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Free Plans for Stitch and Glue Boatbuilding

Some free boatbuilding plans are very good, others are worth exactly what you pay for them. If you choose to use free boat plans, do your homework, and try to find others who have built from the plans. There are many Yahoo and Facebook groups out there. It's worth it to do a search. It's a good idea to check the measurements and to build a model from the free plans just to make sure you understand the process.

Here is my page on stitch and glue boatbuilding

Stitch and glue plans are good wooden boat plans for beginners.

Making a model will pay back later and save you time when you build because you will have figured out how the boat goes together.

Your model will also help you decide if you like the look of the boat BEFORE you spend a lot of time and money building a wooden boat from scratch.

In a more complex boat, free is not always less expensive because the designer of bought plans will usually have taken the time to give you better instructions, material layouts, and is often available to answer questions.

models of stitch and glue boats

I built the green pram using the stitch and glue method of boatbuilding. The plans were free.
Follow my day to day diary building Gavin Atkin's Apple Pie dinghy.

Free Stitch and Glue 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 not so quick)

I've included some plans that are free but not strictly pure stitch and glue. Some are combination methods and some are build with little support pieces, chine logs, that are used to screw onto or glue on. They are easy techniques.

I have not built most of these boats and cannot endorse them. It's up to you to figure out if they are suitable for you.

Many people offer free plans from old publications such as Popular Mechanics. Since epoxy was not available then, they are not stitch and glue. They could be adapted however. It is usually possible to replace chine logs (strips of wood that connect bottom and side with screw and glue) with an epoxy fillet and fiberglass cloth. It is important to strengthen the seams, inside and out, with fiberglass strips if you remove the chine log.

Devlin's book is a reference for building using the Stitch and glue method: Devlin's Boatbuilding: How to Build Any Boat the Stitch-and-Glue Way

More Free Plans hiding in Books.

A very good way of getting free plans is by purchasing designer's books. For 20 or so dollars you can get plans for several boats AND detailed instructions on how to build them.

Many designers have boatbuilding books. Gary Dierking Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes: Modern Construction Methods for Three Fast, Beautiful Boats offers plans and instructions for 3 of his outstanding outriggers in his book.

Dynamite Payson does the same with his book Instant Boatbuilding with Dynamite Payson: 15 Instant Boats for Power, Sail, Oar, and Paddle Most of his plans are Philip Bolger's plans.

Thomas Firth Jones has plans in his book New Plywood Boats.

Jim Michalak's book Boatbuilding for Beginners (and Beyond): Everything You Need to Know to Build a Sailboat, a Rowboat, a Motorboat, a Canoe, and More! is a goldmine as well with lots of detailed plans and instructions.

John Welsford has his Backyard Boatbuilder: How to Build Your Own Wooden Boat

Chris Kulczycki's Stitch and glue boatbuilding, How to build Kayaks and other small Boats.

Many designers offer plans at very small cost. It's often a better bet to purchase these than some of the free plans. Check out Duckworks plan pages There are many good designers here and a few free plans as well.

If you are looking for wooden boat plans for beginners it's hard to beat stitch and glue.

Here is a link to Glen-L book. It's a very good instruction book (though not plans) Boatbuilding With Plywood

This book includes Plans for Tolman's Alaskan Skiffs motor boats, Not strictly stitch and glue and certainly not free, but well rated. Tolman Alaskan Skiffs (Previously A Skiff for All Seasons): Building Plans for Three Plywood / Epoxy Skiffs

This book claims to have plans but rather presents offsets that can be used to make 11 different boats, (measurements that can be used to draft plans). It gets good ratings. Stitch-and-Glue Boatbuilding: How to Build Kayaks and Other Small Boats

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

I try to be accurate and check my information, but mistakes happen. A good set of plans can save you lots of time and if you've paid for them you can actually often contact the designer and get help.

The ads on my pages connect to Amazon. If you buy something from a link on my page, I get a referral fee that pays the web page expenses (not my time, that's for sure.)