Monday, November 4, 2013

Beginners Guide to Wooden Boat Building

Beginners Guide to Wooden Boat Building

By John Dela Cruz

If you have never constructed a wooden boat before and are not an experienced woodworker, you may find this a daunting task. As a beginner, you can take the help of DIY plans for boat building and follow the process in a step by step manner. These plans will enable you to transform pieces of plywood into the most attractive and inviting wooden boat. All you need to know is to hammer nails, cut timber and of course to read the instructions and you are as capable as an expert in building your own boat.

A medium sized garage should be sufficient space for building your boat. As you choose the wooden boat plans, you must carefully consider a few aspects -

 Ensure drawings are detailed. The plan you choose must show you every single aspect of what you must do in-depth.
 Find out if the plans are based on actually built boats. It is recommended not to choose plans that have not been tried before.
 Certain plans contain a list of materials you need to construct the wooden boat. Choose plans that contain the list to make the job easier.
 Last but not least, a well drawn out plan costs between $50 and $100.

With these tips in mind, after you select a good plan, it is now time to start constructing your wooden boat. You can find boat building plans at book shops, your local library or online. You can ask for a sample or preview of the plan before purchasing to ensure that it has all necessary details.

build a pontoon boat
Building your own boat is a very enjoyable experience. If you are an absolute novice, you can take the help and guidance of an experienced woodworker. A professional will be able to teach you how to follow the guidelines in the plan in a systematic manner.

Before you start building your wooden boat, remember to keep a set of tools ready. It is highly recommended to purchase only the best quality tools from reputed shops as they perform well and last a lifetime. Tools you require for constructing a wooden boat include -

Drill and drill bits
Mire saw, Jig saw and Hand saw
Wooden mallet and chisel
C-clamps and spring
Timber files and rasps
Spoke shaver and block pane
Rule, tape measure and square
Bristle paint brushes and foam

As you purchase the above tools and materials for boat construction, ensure that they are suited for marine use.

The plan you have chosen will determine the type of boat you will build. Choose a large garage or outdoor space that will be enough for you to build your wooden boat in a comfortable manner. Your budget determines the kind of wood you choose for your boat. You can use inexpensive timbers such as marine ply or pine or expensive ones such as redwood or oak.

Today you can find many pre-fabricated wooden boat building kits available in the market. These kits make the job simpler for novices. Boat building kits include everything required for construction including tools, materials and timber. The advantage with these kits is that everything is cut to the exact size required and all you need to do is to assemble the pieces following the instructions.

As a beginner, it is recommended to start out with a small boat before trying out the larger ones. Glued lapstrake construction is one of the most common methods of building small wooden boats. The smallest glued lapstrake boat can be only 2 feet long and the largest as much as your imagination can go.

In this type of boat, strakes or the planks forming the hull are glued together after being lapped over each other and rabbited. Follow these few steps to construct your very first small boat -

Set up the framing jigs, lay the strakes over them, bend them to fit for exact size and glue them together by holding them in place. Allow some time for the glue to set.
Following instructions on the plan you choose cut the wood and mill the lumber after gathering all required materials.
Construct the hull's back wall known as transom after setting your boat's keel on the jigs. Now it is time to line the hull by planking and gluing after fitting over the jigs.
Set the keel of your boat on the jigs and construct the transom--the back wall of your hull.
After lining the hull, use marine epoxy to glue the lapstrakes over the jig after planks are laid in place.
The top rails must now be cut and finished to facilitate installation. Marine caulk must be used to caulk the lapstrakes if you are planning on going boating often.
It is now time to finish the interiors according to your preference. You can either varnish or paint the exterior. If you want a sail, install a mast, mast step and rigging.

Matthew is a Boat Building and Boat Repairing expert. For more on Wooden Boat Building & Repairs, visit []

Article Source:  Beginners Guide to Wooden Boat Building