cheap boat plans

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by boatenthusiast, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. Ilan Voyager
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Cancun Mexico

    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    I do agree that a 12-14 feet is far a better option. Free plans can be good if they are at the same standards as a pro plan. Otherwise it's not counseled to a beginner who has not a concrete idea of boat building even a pram, some have never made a plywood box. It's simple for most of us, seasoned builders, as we are far away of our humble beginnings when looking at a hammer we were figuring how to handle it :p
     
  2. Ilan Voyager
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Cancun Mexico

    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    That's the great metaphysical question about boat building small boats and that depends heavily on the program.
    If I need a boat with a program I can fulfill perfectly with the inflatable, I do not hesitate one second. I'll buy it and I save all the work. The same if I can get a second hand boat.
    The worst motivation to build yourself a small boat is savings. You can get savings on DIY bigger boats because they implies many costly man hours work and it's not even sure when you see the over abundant market of used boats. Not on a small one.
    You are going to buy all the materials and hardware at retail, ie the most outrageous price. Add the shipping costs. The tooling. The place. The time. And the last line of the budget; Miscellaneous. That looks innocent but it is the devil's detail. Ask yourself which is the real price of 25 SS screws when you have to take the car, spend 1 hour, and ride 10 miles to get them, you'll be surprised. To see at the end that were 304 SS Chinese screws that will rust within 2 days unless you passivate them with pure nitric acid (another devil's detail to get that stuff)
    The best motivation is the pleasure of building (and designing) at least for me. Even a simple pram for fishing that you know it will be rotten within 5 years.
    Or to make something that is not in the market like a state of the art strip plank canoe or kayak. A race catamaran prototype with unseen features (and a heavy program of trials, with the hope it will be faster than a Hobie 14). A flat bottom boat able to go in a wetland with a weed eater. An outstanding dinghy for a Wooden Boat Mag article. A 1930 inboard runaboat with hand carved scenes of crab fishing in Alaska, gold letters, and leather seats. A small 25-30 HP race boat (that's great fun).
    After that, if you believe that you have saved money, you're a lucky man. But you are the happy builder proud of your master opera. All that you are going to suffer for saving maybe 200 bucks compared to a polyethylene 8 feet pram is not worth.
     
  3. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

    I would point out that, even with fanatical care, the rubber/plastic boat has a limited lifespan. A reasonably built and maintained plywood dinghy can have an unlimited lifespan......
     
  4. peterAustralia
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Melbourne Australia

    peterAustralia Senior Member

    i will try hard to avoid using four letter words

    there is a list of almost 400 small boat plans, most are rowing boats, but many are row/sail boats. The list is very comprehensive (cause i wrote it). So just go though the darn list, find the boat u like the best and build it. I think u would be hard pressed to find a rowboat that aint on the list (its that darn good)

    www.tacking-outrigger.com/rowboat3.html
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    Very true Tad. However, maintenance has to be considered. It has taken me longer to rip out the flotation on my ten-year-old ply dink, sand it, install new flotation, and repaint it, than it did to design and build the thing in the first place! And about $250 in materials. But it is very light and designed to fit on the forward deck of my boat and I wouldn't trade it for a deflatable. Plus, I don't think the deflatable would survive having 100' of 3/8 chain rattle over those tubes when paying out a 60# anchor. That isn't SOP, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

    I certainly didn't mean to imply that there aren't good reasons to want a wooden dink. They are easy to find on the beach at Stocking Island among the 200 inflatables:D. It was mostly to see if someone could actually acquire a design and the right to build one, and gather up all the materials needed to build it, for less than the cost of a typical dinghy delivered to your doorstep. As in most things, you pay a premium for durability and maintainability.
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    One good reason to have a wooden dink, is to be able to keep is as the RIB's get stolen pretty quickly. Paint it pink, with big fish lips or something on the side, also helps it's longevity greatly in your possession.
     
  7. Ilan Voyager
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Cancun Mexico

    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Tad, nothing has unlimited life even the universe. But compared to a neoprene or other plastic rib a well made dink has a rather long life. It's simply a compromise about what you want and how much you're willing to invest in time, sweat and money to get it.
    PhilSweet. You have repaired your dink because it fits perfectly your program, so it's irreplaceable. Probably when the old will be totally worn, you'll build the same. But you have not illusions about the cost or eventual savings which are not your principal motivation.
    Par, it's a wise counsel. Myself I did it for a moped half century ago. When I stopped making plane models, I used all my stock of Humbrol paints for "creating" the most terrifying and ugly thing ever done with my moped. The thing was so recognizable and so "emetic" that nobody did not even tried to stole it. I never could sell or give it also. I made the horrible mistake to gave it to a girl friend for her birthday believing that she'll be happy, but she began to cry saying that I did not loved her and left me.

    I must remark that all (including me) have some experience so we all know what means building a pram. We have even made more and bigger. So that looks so easy for us. The days when a plan looked like a mysterious piece of paper with lots of lines and indecipherable columns and rows of cyphers are far behind us. We know what we do need, how to make it as we are intellectually/manually capable and best we have all a lot of providers in our books.
    It's not the case of a total beginner. He is lost in terra incognita, sirens are singing the treacherous sweet song of the instant magical dink made in minutes with a few bucks.
    So it's better to warn him before. After, having in hand all the elements, if he decides to build, let's rejoice we have a new member in the club.
    peterAustralia thanks for the link. It's overwhelming.
     

  8. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Peter that must have been a lot of work. The list has something for almost everyone. Thanks for that very useful resource.
     
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