Tempting plans for the boat-dreaming season, part III

Well, I suppose it’s time for one of mine, finally. Here’s a two-sheet plywood dink I designed to be narrower and longer than the usual short and fat two-sheet flattie, with the intention that it would both look and row rather better without much more building work.

I had to make her a shade boxier forward than I’d hoped in order to work in a reasonable amount of displacement, but as well as carrying more crew and cargo overall, the extra shape will make her drier and more bouyant also.

I think she meets the design criteria pretty well.

If you’d like to build a little boat for your pond or as a tender to a larger boat, you might think of it as a Christmas present from me! If you do build it, do please let me know, as I’d love to hear about it.

Whoever you are, have a great Christmas holiday break, and I hope you’re looking forward to more www.intheboatshed.net in the coming year.

Download the files in the form of a zip file here: Light dinghy plans download

Light Dinghy

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5 thoughts on “Tempting plans for the boat-dreaming season, part III”

  1. Hello,
    Have been looking through this site at the amazing free plans and wondered if anyone has plans for a 8ish ft rowing boat/tender. Or, is it possible to reduce the dimensions of the light dinghy to suit.
    I require it as a tender first and foremost but would like to use it to row up the river nicely. That said I would respectfully prefer the plans to be laid with a vee bow.
    Can you help…I am a hefty 23 stones and will have a 9 stone passenger.
    Many thanks.

    1. A V-bowed boat has less bouyancy than a pram – that is it can carry less weight… So I’d argue that if the length must be 8ft, a pram will be the boat for you. The Light Dinghy would have to be built full-length to be useful to you also.

      My guess is that you’d be better off looking at a commercial pram design – or a longer boat.


  2. Hmm so many boats so little time…I’m looking for a simple, easy to build design to build with kids for use on the Dutch canals (flat and shallow, can be windy). My first list of criteria: Quick build & simple construction, stable (platform for fishing and general kids mucking around type stuff) will carry two kids/kid and adult (lets say 100kg), easily driven, could take a small electric outboard + weight of a battery (or two), ideally 3.5m LOA and 1.2m beam or thereabouts (that would fit in the space between teh other boats we have moored in the garden) last and least it should look okay (preferably boatlike). I’ve built in stitch and glue so experience isn’t an issue. However the patience of my 10 year old is. My first thought was jonboat but they are a bit beamy (and boxy) with no rise at the stern (I will never provive my youngest with enough power to plane!) . Then I stumbled across Lillypad and thought I’d found it. Now you’ve gone and confused me again with this one: She’s more boaty, I guess will have more secondary stability and I expect more manouverable with an e-motor? You’re thoughts on her suitability for the intended purpose would be welcome. Has she been built?

    1. I think she’d be fine in sheltered water. However, no-one has built her that I know of, so she hasn’t been tried.

      With your spec, I think I’d recommend the Ella skiff – it’s a bit more fiddly and takes a little more material, but youngsters will think it looks like a proper boat. It’s also well tried and is easy to drive under oars so would be the same under electric power.

      1. Thanks for taking the time to reply. Ella looks nice and fits the criterion “ boats should be pointy”. However, after building a model we’ve decided that, on this occasion, function beats form so a pram it is. We’ll have a go at the light dinghy when we get back from hols.

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