Building your own boat might actually be one of the more intimidating woodworking projects out there. Why? Because it will need to float and will need to keep you above water.
Thousands and thousands of people have built their own wooden boats, it’s actually a pretty common woodworking project.
I even remember my wood shop teacher in high school building a twenty foot wooden canoe in the shop at the high school I went to.
He simply found some good plans, followed them to the “T”, so to speak, and soon he had a wooden boat that he could be proud of. And he even got good use out of his boat! He did take his time with it, and he didn’t rush the process. I think he wanted to understand every aspect of the process as much as he possibly could.
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What is a good reason to want to build a wooden boat?
If you ask anybody who’s built a wooden boat before, you’ll probably get a lot of different answers. Personal satisfaction, being able to build a unique style of boat, saving money – all of these are valid reasons.
Take this into consideration. When you see a wooden boat, what’s the first thing you might think? You might be impressed by the craftsmanship, you might want to ask the owner where they got the boat or who built it. You might even think it looks expensive. Hand crafted items are expensive on the market sometimes.
However, if the boat was built by the owner, chances are they actually saved some money and the project also made them a lot more experienced of a woodworker than they were before trying to build a boat.
Building a wooden boat in a lot of ways is similar to restoring a classic car. You hole up in your shop for weeks or months, creating your own unique version of the boat (or car). When complete, you take it out on the water (or road) and people take notice immediately because your creation is so unique that it just can’t help but draw attention.
Anybody can build a boat
While a common scenario for building a wooden boat is a craftsmen working his craft in his garage for a few weeks, there are also lots of other scenarios where a boat building project might be entertaining and worthwhile.
School projects for classes and projects for scout troops make sense. These kinds of groups are always looking for projects in which the classmates or members need to work together on a single project over the course of a few months.
Imagine letting your scout troop not only build a canoe but also try to take it out on the water to see how it turns out! That is a great experience for the kids in teaching them work ethic and letting them see that hard work can lead to enjoyable and satisfying results.
Wooden boat plans
The best place to start, if you are new to building a boat, is to get some good plans. A good set of woodworking plans, in this case specifically for building a boat, are essential. They will ensure that you have all your bases covered if this is your first boat-building project.
The plans will help you determine the tools and materials that you will need and will help you put everything together in an orderly fashion. You can even take personal liberties when using a good set of plans to put your own personal spin on the project. If you don’t want to, that is okay too!