Building Your Own Boat



  • Choose a design. Browse through our designs 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-footer!  That said, it may also be the only boat you build, so choose something you want and will use. 

  • 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”. 

  • Consider going “by the book.” 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

  • Order the Glen-L kits to simplify your project. We truly want to make it easy for you to build your own boat. Our fiberglass/epoxy, fastener, and stitch-and-glue kits provide you with exactly the material quantities you’ll need. We purchase our products in large quantities so we can offer our kits at very reasonable prices. For more information about our kits, see the About our Plans & Kits section of our website. To see which kits are offered, just go the particular design’s product page. 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.

  • 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 is nice, but definitely 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. If you want to increase your confidence level or have questions, you will want to visit this forum often. This is a great place to ask about specific designs, modification options, and other technical questions.

  • 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. Now go build something real, something you’ll love—something from your own hands!


frequently asked questions

  • How much does it cost to build a boat

  • Can I get your plans in CAD or some other electronic format?

  • Do you ship outside the US?

  • I can’t find marine plywood, can I use AB plywood? That’s all my building supply center carries.