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trying to build a 14 ft. boat

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  • trying to build a 14 ft. boat

    I'm a 15 year old who has about 1 year of work under an expert carpenter learning how to build houses now i'm wanting to get a bit more advanced in wood working.
    First of all I have about $1200 stored away in the bank and earning more weekly so I've got to keep within that budget in building my boat.
    I need information on the best plywood to use and figuring I want mid sized interior compartments to store rope , emergency supplies , fishing poles , tackle boxes , and food for fishing trips.
    Its a struggle trying to level cost , durability , and weight figuring I need it to be light enough to be handled without taking 20 stong men to move it.
    I would like it to last however i don't really expect one that will last 30 years but good durability will be great.
    Love to fish love to design , love to build the solution for me was a home made boat.
    I information after I build the hull and top deck is there some sort of coating or paint I need because I can't build the whole boat out of pressure treeted board it would be very expensive and a devil to fill all the cracks.
    I can get my employer a 30 year home and structure builder to cut the plywood because when he does it with a skill saw it looks like the factory saw cut it.
    He can brace the hull fine but what sort of boards should i use for equal strength and lightness?
    1by2 ?1by3 ?2by4 ? 2by6? 2by8? What is the best for a lightweight 14 foot bate with 2' 6" hight?
    Please give me suggjestions figuring this is the best place to find this out and though I get advice from my employer/brother in law he builds houses , barns , shops , driveways , and pole barns NOT boats.
    This would hopefully be drawn out process of 4 or more months so I can use it as a pass time project.

  • #3
    Re: trying to build a 14 ft. boat

    welcome to Iboats and good for you for wanting to take on such a project and an ancient craft.

    Boats are unusual to design and build due to hydraulic forces, so you really need to use plans. Materials are specialized, too; I don't think PT is a preferred material. There's marine plywood, cypress, juniper, ash and mahagony.

    Focus on the hull and worry about compartments way later.

    There is no reason not to build it so it will last 30 years, and there's no reason it won't. I can see the wooden row boat my great uncle built 100 years ago out my window.

    You have too many questions here to get you started; study plans. Go to a museum or boat club with old wooden boats. Many sea coast towns have boat building schools as well as occasional projects. (Where are you?)

    Good luck, listen to the experienced guys, and take pride in your work. Nothing is more exciting, and satisfying, and scary, as launching the boat you made!
    A man of constant boat tinkering.


    • #4
      Re: trying to build a 14 ft. boat

      hi....welcome to iboats !

      there are many wooden boat plans, for exactly what you want....

      however.....it is going to be expencive...

      first of all.....in a wooden boat.....marine grade plywood is used....then covered with epoxy. especially around the seams.
      you can make thickened epoxy to fill any gaps...

      the best bet is to look at the link jas gave you....look for plans......you dont build a house with out plans right? same with boats.
      some of the designs will take years....some, quicker...but on average, i think the build time is around a year.
      The Hull Extension Thread
      great info on all aspects on boat building with detailed information.


      IN MEMORY OF Our friend SpinnerBait_Nut LESTER WRIGHT July 31, 1953 - Nov 26, 2008 RIP

      IN MEMORY OF Our friend Tashasdaddy Robert (bob) Griffis. October 27, 1948
      November 29 2010 RIP


      • #5
        Re: trying to build a 14 ft. boat

        First, do some reading. Then get some plans.

        You will not be using any pine dimension lumber in the boat, pressure treated or not. Most likely you will be putting marine grade plywood (douglas fir, okoume, or hydro-tek meranti) over ribs. The ribs will be either steam bent or sawn, usually oak, cypress or some other rot resistant species. The plywood can be stripped (strips that abut), lapped (strips that overlap, my preference), or in applied in panels that but together.

        You have a lot of work ahead of you , but done correctly it will be something you are proud of and WILL last 30 years.


        • #6
          Re: trying to build a 14 ft. boat

          I live in oregon up where the rain makes the area plentious of rivers and lakes in fact there is a huge river only 15 miles away.
          We once went fishing at a lake about a half days ride and that was a pretty small lake but had a boat ramp like larger ones so there are countless places to use it my only worry is if I can get time between dad and i's busy schedule to go out and fish.
          Thanks for the sites of plans I've found it very informative.
          yes we build houses with plans as well but Timothy my boss simply makes his own plans and sends them to a engineer who turns the skimatics into blue prints of very detailed plans for we workers to use.
          Thanks for the info all future info greatly appreciated because I'm new to boat building and i have a lot to learn.


          • #7
            Re: trying to build a 14 ft. boat

            BF15, I've had two fiberglass boats and three wooden ones. When I got my first wooden one I wasn't much older than you are right now. I remember that boat very well even though it was almost 40 years ago. My last boat (the one I have now) I built from scratch. It took me about 4 years of evenings and weekends. Click on the "construction photos" link in my signature below and you can see it going together.

            What the other guys said above is true. Start by reading and browsing the internet. A lot. Since it's your first boat and your funds are a bit limited, don't try to build too big. Maybe 12' - 14' is a good place to start. If I had mine to do over I would have built much bigger, but I'm a old guy with time and money. (Old Guys Rule! ) Get some plans, take your time, and enjoy it.

            And here's an observation: More than time, and more than money, what your really need to build a boat is persistence. Have fun with this.
            Construction Photos At:


            • #8
              Re: trying to build a 14 ft. boat

              yes I'm trying to build up my persistance and excitement because I have wanted a boat for a long time.
              Pretty much what I am trying to do is use the plans in the link given and leave the hull the same just move around the compartments in google sketch up8 which I'm pretty happy with being able to actually make a floor plan on top of the hull which i can build off of and can refer to every board and piece with exact measurements.
              Is there any ideas what the ratio of the weight in the forward half of the boat to the rear half is?
              Does the weight have to be destributed in some form other than not puting too much weight on each side making the boat tip.
              I appreciate the ideas on how long it will take and that is what I would like a long project to relax on after a day working out on the roof or under a foundation.
              Thank you all


              • #9
                Re: trying to build a 14 ft. boat

                great news using the link jasoutside gave I've found the almost perfect 10' flat bottom rowboat.
                I sort of wanted compartments and slightly longer boat and wondered if it was advisable after getting the plans to talk to my boss and see if there was a way to modify the design leaving everything the same except for it being 2 feet longer for more room for tackle boxes and such?
                I don't want to ruin the design and the boat so I won't modify it too much for fear of making it wrong then i'll have a nice cold swim back to shore.
                Has anyone modified their boats from the original plan or is it mandatory to just stick with the original design?


                • #10
                  Re: trying to build a 14 ft. boat

                  As has been pointed out, Glen-L has a good selection of proven designs. I would recommend staying true to the design and not making any modifications during your first build. (Some of your questions really need a good bit of experience & understanding of boat building & design to be able to have a good discussion about. for instance, when you ask "Is there any ideas what the ratio of the weight in the forward half of the boat to the rear half is?", yes, there are importand considerations here, but first you have to ask that in the context of a specific design. Some designs are a lot more forgiving than others in how they are loaded, even basic flat bottom rowboats.) You can use a good quality AC exterior grade plywood with just oil based paints and end up with a nice boat that will last for decades if maintained (fiberglassing is not necessary).


                  • #11
                    Re: trying to build a 14 ft. boat

                    I'd bet Glen-L would modify the plans for you if they don't have just the design you like in stock.
                    1983 26' Starcraft Sportfisherman 261V Rebuild
                    1976 22' Starcraft Islander Rebuild
                    1984 16.5' Sea Nymph Ski Sport Rebuild
                    1980 16' Sea Nymph SS 165 Rebuild (swapped)
                    1968 15' Starcraft Jet Star Rebuild (sold)
                    1970's 12' Starcraft Sea Scamp
                    Starcraft Rebuilds and Restorations


                    • #12
                      Re: trying to build a 14 ft. boat

                      Just to step back a little--don't build a boat b/c it's cheaper than buying one. It isn't. If you want to go boating in a 12' boat (that is, solo) consider buying an old 12' jon boat--they're dirt cheap and you are on the water instantly. Then decide if boating is your passion, build yourself a killer boat of your own, while sneaking out to fish every now and then. If you start buiding even a small boat now in your spare time, you won't be on the water until fall.

                      But I admire your drive and interest.
                      A man of constant boat tinkering.


                      • #13
                        Re: trying to build a 14 ft. boat

                        Yah, totally agree with HC there! Make sure you are having fun along the way!
                        1983 26' Starcraft Sportfisherman 261V Rebuild
                        1976 22' Starcraft Islander Rebuild
                        1984 16.5' Sea Nymph Ski Sport Rebuild
                        1980 16' Sea Nymph SS 165 Rebuild (swapped)
                        1968 15' Starcraft Jet Star Rebuild (sold)
                        1970's 12' Starcraft Sea Scamp
                        Starcraft Rebuilds and Restorations


                        • #14
                          Re: trying to build a 14 ft. boat

                          Thanks for all the comments and I'll try to find a person at G L and see if my ideas are legible for though I have little experience in the modern craft I can name 60 ship classes of ships which participated in ww2 and their design.
                          The main reason I wanted to build a boat besides that I wanted to go fishing in it is I spend a little too much time on the computer and when I became a christian I started looking for constructive ways I could entertain myself besides spending days on the computer.
                          I do know 4 of Jesus' desiples were fishermen so he certianly approves of fishermen.
                          Building a boat could make me spend more time in the shop and off the computer as well as honing my wood working skills for the busy months ahead when I will be working on my brother in law's house.
                          He just finished the roof now there is a good few months of internal work to finish.
                          Thank you for your ideas , encouragement , and warnings may God be with you all


                          • #15
                            Re: trying to build a 14 ft. boat

                            I think this would be an Excellent candidate for your first time boat build. She's a 12' beauty, easy to construct, and perfect for a first time builder.

                            1961 Lonestar Flamingo - SPLASHED...Kinda!!
                            Fabricating Decks, Stringers, and Transoms
                            Paint Your Boat with Tractor Paint