Digital Boat Plans for International Orders


by Angus Rowboats 2 Comments

We’re always proud to hear back from customers who have constructed our boats in far corners of the planet, and we often hear about incredible voyages taking place on almost all continents (we’re still waiting for someone to build one in Antarctica!).

We ship boat plans to any place in the world with postal service, and our goal is to make building boats as accessible as possible.  However, for international customers who want to build a boat from a kit shipping is prohibitively expensive.  We’ve considered partnering with overseas CNC companies and kit providers, but maintaining quality control is a challenge.  In particular, the packing process – ensuring that the many fragile pieces and elaborate SnapTite joints are protected –practically requires an engineering degree and attention to detail

Instead, to provide an alternative for our international customers who want kits, we decided to launch digital versions of all our plans which include the DXF cut files.  This gives builders the ability to have the wood components cut out at a local CNC shop. The plans and files can be downloaded from our website immediately after purchase. The manual can then be printed on a home computer.  The remaining materials – epoxy, fiberglass, etc. can be ordered locally or from online sources.  All in all, you end up with the precision of a kit when shipping one of ours isn’t an option. 

The digital files also provide the option of building from standard full-sized plans.  The PDF files can be printed at a local large-format print shop, and the pieces transcribed from the full sized shapes.  The other option is to order physical plans and CNC files, which provides the choice of having it CNC cut or transcribing from plans (or a bit of both).

The option of cutting at a local CNC shop can also be of benefit to those living in North America.  There will be significant savings in not having to pay for shipping of the kit, and overall costs for the kit may be cheaper.  Costs for CNC cutting vary significantly, so it’s hard to give an estimate of how much will be saved.  Typical CNC costs are about $100/hour, but the variability is the time it takes the operator.  A proficient operator might take two hours, while others might take six or seven.  For the materials required, almost all of the supplies can be ordered easily from Duckworks.com and Raka.com.

The idea for digital plans began with our Bumblebee Sailboat, which is our pint-sized boat for children aged one to five. We created the digital plans, as well as specially-formatted full-sized plans that could be printed off on a home printer, and assembled into full-sized plans. The relatively small size of the Bumblebee allowed us to create this innovative method to print off full-sized plans from a home printer.  Plans for our adult boats are too big to use this method, but we created standard PDF versions that can be sent to a local large-format print shop, which are widely available. And so we launched digital plans for all our boats.

The digital plans have been extremely popular and if you are interested in building your first

Angus boat, or your second or even third, take a look. You might find that it’s the perfect option for you.




Angus Rowboats
Angus Rowboats

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2 Responses

Lee E Washburn
Lee E Washburn

April 12, 2017

Think about Everglades Challenge

Rainer Bucher
Rainer Bucher

April 12, 2017

I can testify to this initiative!!! I ordered plans for the Oxford Racer, and promptly received, together with Colin’s quality-time answers, plans and CNC files.
Now I’m sourcing materials, and will shortly start construction.

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