Small Craft Plans

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Mallard--A 14-Ft Duck Boat (Pub. No. 5239)

Light enough for car-top carry, this 14-foot plywood duck boat will keep you dry on hunting trips and also make a good blind.

With a boat like "Mallard" that is especially designed for duck hunting, you’ll get more enjoyment from your gunning and maybe bag an extra bird or two. The boat described in this article is extremely light in weight, just under 100 lbs., so that it rides on top of your car instead of in a trailer behind it. For all this lightness, the boat is strong and rugged, thanks to the sturdy framing and the plywood construction. By using ordinary care in building and under normal service conditions, there shouldn’t be any leaks during the lifetime of the boat. And there’s no need to worry about spray coming aboard, the 11 inch freeboard will keep you bone dry and it is also low enough to permit using the boat as a blind when it’s pulled ashore. An added attraction of this design is that by using the alternate square stern construction shown on the plans, you can attach an outboard motor and use "Mallard" for your fishing or general sports use as well as for hunting.

12 pages, 3 plate(s)

Gunning Skiff Ranger, The (Pub. No. 5240)

by H. I. Chapelle

The gunning skiffs are often highly specialized craft, suitable only for hunting purposes. There are some, however, that are more versatile; the famed Barnegat Sneakbox, for example. This style of skiff is not only a very fine hunting boat but also a popular model for pleasure sailing. The Sneakbox, in its best model at least, is not an extremely easy boat to build. Fortunately there are gunning skiffs having much the same qualities as the Sneakbox and that are more easily built. One of these, the subject of this discussion, is the Long Island gunning sharpie. The Long Island gunning sharpie developed away back, so far back in fact that we do not know when it came into use. But the model reached its height of development soon after the Civil War and has remained almost unchanged since then. The sharpie gunning skiff is still used, for it is a very handy boat for setting out decoys and for picking up birds. There are some gunners who use sail nowadays to reach their blinds, for they think the noise of an outboard is objectionable in this. Because of its decked hull, strongly flaring sides and rather light weight, the sharpie gunning skiff is often preferable for pleasure sailing, out of the gunning season, as compared to sailing dinghies and prams of roughly the same dimensions. Because of its design, which gives the skiff many of the same qualities as the old-time wooden, decked “cruising canoe,” the gunning sharpie has been used by some hardy souls for rather long single-handed cruises; just as in the case of the better-known Sneakbox. Rugged and easy-working, this utility craft rows and sails well and needs only a low-powered outboard.

16 pages, 5 plate(s)

Mule--A 14-Ft. Sailing Garvey (Pub. No. 5241)

by H. I. Chapelle

We had been sitting around my drafting table talking about small boat designs and Dick, a professional boatbuilder, had been complaining about the lack of plans for a cheap, easily-built boat that would do for both work and pleasure. “These utility boats, now,” he said, “the trouble with the designs I’ve seen is that they are either too expensive to build to be used for the rough work a real utility boat ought to do, or they are too specialized. We call lots of boats utility craft without thinking just what they really are. As I see it, a utility boat ought to be useful for going fishing along the shore or to be used for an afternoon sail. If it is too much trouble to ship a sailing rig or an outboard, then the boat ought to row well enough to be pleasant to use. She ought to be capable of carrying four or five people with at least a reasonable amount of gear, too. The boat should be stable enough to allow you to load and unload without having to do a tight-wire walking act. She ought to be a combination work-boat and pleasue-boat if that is possible, and, man she has GOT to be both cheap and easy to build, as well as being useful in the greatest variety of ways."

24 pages, 4 plate(s)

Matey--An 8-Ft. Plywood Dinghy (Pub. No. 5244)

Light in weight but built for hard service; ideal as a tender or an all-purpose boat.

Anchoring a large boat off shore makes a good dinghy a “must” item as far as the average owner is concerned. While it’s true you can pull back and forth in almost any old tub, it’s a lot less work in a boat that’s designed for this work and she’ll also add to the appearance of the larger craft. "Matey" not only fills the bill on both these counts but she’ll also tote a surprising load of passengers and gear. When everyone’s on board, you won’t need any tackle to hoist her up on deck-—she’s light enough so that one man can do the trick. Under way, the little 'dink' tows easily on almost any length of line. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a day or two getting her in shape at fitting-out time. Because of the plywood planking, her hull is practically leakproof and with ordinary care should stay that way for many seasons. In fact, she’s the answer to a boat owner’s prayer. However, if you’re not in that league as yet, "Matey" still has a lot to offer. For one thing, the construction’s a cinch andyou can carry her to the nearest lake dr river on the roof of your car. Once there, it takes only a minute to put her in the water and enjoy a day of fishing or just plain fun afloat. And if you happen to have an outboard, you can hang it on her transom and go places at a good speed.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

11' Rowboat Carried on Top of Car (Pub. No. 5251)

If you can use a saw, hammer and plane, you can easily master the construction of this simple car-top rowboat. There are no tricky planks to fit and no difficult rabbet to cut in the stem. Not counting the transom, only two mold frames are required, and as the molds are only temporary, their assembly is not too important other than seeing that they are put tocether squarely.

8 pages, 1 plate(s)

Parti-O--A Trailerable Patio Craft (Pub. No. 5257)

by Frank C. Beeson

A trailerable patio-craft that you can build provides semi-sheltered space afloat for summertime recreation.

You can take the family on luxury cruises, entertain friends on weekends, or go on all-day fishing trips with this semi-sheltered, floating patio that you can build. It’s great, too, as a swimming dock or for sunbathing-—even for moonlight dancing parties on your favorite lake or river. There are no compound curves in the construction and all materials are available from your local lumberyard. Once the basic structure—-made up of the lumber frame and the main plywood panels-—has been completed, you can choose finishing touches and trim from among materials most readily available to you and best suited to your budget. The original "Parti-O" was outfitted with an 18-hp outboard engine.

6 pages, 4 plate(s)

Moby Dick (Pub. No. 5258)

Designed by William Jackson

Besides being inexpensive and easy to build she’s a flexible craft that can be used for rowing, sailing and as a powered dory.

Webster defines a dory as being a flat-bottom boat with flaring sides, and a whaleboat as being a long, narrow rowboat that is sharp and raking at both ends. Our "Moby" has the characteristics of both the dory and whaleboat. Its narrow bottom makes it drive very easily under oars or sail, although, of course, it is tender. This is not really objectionable, however, because when rowing or sailing you will remain seated and your weight will hold it steady. Due to the ample flare in the sides, as it rolls it begins to “stiffen up”-—have more resistance to rolling farther-—and is quite hard to capsize fully. The flare gives it great reserve buoyancy and "Moby" is fully capable of dealing with quite rough water. She can be built in about twenty hours. If quarter-inch thick plywood is used on the sides and 3/s-inch on the bottom, weight will be 125 lbs.-—one man can beach her easily and two can get her onto a car top without trouble. Built heavier for hard service with 3/8-inch sides and 1/2-inch bottom, weight will be 160 lbs.-—all right for beaching but very heavy for cartop use. "Moby" is strong, agile, versatile, durable and rows like a feather. She’s basically an old type brought up to date with plywood and fiberglass, the latter being used in tape form over her seams.

12 pages, 3 plate(s)

Castabout--A Camping Skiff (Pub. No. 5265)

by George Daniels

For the beginning boat builder here’s an easy-to-build utility boat which can be equipped with a plastic shelter

You don’t have to wait for this boat to swell after you put her over. She’s dry from the minute she touches the water, and she stays dry because every seam is permanently sealed whether the boat is left at a mooring or on a hot, dry beach. The seams are bonded with resorcinol resin glue that doesn’t let go even if you boil the joints made with it. This type of glue consists of two separate parts, a liquid and a powder, which you mix together when you’re ready to use the glue. Be sure to use either a resorcinol resin (such as Cascophen) or phenol resorcinol type (such as U.S. Plywood’s Phenol resorcinol adhesive). The boat shelter is made from the type of yellow flexible sheet plastic used for shower curtains. When not in use, the shelter folds into a roll that is strapped inside the boat under the sheer stringer. But if you get caught in a shower while you’re fishing, you can erect the shelter in about 2 minutes and keep dry

12 pages, 2 plate(s)

Pintail--A Duck Boat (Pub. No. 5268)

by William D. Jackson, Naval Architect

As a duck boat, "Pintail" is small and able, leakproof, light enough in weight (60 lbs.) to be handled by one man, and versatile enough to serve as a year-round fun boat for both children and adults.

9 pages, 2 plate(s)

Shallow Draft Bass Boat (Pub. No. 5270)

by Hi Sibley

Here is an ideal craft to reach the best bass fishing area;—where they feed in shallow water among the spatter-docks. There’s no propeller to foul in water weeds and, with a flat bottom and a 4 ft. beam along its entire length, the draft is at a minimum. The little air-cooled engine is simple to install and it has paddle-wheel propulsion; no shaft log is required. With 3/8-in. exterior marine plywood in a single panel on the bottom, you only need to calk along the chine lines. If full length panel of 4 x 15 ft. plywood is not available for the bottom, use one 8 ft. and one 7 ft. panel, joined under a cross member.

4 pages, 1 plate(s)

Snowboat--A Water/Snow/Ice/Air Boat (Pub. No. 5278)

by Joseph Adams

Powered by a 125-hp aircraft engine, this convertible summer and winter craft traverses water, ice or snow.

On water, this sleek airboat skims along at better than 35 mph. Attach the skis and she’ll easily do 60 mph over snow. She’s an all-year craft that’s even equipped with runners for zipping over ice. The engine is a four-cylinder, air-cooled aircraft type made by Lycoming for generator units which supply the power to start Air Force jet planes. It develops 125 hp at 2,600 rpm. Building the hull is not a difficult job. It’s basically a simple, flat-bottom scow. As for the metal parts, they consist of common stock which can be shaped in your own shop or a local shop where metalwork is done. A building form is necessary. This is simply two 16-foot lengths of 2x4-inch lumber, spaced 48 inches on centers.

20 pages, 2 plate(s)

Skubadoo--A Styrofoam and Fiberglass Submarine (Pub. No. 5281)

by William Steiniger and Jack Smith

Here’s a skin diver’s dream sub you can build.

If you’re a skin diver of any experience you know that an electric-powered sport submarine is great for underwater exploration. Seated in such a vehicle, you can cover more bottom simply because you do not expend your energy in swimming and your precious air can be made to last much longer. Also, it’s great fun to operate. In building the sub, our original intention was to make it of fiberglass with a Plyfoam core. A wet sub (one that fills with water and is used with an aqualung) requires a certain amount of flotation and we felt the Plyfoam would be ideal. With a layer of fiberglass bonded to each side, it becomes strong indeed.

12 pages, 2 plate(s)

New Hope--An 8 Ft Weekend-Build Pram (Pub. No. 5287)

by Hal Kelly

Originally planned as a tender for a large boat, this little pram became a sailboat at the insistence of youngsters in the family. It has served both purposes welL Up to four people have been rowed ashore at once and even the slightest breeze carries the kids along under sail. We used less than three 4x8-foot sheets of quarter-inch exterior plywood for the planking, seats and gussets. The bottom was fiber-glassed for added protection in beaching. As a study of the drawings will show, a handyman in a hurry could finish most of the work in one week end. The jig is nothing more than two parallel 2x4’s, cross braced and leveled on blocks or sawhorses. The jig lumber needn’t go to waste, either, for there are many uses it can be put to around the house. We used white cedar for the framing but straight-grained fir would fill the bill, too.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

Knockabout--A 14 Ft Utility Rowboat (Pub. No. 5288)

by Don Shiner

Basic tools are just a saw, hammer and nails and ou can build her in two days.

Like to have a utility boat tied out back on the lake or river, ready to use whenever you have the time for some relaxation? A boat that handles well with oars or outboards up to 10 hp and easily withstands the impacts of sunken logs or rocks? Then this fiatbottom skiff is for you. You can put her together in a weekend and have a coat of paint on before sunset Sunday. No screws are used in the boat, just nails (thus our knock-together terminology). The entire boat, with the exception of the stem and transom, is built of 3/4-in soft pine. The sides are 14 in. wide and 14 ft. long. The bottom is made up of boards four or five in. wide. Avoid use of tongue-and-groove lumber on the bottom; it would buckle. The stem is cut from 3x4½-in. white oak. The transom is two pieces of one-in, redwood or pine, laminated together with waternroof glue for strength and thickness.

8 pages, 1 plate(s)

Collapsible Glass-Bottom Boat (Pub. No. 5291)

Here’s a perfect rig for the junior boatman--novel yet simple.

This versatile little rig was designed to serve a single purpose, but we soon discovered that it could serve many. Primarily, it was built for one or two of our children to paddle around in when we anchored our small cruiser, since we have no dinghy. But we added a few novelty features and so created many more uses. Even a landlocked tourist can now casually launch himself on any lake or stream, simply by removing the assembled, 8-foot hull from the car roof or by reaching into the trunk for the collapsed craft. It takes just 30 seconds to assemble the sections, and carrying it to the water is no problem, since it weighs only 29 pounds. The real fun starts when you examine marine life through the Plexiglas window beneath your feet. With this feature, you can stay in contact with the bottoms after the weather has turned and the shivering skin divers have gone home. It’s also a fine way to watch your quarry going for your lure as you fish. Or, for the “shutterbug,” it’s an open window onto the glorious colors and formations below, which provide an endless source of fascinating photographs. A paddle gets you around very quickly because of the lightweight plywood hull. And since the boat has plenty of beam for its length, and good side flare, stability is fine-—provided no horseplay is indulged in. As to the glass, a plywood panel hinges down over it and forms an extra seat for a small-size passenger; the panel doubles as a sunshade when viewing through the glass 

22 pages, 5 plate(s)

Shallow-Draft Hunting Kayak (Pub. No. 5294)

If you want to explore for game in the shallow back waterways (where noisy motorboats can’t go), this two-seater is for you.

For many years a favorite of hunters, trappers and traders in this country, the kayak now is as popular with Europeans as the outboard boat is with Americans. Although this boat was designed to carry two people, it will accommodate three in a pinch, and gear may be stowed under fore and after decks. A few strokes with the double paddle will send it gliding across the water with the minimum of effort on your part. Kayaks are surprisingly seaworthy, too-—more stable than a canoe, in fact, because the occupants sit on the bottom of the hull which lowers the center of gravity.

11 pages, 5 plate(s)

Glass-Bottom Boat (Pub. No. 5295)

by William D. Jackson

Underwater fun and adventure can be yours when you build this glass-paneled gadabout or add glass “windows” to your present boat. Here’s how.
Glass panels in your boat will open, up a colorful new world of underwater excitement. Such a paneled boat is ideal for Scuba or skin divers, because it previews promising diving areas for them. And when you use such a see-throug boat with an underwater intercom, you have an ideal combination for a team diving effort, for unlimited fun, adventure and exploration. If you already own a boat with a flat bottom. similar to the one shown here, you’ll find the instructions on how to install glass panels in the bottom toward the end of this article. If you don’t own such a craft, follow the complete plans given here and you’ll have yourself a nifty little all-purpose boat.

20 pages, 3 plate(s)

Bingo--A Lightweight 11' 4" Plywood Dinghy (Pub. No. 5309)

With an overall length of 11 feet 4 inches and a weight of only 85 pounds, Bingo is an ideal type of small boat for transporting by car, and for general use on lakes, rivers or other comparatively sheltered bodies of water, as well as for limited salt water excursions. Put it on top of your car and take it along on your vacation or camping trip! It will provide no end of sport and pleasure, and can be adapted to whatever type of boating you enjoy most, whether rowing, outboarding or sailing. The plywood construction greatly speeds up the job and insures a hull that will never leak, even though it may be kept out of the water for considerable periods at a time.

8 pages, 3 plate(s)

Teal--A 10-Ft. All-Metal Duck Boat (Pub. No. 5311)

Here is a safe, speedy little sport boat that will handle nicely with any outboard motor of from 11/2 to 10 or more horespower. All metl construction makes it lastingly strong, easy to construct, light and unsinkable.

A block of wood for mounting the outboard motor is the only wood in this 128-pound unsinkable duck boat. It will carry two passengers plus fishing, hunting or camping equipment, and may be powered with practically any outboard motor available. Being of metal construction, the boat presents no shrinking and swelling problems, as is the case with wooden craft, so may be transported readily by trailer or car top and left out of the water as long as is necessary. If carefully built it will never leak. A bulkhead converts the entire front end into an air-tight buoyancy tank. Between that and the seat ample leg room is provided, with Celotex flooring. Galvanized sheet steel, of 24 gage weight is used for sides and bottom. Length overall is 10 feet 1 inch, with a beam of 38 inches. The seat is raised a maximum of 5 inches at the front edge. The space beneath may be used for tools, etc., and is reached through two round holes which ordinarily are covered by lifesaver seat pads. Behind the seat are two more sizeable flotation tanks with storage space between and ovex them. This space is reached through an opening in the deck haying a sliding metal hatch cover, which is shoved forward to install motor.

6 pages, 3 plate(s)

10-Ft. Geodetic Kayak, A (Pub. No. 5313)

by Norman Mayer

Something entirely new in kayak construction, the geodetic framework of this little craft gives an amazing strength-weight ratio. The absence of flat side panels elminates much of the lateral buffeting suffered by other less streamlined types in rough water. It's inexpensive to build.
Geodetic construction is not entirely a new idea, Britain's famed Wellington bombers are built by that principle. It has been known also as "basket weave." Through the use of it, however, any structure, properly designed, can be made stronger and lighter than other comparative types. The principle used consists of a number of light strips twisted around the length of a structure, fastened together wherever they cross, so the entire system resists any local loads or pressures which tend to distort it. This ten foot boat utilizes the "geodetic" principle, so that any one who builds one, will have a strong light craft, capable of weathering heavy seas, and one which can be paddled easily. The streamline design makes the boat easy to maneuver in cross winds and eliminates flat surfaces for waves to break against.

7 pages, 4 plate(s)

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