Lack of Detailed Plans For Boat Project? Warning!!

in Boat

A rookie boat enthusiast has far more challenges than most boat builders in understanding the scope of their boat building project before they commence to start the build. If you are new at this boat building venture, then stop right now and think what you are doing.


The foundation of any successful boat building project, is to find a source with detailed plans of boats as well as possibly other information materials like boat building guides and videos. 


Do yourself a huge favor and invest a few bucks to gain access to detailed plans of boats, help videos and boat building guides. Any free information on the internet, I can tell you for a fact will not be of high quality nor comprehensive enough to be of much to you.


Another big tip. Make sure you select a boat size that will fit into the workshop space you plan to use. There is a quote “ number nine sausage in a number seven skin”. You will feel miserable the whole time you work on your boat project if you are cramped for space.


I have seen it a number of times where my boat builder friends take on a project too large for their workshop and ended up having to work away from their home on their boat project because of lack of space. Very poor planning indeed. One friend had to rent a building for 8 months. I have no idea what he was thinking when he picked the size of boat that he did.


Here is a good rule of thumb. For the build area for the boat frame you should allow a minimum 6 feet all the way around the boat for easy access. Remember you need space for tools, hardware, and boat parts to manage as you work.


If you do have limited boat building skills, you should study different types of techniques that really work for amateurs after which choose a construction style that suits your abilities. There is nothing worse than taking on a complicated build plan, and struggle because you lack the knowledge or guidance to finish your project.

There's one boat building construction that rises above the rest, as the best option for the amateur boat builder, best known as the stitch and glue method. There are a number of reasons why to choose the stitch and glue boat building process over frame building especially; you don't need any special tools, typically whatever you have in your workshop will do. If you can follow directions and read blue print drawings, you will do fine with the stitch and glue method. If your boat project is not too large, you should be able to build a simple small boat in less than a week.


This stitch and glue boat building process basically uses plywood planks which have been cut per the dimensions in your plans of boats layout. After which the planks are connected using the "stitch" method to assemble the two sections with  copper wire. All section pieces are tied together using this process.


Then epoxy glue is used to seal the seams. After the glue has dried, the wire can be removed or just trimmed off flush to the surface. Once the rough shape is completed, you then cover the outside using epoxy and fiberglass sheeting to form the outside finished shell.  Finally you apply 3-4 coats of varnish to the shell as an extra sealer to make it waterproof.  Now you have a boat that is sturdy and waterproof plus pretty tough also; not easily damaged. The stitch and glue process is very low cost and uses minimum effort to produce a basic boat design. 

One of the most critical factors for building a boat though are the detailed wood plans for boats. You may have heard it many times, but it is surprising how many people try to build a boat project without proper plans of boats to follow. It is extremely foolhardy and wasteful of your precious time and money to do so. Take it from me, I made that mistake once. $575 and 3 months later I scrapped the whole project and started over.

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Jim Houghtling has 4 articles online

Jim Houghtling is an avid boat building enthusiast, with numerous boat building projects under his belt. It has always been his goal to share his knowledge and resources in support of others. Check it out at

Plans Of Boats


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Lack of Detailed Plans For Boat Project? Warning!!

This article was published on 2011/07/15