How To Build A Wooden Boat

Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are always fun. The secret to making any DIY project successful is proper planning. Building your own wooden boat as your DIY project is no different.

There are many different resources you will need, including boat building plans and kits, and different kinds of wood or timber to help your project along.

We look at some of these, and other resources you may need to build your wooden boat.

Practical tips on how to build a wooden boat

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1. Decide on the kind of wooden boat you are building

This step is the most important step of the boat building process. This is as the kind of boat you are building - size, type, design - will determine exactly what kind of resources you will need to build it, and how much.

Size and style of the boat will determine for example the kind of wood or timber you will need. This is as some kinds of wood are better suited to some boat projects as opposed to others.

2. Gather your boat plans and kits

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Once you decide what kind of boat you are building, your next step to building your wooden boat is to have a boat plan you can work from.

Boat plans serve as a a necessary blueprint you can return to time and time again.

Of course, the best boat building plans are those that take you from start to finish - irrespective of the kind of boat(s) you prefer or are building.

Boat plans are also usually available in a number of formats (book, .PDF etc), and speak to diverse skill level.

There are plans available for amateur and advanced users alike.

Ensure that the boat building plan you do choose is detailed enough to help you every step of the way, and is properly suited to your experience and level of skill.

3. Gather other resources

While many boat plans and kits come fully equipped, most come with just the necessary fittings and extra resources will need to be gathered. Of course, some kits are specific too, such as purchasing a fiberglass kit.

In such cases, gather all the pre-designed kits that are useful to you as well as additional resource material such as screw gun, nails, hammers, circular saws,  wood and so forth. It is of utmost importance that you gather all the resources or material you may need to complete your project beforehand.

This will save you a lot of time and frustration as you go along.

4. Start small

If you have little to no experience working on a DIY boat project, it is recommended that you start small. That is, build smaller boats using models of the more popular variety.

In such cases, boat plans and kits are significantly easier to manoeuvre, which is always a plus for amateur DIY boat builders.

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If it is that you are indeed more experienced in building wooden boats in a DIY manner, and are undertaking a more ambitious project, you can still break the project down into smaller manageable bits so as to not be overwhelmed and to make the project move along more smoothly.

Popular boat models you can build for your DIY project

There are many benefits to be had from using simple and popular boat models for your DIY wooden boat projects. For starters, many boat models popular within the DIY space are:

- relatively easy to build thanks to simplistic designs


- usually have easy to find boat plans due to their popularity

Some of these popular boat models, great for DIY boat building plans include:

- Dinghies

Dinghies measuring up to about 12' are great for general purpose DIY boat projects. They are simple in design and can still be fitted with trimmings such as oar, sails or small outboards

- Skiffs

Skiffs, measuring up to about 16' are much like Dinghies as described above. Skiffs too offer a relatively simple design option for amateurs and can too be fitted with outboards, oars and sails.

Skiffs like Dinghies are also general purpose boats great for fishing and other such activities.

- Canoes, kayaks and paddle boards

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Even simpler than the aforementioned options, paddle boards, kayaks and canoes are great for beginner boat builders.

The design for each is simple, resulting in less materials needed for building, lower subsequent costs associated with the same and an overall more manageable project.

Sailboats are also a popular DIY wooden boat option. The above list is by no means exhaustive.

Finding the boat building plans you need

Boat plans can be found with the simple click of a mouse thanks to the Internet and search engines. A quick web search is bound to bring up some options you can use.

Some basic plans are available through various web portals for free, while others are available at affordable costs.