Building a Traditional Wooden Boat #1: Introduction

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Blog entry by MattD posted 06-02-2009 05:19 AM 8646 reads 8 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Building a Traditional Wooden Boat series Part 2: Lofting »

I’ve recently begun to move on with building a traditional wooden yacht tender. Boatbuilding has always been fascinating to me as a type of woodworking and I’d like a new boat for next year. This is mostly a learn as I go project. I’d like to connect with others that are interested with boatbuilding (and could maybe offer me some guidance too)

Selecting a boat

Before choosing a plan, my basic requirements were that it would be built traditional wooden lapstrake construction, a good rower, option to upgrade with a sail, stable for kids, able to mount a small outboard motor, light enough to transport on a car top (maybe), and small enough so I could build it in my shop instead of the cold garage.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of small boat plans available in books and online. Eventually, I decided on the Sunshine Yacht Tender from Duck Trap Woodworking. This seemed to fit all of my requirements and I could order a decent set of plans along with a book on how to build it. There’s a nice history to this boat going back to the early 1900s in Maine. Home builders and professionals still build and sell this model.

Sunshine Yacht Tender

Project Summary:

Expenses so far: $60 for (a very nice) set of plans and plan book
Several books borrowed from library

-- Matt - Syracuse, NY

6 comments so far

View patron's profile


13650 posts in 3821 days

#1 posted 06-02-2009 05:32 AM

i built boats for 10 years in ft. lauderdale , to learn the craft .
it will definitly improve your wood working skills .
as a project , it is a real pleasure . just take your time and you will understand and accomplish allot .
dont try and rush it , as mistakes can be hard to fix .
looks like a nice choice !
enjoy .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View cylis007's profile


56 posts in 3949 days

#2 posted 06-21-2009 12:33 AM

I am really looking forward to following your progress. Best of luck!

-- A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave. ~Benjamin Franklin

View Karson's profile


35197 posts in 4880 days

#3 posted 06-21-2009 12:41 AM

Good luck. At the St. Michaels Maritime Museum in Maryland. the have a weekend group that makes a wooden boat. You pay for the privileged. You might check around and see if anyone has a class similar.

Here is my blog on the program

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View a1Jim's profile


117711 posts in 4057 days

#4 posted 06-21-2009 12:45 AM

Sound like fun bring it on.

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 3841 days

#5 posted 06-21-2009 03:15 PM

Now this is my territory…....keep me posted on this Matt….good choice of boat….looks like a small Wherry.

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4557 days

#6 posted 07-22-2009 06:38 AM

sooooo glad i ran across your blog series…SOME day…i want to build a little sail boat I can run up and down the napa river…and when i read your intro and what you called your basic requirements I can almost check all those off as what I am looking for…

SUPER GOOD LUCK…now to catch up with your newer blogs!!!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

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