Free boat plans that work


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This a page of links to some favourite free boat plans at intheboatshed.net. They’ve been chosen because they are derived from traditional boats, or in some cases simply for their usefulness. There are quite a few here, but you’ll find still more in the intheboatshed.net weblog by clicking on the free boat plans category or using the search gadget. If you find anything you feel I should add, please let me know at gmatkin@gmail.com.

PLEASE ALWAYS USE THE LATEST VERSION WHICH WILL CONTAIN ANY CORRECTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO THE DESIGNERS ATTENTION.

 

 

Boats designed by Gavin Atkin - The Barton skiff, a low powered outboard skiff – get the plans here. boat plans, outboard boat plans, boat building plans The Barton skiff – click on the thumbnail for a larger drawing

Brian King’s Barton skiff during construction:

Brian King's Barton skiff Brian King's Barton skiff Brian King's Barton skiff Brian King's Barton skiff Brian King's Barton skiff Brian King's Barton skiff

See a short video of Brian’s boat in action using a 3.5hp outboard at 6knots or so. Note the near complete lack of wake, which should indicate that the boat’s working efficiently.

- The 14ft Sunny skiff – get the plans for this easy to build lightweight rowing boat here.

free boat plans, rowing boat plans, free boatbuilding plans, lightweight rowing boat Sunny skiff model made by Aleksey Sunny skiff model made by Aleksey Sunny skiff model made by Aleksey 

Sunny skiff model made by Aleksey  Model of Sunny skiff made by Jake and Grant Bonner 2 Model of Sunny skiff made by Jake and Grant Bonner 3

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Sunny skiff lightweight plywood rowing dinghy

- The 12ft Ella skiff – get the plans for this easy to build lightweight rowing boat here.

boat plans, boatbuilding plans, rowing boat plans, sailing boat plans, lightweight rowing boat free boat plan, plywood boat, stitch and glue boat, tack and tape boat, rowing boat gavin atkin, ella, ella skiff, norman fuller, electric boat,  electric skiff, rowing skiff, plywood boat, boat plans, boat plans,  boatbuilding plans, stitch and glue, tack and tape gavin atkin, ella, ella skiff, norman fuller, electric boat,  electric skiff, rowing skiff, plywood boat, boat plans, free boat plans,  free boatbuilding plans, stitch and glue, tack and tape gavin atkin, ella, ella skiff, norman fuller, electric boat,  electric skiff, rowing skiff, plywood boat, boat plans, free boat plans,  free boatbuilding plans, stitch and glue, tack and tape   559479_554531541287504_1899332968_n 1377232_554569204617071_1769625990_n 1384019_554569161283742_542520212_n

12ft Ella skiff

- The sailing version of the Ella skiff – get the plans here (now in version 1.1).

free boat plans, free boatbuilding plansElla sailing skiff model Ella sailing skiff model Ella sailing skiff model

O O O Burlington-20131114-00008

The sailing version of the 12ft Ella skiff

See:

- The intheboatshed.net Julie 15ft 7in flat bottomed rowing skiff

Julie skiff built by John Krause julie-skiff-stern 20130317_172252 20130317_172301 mississippi_2 mississippi_1 cedar_lake2 cedar_lake1 lake_nokomis

See:

- The Light TrowLight Trow model package plywood boat Gavin Atkin boat plan

The Mk 2 Light Trow – click on the photo for a larger image

See a clip of the Light Trow sailing:

Download the Mk 2 Light Trow plans, and the model-making plans (making a model to be an important preparation for making this kind of boat). Also, see Ben Crawshaw’s excellent weblog about building and then cruising the Light Trow on the Spanish coast; also, read about the original trows: The Fleet Trow

- The Cinderella canoe

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Al Burke’s Cinderella

Al’s comments following his first test were interesting: ‘A successful design that is an absolute delight to paddle and which brought comments like “beautiful lines” and “do you want to sell it?” from people on the beach watching the test.’

I think this is a nice small open paddler, but bouyancy tanks or bags would be a essential if you’re going to do more than paddle in narrow rivers or small shallow lakes.

free boat plans, free boatbuilding plans

See:
A Cinderella canoe adapted for rowing
Plans for building the Cinderella: 
Cinderella download

- The Light Dinghy

free boat plans, free boatbuilding plansDoris the Dory

Light Dinghy – click on the drawing for a larger image

For more on this boat, see:

- Doris the Dory

Picture 026 Picture 028 Picture 489

Plans for building Doris the Dory: Doris the Dory download 

- The Forest & Stream skiff

free boat plans, free boatbuilding plans

Forest & Stream skiff in built in Sweden – click on the photo for a larger image – see the post: A little classic to build this spring

- The small Bluestone schooner My Bluestone schooner design in the spotlight and the download including the chine version

- The Electric Schock skiff free boat plans, free boatbuilding plans Electric Schock dinghy – click on the drawing for a larger image The Electric Schock plans at Duckworks

Free designs from other designers

- A sailing Duck Punt, as raced on the English East Coast

Plans for John Milgate’s Duck Punt

- The South Haven Dory

Build the South Haven Dory

- International 12 dinghy
George Cockshott’s sweet 12-foot dinghy

- Chuck Merrell’s Apple Pie

free boat plans, free boatbuilding plans

Temptations part V: a dinghy so small, your family will hardly notice…

- Canvas canoe
How to build a canvas canoe
- Hannu Vartiala’s coracle
Hannu Vartiala’s website changes address

-The Brockway skiff

Build the Brockway skiff

- Wolfgang Brink’s Greenland Kayak

How to build a Greenland kayak

- An alternative folding boat

An alternative folding boat
- Boat plans from Practical Boatbuilding for Amateurs, including the 10ft double-ended skiff, various punts etc
Practical Boat Building for Amateurs

- Thames skiff and racing punt
At last – free online designs for a skiff and a racing punt

- Howard Irving Chappelle’s traditional 14ft skiff
Chappelle’s 14ft skiff – another candidate for the 2008 boatbuilding season?

- Mark Wallace’s Black Skiff

free boat plans, free boatbuilding plans
Mark Wallace’s elegant Black Skiff

Boatbuilding plans for the Black Skiff have been designed and made available for free by Mark Wallace – he says all he asks for is to be given the credit for designing the boat.

I think it’s an elegant design. The plans are not likely to be the easiest for first-time boatbuilders to follow, but it would be well worth picking the required skills up by reading one of the classic books on this kind of boatbuilding. See the Intheboatshed.net Amazon bookshop for something suitable.

Mark ways she’s a strong light-weight boat loosely with strong links to Scandinavian types. She proven to be an excellent rower, has a capacity of four adults and has a flat bottom for easy beaching.

Go to Mark’s website for more information and plans in pdf format: http://www.markwallaceshipwright.com/plans.html

By the way, don’t miss Mark’s impressive collection of testimonials.

51 Responses to Free boat plans that work

  1. charli says:

    As my mind turns to building MY first boat during the winter months, I browsed and found many sites and such. Yours has been a great place to see and feed that desire. Thank you for your site. I live on a river that empties into the Matagorda bay, here in Texas, and the wind blows regular like crazy. But, I think that I found my first boat in the information given here on your site. Wish me luck!!! The water might be shallow here on the river but the mud is VERY deep. I'll be sure to send you photos and let you know how it all turns out. Again, thank you.

  2. Derek says:

    Hey, I am hoping to build the julie skiff for my first boat.

    I made the model last night but i am unsure on how it scales up, i downloaded the zip file and i am unsure on how to use your co-ordinates, please help!

    Thanks!

    -Derek

  3. Gavin Atkin says:

    It's late and I have a date with a pillow, but I'd delighted you're interested in building this boat.

    The coordinates work like this. The letters label the many 'significant' points on the drawings, often they are points where two different lines join. The coordinates are pairs of numbers, as you'll have noticed, and each pair defines a particular single point on the ply.

    It's like plotting a graph at school, but if that doesn't come easily think of it this way:

    Consider two coordinates 3 1/8, 6 1/2

    3 1/8 defines a line parallel to the left-hand edge that is 3 1/8in in from the edge, while 6 1/2 defines a line parallel to the bottom that is 6 1/2 up from the bottom. The point being defined is where the two cross! There are a lot of points to plot, and when they have been plotted, you have to join the dots to make a complete drawing, as it were.

    Does that help? If not, if you know someone with some background in maths should be able to sort it out for you using pencil and paper.

    Gav

  4. Ryan says:

    Hey, I am 14 years old and plan on constructing a skiff for fishing.

    My grandpa has a Bachelors in Drafting and is very good with wood and we have all the tools, so I was wondering, do you think you could work with me on designing a boat if you have the time? I have a few ideas in mind and I'm starting to put them down on paper.

    By helping I mean could you tell me what I would need for the design I have? Thank you for such a great website!

    • Gavin Atkin says:

      I'm sorry Ryan – I'd like to help but I'm desperately short of time due to work and family responsibilities. You max find some of my free plans will give you some ideas however. Gavin

  5. Ryan says:

    It's ok Gavin,

    Like I said, only if you have time and are interested.

    When I come up with a design I'll send you them and send you pictures of the outcome that you can put up :)

  6. Ryan says:

    Thanks Gavin

    I have actually managed to maneuver my way over to Duckworks Magazine through your site, and they have been very helpful over there!

  7. Ryan says:

    it's quite alright Gavin, you have been of help though. Your hard work in putting this site together has payed off for me and many others!

  8. Steve aka dzlstroker says:

    Hi Gavin, Many thanks for all that you've done for potential DIY Boat Builders, like myself! Look forward to the new adventure.

  9. mike says:

    Hi there, a little advice please.

    my brother and I have a 3 year plan. My kids will both be teenagers in 3 years time.

    My brother is the sailor in the family (the brains) I am the canoeist and rower (used to be the brawn now a little slack around the middle).

    We want to build a boat that we can sail both on lakes and lochs and when the kids are teenagers we can take up the west coast of Scotland for extended touring holidays – ideally both camping and sleeping on the boat.

    At the moment the kids sail mirror dingy and are very keen to help in the build.

    My brother and i really like the looks of norse double enders and are taken with the caledonian yawl. Problem our woodworking skills are basic DIY – we've built sheds and summerhouses but would like some info on what we should expect from a project like this and what your thoughts are about choice of boat for our requirements.

    Hope you can help.

  10. Gavin Atkin says:

    That's a nice dream!

    Everyone you talk to will give you a different answer. If you're tendency is to craftsmanship, I'm sure you can build a Caledonian Yawl, but might benefit from building something simpler first. If it isn't, I'd suggest you don't even go there!

    I'd also say that by the time they're teenagers, your kids are unlikely to want to sail with Dad, and probably not for days at a time – your kids may be different but my experience is that what they enjoy most is being skipper of their own ship in the company of others in similar boats. That way, they don't have to follow orders or watch Dad do the interesting stuff, and they can race each other, chase each other, play at capsizing, flirt and all the rest of the stuff kids that age do. If you want them to be interested in boating and particularly sailing long term, I think the best advice is to find a sailing club that does this sort of thing well.

    I should add that home built boats are for individualists, which counts out most teenage kids.

    So if you would like to dabble in the noble art of boatbuilding, I'd suggest making something simple that you'll never regret owning and which will add a fun dimension to picnics on the river or to the seaside. I'm thinking of a lightweight little rowing boat like the Ella by the way!

    Hope that helps a little and doesn't seem too partial!

    Gav

  11. Russell J Surrey says:

    Hi

    Not sure if anyone can help but I'm looking to build a model of bawley cockler. Does anyone know where I can get plans to achieve this.

    Thank you all in appreciation.

    Russell

  12. Jimmy Vitale says:

    Hi Gavin:

    Great website and info. Are you selling plans for a large (or small) scale model of the Iain Oughtred designed St. Ayles Skiff? This was the one that Alec Jordan built for the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project (as seen in Water Craft magazine Jan/Feb 2010). I'm located in the United States.

    God bless and many thanks,

    Jimmy

    • Gavin Atkin says:

      I'm sorry Jimmy – I don't sell plans, at least not currently. Check my posts for a link to the Jordan site and ask him. He might be persuaded that the St Ayles skiff is now such a celebrity that he could successfully model kits.

      Actually, my guess is that some good models would make great trophies…

      Gav

  13. Kervyn says:

    Hi, I've been trying to download the free plans for the flying mouse without success.Can anyone please sent me a copy that I can just print off.Thanks most appreciated.

    • Gavin Atkin says:

      Happy to do it.

      Gavin

    • Gavin Atkin says:

      I'm delighted you're building one of these boats. Please keep in touch – I'll be pleased to help in any way I can.

      If the added weight is no problem to you, then it won't trouble the designer!

      The only thing I'd say is that I've never needed laminated such a large area and if I did so I'd want to know (i) how to eliminate bubbles and (ii) how to make sure those that do creep in are there are well sealed.

      The second part may be easy – perhaps all you have to do is to make sure you coat both sides of the joint well, I suppose, but the first part is something that would make me turn to the forums for advice from someone who has done it a few times.

      Gav

  14. i found by accident some plans for a 16` launch, from a book about the ww2, is it possible to look at these some where on the site? hope you can help. regards julian

    • Gavin Atkin says:

      I'd like to help Julian – but can you tell me anything more about the boat you're looking for? What was it that interested you? Was there a link to some plans? Did it have accommodation?

      Gavin

  15. julian valentine says:

    hello gavin hope you ok ,i am still trying to find out about this motor launch, the plans are in a book you mentioned,is it possible to get a copy or any chance of a copy, regards julian

    • Gavin Atkin says:

      All the information about this boat that appears in the book is in the post. If you found the particular edition of the Motor Boat Manual concerned (I can't remember which it is), you would not have any more information.

      Gavin

  16. Dr. Amit Shankar Jan says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am project secretary to Students Health HOme the largest student CBO/NGO in India. We are contemplating to start a mobile waterway health service in the Sunderbans for students. It would be highly convenient if you can help with some low cost boat plans for the purpose

    thanking you

    Dr. Amit Shankar Jana

  17. David Doyle says:

    I need a flat bottom dolly boat design could you please make one?

    yours sincerly David Doyle

  18. Andrew McNeill says:

    Hello Gavin, I have started to build a Barton Skiff and would love to put sails to this boat, please could you suggest a simple rig that I could use as I think it would set my boat off. Maybe also could you suggest the position of the mast.

    Kind Regards,

    Andrew.

    • Gavin Atkin says:

      Andrew

      I'm delighted to hear that you're building this boat, and would very much like to follow your progress and provide whatever help seems to be required. Where are you?

      However, the Barton skiff is really not intended to be a sailer – it's got the wrong kind of hull, particularly for upwind sailing.

      Also, I'd strongly suggest joining the gmaboatbuilders yahoogroup and reading through the experiences of Brian and Charles, who have both built the Barton skiff, and the correspondence will include some useful bits of advice.

      Gavin

  19. Andrew McNeill says:

    Gavin, I am on the North coast of Northern Ireland, from a small town called Coleraine about 5 minutes from the sea. I like the sound of the mast about 9 ft as my lathe has a 3 ft bed and I would turn it in three sections and have two cross members one at 3 ft and the bottom one at 5 ft with a cool red sail. I am a carpenter by trade so the woodwork side should be sorted. I am finishing all gunwales and finishing work with Mahogany and varnish with a green hull so it should be the best looking boat sitting in our bay. This all sounds good anyway.

    Kind Regards

    Andrew

  20. Andrew McNeill says:

    Gavin,

    Sorry to bother you again as I have just realised that sailing this boat will not work ( you can tell I am a novice ). Your idea about a small mast, nav lights sounds real good so I think I will run with that. Work is progressing well.

    Many Thanks,

    Andrew

  21. andrew mcneill says:

    Gavin, where would you position the small mast and what size, diameter etc do you think would look good. Hope to get some photos soon, the delay has been because daughter took my camera of to University and left us without one.

    Regards

    Andrew

    • Gavin Atkin says:

      Oh my gosh… Attached to the forward bulkhead, three times as high as the sheer, maybe 4 (side to side) by 5in (fore and aft) tapering to 4 by 4 or 3.5 by 3.5 from the front or back to taste, with a small cross tree about two thirds of the way from the sheeline to the top. That's my first guess, based on (an easy place to site it) and the rule of threes that works for most things!

      Gav

      • Gavin Atkin says:

        I've just remembered that you want to hang a sail from this mast – so forget the cross tree, make the dimensions an inch thicker each way, and make the mast about 10-12ft high. What sort of sail are you thinking of? I'd suggest a spritsail, or maybe a squaresail. You will of course need a rudder too!

        There's a fair amount of geometry involved in placing a sailing rig, so I guess this will be a largely downwind sail.

        Gavin

  22. andrew mcneill says:

    Hi Gavin, just to let you know I have started to sheet the hull and things are getting exiting to see the shape come together.

    regards Andrew

  23. andrew mcneill says:

    Gavin, Have finished sheeting bottom of hull and today before weather turned real bad I laminated Mahogany and Ash strips to the transom on the outside and it looks real good. Hope to sand down tomorrow and coat with epoxy to seal then finish the hull with ply before Xmas. Have set my launch date for Easter in Portrush so will be busy after Xmas. Bought an outboard last week and an engineering friend is stripping and rebuilding it for me and also restoring the paintwork to make as new. It is a small vintage 4 stroke as I do love working with old motors.

    Regards

    Andrew McNeill ( barton skiff builder)

  24. Robert Aldridge says:

    I Have Just purchased a 1947 king Cruiserall original hardware , it needs tlc ,
    i am looking for some basic plans to guid me on this restoration adventure , can you help , or direct me to somewhare i might find info .thanks robert

  25. I came to this site to answer the trunnell boat query, but noticed this page. With another hat on I run the Eventide Owners Group website.

    We have a host of practical seaworthy craft drawings available, designed by Gibbs, Buchanan and Griffiths, plus others, many have sailed far and wide.

    We pass on to anyone in our group, the drawings of all our boats , and membership is free, you just have to enrol. Each is on a CD and we do this at cost, £5.00 inc P&P UK and a little more for overseas.

    Visit the site to see more, we just want to keep these designs alive!

    Regards,
    John Williams
    website coordinator,
    Eventide Owners Group.

  26. andrew mcneill says:

    Hello Gavin, my Barton skiff is now finished and is being launched this weekend. Iam so proud of her and I think she looks wonderful. I went with small mast and I added my own thoughts of what I wanted to make her look like. I will send photos and hopefully speak soon.
    Many thanks,
    Andrew

  27. andrew mcneill says:

    Hi Gavin, well here I go again. I am thinking of building the Bluestone Schooner this winter as I am getting a berth in Portrush harbour and I think she will be the boat for me. Do I just download the plans again or can you send me a copy?
    Many thanks
    Andrew McNeill

  28. jeff taylor says:

    what a marvellous site. intend retiring to goa next year or so,i am a retired joiner so i fancy building a boat for fishing in goa, any advice and plans would be gratefully recieved.
    reg jeff

  29. Jon Moorefield says:

    Great Site. I am considering building a canoe or small boat. Preference is for a paddler, but I might also attach a sail on occasion. Usage would be on lakes, and such. I doubt we would ever carry more than an ice chest. Most common use would be fishing and wildlife watching. Would the Cinderella be too small for tandem use at only 12 feet.

  30. James North says:

    Hi Gavin!
    I am looking to build a waterwag! I have a really old mold but am looking for plans so I can make this one lighter. I will have it professionally made so I dont think the complexity of the plans should be an issue. Do you know where I could get these plans?

    Many Thanks
    Congratulations on a fantastic website.

  31. Anders says:

    Hi, i´m studying to become a boat builder, and as part of my first exam i want to make a stitch and glue project. I have three weeks of around 35 hours. I was wondering if you could advice me if building the sailing skiff in that time, could be possible. I have somewhat novice skills working with wood, but I am adept at powertools in general and have worked a lot with glasfiber and epoxy shaping, sanding, finishing etc. Hope to hear from you. Anders, Denmark.

    • Gavin Atkin says:

      I don’t think so – the rig alone would take up that much time! You could possibly build a little paddler or rower in that time, but I think it would have to be rough and ready.

      Gavin

  32. Steve says:

    Hi Gav,
    I grew up in a boatshed, as a professional fisherman and surfing on the east coast of Australia. Now I know this question is relative can be related to experience and how much discomfort you are prepared to tolerate, and in that if you have no choice but die or punch 40 footers, you could probably sail a grand banks dory leeched and yawled up if you had to and were lucky, but as a 55 yo guy whose trade was made redundant by computers and then left stitched up by a divorce that cleaned me out soon after, what would the smallest sailing vessel boat you would advise for solo crossing oceans and global circumnavigations. Of course I’d love an Old maid of kent or 59 foot schooner but it aint gonna happen. Well not instantly and I’m not getting any younger.
    I’ve made fine violins I got good brass for and am exceptional with timber/lumber, and worked in a loft, slip and sail makers years ago in my teens, so with the right project, in drip fed expenditure, a good book to revise, I could possibly fulfill a dream, and without going into too much detail could use the morale boost of an adventure and perhaps something beautiful to pack up and live on as well. So what sailing craft would fulfill these criteria given restrictions as to where shes lofted up in your opinion please?.
    I did read of a Dutchman sailing a kayak from Holland to Australia by coast hugging and Island vaults but was hoping to up the ante just a touch with something extremely seaworthy and comfortable to live on alone or two up (spooning:), but the smaller it is the more likely I can accommodate it successfully. You got a magic wand to go with that slide rule handy ? :)
    Thanks for your input.

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