet sailing vessels as well as pacing evenly alongside longer 18-foot sailboats. When finished, your boat will have a six-foot beam and a total weight of roughly 475 pounds.

For the main framing components, they recommend using white oak and plywood will be the main material used in the hull construction. The hull features a V-shaped that was inspired by larger schooners.

The Falcon is best suited to sailing on bays, lakes, and wide rivers. It is also a boat plan with just under 120 square feet of deck space and it is a great build for amateur craftsmen and sailors.

11. The White Duck

small wood sailboat plans

The White Duck is a flat-bottomed rowboat with a total length of 13’6” and a four-foot beam. The cockpit is approximately 15 inches deep all the way around and this boat can handle up to five passengers while maintaining buoyancy and stability.

When fully constructed, it will weigh roughly 200 pounds, but the final weight will depend on the type of lumber you choose for your build. This boat plan features plywood planking over solid wooden frames.

The White Duck is built with a pointed bow that cuts nicely through the water. The flat stern of this boat design will make it easy to attach a small outboard motor with a maximum of six horsepower.

As you might expect from its name, this rowboat is a great option for duck hunting trips. That being said, it is a highly versatile craft that can also be used for pond fishing or casual rowing on your nearby lake.

12. The Sea Midge

small wood sailboat plans

The Sea Midge is one of the smallest rowboats on our list and it is ideally suited for one average-sized rower or two small paddlers. It is only about 8 feet in length and offers a 52-inch beam at its widest point.

The Midge’s small dimensions make her ideal for navigating narrower creeks and streams. With an approximate weight of 62 pounds, she is easy to maneuver on the water and can also be much more easily transported than some of the larger boat plans on our list

The Seamidge

13. The Zephyr

small wood sailboat plans

The Zephyr is a compact and speedy dinghy sailboat that measures roughly 14 feet long and approximately five feet across. This boat style was originally developed for safely crossing the English Channel. This means it can stand up well in rough waters.

When finished, it is also light enough to be transported on a small trailer or on top of a larger vehicle.

The boat plan calls for using hemlock or fir for the framing and oak or Douglas fir for the keel and chines.

14. The Gypsy

small wood sailboat plans

The Gypsy is a small cruising sailboat that is meant to be equipped with an outboard motor for powered locomotion. The original design resulted in an incredibly seaworthy vessel that logged more than 6,000 nautical miles in her lifetime.

It includes a comfortable cabin that makes it well-suited for multi-day sailing adventures. This boat plan includes improvements on the original design that will help you build an extremely durable and long-lasting sailboat.

The Gypsy boat design will help you construct a vessel that can handle a motor up to 25 horsepower so that you can enjoy cruising speeds of up to nine miles per hour.

While it may require a bit more of an investment in time and money, it will also help you produce one of the best boats you can build with a free boat plan!

15. The Crazy Cardboard Boat

small wood sailboat plans

PC Saint Dominic Catholic School

Finally, let’s talk about a crazy cardboard boat plan that you can build in less than a day. This is a great boat plan to bookmark for your next teambuilding project so that you can earn bragging rights with your coworkers.

The plan calls for using 1.5 sheets of cardboard. But you can use the remaining half sheet to build your own boat paddle if you want to get creative.

Triple-thick cardboard is best for this boat plan. But you can always double up thinner sheets if that is all you can find.

These plans include an easy-to-follow diagram for marking, cutting, and folding the cardboard sheets to create the hull of your boat. From there, it calls for using contact cement and construction adhesive to seal the edges and corners.

If you are looking to save a little money on this build you could also use duct tape and then wrap the entire design in plastic sheeting to provide waterproof qualities.

Overall, this build is one of the cheapest and easiest on our list. It is also a great project for hot summer camp days on the lake or river!

15 Free Boat Plans You Can Build This Week (with PDFs) – Final Thoughts

small wood sailboat plans

Photo by Alexandra Soloviova via Shutterstock

We hope that you now have a couple of free boat plans to inspire you to begin your own construction project.

Don’t hesitate to check out YouTube for some useful boat-building videos when you are getting into the nitty-gritty of these build processes!

Enjoyed 15 Free Boat Plans You Can Build This Week (with PDFs)? Share it with your friends so they too can follow the Kayakhelp journey.

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Free Boat Plans You Can Build This Week (with PDFs)

Peter Salisbury

Pete is the Owner of Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he grew up kayaking, fishing, sailing, and partaking in outdoor adventures around the Great Lakes. When he’s not out on the water, you can find him skiing in the mountains, reading his favorite books, and spending time with his family.

small wood sailboat plans

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, contains Sailboat Plans in PDF format for different styles and shapes of sailboats. 

:  A versatile craft is yours when you build this sturdy pram-it can be sailed either cat-rigged or sloop-rigged, paddled with oars or powered by a small outboard motor.

 Easy to build, small starter sailboat.

16-foot cruising sailboat that can be built complete on a low budget  It sleeps two comfortably on 6 foot 4 inch berths, and there’s sitting headroom in a cabin that has space for a chemical toilet and a small stove.  Very easy to build.

 12 foot sailboat that actually planes with one person aboard.  Easily to handle under her simple sail- this would make an ideal FIRST boat. 

 Another 12 ft sailboat that is easy to build with straight side hulls.   Very forgiving.  Ideal boat to learn or practice sailing in because she will forgive so many mistakes.

15 and 1/2 ft sailboat for day sailing on a small lake, river, or protected waters of a bay.  Of course, day sailing doesn’t mean you can’t go for a moon light cruise.  This boat is not equipped with a cabin, galley and bunks for overnight cruising. 

  A fast 13-foot sailboat.  As a one design, class, or general-purpose sailboat.  Jib and mainsail easily handled.  Points closely, foots quickly.  Ideal for protected waterways.  May be propelled with small outboard motors also.

is a general-purpose frisky 14 ft centerboard sailboat. It points closely and easily outdistances comparable one-design class boats.  This design is for those who want the very latest and best in small sailing craft.  Seats 4 persons. 

Sailing Pram, ideal for learning the basics of sailing, also fun for more experienced sailors.

24 foot long sailer, 9 foot 2 inches beam, 6000 pound displacement, and seats 3 persons. Takes a 10 - 25hp motor.

Really neat catamaran that is fast.  Asymmetrical hulls and special trampoline supports, the Hobby Kat can reach 20 mph. 

is a fiberglass sailboard. Lots of fun.  

is a speedy 30 mph planing sailboat.  With load of more than five passengers, boat reacts like any conventional displacement-type sailboat.  Length 20 foot with a beam of 6 foot 1 inch.  Capacity 4 to 6 maximum. 

is a 19-foot racing sailboat.  Small craft is designed for the backyard boat builder who wants competition or just plain speedy sailing at minimum cost.  50 inch beam.

is a 16 ft sailboat that can be built as a day sailor or a overnighter with cabin.  It is 70 inches wide.  Either model is constructed from the same basic design, and either model possesses unusual seaworthiness, stability, trim attractive lines, speed and ability to handle well on all points of sailing.

is a 10ft sailor, an outboarder, and an all around shoal draft utility boat for protected what fishing. .  This boat has an inverted V bottom, 65-inch beam and a 3-inch draft which combines to give two slim hulls that move with the lightest of breezes. 

is a 22-foot dory-sharpie.  This is a small, shallow-draft sailing craft, which combines sea-worthiness with economy and, with power, will make moderate speeds.

sporting an overall length of 27 feet 6 inches accommodates four people in 6 foot 4 inch bunks with enough space for a private head and a working galley.  You can live on this boat.  The Star-Lite is a proven design, improved slightly from the first ship built- the Tabu.  You can build it, but it will take some work!

 combines new materials with improved techniques of water dynamics, this sports sailor brings about a new concept of high in the –water speed sailing.  It rides over the surface instead of forcing its way through it.  Length is 18 feet with a 5 foot 8 inch beam, 2 people with a hull weight of 175 pounds.

is a flying sailor.  Nature foots the power bill when the boat you build carries 72 square foot of sail.  It is remarkably stable, and packs as many as four persons aboard.

is a refinement of a type of boat developed by the English for use in the rough open waters of the English Channel.

  • Model: DL-ADV-BTS-SLB

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Atkin & Co - Individualized Designs for Unregimented Yachtmen. Established 1906

  • Little Boats
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  • Under 20 feet
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  • Under 18 feet
  • 18 feet to 22 feet
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small wood sailboat plans

It is with a heavy heart that I have to pass along the news that Pat Atkin passed away peacefully yesterday (May 15, 2022). As I get more information, I'll pass it along. It has long been the plan to ensure the legacy of John and William Atkin's plans. All the plans are now in the expert care of Mystic Seaport. She will be greatly missed by the wooden boat community.

Here is a link to her Obituary

Boat plans are now offered through

Mystic Seaport Museum!



[email protected]

+1 (860) 572 5360

The name Atkin has long been associated with the best in basic boats. If you are looking for "the right little boat" to build -- or have built -- or if you just like to dream over boat plans -- you'll be delighted with the wooden boat design collections of John (1918-1999) and William (1882-1962) Atkin, which are now being sold by John's widow, Pat.

small wood sailboat plans

Having provided three generations with practical, well-proven wooden boat designs, our site offers more than 300 designs including famed Atkin double-enders, traditional offshore and coastal cruising yachts, rowing/sailing dinghies, utilities and houseboats. Many of the designs represent great simplicity and make excellent projects for amateur builders. Superbly drawn study plans, usually copies of the original "how-to-build" magazine articles by William or John Atkin, will help you choose the boat best suited to your level of boatbuilding skill.

Complete designs include the lines; table of offsets; construction plan elevation and sections; arrangement plan elevation and sections; sail plan (or outboard profile); deck plan and numerous details as required. Scantlings are lettered on the working drawings. Also included are Xerox prints of the original "how-to-build" text as it appeared in the MoToR BoatinG magazine articles written by Billy and John Atkin. All designs require lofting before building.

These plans contain all the information necessary for an amateur to successfully build a boat, but the older plans assume the builder has some familiarity with boat construction and the use of tools. Please Do Not stray from the plans and modify your Atkin boat. If you cannot resist the urge to second guess John or William Atkin you do so at your own risk; the resulting boat will no longer be an Atkin design and Atkin & Co. will take no responsibility for its performance! Just follow Billy Atkin's advice: "Now do not be tempted to pull the ends out, raise the sheer heights, swoop up the bow or stern, or do the many things a boat plan always impels one to do. Just put this... boat together and see how well she performs."

Unless otherwise specified, construction is traditional plank on frame. Most of the flat-bottom boats can easily be converted to plywood planking. V-bottoms with straight sections may look like plywood will wrap easily around them, but but in reality, V-bottoms not specifically designed for sheet plywood may be very difficult, or impossible, to plank with plywood sheets.

We are in a state of transition. No new orders are being accepted at this time.

Join the ATKIN BOATS group on Groups.IO to discuss Atkin designs and boats built from them.

Atkin & Co.

Below are illustrated descriptions of the boats in the Atkin catalog

  • Little Boats (10 Feet and Under)
  • Inboard Utilities & Runabouts
  • Inboard Cruisers
  • Sailboats & Auxiliaries
  • Index of Designs by Name
  • The Sea Remains the Same The Atkin Design Legacy
  • Pat Atkin's Art In addition to selling boat plans, Pat has achieved fame as a potter and sculptress

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Stitch & Glue Designs

solo skiff boat plans

The Flats River Skiff 12 is a light, compact and stable solo skiff to access shallow water.

  • 2″ – 4″ draft 
  • 1 person max

microskiff plans

The Flats River Skiff 14 is the big sister to the FRS-12 , a light weight 2 person solo style skiff.

  • 4′2″ beam
  • 3″ – 6″ draft @ 825 lbs
  • 2 people max

Flats Boat Plans

The Flats River Skiff 15 is a flats style 2 person shallow water hunting & fishing boat.

  • 15′ LOA
  • 5’4″ beam
  • 5″ – 7″ draft
  • 3 people max

FRS-16 buy boat plans

The Flats River Skiff 16 hits the sweet spot for a 3-4 person shallow water fishing boat.

  • 16’7″ LOA
  • 6’3″ beam
  • 8″ – 10″ draft
  • 4 people max

bay boat plans

The Flats River Skiff 18 is the perfect bay and flats fishing boat.

  • 18’6″ LOA
  • 7’3″ beam
  • 8″ – 11″ draft
  • 5 people max

Cold Molded Designs

small wood sailboat plans

The CS-18 is a smaller version of our original CS-21 for those looking for a smaller boat with lower freeboard to inshore waters.

  • Cruise 25-30mph

harkers island boat plans

The CS-21 was inspired by the iconic Harkers Island style work boats. This center console design features unmistakable lines, a Carolina flared bow and a modified V bottom.

  • 10″ – 12″ draft
  • Cruise 30mph

Carolina Bay Boat

The CB-17 is the sister design to the FRS-16.  She stands out as a custom flats boat with Carolina flare and rounded transom.

  • 17′ LOA
  • Cruise 25mph

Carolina Boat

The C-25 is a North Carolina sport fishing boat in a trailerable center console layout. With Carolina flared bow, broken shear and tumblehome she is an iconic design.

  • 28′ LOA (25’2″ hull)
  • 8′6″ beam
  • 16″ – 18″ draft
  • 350hp single or twin 200hp max
  • Cruise 30-35mph

More Info and Helpful Links

How to videos, plans & kits.


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  1. Sailboat Plans

    affiliate links Cabin Cruiser, Free Sailboat Plans Petrel You can build this 16ft boat as a day sailer or an overnighter with cabin. Petrel is a Free Sailboat Plan that fulfils the greatest possible variety of uses in one model, offering the builder either an open-cockpit racing craft with comfortable accommodation for day sailing or a snug cabin model with accommodation for overnight trips to ...

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  5. Step-By-Step Guide: How to Build a Wooden Sailboat

    A wooden sailboat can cost around $1,000 to build. (Source: Instructables) The boat is typically built from 4×8 sheets of plywood and measures 8 feet in length. (Source: Instructables) Various tools such as a pull-saw, table saw, router, sander, and drill are needed for building a wooden sailboat. (Source: Instructables)

  6. Wood Boat Plans, Wooden Boat Kits and Boat Designs

    The base price for a rowing version is $6,175.00, with a choice of sailing rigs available as optional extras. You can also order a bare hull to finish yourself. Give me a call at 207 930 9873, or send me an e-mail at [email protected]. I'm Arch Davis - I learned boatbuilding and design in New Zealand in the 1970s.

  7. Home

    Welcome to my website, your ultimate destination for small wooden sailing boat plans and more! Whether you're an avid sailor, a wooden boat DIY enthusiast, or simply dream of embarking on your own nautical adventure, we have everything you need to set sail on your favourite waterway.

  8. Wooden Boat Plans

    Westhaven 32. $ 285.00 - $ 300.00 (USD) Build your own sail boat yatch from 9 feet to 63 feet in length. Fully featured wooden boat plans for home construction in Plywood, Steel and Fibre Glass.

  9. Plans & Kits Search

    Plans & Kits. If you're in the market for a boat to build, this directory of Boat Plans & Kits is a fine place to start. And if your company sells plans or kits, we invite you to list your offerings here. There is no charge for listing, but the featured boats must be built of wood. To refine your search of this directory, use quotation marks.

  10. How to Build a Wood Sailboat

    Boat building plans. 8 panels of 1/4" oak plywood 4'x8' Pencil, Sharpie, ruler, tape measure, yard stick, etc. Long flexible straight edge. ... This particular design uses a "lug" sail, a classic looking sail for small boats with wood masts. It increases the sail area (therefore the force generated by the wind) without it having to be as tall ...

  11. Build a Small Sailboat Free Plans

    These plans are for a small 15 foot knockabout sailboat. I like these plans for their ease. Building a smaller boat is a lot more attainable than a cabin cruiser! And these plans get right to the specifics of building. From the plans: ANY SAILBOAT fancier will like "Tramp," the trim, 15-ft. knockabout that's so easy to build in plywood.

  12. IDEA 19

    Fractional gennaker: 24 m2. (masthead optional: 40 m2) Air draft: 9,30 m. Plans price: € 580,00. Light displ: 1000 kg. Plans can be purchased here: Nautikit idea 19 order page. Our first and best selled plan suited for homebuilders. IDEA 19 originates in 2005 as a modification of Dudley Dix's TLC 19, a small GRP trailerable sailboat; at the ...

  13. Sailboat Plans

    Choosing the Right Small Craft. PocketShip "PocketShip" is a small cruising sailboat of refined model, meant to sail well on all points, provide dry camping accommodations for two adults, and tow behind a four-cylinder car. More than 60 are sailing or under construction on six continents.... Kits from $4799.00 Plans from $299.00 Northeaster Dory

  14. Classic Wooden Boat Plans

    Home. Classic wooden boat plans is a collection of established wooden boat designs ranging from the early 1900's to about 1970. Some of our own designs are Banshee, Custom Barrelback 19 and the Deep V inspired by the Donzi Sweet 16, Bantam. Other plans include Chris Craft, Hacker, Gar Wood, Riva, Switzer, barrel back, Baby Bootlegger, Flyer ...

  15. Plans & Kits

    To download plans click HERE The idea for the 1 Wedge1 Sheet Wedge came from my desire for a simple, low cost, yet useful small portable hull design. It includes an ample beam and freeboard, decent volume, seating for one, and optional safety buoyancy...

  16. Clark Craft

    Our plans include large format full-size paper patterns, ready to use, no need to print them and no lofting required. DIGITAL PLANS - We also offer digital plans, sent by email, as an option. Digital plans, sometimes referred to as PDF plans, will need to be printed using a large format (36" wide) printer. Clark Craft offers hundreds of boat ...

  17. Free Boat Plans

    Free Boat Plans. A selection of Free Boat Plans that can be viewed and / or downloaded. These free to download wooden boat plans (pdf) were first published in magazines such as "Popular Mechanics", "Popular Science" and the "Boat Builder's Handbook". "Popular Science" magazine and "Popular Mechanics" back issues can be viewed online at Google ...

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    A great trailerable sailboat and big enough to accomodate a small family, great first boatbuilding project that you can complete from our plans and full size patterns in just a few months work. SEE MORE ... ALUMINUM or WOOD/EPOXY SEE MORE. BOAT PLANS & FULL SIZE PATTERNS - Package Includes latest sail boat plans, SAILBOAT building plan updates ...

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    PC DIY Wood Boat. The Gypsy is a small cruising sailboat that is meant to be equipped with an outboard motor for powered locomotion. The original design resulted in an incredibly seaworthy vessel that logged more than 6,000 nautical miles in her lifetime. It includes a comfortable cabin that makes it well-suited for multi-day sailing adventures.

  21. Sailboat Boat Plans 24 Designs, Small Wood Boat Plans Download

    24 Sailboat designs and plans, including: Bannock: A versatile craft is yours when you build this sturdy pram-it can be sailed either cat-rigged or sloop-rigged, paddled with oars or powered by a small outboard motor.. Biloxi Dinghy Sailboat Easy to build, small starter sailboat.. Blue Moon. 16-foot cruising sailboat that can be built complete on a low budget It sleeps two comfortably on 6 ...

  22. Atkin & Co.

    [email protected]. +1 (860) 572 5360. The name Atkin has long been associated with the best in basic boats. If you are looking for "the right little boat" to build -- or have built -- or if you just like to dream over boat plans -- you'll be delighted with the wooden boat design collections of John (1918-1999) and William (1882 ...

  23. Salt Boatworks: Custom Wooden Boat Plans, Jigs, Kits and How To Videos

    Learn More - Buy Plans / Jig. The C-25 is a North Carolina sport fishing boat in a trailerable center console layout. With Carolina flared bow, broken shear and tumblehome she is an iconic design. 28′ LOA (25'2″ hull) 8′6″ beam. 16″ - 18″ draft. 350hp single or twin 200hp max. Cruise 30-35mph.