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I built a skerry from plans
My page of free stitch and glue boat plans
Rowing and Rowboat Terminology
Leathering Oars How To
Making oars and paddles free plans and article links

Building a Stitch and glue Apple Pie Tender from free plans I donwloaded from Gavin Atkins blog "In the Boatshed"
Wikipedia Article on Stitch and Glue boat building
Rowing for Pleasure Blogspot Chris Partridge's Blog

Arwen Marine Has lots of stitch and glue boats and some fabulous illustrations and boat building diaries. Well worth checking out. IN French but some English too.
Bateaubois is another French site for a large boatbuilding forum on wooden boatbuilding. Get Mr. Google to translate for you.
Ultralight Whitehall style row and sailboat.

Free Rowboat Plans from intheboatshed.net. Ella rowboat
The Physics of Rowing from Oxford University
Ten Essential Knots 10 knots that cover just about any eventuality that happen in a boat. These are my essential knots
Stitch and Glue Tutorial from Jew Watercraft forum pages.
Marine Plywood Article. What makes marine plywood best for boatbuilding? Why is some plywood exterior but not marine?

Deciding what kind of boat to build can be difficult. What are the considerations?
Free Plans for canoe and Kayak Paddles and Oars.

Small Print

This information is for general knowledge. If you plan to build a boat, do your homework. Check out Yahoo boat groups, find people who have built similar boats, make sure you understand the plans before you start your boatbuilding project. Then enjoy yourself.

Plans for Rowing Boats

There are many boatbuilding methods suitable for rowboats.

Here is my page on stitch and glue boatbuilding and here is my Strip Building page

I built both my Skerry and my Apple Pie Tender pram with the intention of rowing them. They have not dissapointed me. I am not including tenders in this list of plans, only boats that are intended for rowing, or which can be rowed and sailed. I don't think a row boat makes a good motor boat so I'm not really including them here either unless they look like they would row well.

Some designers, such as Chesapeake Light Craft, offer kits and plans. I have found that building from plans is very satisfying but does not really save any money if you include your time getting materials together. Kits are good ways of getting on the water faster. Don't think that kits are instant builds though. There is lots of work involved.

Rowing boat plans in no particular order.

Email me if a link is broken. I try to update everything often but the internet is a fast paced place. (and I'm slow)

Bateau's Otter 16 has optional sailing rig. Weekender 12 is a quick build rowboat Michael Storer has a rowing skiff. His page has good description. Francois Vivier has a small rowing boat clinker built called Aulne.
Jim Michalak has a Rowboat called Batto. and another one called Marksbark. Plans are available from Duckworks Devlin Boats Oarling. This is a performance rowing dory. Plans or kits are available. He has several other rowing boats, check out his site. Glen-L have several rowing crafts. Here is a fast stitch and glue rowing shell. The Whitehall is also really nice. They have others check them out.
CLC, Chesapeake Light Craft has a reputation of providing good designs and Handsome boats My Skerry Comes from them. They have several rowing boats, some row/sail designs too. Ross Lillistone has several plans some quite nice. Nice build diaries too. Jem Watercraft has a 17 ft Rowing canoe.
Pigmy Boats has a lovely Wineglass Wherry. Spira International has several Grand Banks Style Dories.
Dory Boat Plans A collection of dory plans I put together. John Gardner's book: Building Classic Small Craft : Complete Plans and Instructions for 47 Boats Link is to Amazon.com American Small Sailing Craft is Chapelle's book also well worth looking at. IN Particular check out the Peapods.
Sandy Point Boatworks has a rowing peapod design built as a strip boat. Baker Boat Works has whitehalls and Wherries plans. Wooden Boat.com has many plans including this 18 feet rowing shell called firefly.
Duckworks has many plans including Driade which is a short rowing canoe/boat. William Atkin's Bruce Conklin pulling boat. Designed to track well she was originally designed for trolling. Duck Trap Woodworking has a Matinicus double ender peapod.
Maine Maritime Museum Offers traditional wooden craft plans. Ultra Light Boats can be made into nice rowboats. This is a link to my web page on ultra light. There are several links. Arwen Marine has plans and kits for lovely boats, this is an Annapolis Wherry from CLC but they offer others.
In the Boatshed Free boat plans. Check out the Ella Skiff rowing boat. Howard Chapelle's bookAmerican Small Sailing Craft: Their Design, Development and Construction link to Amazon.com, He has many offsets in the book.

More plans

If you are interested in building a rowboat there are several types of boats that have traditionally been rowed. Scandinavian faerings (the name refers to four rowing spots) is a good place to look. Iain Oughtred's Elf is a good example. Dories and Peapods have been the mainstay of traditional fishing and have proved themselves. Whitehalls and wherries have long been sportsmen's choice for elegant rowing. Rowing shells are the fastest and most specialized. They require skill and quiet water.


I try to be accurate and check my information, but mistakes happen. Also keep in mind while I'm in a preachy mood, that a good set of plans will save you lots of time and if you've paid for them you can actually often contact the designer and get help.

email me if you find mistakes, I'll fix them and we'll all benefit: Christine