My first build ( Freedom )

(Colombia (south America))

Hi there guys,

I've been at sea and in freshwater fishing, and the least I can say is that the sense of freedom you get when you are on a boat are indescribable.

I was browsing the web for an option to build one little boat both for rowing or outboard, and still small enough to put it on top of my car, and I came across these boats:

Unfortunately, they are both in Spanish, because there is a lot more information on boats in Spanish but for those who understand the plans that won't be a problem.

On the first boat which is very much like a punt, I have a couple of questions:

1- Is it possible to build it with a seat by placing a support for the plank between frame ribs number 2 and 3 on each side?

2- Given that my choice for wood is plywood how can I make it 10 ft long given that the regular size for plywood is only approximately 8 ft long? I mean how would you overlap the 6 mm by 17 cm wide pieces to make up for the missing 2 ft?

3- If it isn't possible to build it 10 ft long, can I reduce the size of the bridge maybe to fit 3 or 4 people in by adding a second seat?

Now for the second boat option, the questions are similar, because that one is 10 ft long and I would run into the same problem, because here in my country there aren't wood pieces that long.

Comments for My first build ( Freedom )

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Aug 22, 2014
Boat Plan
by: Mike

Hi Milton,

That first boat plan is designed specifically for skimming, fast, across the surface powered by an outboard.

It isn’t a suitable hull shape for rowing or sailing, the second plan is and it will accommodate several passengers.

If you want to avoid making expensive mistakes start with a suitable plan that fits your needs and doesn’t require modifying.

You’ll find several free ones here.

Aug 21, 2014
Scaling up
by: Milton

I've decided to go for number 1 boat.

However, I have two questions pertaining the up-scaling:

1- If I scale up, I most likely have to add at least one more rib to play it safe.
Can I at the same time raise the side panels to 40 cm? I mean will that give it a little more buoyancy?

2- While I'm at it, and knowing how good it will the boat slide on the water can I "add" a mast step, a mast partner, a dagger board case, a rudder and all the peripherals for future sail installation?

3- The boat is designed for a small outboard but can it also be moved with a good set of oars?

Sorry about so many questions but I'm really excited about the whole thing.


Aug 19, 2014
Ply Joint
by: Sam

There is a good description of joining plywood here at Glen-L.

Aug 19, 2014
by: Mike

Have a look at some of the plans here.

Aug 19, 2014
Sounds good...
by: Milton

OK thanks for the information on the scarf and butt joints.
I was sure there was a method only I didn't know about it.

From what I read it isn't possible to put a seat on the first boat as it is?
I mean, by reducing the bridge let's say 30 to 40 cm I can't get away with it?
And if I scale it up I am sure I need to put at least one more rib to it don 't I?

What actually bothers me about the second boat is that it doesn't have a keel.

Doesn't it make the hull a little weak?


Aug 19, 2014
Joining Plywood Sheets
by: Mike

The simplest way to join plywood is to use ‘butt joints’ or ‘straps.

With a butt joint, the edges of the wood are glued together and a plywood backing block or strap glued along the back of the joint.

The face of the joint can also be reinforced with epoxied glass tape.

If you are building over a frame you need to place the joint where it won’t interfere with the frame.

The strap width should be about 15x the thickness of the plywood.

The alternative is to use a ‘Scarf Joints’

But for these the edges of the panels need to be accurately chamfered so that the slope on one panel fits perfectly to the chamfer on the other.

And then gluing is tricky as the panels are prone to move before the glue is set.

If the first boat is scaled up to 10ft I’m sure it would accommodate a seat but the second boat looks more suitable for carrying passengers.

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