ANYONE CAN BUILD A BOAT, ALL YOU NEED IS THE RIGHT INFORMATION
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”.
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
We provide a bill of materials listing in our online catalog on the page detailing the design. This is the best way to determine cost to build because materials costs will vary depending on where you are located. We also have a page online that lists cost to build feedback from builders.
Can I get your plans in CAD or some other electronic format?
No. Most of our plans are all hand drawn and not in any computer format. They are printed on very large paper. The patterns are usually 36″ to 42″ wide and quite long–usually 6′ to 10′ or so. Remember, these are full size patterns for the frames of the boat. We are working on making some of the more popular designs available as CAD files eventually.
Do you ship outside the US?
Yes, we ship our products all over the world! Our online shopping cart will provide you with shipping costs when you enter the products and your address. You can check postage prior to ordering. We only use USPS Priority Mail, Express or FedEx. We do not ship first class mail as it tends to get lost and is untrackable.
I can’t find marine plywood, can I use AB plywood? That’s all my building supply center carries.
First, you’re shopping in the wrong place. Building centers are great, but they don’t normally sell many low volume items. Go to a real lumberyard. Not all plans call out marine plywood. Small rowboats and other small designs frequently give ABX (exterior) as an option. The “AB” designation means that there are no open knots on the surfaces.
When marine is called for, it is usually only called out for planking; not for the transom, gussets, knees, stem, or breasthook. Marine is important when the plywood will be bent. Marine plywood has no voids running across the panel, exterior does. Picture a 1/4″ or 3/8″ panel (3 plies) with a 1/2″ gap running across the panel. This means that more than 1/3″ of the thickness is air. If the bend is particularly pronounced at this point or there is a lot of stress, it could fracture at the void.
So what do you do if you can’t get marine? That’s your call. If the boat you intend to build is a high-speed boat that will take a lot of pounding, do you want to take the chance?
OPTIONS: If you live in Timbuktu, can’t get marine, choose the best ABX you can find (check edges for voids). Put the best sheets in the forward sections. If you have a choice, use marine if called for. For planking applications, AC is not desirable because of the open knots which allow water to enter the center plies. To properly fill the knots (epoxy fillers), is more work and expense than buying the proper material.