Bateau Boat Plans
Boat Building Plans: How Do I Start To Build A Boat?

Starting a do-it-yourself project requires a high-quality set of boat building plans, patterns or drawings in a choice of construction methods, designs, and styles.

Popular Searches: Airboat Plans - Fiberglass Boat Plans - Sailboat Plans - Stitch & Glue Boat Plans

If you're had the idea of constructing a flats boat for use on still bodies of water for fishing trips, a sailboat for a quiet getaway or a houseboat to entertain friends and family - than there are a choice of high-quality detailed plans, supplies and kits.

Most of the DIY plans are intended to be within the capabilities of the novice or amateur builder – thou a modest amount of woodworking (or similar) skills are desirable.

With no particular manufacturer endorsed, expect an introduction to all possibilities - So I figure I'd share a great selection of direct links to companies offering self-build plans, patterns, and kits. All plans consist of full-size patterns, complete material lists, tools required, and with full step-by-step instructions to get a do-it-yourself project in progress in the shortest time possible.

A to Z List Of Boat Building Kits

Click on a Topic to visit plan-specific sources for a variety of distinctive self-build sail or motor-driven boats constructed in aluminum, fiberglass, stitch and glue, or wood.

Air Boat Plans

Lake Buggy - Single & Twin Seater Air Boat Plans; a simple, low cost airboat design to build and assemble for fun; Plywood construction; Plans by AirBoatFun


Swamp Boat - 13-foot Swamp Boat Plans; flat-bottomed, with airplane-type propeller; Plywood construction; Plans by Glen-L

Aluminum Boat Plans

Drift Boat
Drift Boat - 14-foot Drift Boat Plans; double ended McKenzie river boat; Aluminum construction; Plans by Specmar


A-Lure - 25-foot Walk-around Sportfisher; a no compromising, no frills sportfisher, w/full walkaround deck area; Aluminum construction; Plans by Glen-L


Alaskan - 23-foot Sportfisher Boat Plans; modified sportfisher, w/forward sloping windshield, and twin outboard; Aluminum construction; Plans by Specmar

Catamaran Boat Plans

Row Catamaran - 15-foot Catamaran Boat Plan; a stylish four-seat recreational catamaran; Plywood construction; Plans by BoatPlans

Chris Craft Boat Plans

Barrelback - 17-foot Chris Craft Boat Plans; full sized and scaled plans for a Chris Craft Barrelback; Plywood construction; Plans by Classic Wooden Boat Plans


Islander - 25-foot Cabin Cruiser; chris-craft styled cabin cruiser; Plywood construction; Plans by Glen-L

Dory Boat Plans

Juneau - 14-foot Dory Boat Plans; a great one or two person grand banks dory design; Plywood construction; Plans by Spira International Inc


Kay Largo
Key Largo - 24-foot Caroline Dory Plans; easy to build classic Carolina Dory; Plywood construction; Plans by Spira International Inc

Drift Boat Plans

Freestone Classic
Freestone Classic - 12-foot traditionally styled drift boat in plan or kit form; Plywood construction; Plans by Montana Boat Builders


Mackinaw - 13-foot Drift Boat Plans; a western styled drift boat for wild river travel and fishing; Plywood construction; Plans by Spira International Inc

Duck Boat Plans

DS15 - 15 Duck Boat Plans; a typical duck-hunting vessel for open water with space for substantial gear; Epoxy-plywood-fiberglass composite; Plans by Bateau

Electric Boat Plans

Lo Voltage
Lo Voltage - 15'7" Electric Boat Plans; a easy to build boat, powered by an electric golf cart DC motor; Plywood construction; Plans by Glen-L


PowerYak - 17-foot Electric Kayak Plans; build a powerful kayak, runs on battery powered DC trolling motor, Plywood construction; Plans by Glen-L

Fiberglass Boat Plans

Foamee - 9-foot Sailing Dinghy Plans; a simple ship-to-shore boat, sails or outboard powered; Aluminum construction; Plans by Glen-L


Kodiak - 29' Motorsailer; a rugged and strong hull design for experienced amateur or small custom yard; Aluminum construction; Plans by Glen-L

Fishing Boat Plans

Classic 21 - 21-foot Sportfishing Boat Plans; offshore capable boat with a proven hull shape for fishing or family trips; Epoxy-fiberglass-plywood composite; Plans by Bateau


Abaco - 23-foot Fishing Boat Plans; single or twin-engined sport fishing boat, with smooth ride, variable deadrise, and inspired by the rugged Bahamian boats; Plywood cored epoxy composite; Plans by Bateau

Flats Boat Plans

Phantom 16 - 16-foot Flats Boat Plans; a lightweight design, with shallow draft, easy to pole, and perfect for a flats fisherman; Plywood construction; Plans by Bateau


Flats Stalker 18 - 18-foot Flats Fishing Boat Plans; a simple to pole, narrow beam, skinny water sight fishing boat; Plywood construction; Plans by Bateau

Folding Boat Plans

Fold Up
Fold Up - 10-foot Folding Boat Plans; flat bottom, garvey style, outboard or oar power, folds into a flat package; Plywood construction; Plans by Glen-L

Glass Bottom Boat Plans

Glass Bottom
Glass Bottom - 9'6" Underwater viewing Boat Plans; a flat-bottomed stable platform with a glass bottom to view the depths, fish, or just to boat; Plywood construction; Plans by Glen-L

Houseboat Plans

HB16 - 16' Houseboat Boat Plans; a compact, easily trailerable flat bottom hull house boat; Plywood construction; Plans by Bateau

Jon Boat Plans

Jon Boat 12 - 12-foot Jon Boat Plans; a simple to construct classic flat bottom jon boat, garvey or duck boat; Plywood construction; Plans by Bateau


JB 14 - 14-foot Jon Boat Plans; a easy to build design, very stable, and a fast performance with small outboard; Plywood construction; Plans by Bateau

Lobster Boat Plans

Eagle FG
Eagle FG - 22-foot Trailerable Work Lobster Boat Plans; scaled-down version of a nimble, easy riding lobster boat; Aluminum construction; Plans by Glen-L

Pontoon Boat Plans

Huck Finn
Huck Finn - 12 - 28-foot Trailerable Pontoon Boat Plans; semi-displacement twin pontoons with deck unit; Plywood construction; Plans by Glen-L

Pram Dinghy Plans

Prameke - 7'8 Pram Dinghy Plans; a oar, sail, or outboard pram type dinghy, with stable wide beam, and Optimist type rig; Plywood construction; Plans by Bateau

Row Boat Plans

Nutshell 7 - 7-foot Row Boat Plans; a simple, light dinghy for outboard or rowing, one person capacity; Plywood construction; Plans by Bateau

Sailboat Plans

Dory 12 - 12-foot traditional Sailboat Plans; a simple rowing dinghy with flat bottom, which also sails decently; Plywood construction; Plans by Bateau


Alexa's Rocket
Alexa's Rocket 15 - 15-foot Sailing Dinghy Plans, a performance sailing boat styled similar to Javlin dinghies; Plywood construction; Plans by Bateau


Vagabond 26 - 26-foot Offshore Sailboat Plans; a offshore capable sailboat with shallow draft, with 2 person accommodation; Plywood construction; Plans by Bateau


Caravelle 16 - 14'4" Daysailor Plans; all features of a rounded family sailing boat, with benches, and small storage area; Plywood construction; Plans by Bateau


Sport Boat
Sport Boat 18 - 18-foot Trailerable Sailboat Plans; a high performance sail boat with a retractable keel; Plywood construction; Plans by Bateau

Skiff Boat Plans

Flat Skiff
Flat Skiff 12 - 12-foot Skiff Boat Plans; a row or outboard powered utility boat, with a very easy to build design; Plywood construction; Plans by Bateau

Speed Boat Plans

Mangusta 20 - 20-foot Sports Boat Plans, a fast and light deep-v designed speed boat for stern-drive or outboard(s); Epoxy-Glass Plywood composite; Plans by Bateau

Stitch and Glue Boat Plans

Center Console
16' Console Skiff - 16-foot Outboard Skiff with Center Console; easy to construct Skiff with large open cockpit area; Plywood construction; Plans by Glen-L


Flats Boat
17' Dragonfly - 17-foot Garvey-type Flats Boat Plans; a boat for shallow areas in the backwaters; Plywood construction, Plans by Glen-L


Sailing Dinghy
7' Dinky - 7-foot Sailing Dinghy Plans; a incredibly fast, cheap & easy ship-to-shore dinghy design to build; Plywood construction; Plans by Glen-L


Electric Boat
13' Amp Eater - 13-foot Stitch & Glue Electric Boat Plans; constructed with a efficient hull design and quiet, environmentally friendly, electric propulsion system; Plywood construction; Plans by Glen-L


Paddlewheel Boat
6' Ke-Pau - 6-foot Paddlewheel Boat Plans; a simple flat-bottomed design, propel with paddlewheels; Plywood construction; Plans by Glen-L

Tug Boat Plans

Goliath - 18½-foot Tug Boat Plans; authentic tug cruiser for work or pleasure; Aluminum construction; Plans by Glen-L

Boat Building Methods

Plywood, fiberglass, aluminum and steel are the most common construction materials seen with the amateur plans. Build methods include stitch and glue, strip planking, panel assemble, cold molded, and plank on frame.

Building in plywood with the stitch and glue technique is often seen as the easiest technique to build in. For someone that has basic carpentry knowledge - plywood is going to be the preferred build material. For those with welding skills, the option of building in steel or aluminum is possible.

How Much Experience Do I Need To Build A Boat

Basic woodworking abilities required for the plywood or straight-framed vessels consist of acquired knowledge of cutting, wood grain, planing, and screw fastening. Other additional skills are gained in the construction process as the build continues.

Wood boat plans complete with a detailed materials list help to determine the quantity of build materials required, which also helps in estimating the cost of the hull materials. On top of that, costs for the trim and outfit are often reliant on the degree of finish desired. Comparison shop a variety of hardware suppliers to get the most competitive build costs.

Most of the boat building kits are designed to be built with the most common or everyday hand tools. Wood-based boats, featuring in a majority of the plans, require such power-tools as a circular saw, drill, plane, and sander, and basic hand tools as a tape measure, screwdriver, chisel, sander, tape measure, plane, saber saw, clamps, etc. Other build methods, such as those constructed in steel or aluminum, often require industrial-grade tools.

Choosing the Boat to Build

Its often not too difficult to decide on the type of craft to match a person's boating activities - If looking to self-construct a vessel similar to a brand-name model, than it is a case of locating a set of boat building plans to create a craft of a similar design and build to that of the manufacturers model.

Boat plans, at $39 to $724, materials, and required tools cost a lot less than that of purchasing a ready-to-sail sailboat off the showroom floor. If skilled at woodwork, its also a possibility to save more on the cost of boat building supplies if taking the time to source individual materials at the most competitive rates, rather than purchasing an all-inclusive kit.

In some cases it possible to gain a saving in the region of 25 - 45% when compared to the alternative option of purchasing a commercially built boat. Material costs are reduced drastically to offer a great way of competing a DIY project at a fraction of the cost. It might not feature all the accessories seen with the top boat manufacturers, but provided the plans are followed step-by-step and its watertight - it will do much the same work once on the water.


Read More in: Boat Plans & Kits

Boat Plan Sources:

1. AirBoatFun
2. Bateau
3. BoatPlans
4. Classic Wooden Boat Plans
5. Glen-L
6. Montana Boat Builders
7. Specmar
8. Spira International Inc.