Woodboat Building Questions

Below are a selection of woodboat building questions.

If you have any answers or suggestions to make, please click on the the question and join in.
Everyone's opinions and experience are invaluable.

Roger would appreciate advice on how easy or otherwise it would be to get planking to confirm to the curves, especially the bottom planking towards the bow.

And whether there is any significant advantage in the orientation of the planking in one direction as compared to the other.

southwinf dory plans

Has anyone has had any experience with the Southwind 22ft Dory Sharpie Plans?

What style of boat building lends itself best to building a 8-10' dinghy in 2 1/2 days (Edensaw Boat Building Challenge)?


Don has a simple question about installing the rowlock sockets on the edge of a wooden rowboat.

Woodboat building question; how can a 10ft boat be build using 8ft plywood sheets?

Anas wants to know “what exactly is deck crown?”

Should Bob use some kind of bedding/sealant under the fittings on the plywood optimist pram he is building?

Tom is looking for information on a Biplane keel stepped junk rig for the Wharram Tiki 38 he is building.

Brett wants some advice about building amas for his kayak for sailing.

 Chester is getting ready to purchase the wood bottom planks for his DIY utility boat and would like suggestions for the plank width.

woodboat building questions

More woodboat building questions


Don would appreciated any advice concerning the joint between the thwarts and the supporting risers on the ten foot, wooden rowboat he is building.

Can someone advise Lawrie about the technique of splining timbers and is it necessary given modern glues?

John is looking for cedar strip, sailboat plans.

Where to find a “Personal Watercraft” kit or plans?

Should Mike use acrylic or lexan to make a portlight for his forward hatch?

What preparation and primers should Alan use to ensure that the fiberglass doesn't delaminate on his plywood sailboat?

Can anyone suggest a source of small wooden boat plans for a first time boat builder who wants to build a wooden boat without using plywood?

How do you determine the size of the center board needed for a 29'8 Motor-sailor?

What size copper nail should Fred use and how far apart they should be spaced for planking his 18ft lapstrake launch?

Does anyone know of a way to figure the size of blocks (that you are going to make - not buy) i.e. figured from the diameter of the line.

How can Bob patch a 1/4 inch hole in the bottom of his plywood optimist pram dinghy?

Mick needs help planning a lugsail to replace the bermudan rig on a weekender he is considering building.

yee gull

Help or information would be appreciated on building a floatable transom mount for a 90-115hp motor on a 20' Vee Gull.

Is Poplar strong enough for optimist dinghy mast and sprit?

Lewis is looking for any information the “Beer Lug Rig” method of tacking a dipping lug.

Is strip planking a suitable method for building a 15 foot planning hull boat?

What the best wood is for building the frame of a boat?

How can Stuart strengthen his Wooden Cabin top in order to be able to step the mast.

Stuart, from Cape Town, South Africa, wants some advice on Wiring a Small Boat’s Cabin.

George is considering building a junk rigged St Pierre dory and wants to know if anyone had any experience with such a critter?

Keel Type?

Stuart from Cape Town wants to know your views on the choice of keel type, bilge, drop or long, for his 19' day sailer modification.

woodboat building questions

Could a 15” sailboat be constructed using 4mm 3 ply Meranti if the hull is completely encapsulated in fiberglass-epoxy?

Jett-Paul is thinking of building a 19ft flats boat with planking using dowels and glue.

What do you think?

Patrick in Florida wants to know how to work out the scantlings for deck and cabin top beams.

FazackerlyAny one know where Robert can fine plans for a 12ft clinker dinghy similar to a Fazackerly?

Has anyone else tried using Plastic Nails for plywood or strip plank nailing?

Jerry from San Diego has a question about using the 'diagonal scale'.

To Ballast or not to ballast that is the question?

Should Eddie compensate for the extra weight of larger scantlings and deck house on his SeaHawk planing fast fisher?

Alex wants some advice on which timber to use to build a 25ft clinker/lapstrake boat.

PM 38 runaboutDavid in Melbourne, Australia, would love hear from anyone who has built or has any info on the ‘Popular Mechanics PM 38 13ft runabout’.

How do you join the timber to make a large timber keel in simple terms? Asks Ian from Sydney Australia.

Hamza from Peshawar in Pakistan wants to know if he can successfully waterproof non- marine grade plywood for boatbuilding.

Greg in New Zealand wants some advice on bending Plywood.

 Sandy from Fort St. James, BC Canada, wants to know what is the best wood to use for ribs?

Bigtrout from Washington wants to know;

 what the best product is for covering the screw heads on his plywood 9'pram?
What does

"build in the traditional time honored, painstaking method of the talented ship-builders of western USA" mean? Asks Daniel.

Barbara in Sydney, Australia, wants to know what the best timber for making wooden bungs is.

newEric in Salem, Ma. would like some advice about the finish to the inside of his magnificent lapstrake boat.

David from Little Rock Arizona wants to know more about mixing thickened epoxy for his stripper canoe.

SeaEddie in Ireland would like to know if he can use 3- ply marine plywood to finish off his Sea Hawk instead of the 5-ply he has been using.

Karmina would like to know how you use your boat.

More woodboat questions

Varnish or Oil?

Al Hubbard would like opinions on which would be best for the interior of a small drift style pram made of stained, marine plywood.

Which would you elect from a maintenance/upkeep stand point?

Moreno in the USA is planning to build a Cape Cutter 19, he wants to know how far apart the ribs/frames should be placed.

Nate's woodboat questions is about the best choice of wood is for a 1" X 1" curved dory gunwale or rub rail.

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woodboat building questions

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Why does Old Town 16.5' Lapstrake loose control and cavitate at 20 mph+/- 
Long story short. Had beautiful 1999 Malibu Sunsetter for the last 13 years, but it needed to go where it could be used more. Purchased the required …

Seeking Insurance Info 
Ahoy All I am thinking about trying a short feature on the U S boating magazine "Wooden Boat", re getting insurance on an old Woodie. We DID IT! …

Personal Watercraft-where to find kit? 
In 1960's either Mech Illustrated or Popular Mechanics had a build your own boat-watercraft where you stood on a platform powered by an outboard motor …

Is Fiberglassing Necessary? 
Is it necessary to fiberglass over marine plywood for a boat used in salt water? Both outside hull and transom as well as inside? If it still needs …

The MOANA NUI Project 
I am Christophe Mercier, journalist, photographer and researcher, and after investigating many years in the Pacific area for UNESCO, on the revival of …

Scaling measurements from a photo or sketch?? 
The page on this website that goes through the process of explaining the use of a 'diagonal' as the scale take off of measurements derived from the photo …

To Ballast or not??? 
Hi Folks. My 21-ft 60s SeaHawk planing fast fisher (New build) is coming along just fine with me just fitting the glass to the wheelhouse. My …

Joining short frames to the keel under the centerboard trunk 
I am planning to begin restoration of a 26' Monomoy whaleboat. I have a partial copy of the plans including lines and some details, but not a complete …

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(L. Francist Herreshoff)