So, you think you MAY want to build your own boat, but have no idea where to start. Here are some suggestions to get you going in the right direction:
- Choose a design. Browse through our online Boat Design Catalog and decide which boat you would like to build. Be realistic. If this is your first attempt at building a boat, you probably don’t want to start with a 55′ boat! That said, it may also be the only boat you build, so choose something that you want and will use. (just our 2 cents)
- Purchase the Plans and Patterns. If a study plan is offered, you can start with that. There may be some terms in the plans that are unfamiliar. See our online glossary of boat building “lingo”. Every new endeavor has a learning curve and building your own boat is no exception!
- Get some additional material. Whether you build a boat or not depends in large part on persistence. And it’s much more likely that you’ll be persistent if you’re confident in what you’re doing. We suggest you get a copy of our book “Boatbuilding with Plywood” if your design choice is plywood or “Fiberglass Boatbuilding for Amateurs” if your choice is a fiberglass design. If you build a plywood boat and decide to fiberglass the exterior (recommended but optional), we also suggest our “How to Fiberglass a Boat” book & DVD combination offer. See the Epoxy section of our website for more information on fiberglassing.
- Order the Glen-L Kits for your project. We truly want to make it simple for you to build your own boat, so we’ve put together some kits to do just that. We purchase our products in large quantities so we can offer our kits at very reasonable prices. Check the catalog page to see which kits are available for the design you’re building. For more information about our kits, see the About our Plans & Kits section of our website. Please Note: Our Kits do not include any lumber because it’s much more cost effective to purchase materials local to you. See our List of Lumber Suppliers to find Lumber and Plywood suppliers near you.
- Additional items. For building a plywood boat, in addition to the Glen-L kits, you’ll need glue as all of the permanent joints are screwed and glued. See our Online Store for the Epoxy glue needed. You may also want to encapsulate your boat. What? Encapsulating is basically completely coating the plywood with epoxy to seal and protect the wood. We have a listing of additional epoxy needed to encapsulate the Glen-L boat you’re building listed in the Epoxy section.
- Gather tools needed. Boatbuilding does not require exotic tools (unless you wish to use your project as an excuse to your spouse to get all those neat tools you want!). A table saw would obviously be a great option, but is not necessary. Basic hand tools are adequate as well as a bunch of c-clamps. For specifics, we have a short article all about what you’ll need.
- Visit the Boatbuilder Forum. This is THE place where the “big dogs” of boatbuilding hang out. If you need to increase your confidence level or have questions, you will want to visit this forum often. This is where all of the technical questions you have are answered either by our staff or other builders.
In addition to the above, this website is a treasure trove of information. Most questions are probably answered in the various sections of our site.
That’s pretty much it! So… it’s not that difficult to build your own boat! That is, not if you build a Glen-L design!!!