You've decided to try your hand at boatbuilding but need a bit of help, or you're not quite sure you have the skills, or you want a boat but don't know where to start. Here are some resources for the beginner or not so advanced boatbuilders from my website.
Steps all Boatbuilders go Through.
- Research and Decisions. This is where you survey your requirements, skill, preferences, family involvement, budget, and decide on a style of boat.
- Finding good Plans and instructions.
- Getting your materials together, suppliers, Material information.
- Building, finishing, building information and resources.
- Sails, Oars, Paddles, Motors?
- Enjoying, Learning to use your Boat
1- BOATBUILDING, Research and Decisions.
Do this properly BEFORE YOU BUILD YOUR BOAT and you will end up with a boat that will meet your needs and expectations.
- Deciding What Boat style To Build. Answers to these questions will help focus your choice.
- Read every book about boatbuilding you can lay your hands on.
- This is how I found my Dream Boat My Skerry
- I'm building a Scamp Sailboat
- I have several articles on different types of Boat: Dories, Skin on Frame such as kayaks, Rowboats, Ultralight boats, Take apart and folding Boats, Faerings, Cedar Strip or Strip Planking, Simple Punts, Canoes, Houseboats, Multihulls, Houseboats.
- Are you absolutely sure you want to build a boat? Having built three and bought one, there are advantages to both options. You will have lots of opportunities to build things as you maintain and improve your keelboat. Read about my fiberglass Tanzer.
- Try and find other boat-builders in your area and see what they built and how their boats turned out. Ask lots of questions.
Don't stress out too much. All boats are compromises. All boatbuilding involves deciding what are the most important factors and finding a suitable compromise and balance.
2-BOATBUILDING, Finding good plans and instructions.
There are countless boat designers offering plans. Some are great, others are not. Some plans are good but not suitable for YOUR boatbuilding project. How do you decide. If you have done your research in (1) you have identified what you expect your boat to be, what your budget is, what your skill level is, what tools you have and all these details. You are ready to get some plans.
- Wooden Boat Plan links. Dozens of suppliers for plans and kits.
- Motorboat Plan links. Fishing, cruising, hunting, classic, speedboats.
- Free Rowboat Plan links.
- Stitch and Glue Boat Plan Links. Many designers offer well thought out plans for amateur boatbuilders.
- Strip Planking boat plans or cedarstrip makes beautiful boats.
- Free Stitch and Glue Boatbuilding PLan Links.
- Free Canoe and Kayak Boat Plans
- Dory plans
- One Sheet Boats
- Free plans for a plywood pram from an old plywood projects book I had.
- Surf Boards and Stand up boards
- Skiffs come as motorboats, sailboats and row boats, simple and often fast to build.
- Houseboats can be cottages on the water, your new home or a fabulous fishing platform. Here are plans.
- Tender plans Some Free
- All my Plan Pages links including boats, canoes and kayaks, Stand up paddleboards, paddles and oars I also have a few actual plans.
- Stitch and Glue Boatbuilding Method is one of the best for amateur boatbuilders.
- Wood Srip Boatbuilding Method produces beautiful light boat, often of cedar strips..
- Making a birds mouth mast
- Making a carbon fiber mast
- Definition of hull terms Boatbuilding terms as it refers to a boat hull. Understanding the vocabulary helps you understand what you are reading.
- Sail Related terms
- Terms used in composites such as fiberglass and carbon fiber epoxy.
- Details of making scarf joints
- How to sharpen a chisel or block plane.
- Marine Boatbuilding Plywood information.
- Carbon Fiber information Should you consider carbon fibre? This article will give you a layman's understanding.
- GlenL has lumber supplier lists
- Resorcinol Glue was in wide use for boatbuilding before epoxy became the adhesive of choice for amateur boatbuilding, here is why.
- Polyurethane glue has some nice characteristics It is not a substitute for epoxy but can do things epoxy cannot.
- Comparison of carbon fibre, kevlar and fiberglass They are very similar in strength but differ in stiffness, weight to strength ratio, cost.
- Silica is a thickening filler for epoxy very useful for gluing. Micro Balloons are a light weight filler used in smoothing and finishing. Graphite is an epoxy additive that improves the surface and makes it less susceptible to damage when dragged across stones.
The actual building is pretty straight forward. Follow the instructions and if you have questions find someone to help you. In my case I had 3 main sources of support. My plans came from Chesapeake Light Craft and they were great an answering specific questions about their plans. I also was in regular contact with Yahoo groups for the Skerry and the Puddle Duck Racer folks, there are dozens of groups and the folks are often very helpful. A third place is the Wooden Boat Forum. That's where the big boys go and play and the beginners go and listen and learn. It's a fabulous forum and a great place to ask questions. The Australian Woodwork Forum has a boatbuilding section and great people. Bateau Support Forum
In this section I'm including my boatbuilding diaries. It's very useful to see how other people have solved their boatbuilding problems.
- This is my list and description of tools essential for boatbuilding.
- Detailed step by step of my Skerry Build This was the first stitch and glue project I had ever done. IT was also the FIRST boat I had ever built. And I had never seen a boat being built either. So that made me very qualified to encourage beginners!
- My second boatbuilding project The little apple pie pram was my second stitch and glue boatbuilding project. It was a great success.
- Puddle Duck Racer My ongoing Puddle Duck Racer is built using chine logs and epoxy. It is one of the simplest boatbuilding project out there.
- Varnish Article
- Anti Fouling Coatings
- SCAMP is a Micro Cruiser with impressive characteristics.
5-SAIL? OARS? PADDLES? MOTOR?
- Learning to Sail You have a boat, now what? You need to learn to sail her.
- My Article on Sprit Sails Did you know that the lowly little spritsail is the best all round rig around. Some serious testing has been done on them and they are surprisingly efficient.
- Rowing forward facing lets you see where you are going.
- Sliding Riggers are as good or better than sliding seats
- Some plans for paddles and oars: Free Oar and Paddle Plans Links, Download simple Oar Plans free
- How to Leather Oars This is how I leather oars. It's proven a solid method.
- My Motor Adventures Getting a new motor was not without hiccups!
6-ENJOYING AND LEARNING TO USE YOUR BOAT, MOVING YOUR BOAT
- Learning to Sail After boatbuilding you need to learn to use your boat. Here are some suggestions to learn sailing.
- My ten essential knots Knowing these 10 knots will look after most boating situations.
- How to safely tow a boat on water.
- Anchoring your boat
- Dollies are often used to move a boat on land. Here is one I built for my Apple Pie Tender.
- What are the different points of sail more boat terminology and hints on how to handle your boat in different wind directions.
Have a look at the side links. I've put several links to boatbuilding diaries and blogs. Check out what others have done.
email me if you find mistakes, I'll fix them and we'll all benefit: Christine