WHY NOT BUILD A SMALL BOAT OF YOUR OWN?
In the UK, as in many other countries, we have a great deal of water to use boats on for paddling, rowing, sailing, motoring, fishing, picnics and so on.
What could be better than building your own small boat and launching it the first time for a day of fun on the water?
And it isn't as difficult as you might think.
For Example; there are only five main parts of the PEVENSEY 8 to assemble to complete the basic hull before fitting out (adding seat and trim etc.) starts - Bottom panel, two planks, transom and the centre frame. Add a seat across the centre frame, rubbing strips, some pieces to brace the hull, a few coats of paint and she is ready for use but the plans also detail adding two more frames and seats fore and aft.
The RYE BAY 8 uses ten main parts to assemble the hull to fitting out stage - bottom panel, four planks, transom, three frames and stem.
The WINCHELSEA 8 uses fifteen main parts to produce the hull shell - 12 of those are the planks.
Our plans are easy to follow, step by step instructions to take you through the build.
Plus, you get help if and when you need it. We know that many of our builders work on their boats in their spare time so, we have made sure your text and email questions can be answered 7 days week. If you prefer, you can phone us during working hours and ask us to call you back.
Have a look at our builders boats page to see some first time builder examples of boats built with our plans.
With the low cost of our plans it could be a cheaper project too. It will definately save you money against buying a similar ready built one - even a plastic one! We can even provide all the materials you need. (if you don't see it listed in our shop, contact us as we will normally be able to get it).
Considered the biggest bonus by some is that, by building youself, you can spread the cost and "build as you buy". Buy what you can afford and work with that while you save for the next part. With more time to build you will probably produce a better looking boat anyway.
You can build to the rowing specification and add a rig later with all of our designs.
SIMPLE DESIGN PLANS – although all our designs are suitable for the first time builder, we consider these are the easiest of our boats to build. These designs are the Karun, Pevensey range and the Rye Bay 6.
REGULAR DESIGN PLANS – are a little more involved but still suitable for the first time builder. These designs are the rest of the Rye Bay range , the Winchelsea range and the Iden Pram.
PREMIER DESIGN PLANS – are still within the capabilities of the first time builder but these plans have a little more detail for the build to produce great looking boats - the Rother and Romney dinghies.
All our DIY boats are designed specifically for the DIY home builder and the 1st time builder. They do not require any particularly complicated joinery even in the clinker ply designs. We have tried to simplify things as much as we can making things as easy as possible and our plans manuals take you through the complete build step by step. Plus, as accuracy when marking out is required to enable the build to go as smoothly as possible, we show you a simple method of marking out to help get it right. If you have any reservations or questions, email, text or phone us and we will discuss it with you. We'll even call you back!
So, why buy our plans?
The designs we sell plans for are tried and tested by inexperienced diy builders. That helps us to write plans for each individual design that are easier to understand. They are comprehensive covering all parts of the build in as much detail and illustrations as we think you will need. However, if you need more help, there is always someone here to answer your qustions by email or text 7 DAYS A WEEK!!! except perhaps Christmas Day - Or - phone us during office hours and ask us to call call you back (UK only).
Why so cheap?
Because we keep all our costs as low as we can by sending the majority of our plans manuals by email. For a little extra you can have them sent by post on a CD disc to download to your computer.
We don't have large scale drawings for our designs as these can be expensive to print out and ore not necessary for our boats.
Our detailed PDF plans manuals (normally 50+ pages of dimensions, step by step instructions and drawings) are ideal for the first time builder and are still excellent value from just £6.00. Plus, all our plans include free email/text help should you need it.
Why Build a Boat at all?
Short answer – why not? The five main questions we are often asked are;
How much will it cost? - That depends on materials you use but you can spread the cost! Buy what you can afford and build in stages. However, RYE BAY 8 built as a rowing dinghy is currently estimated to cost £245 in basic materials and WINCHELSEA 8 around £285 with a bit of shopping around and you may be able to reduce the cost.
It seems difficult, is it? - That depends on your DIY ability but I know of many people who would never do any DIY but had a go at building a boat and produced a good one. The pictures In the gallery on this website of RYE BAY 8 were from a builder with no practical DIY experience. The most he had done was painting and no more.
Boat builders use specialist tools. What tools will I need? - There are specialist tools a boat builder will use, that’s true but you won't need them. Most of what you have in an average household tool box will be enough for our designs. Something to measure with, draw lines with and cut with. Just make sure the tools you do have are in good condition and sharp.
Wood rots so why don’t I just buy a plastic dinghy? - Wood does rot if it is not looked after. Surprisingly, so does plastic! You are far more likely to take more care of something you created than some moulded plastic, off the shelf boat that is advertised as low maintenance.
How long will it take? - This will depend on many things. However, we estimate about 40 hours work for the RYE BAY 8 and 40 - 60 hours for the WINCHELSEA 8. It can be done in less time than this but it gives you an idea of the approximate length of time it might take from marking out to launching.
So, building your own little boat need not be as difficult as you may think and it is our aim, with our plans, step by step instructions and email help, to make it as easy as possible for you which will make it all the more rewarding.
Why not have a look at our Study Brochure to help you decide which boat to build.
Phone/email/text us and ask us to call you back to discuss it with you and answer any questions you may have about building one of our small boat designs.
We send our plans worldwide!! As well as the UK, we have builders in Ireland, Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Denmark, France, Italy, Lithuania, Poland & South Africa.
Copyright STANLEY SmallCraft 2010