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Wooden boat plans for Tenders

A tender is a small boat often used to ferry goods and people in areas that are too shallow or unsuitable for the larger keel boats. Often a tender is used to bring people to their moored boats. Most keel-boats will have a tender since the keel prevents them from going too close to land. Some tenders are carried on board, others towed and still many others stay on the mooring and are only used to ferry sailors to and from land.

The tender often doubles as a fishing boat, small sailboat to play around or a kids swimming platform.

There are a great deal of argument about what is the best tender.

There is no perfect tender and a great deal comes down to personal preference and conditions. You have to balance factors such as: appearance, suitability to conditions, stability, size, storage on board the mother-ship, multipurpose/sailing, propulsion method motor/oar/sail and of course cost.

I have a couple of pages about tenders: How to choose a tender and Comparison of different types of tenders.

Many boat building beginners dream of building a large boat and sailing off into the sunset. The usual advice is build the tender first and then build your big boat.

Email me if a link is broken. I try to update everything often but the internet is a fast paced place, (and I'm not so quick).

A couple of Free Prams Plans

I have a couple of free plans, from old books. The plans can easily be adapted to stitch and glue boat building method.

Motor pramA pram makes a good tender. They be rowed or fitted small motors. This is a free plan.
take apart jon boatBreak Apart Jon Boat Free plan pdf format. Back section is pram, front section is removable fishing-storage cooler.

Although canoes and kayaks and other small boats are light and can often be built and stored in small areas particularly if they are take-apart designs, they don't make ideal tenders since it is difficult to stand up in them and standing up is often necessary in order to climb into a higher keel boat. Us more mature folks often have crotchety knees that complain when asked to bend into small spaces. We don't listen but they still complainn. Kayaks and Canoes are simply not stable enough to deal with a wiggly kid or dog trying to jump out.

Small Print

This information is for general knowledge. I try to find links to good plans but I have not checked them personally. If you build any of these plans do your homework and make sure it is suitable for your purpose and you know how to use the tools safely.

I try to be accurate and check my information, but mistakes happen. ALSO keep in mind that not all free boat plans are good designs. Some are but others are worth exactly what you paid for them. 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 usually contact the designer and get help.

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