Free Kayak and Canoe Plans
What is the difference between Free and Paid for Plans?
Often nothing! Proven Free Canoe and Kayak plans have been made available particularly the traditional shapes.
Designers sometimes offer their earlier designs for free. Usually these plans have been tested and the Designer decided to change or improve them.
Sometime backyard boat designers will make their experimental boat plans available for free. Some are good, some are not so good. There are some truly altruistic boat designers who offer plans for free AND will support you in your build.
Usually Free Boat Plans are less detailed than plans you purchase from established boat designers. Also a bought plans entitles you to some support from the designer, this is rarely the case for free plans. Bought plans will almost certainly offer material lists, supplier contacts, details on how to do specific steps, rig details.
Many free boat plans are plans that come from old magazines. Many Popular Mechanics plans, which have expired their copyright, are offered for free. In these cases the lines might be quite good but the building methods outdated.
One way of getting free plans is to buy a designer's book. Often to illustrate the book several plans will be included free. You should have a good building reference book, get one with a few usable designs. If you have a bit of experience you might check out Building Classic Small Craft : Complete Plans and Instructions for 47 BoatsGardner's book. Building Classic Small Crafts. A bit advanced but an interesting read with lots of offsets.
Free Kayak Plans
- Jem Watercraft have a free version of their stitch and glue Laker Kayak Here is a case of a Designer offering earlier plans. Or offering more details in paid versions.
- Siskiwit Bay Free Plans Cad style drawings and plans. Lovely strip construction boat but you should know what you are doing while building.
- Siskiwit Bay Skin on Frame Free Plans version.
- Plans and offsets for a Kenneth Taylor boat Igdlorssuit. Offsets and stem and station plans. You should understand plans if you download this proven design based on traditional lines. Kayak and Canoe plans
- Michela, a skin on frame Kayak Simple Kayak from an Italian web site. Get google to translate. A few giggles in the translations but usable plans.
- One Sheet CubCanu Plans The Kayak version of this simple boat is described and based on the canoe version. Amateur boatbuilder sharing his free design and plans.
- Erica is an Open Kayak/Decked canoe, Plywood stitch and glue construction. In Italian but Google can help. Nice series of construction photos. Renzo Beltrame drew the plans.
- Renzo Beltrame offers several plans and articles. Have a look. The plans are nicely presented and he has photos of builds and various articles. In Italian but google them.
- Free Canoe/Kayak Launch Dolly Again in Italian! With images and plans.
- Doug's Plans, free Stitch and Glue Kayak plans Several different free plans some with photos. Looks like some good designs, worth a look.
- Shallow Draft Hunting Kayak Free Boat Plans from Svenson. Old Popular Mechanics plans. Could be adapted for stitch and glue. Currently Chine construction.
- Canvasback Open Kayak From Svenson's old plans.
- Plyak Another old plan for a Plywood Kayak from Svenson.com
- Build a Greenland Kayak Instructable article on building a kayak, David Zimmerly.
- Whole series of Arctic Kayaks Plans are not great to read but very interesting to check out. Drawn from original Northern Kayaks.
- Mouse Boat Gavin Atkin's one sheet boat. Very popular and easy to build.
- Yahoo Group One Sheet Wonders. You have to join but inside there is an active boatbuilding community with lots of free boatbuilding plans and photos.
- Free Stitch and Glue plans for single and double kayaks from Kayakyak. These have been built and tested. Nice looking boats. The Plans are actual plans not ofsets.
- Guillemot Kayaks offsets for Ganymede Kayak PDF. Also instructions on Instructable
- The Woodshop Kayak plans for King Canvasback They also sell full size templates.
Free Canoe Plans
I have included pirogues and other canoe like boats in this section of free plans.
Free Plans are always a bit of a mixed bag. Some really good plans, some pretty terrible plans and everything in between. If you are a beginner, take your time, study the plans, MAKE A MODEL, get a book. If you are not sure how to do the building buy a plan from a reliable designer. The plans will be much more detailed and you will have someone to turn to for answers.
- Free Canoe plans for an ultralight skin on frame Canoe by David Bynoe.
- Free Canoe plans for several styles of Cedar strip canoes. They also have plans for sale. North West Canoe. You can contribute to a canoeing organization if you want.
- Umbrella Canoe is an odd little boat that folds up. Article by Dan Beard.
- Free Canoe Plan: 1898 Passamaquoddy Ocean Canoe Offered by Paddling Light.
- Free pirogue/canoe plan from Bateau.com
- Dugout style Canoe built with one sheet of plywood. Experimental boat by Hannu's Boatyard. Many iteresting one sheet and minimalist boats. Worth a look for fun. Build diary and photos.
- Canoe free Popular Mechanics plans from Svenson.
- Free Canoe Plans from Paddling Light. Based on traditional designs. Project comes from a series of plans drawn by Bryan Hansel.
- Free Boat Book Canoe and Boat Building, a complete manual for amateurs. Offered by Dragonfly Canoe Works. Many plans and sets of offset.
- Another free Svenson plan Glide Easy is a plywood canoe.
- Free Plans and Offsets for a Sailing Canoe. A fun read if nothing else.
- Free plans for Cinderella Rowing Canoe Or Boan Kid's canoe. from Gavin Alkin's plans.
- Free Redwood strip canoe Again from Svenson's. Looks like a nice 16 ft canoe.
- FLO-MO has free boatbuilding offsets on his website, for many boat plans including a brilliant 7 foot canoe made from one sheet of plywood. He has video
- The Lepalepa Bugis Outrigger Sailing Canoe of Sulawesi From MIT, drawings and photos. Good article by Tim Anderson.
- Tik Tak Kayak an easily built 2 sheet boat. Good project for kids from Toledo Community Boathouse.
- Sawfish, Insulation foam and fabric plans for a super light inexpensive canoe/kayak.
- Instructable skin on frame canoe. This is more instructions and thought process but they are quite good.
Here is a link to John's Bushcraft.com who has made a few skin on frame canoes. There are no plans but detailed instructions and lots of photos of his build.
Canoecraft: An Illustrated Guide to Fine Woodstrip Construction. This book is a classic. Instructions and offsets to build the boats.
I try to be accurate and check my information, but mistakes happen. Some free plans are good but others are worth exactly what you paid for them. I offer these links without guarantees. I do not endorse them or recommend them. Do your homework.email me if you find mistakes, I'll fix them and we'll all benefit: Christine