Building your own boat from a kit or plans is a satisfying and enjoyable process. You will have a clear understanding of how the boat is constructed, and easily be able to make repairs if needed.
Another significant benefit is cost. By building from plans or kit you can substantially reduce the cost of owning a quality boat. The cost of a kit boat is approximately 25-50% of a fully-manufactured boat.
How strong are your boats?
Mahogany Ply/Epoxy construction is actually one of the highest quality methods for building a boat. The sandwich of resin, glass mat, and marine mahogany ply is durable, stiff, and lighter than most types of composite construction. It is not a common commercial process because it is more labour intensive than composite construction or roto-molding.
Who can build a boat?
You don’t need to be a carpenter or have special skills to build these boats. Anyone who is practical, has a basic grasp of hand tools and is able to follow instructions can build one of our boats. We provide step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process.
Most of the boats can be built in the space of a single-car garage, and only basic tools are required including a hand plane, drill, hand saw, tape measure, and C-clamps.
Plans vs kits?
The advantage of kits is you don't need to source the materials yourself, and you save the time required to cut the wood panels. It is often challenging finding some fo the obscure materials required, and prices can be high.The advantage of building from plans is you have the satisfaction of building the boat 100% yourself, and it is possible to save money if you purchase the materials from reputable dealers. Please check our support page for a list of worldwide suppliers to purchase marine plywood and fibreglass supplies. Scribing and cutting the wood panels is actually a very easy process with our full-sized plans, a job taking 4-8 hours.
How long does it take to build?
Construction time varies from person to person. 80 hours should be sufficient for most to complete the Expedition Model, and about 60 hours for the Cambridge Racer. Four to six weekends will usually suffice.
Also in Builder's Tips
Sliding seat rowing is an efficient way to propel a boat, while providing a fantastic full-body workout. To enjoy the advantages of sliding seat rowing, however, it is important to install a properly-designed rowing system in your boat. For those new to the sport it can be a confusing process with many options available.
Part of the motivation behind our efforts to design the sailing version of the RowCruiser came from the Race to Alaska (R2AK). As competitors in the race, we wanted something that was fast by oar and sail and could be raced non-stop for more than one week by two people.
Interest in our RowCruiser is quickly growing, and there are now a few dozen currently being built. We also completed our first RowCruiser build class last week, and it was a huge success. Our next RowCruiser build class, scheduled for next September in Port Townsend, is already two thirds full, so if you'r interested in attending be sure to sign up soon (www.rowcruiser.com).