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Where do I start?

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So, you think you MAY want to build your own boat, but have no idea where to start. Visit our Newsletters section answering this question on a specific Glen-L design.

And, here are some more general suggestions:

  1. 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 our 55' Lodestar. That being said, it may also be the only boat you build, so choose something that you want and will use. (just our 2 cents).

  2. Purchase the Plans and Patterns. If a study plan is offered, you can start with that. There may be some terms in the plans which are unfamiliar see our online glossary which is in the "Useful Information & Suppliers" section of our website.

  3. Get some additional material. Whether you build a boat or not depends in large part on persistence. And, it is much more likely that you will be persistent if you are confident in what you are doing. We suggest you get a copy of our book BOATBUILDING WITH PLYWOOD if your design choice is a plywood design 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), we would also suggest our HOW TO FIBERGLASS A BOAT book & video combination offer. See the Epoxy section of our website for more information on fiberglassing.

  4. Order the Glen-L Kits for your project. Or, if you like hunting, you can search high and low for the many different items you will need for building your boat. Or, to simplify the process, you can purchase a Glen-L kit specifically for the design you have chosen. We purchase our products in large quantities so that we can offer our kits at very reasonable prices. Check the catalog page to see which kits are available for the design you are building. If you already have the plans and patterns, half of this (Plans and Instructions) are deductable when you get the frame kit. 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. It will be much less expensive to purchase your lumber locally rather than incurring the expensive charges which shipping lumber/plywood would require.
    See our List of Lumber Suppliers to find Lumber and Plywood suppliers near you.

  5. Additional items. For building a plywood boat, in addition to the Glen-L kits, you will need glue as all of the permanent joints are screwed and glued (unless you are building a stitch & glue design, then disregard this!). 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. The above link will go into detail about this and the amounts of additional epoxy needed to encapsulate the Glen-L boat you are building are also listed in the Epoxy section.

  6. Gather tools needed. Boatbuilding does not require exotic tools (unless you wish to use your project as an excuse to the spouse). 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 additional suggestions on tools, see the Index of Articles in the Newsletter section of our website

  7. Visit the Boatbuilder Connection. This is THE boatbuilding forum 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 may have are answered either by our staff or other builders.

  8. Additional Resources. In addition to the links above, here are some other areas of our website that will provide further information:
    • Boatbuilding Methods: This section describes in detail the various methods of boatbuilding--there are even pictures and detailed pictorials!
    • Newsletters section: Click on the Index of Articles--there are hundreds of articles on various subjects. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, send us an email and we will send you a notice each time the current newsletter is posted.
    • Useful Information & Suppliers: Here you will find a list of lumber suppliers by state, links to other helpful websites as well as websites of other Glen-L builders, weights & measurements and tables & formulas for converting our plans to metric, and links to sources in the US and UK!
    • Customer Photos: See photos of Glen-L boats that people JUST LIKE YOU have built and survived! Hey, they even float!
    • Project Registry: Here is where folks just like you let us know which Glen-L boat they are building and keep us all updated on their progress--we expect to have you listed there next!
    • Search: This is a great tool for finding information on a subject--just type in the word and click "Search"--it works!

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!!!


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