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Building Plywood Boats

Palmira S

What a pleasure it would be to sail in a boat you have made! Do you want to make one? Don't know how to? Well, here are the steps for building one with plywood.
Since childhood, voyages have always fascinated us. Every time you sit in a boat, you wonder "how is this boat made?". There are many styles in which a boat can be made. They can be made of different materials too.
In this post, we will narrow down to building plywood boats. Plywood is one of the easily available materials and compared to boats made up of other materials, the procedure for building plywood boats is much simpler. At the same time it is cost-effective too.
★ Before you start with the actual process of building the boats, you will need to assemble the materials required for the same. So let's take a look at some of the crucial materials which you will require are undermentioned.
  • Plywood
  • Planks
  • Lumber
  • Screws
  • Caulk
  • Paint and paint brush
  • Safety glasses and gloves
★ After gathering all the materials, the next step is of cutting the wood to the desired size and shape. Cut the lumber in sizes of 2 by 4 feet. Next comes the stern post of the size 2 by 4. After that cut the planks of 10 inches.
★ Now, after all the assembling and cutting has been done, we start with the actual procedure of building the boats. The first step consists of building the ribs. For building the ribs, you will require lumber. Assemble the lumbers and join them. In order to secure the joints of the rib, make use of plywood.
The rib of the boat is known to support the motor system of the boat. Hence, make sure that it is strong enough.
★ After you are done with the construction of the rib, start building the keel. For this, you will have to attach the stern post to the lumber. The keel acts as the backbone of the boat and gives it the much required stability.
★ Next comes the keelson. Turn the ribs upside down, and fix the stern post and the keelson to it. Starting from the transom, move forward and attach the wooden screws. While doing this, make sure that the spacing between the ribs is equal. To form the bow, the last band of ribs is supposed to be attached to the front end of the boat.
★ Now, on the inside part of the ribs, attach the keelson with the help of screws. Make sure that the screw passes through the rib as well as the keelson. The function of the keelson is to provide stability to the ribs and the keel.
★ On the inside part of the keel, attach the stringers. After you are done with it, again attach the stringers with the help of the screws on the external side and by the sides.
★ Now, we move to the construction of the hull. The hull is made up of plywood. Attach the plywood to the stringers and ribs.
★ All the seams should be filled with the help of caulk. The seams which are present inside as well as outside should be filled with the caulk properly.
★ Now, we move on to the final step of this task. This step includes fitting of planking between the ribs, a few inches below the gunwales. This will assist in the formation of the seats. For seat supports, you can attach the gussets to the ribs with the help of screws.
Now, attach the seat supports to the seats. To give a nice look to the boat, you can paint it with your favorite colors.
★ With this, you complete the procedure of making the boat. You can check if the boat floats well. You can also check for leakage, if any. If there is a leakage, do not forget to fix it right there.
While making the boat, make sure that you wear safety glasses and gloves. Even though, the process is a bit tedious. However, the joy and satisfaction of making the boat yourself will be worth all the effort. So, try your hands at it and give it a shot. So go ahead, make a boat and enjoy boating!