Once you utter the words “I want to build a boat” a whole new world will open up to you. One of the oldest trades dating back to prehistoric times, boat building can be one of the most satisfying avocations one could choose.
The first thing a would-be boat builder needs to decide is what will be the end use of the boat. Are you interested in fishing (inland waterways or offshore), waterskiing, hanging out, exercise, day cruising on inland waters, coastal cruising or long distance cruising. Each of these requirements requires a different type of boat.
Small fishing boats to be used on inland waters can be propelled by either a small outboard motor or oars. These boats can also be used for exercise or just hanging out on the water. They are typically 8 to 15 feet in length and are of an open design. Some larger boats may have covered storage.
Ski boats are usually 15 to 25 feet in length and are powered by powerful outboard or inboard-outboard drive systems. These boats are designed to move fast in order to pull a skier. They are generally open but sometimes have small covered areas.
Cruising boats tend to be bigger with some enclosed area for sleeping. Twenty feet would be about the smallest boat for comfortable inland cruising and 30 feet plus for offshore cruising. Comfortable daysailers can be in the 18 foot range.
Once you have decided on the type and size of boat you want to build you must then decide on the type of material to use in building the boat. There are many different types of boat building material including wood, fiberglass, steel, aluminum and even concrete. The choice you make depends on your own skill level and the tools you have available.
Building with fiberglass requires some mold making capability or else you can build a wooden boat and cover it with fiberglass. Working with fiberglass requires some skill and protective clothing is required when working with the chemicals and glass cloth.
Steel and aluminum building requires welding and other metal working skills. Aluminum requires very specialized welding skills that most home builders do not possess. Steel is generally use for larger boat construction.
Building with wood is probably the easiest for the newcomer to boat building. Many wooden boat plans are available for the new wood boat builder and tools and materials are readily available. A good set of wooden boat plans will take you through the entire process step by step. Tools are available at the local hardware store and the materials, especially for basic boat construction, are available at any good lumber yard.
If you are new to boat building, a small runabout, rowboat or daysailer would be a good choice. It is also important that you select the best wooden boat plans available.
If you are considering building a wooden boat from hand, excellent wooden boat plans will be crucial to the success of your project. Although there are many free and paid boat plans available online and in stores, many of these plans will have little documentation backing them up to prove that they will produce a safe and water tight craft. Before you waste valuable time, energy and money on building a boat from inadequate plans, you should evaluate the wooden boat plans you are considering using answers to the following questions:
- Who designed the plans? If the plans are from an anonymous source, or from an individual that you know little or nothing about their boat building experience, it may be best to steer clear of the plans. To be sure that the plans you are using are worthwhile, they should have been developed by someone with experience in boat building.
- Have the plans been tested? Just because a plan looks good on paper does not mean that it will actually build a boat that will float. Ideally, you will look for designs that have numerous testimonials from people who have built boats successfully from the plans.
- Are the plans reasonably priced? There are many different boat plan packages available online and in bookstores, and most are quite reasonably priced. You do not need to enroll in a boat building course or pay thousands, or even hundreds, of dollars for reliable, easy to follow plans to build a wooden boat.
- Are the plans adequate for your skill level? Boat plans for experts will have little more than the plans themselves, but if you are a beginner or amateur boat builder you will likely benefit from step-by-step instructions accompanying the plans you are planning to use. Beginning and amateur boat builders may have the best success with plywood boat plans.
- Is there enough variation in the boat plan designs? If you choose to purchase your plans online or in book form, you should look for boat plan packages that have a wide selection in the types of boat plans they offer and within each category of boats as well. The more selection you have, the more likely you will find a boat that you really want to build.
By finding expertly designed, yet affordable plans for your skill level that have been adequately tested by other boat builders, you should be able to build a beautiful boat at home easily and successfully.
Alot of people would like to be able to build their own wooden boats but the problem is that most people follow the wrong wooden boat plans or they don;t have enough time or they are worried because they don’t have any experience crafting things etc… We are gonna address some of those issues here, read on.
The number 1 problem in DIY boat building is the lack of some proper boat building plans, by not picking the right plans you might find yourself hitting a wall because most of the plans out there do not offer detailed step by step instructions or they don’t have a detailed list of what materials and tools to use. This is something that you want to check before you buy any.
Another problem in DIY boat building is the lack of time. Most of us have jobs and families and can’t possibly spend a lot of time building our boat, and this is where having the proper step by step detailed plans comes handy, because it cuts your building time by 50% or more, seriously…it does.
I bet that you are also worried about not actually being able to build one because you’re not some master in crafting or working with tools, right? This, again, is very easily fixed by having the proper boat building plans. The good ones will actually show your or come with a small book or flyer of some sort that will actually show you what tools you need and when to use them in the process of building your own wooden boat.
As you can see, everything comes together in 1 spot, the wooden boat plans. Have the right ones and you can build your boat amazingly fast, easy and without having to worry that once you put it in the water you will say hello to the fishes.