Woodboat Questions, Building Archive

This is an archive of woodboat questions relating to building a wooden boat.

Have a browse through the lists of previous questions and responses or just ask, it’s easy and there is no need to sign in.

If you have any answers or suggestions to make, please click on the question and join in.

Everyone's opinions and experience are invaluable.

John is looking for cedar strip, sailboat plans.

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

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?

yee gull

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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.

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?

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

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

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

Is Poplar strong enough for optimist dinghy mast and sprit?

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

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

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

What do you think?

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

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

woodboat building questions

Greg in New Zealand wants some advice on bending Plywood.

Bigtrout from Washington wants to know;

What the best product is for covering the screw heads on his plywood 9'pram?
newEric in Salem, Ma. would like some advice about the finish to the inside of his magnificent lapstrake boat.

Karmina would like to know how you use your boat.

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Short Q & As 
Trying to remove varnish, stain too. Hardware store stuff is not doing the job.

Red Cear for planking a hull. 
I am wondering if Red Cedar could be used to plank a hull. What I really need to know is, Will it hold a screw? Or is it too soft?

Building a MacNaughton 22' Shilling 
Hello everyone, I am a retired, 62 year old guy trying to get back into sailing and I am very interested in a 22ft Shilling (http://www.macnaughtongroup.com/shilling.h …

refinishing/repairing bottom of wooden boat 
Hi all, I just acquired a beautiful looking 1959 Century resorter and being new to wooden boats I need some advice on getting her back into good …

Catamaran Sailboats  
Hi everyone on board. I'm NEW on that stuff, so, please, forgive me some... I've read some about CATAMARANS, but NOT enough to give me the RIGHT …

Carvel boat,s 
Good day from Western Australia. Can some kind person Please advise the name for that section (piece) which connects the keel to stem piece on larger …

Hull design  
Hello everybody, I'm a wooden boat enthusiast, and have been studying a lot on the subject because my final goal as soon as I retire is to build a …

Anyone know anything about the origin of this boat I'm restoring? 
Hi, I acquired this boat on Cape Cod. Her name is 'Kineo' and she's approximately 25', wood/epoxy, teak decks, BMW diesel. Rumor is she was built …

1947 6 metre Wood Sailboat 
I am restoring a 6 meter wood sailboat and have removed the fiberglass skin. I have sanded down to the mahogany wood. After caulking I will be painting …


Summer Breeze Sail/Dagger board placement 
I am preparing to build a David Beede "Summer Breeze", I intend to make two changes. First is to place a single sail, Sloop, perhaps using the originals …

1959 16' Hunts Unique Clinker Custom Interior 
A friend of mine is restoring a 1959 16' Hunts Unique Clinker custom of which there were only 6 made. He is struggling to find any reference online …

Pompie clinker  
Hi all, I have a question I have a 18" wooden clinker it's sitting on a trailer in my drive way. I bought it 4 months ago and it's starting to split …

sailing & " boating"  
Hi folks; I'm here for the first time, so excuse me for any...Then, it comes: like I've said earlier, I'd like to know some: I'm just to decide which …

Dan Kidney 
I have recently came across a Dan kidney and sons builders duck boat in perfect shape. It's missing the oars and canvass cover, that would have hidden …

Replacingof teak decking 
I have a 1989 trawler the teak decking is done, the the majority of screws have been removed and epoxied. I have been looking for sub for teak, IPE, …

planks opening after drying out 
Hi I have a 30ft wooden bermuda sloop. She was built in 1964 and the planks are splinned not caulked. She has been out of the water for a while …

Help for a novel 
Hi! My name is Denice Hughes Lewis. I am writing a young adult fantasy novel. I have no experience with sailing at all. One of my characters …

Is it better to keep wooden boats in water when not in use (during the winter and they're fresh water boats)?  
I have 2 punt boats and was wondering if I should leave them in the water, in a boat house, during the winter or take them out? Any advice would be …

Registrarion Numbers 
I just finished my wood runabout with five coats of Interlux varnish. Now all I need to do is apply numbers to the hull to make her legal. I'll …

Is it OK to dry stack a wooden cabin cruiser? 
I'm looking to purchase a Chris Craft 27' cabin cruiser. The boat is in excellent condition, but is currently being kept at a dock. Is there …

Side board repair 
New boat with deep ding in side board from rough docking. Swear bad weather! Can you repair a 10" cut without refinishing the whole side? …

Anyone restoring a StauterBuilt boat? 
I have been working on a 15-6" StauterBuilt Cedar Point special for about a year. I am near complete and have a lot of experiences both good and not …

Diamond Plate Transom Bracket 
I would like to know if there would be an advantage to adding diamond plate to each side of the transom where my motor will mount. Transom is solid …

1955 Helton Runabout - want to replace plywood bow deck with planked wood 
Just bought a 1955 Helton Runabout - it has a plywood bow deck. I would like to change this to plank deck. Does anybody have recommendations? …

Transverse planked clinker built boats. 
Good day, Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a question about Clinker built boats. Normally, the planking is longitudinal on transverse ribs. But …

Dry rot  
I recently acquired a thomson lapstreak 18 ft with a 100 hp Evinrude outboard. My brother who recently passed away was the previous owner. His …

Wagemaker Project 
Hello; I'm ready to stain and seal this '52 Wagemaker. The bottom is fiberglassed. There is some dry rot on the inside floor that I want to seal …

Green wood boat finishing 
I want to build a house boat with green wood. I know there will be shrinkage and I was thinking of using something like rhino liner to waterproof it. …

Been told that exterior latex porch/deck paint is hard and durable enough for a trailered boat. Any experience?

To Epoxy or Not to Epoxy?!, that is the question. 
I have an old, 15' wood strip rowboat with curved hull and wineglass transom. The exterior has been fiber-glassed. The interior has not. Time …

Sweep oar 
Building an 18 ft San Francisco Pelican cruising sailboat. Planning a sweep oar. It'll be 12-14 ft long, hard to stow, so I will make it a 2 piece …

What kind of boat is this?? 
I recently purchased this boat and am wanting to restore it. Does anyone know what kind of boat it is and who the maker is?

Connecting Flybridge Steering 
I would like to connect my steering and transmission to a flybridge. I would like to be able to lock out whatever control I am not using. I wouldn't …

20' Grew SeaMaster 
I am re doing the whole bottom of a 1952 mahogany lapstrake 20' Grew SeaMaster Utility. The Keel, stem, framing,ribs, planks ect. It's all in bad …

Wagemaker Restoration 
I'm just about finished heat stripping the varnish off my Wagemaker. Problem is there is fiberglass from the bottom to top rail where the sides meet …

50's Elgin Trailer Parts 
Could someone tell me where to find 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 1/2 rubber pads that slide onto brackets on my Elgin trailer. They look like clutch and brake peddle …

Wooden Enterprise Restoration 
Hi All, I've just taken on an abandoned wooden Enterprise from my sailing club with the intention of restoring it to it's former glory. I spent some …