Small Craft Plans

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Mohawk (Pub. No. 7004)

by Charles Bell

16’ long, weighs 65 lbs. and has 240 lbs. of built-in flotation

Mohawk is designed especially for light weight and as such must be handled with judgment. You can’t toss a 75-lb. pack into the bottom from the dock, nor can you jump aboard with abandon yourself. She is plenty tough, however, properly handled and will be a joy to carry on those portages. For ordinary use, where no portages are involved, a light slat bottom can be used in the bottom. This consists of about 6 long spruce slats, ¼” x 1½” x full length, held together by a few crossties. This will help protect the bottom and will add another 10 lbs. of weight.

4 page(s)

Kodiak Kayak (Pub. No. 7007)

by Hi Sibley

LOA 15' 8", BEAM 24"

You don’t have to be an Eskimo to build and enjoy this buoyant little craft. And it’s bound to please a water-minded youngster.

If you don’t happen to have any walrus ribs or deer hide handy, you can make a very good facsimile of an Alaskan kayak with plywood, pine and canvas. Here is a model that’s seaworthy as well as light. The cockpit is just aft of amidships to give more buoyancy forward to ride the surf better

4 page(s)

Power Punt (Pub. No. 7008)

by Hi Sibley

LOA 10',BEAM 3'

Simplicity of design makes this craft the delight of the novice builder. It’s 16 feet of pure joy for the kiddies

Here is 16 feet of fun for all, and the simple design avoids those problems that beset the builder of a conventional boat. It can be powered by a lawn mower or scooter engine, or any of the small air-cooled jobs from ¾ hp to 2 hp, or more. Obviously it’s no speedboat, but glides over the water at from 4 mph to 10 mph, depending on the size of the motor. And it will carry about as many as you can pile on--kids that is!

3 page(s)

All Purpose Knockabout (Pub. No. 7031)

by Hi Sibley

No-nonsense, workaday skiff will support three children, one adult. Takes only 11 hours to build.

This boat has half again the load capacity of a conventional 12’ skiff and is designed for the simplest construction with ordinary hand tools. All materials are available at any lumberyard; the mastic tape and marine glue at a boatyard. General over-all dimenslpns are given in Fig. 1.

2 page(s)

It's Really Easy to Square-Stern Your Canoe (Pub. No. 7038)

by John Gartner

Square off the stern of your Canadian-type canoe to better accept an outboard motor.

Many boating enthusiasts like the traditional Indian watercraft, its silentness, its romance. But when the distance to be covered is great, they long for the back-saving advantages of a motor. Here is a way to fix a canoe so that it loses little of its accepted advantages and gains measurably in efficiency with a motor. Small outboards can be hung over the side of a canoe but at considerable loss of efficiency. If the craft’s stern is squared off, so that the power is applied directly at the rear, it becomes faster and far more maneuverable than with the power applied on the side.

2 page(s)

Two Boats for the Unskilled Amateur (Pub. No. 7057)

by J. A. Baresch

Although we have presented several elaborate designs, there is a constant demand for very simple boats that almost anyone can build with the minimum amount of tools available and little skill. Both boats here shown are of plywood construction. One is a ten foot fishing punt suitable for fishermen and hunters, a type widely used especially in shallow waters. The drawing is self explanatory. The expanded (true length), sides shown will cut construction time considerably. The twelve foot rowboat, drawings of which are shown here also, will require a little more skill, but can be mastered by a beginner with a bit of study. As rowboats are greatly in demand, this little fellow should fill the bill. The builder must bear in mind that only waterproof marine -plywood so certified by the manufacturer is to be used.

2 page(s)

Eskimo--A 16-Foot All-Plywood Kayak (Pub. No. 7059)

Designed by Charles 0. MacGregor

LOA 15 ft., 10 1/2 in., BEAM 1 ft., 11 in., DEPTH 8 in.

The Kayak is a native of the Arctic, and that one most familiar to us is the small hunting type used by the Greenland Eskimos.
This little craft, as used by the Greenlanders, is about 16 feet long, 16 inches wide and very shallow, little more than 7 inches where the paddler sits. They are very light in weight, but these little fellows perform many daring stunts with them, the most amusing and spectacular being that of turning completely over, under, and up again-smiling. Most of our domestic kayaks are built of canvas stretched over a light frame. This is quite satisfactory and inexpensive, but if one should have a spill and the kayak fills with water, it is generally so wracked and twisted as to be almost beyond repair, particularly if it has been tossed around much. In response to numerous requests we have developed an all-plywood kayak which will be stronger than a canvas hull, will be unsinkable and stand more punishment. It is a little heavier; but this is only a slight disadvantage: The plywood used should be one of the resin-bonded variety for marine use. One manufacturer can supply this in 16 foot panels without a splice.    Generally this costs a few cents more per square foot compared to the standard panel.

3 page(s)

Whale-Tail Hunting Boat (Pub. No. 7064)

by Hi Sibley


A novel method of propulsion enables this craft to glide silently through shallow as well as deep water with little effort. It is called Whale Tail because the fin operates in a horizontal plane. just as Moby Dick’s did. Cnstruction of the punt, or pram if you will, is more or less conventionaL All details of the propelling mechanism are illustrated: the fin, use stainless steel or other sheet metal thin enough to give a little but not so thin as to stay bent. Shaft A serves as steering post and shaft B as an operating link. Yokes on the ends can be picked up in an auto-parts yard. Note how the tubing for the pivoting bolts is welded or brazed to the fin. To dismantle the unit for transportation, unscrew pipe cap on bottom of Shaft A and loosen wing nuts on slotted pillow block. The punt then can be transported on the car’s top. All moving parts should be carefully fitted to prevent rattling.

2 page(s)

How to Build a Quahogger: A Narragansett Bay Type (Pub. No. 7066)

by Michael P. Smith

An extremely useful and practical shoal draft working utility.

Recently we hired a contractor to repair the concrete piers on one of our bridges here in Narragansett Bay. Among the items of equipment he used were three outboard skiffs each powered with a 40 hp engine. Boxy in appearance, high-sided, with little or no flare, a straight vertical stem, vertical transom, flat bottom with little or no longitudinal rocker, as wide at the transom as they were amidships, they did not leave an impression of a goodlooking boat. Details at the gunwales were different but other than this they were nearly alike. (See drawings.) “Quahoggers” is what the contractor called them. My respect for these boats began almost immediately. We used them to haul material and ferry men back and forth between the beach and job site. They proved to be extremely fast and were excellent weight carriers. On calm days they could get up on a plane even when loaded. On rough days we carried seven men each trip with safety. I became interested in these boats and searched for plans with the idea of building one, but apparently plans for a “Quahogger” have never been published. I then started on a private research venture to learn more about these boats and to draw up a set of plans. I visited the waterfronts in Bristol, Warren, East Greenwich, Tiverton, and Newport. In each of these places I found “Quahoggers” being used as work boats, fishing boats, tongers, lobster boats and as small family yachts. I talked to owners and knowledgeable persons about them. No one knew anything about plans. One inquiry earned the reply that “Joe S. in Bristol will build you one, $250 unpainted.” A visit to Joe’s back yard showed that he had no plans but that he did have a building jig, and that he would build me a boat. Where did he get the jig? “Oh, my father made it years ago.” The “Quahogger” is the beginning of a type. Except for the ordinary flat-bottomed skiff, it has no forebearers and did not evolve from any earlier models. It is, I believe, the forerunner of another local type which is a very good looking skiff and that is the “Dutch Harbor Skiff.” From what I can gather, Quahoggers were first built in the Narragansett Bay area after the advent of the outboard engine, the weight of the engine aft dictating the
need for the very wide transom. these boats were first built by men in the shellfish trade. The boat satisfied their requirements for a simple, practical, seaworthy, heavy load carrying and economical skiff. Basically, present-day Quahoggers are the same as those first built. The Quahog skiff is a local type that doesn’t get much publicity. They are so common here on the Bay that a potential buyer would look and then pass them off as being too ordinary and too simple. Surprising as it may seem, however, they are fast, stable, economical and practical. One man who knows says, “they are the best platform available for pulling’ pots and tongin’, and they are fast; they’ve won every work boat race ever held in Newport.” Another expert says, “ . . . one of the nicest boats in the Bay for the purpose for which they are built.” They are that they can be driven right up on the beach for loading and unloading. Our workmen boarded and left over the bow onto a sandy beach without getting their feet wet, and the boats have enough power to back clear of the beach with a full load. Most of the work boats have only two seats, one in the bow and one in the stern. The rest of the boat is wide open for plenty of working space and accommodation for such gear as pots, pot haulers, rakes, tongs and baskets. The interior of all boats varied with their use, all being quite functional. Building a “Quahogger” is quite simple—you just set up the forms and wrap the planks around them.

4 page(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)

94-Inch Featherweight Pram for Rowing or Towing (Pub. No. 5317)

by Roland Cueva

Owners of small cruising boats, sail or power, in the eighteen to twenty-five foot class, will find this little 8-ft. plywood pram the answer to their ship-to-shore and towing problems. Torp, as the original was named, was designed specifically as a tender to the 18-ft. auxiliary sloop Bonnie. A craft the size of Bonnie obviously could not tow a heavy rowboat on cruises, and lacked the deck space for storing a dinghy aboard. A very light, easily towed tender was needed; one that would be small enough to appear in proper proportion to Bonnie when trailing astern, yet would be capable of shuttling three, or even four persons in a pinch, from shore to the mooring.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

Brenda--A 9-Ft. Yacht Tender (Pub. No. 5319)

Round bottom but no bent ribs.

All the good points of a round-bottom boat are to be found in Brenda; she is good-lookig, lightweight, and will be found able in rough water. Construction is similar to that of Gypsy, the 15-ft. strip built canoe, and can be classed as fairly simple. No steam bending is called for nor is it necessary to lay the lines down full-size on a floor to secure the shape of building moulds.

9 pages, 1 plate(s)

Pintail--A 15-Ft. Hunting and Fishing Boat (Pub. No. 5321)

One hundred and ten pounds of ideal boat for the sportsman

This boat rides very low on the water, catching little wind, and is designed for rough and open water shooting and fishing where a staunch and seaworthy craft is wanted. The wide flat bottom also makes it ideal for marsh hunting and exploring, offering little resistance when going quietly through rice or bog. The strongly built turtle deck is a safety feature, as when resting on the water with a couple of fellows aboard the body of the boat is close to the surface--small waves wash harmlessly off the deck and the coaming keeps spray out of the cockpit. Small gear can be stowed fore and aft through the openings in the end frames. The pipes through the deck and bottom can be fitted, if desired—they'll be found handy for quickly and noiselessly anchoring the boat—-merely shove slender poles completely through into the bottom and the boat will not shift or swing about.

7 pages, 3 plate(s)

Houdini--A Take-Apart Skiff (Pub. No. 5326)

by Edwin Monk, N. A.

This 111/2-ff. skiff can be taken apart and stacked to fit into a compact station wagon. Like the lady in the vaudeville act, this boat goes on living after she's sawed in half.

This boat, which is essentially a skiff, requires no jig or setup stringers. Only a small amount of material--the form used temporarily about the middle of the after section--does not become a part of the finished product. Even this can be omitted if care is taken to maintain the width dimension at this point on the hull. The photographs are of the completed boat, except for painting. The boat is not cut in half until everything else has been completed.

8 pages, 4 plate(s)

Pogo--A Paddle Boat (Pub. No. 5328)

by Harry J. Miller

This paddle wheel boat will skim over shallow waters at 9mph. Uses 3-hp lawn mower engine for power.

Pogo isn't a boat for navigating rough waters, but 15-year-old Jimmy Tench of Bradenton, Florida, had no such intention when he designed her. For his hobby of gathering orchids and exploring the placid bayous near home, he needed a boat with shallow draft and a propulsion system that wouldn't foul in the dense growth of mangrove, hyacinth and grass. Thus he produced this flat-bottomed paddle wheeler which skims over the watery vegetation and takes him right up to the shores  bordering the inlets. The little boat moves along, too. Jimmy heads her up the Braden River at a 9 mph clip under the thrust of an old 3-hp mower engine which he bought in a junk yiird for $15 and overhauled it himself, spending another few dollars for new rings arid gaskets. His total cost for the boat and engine came to just $50. Thought out and built in six weeks of spare time, Pogo is quite simple in construction. A 4x8-foot sheet of quarter-inch exterior plywood provides the bottom, with some left over for the spray shield. The sides are two six-foot lengths of lxl0-inch fir, cut to the shape indicated in the drawing. The transom is another piece of lxl0-inch fir, cut to the dimensions shown, and a beveled piece of 2x4 stock is used at the bow.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

Corky--A Simple Pram (Pub. No. 5329)

by Henry Clark

Anyone can make this simple pram for about $20 and from a single sheet of exterior plywood.

You can easily bend together this 8-ft. dinghy, or pram, from only one single panel of 4x8 plywood! This is cutting boat building to the bone, lumberwise and labor-wise, but nevertheless, you come up with a durable, stable, able and extremely light rig in which you can paddle out to your mooring, car-top to a favorite fishing spot, turn the kids loose in for frolic, or just plain build for the heck of it You will end up with a worthy boat, all 35 lbs. of her. Clamp a 3 hp. Lightwin Evinrude (or other small engine) on your transom, and this midget moves along at a good 12 mph clip, thanks to its flat bottom.

7 pages, 2 plate(s)

Stubby--A 10-Ft. Plywood Dinghy (Pub. No. 5337)

Ten feet of rugged, plywood dinghy with a lightweight V-bottom hull that can be rowed, sailed or driven by an outboard.

Here's a little boat that will appeal to almost everyone who spends his leisure time afloat. For the man who enjoys fishing, Stubby is light enough to carry on top of a car and her V-bottom makes rowing a pleasure instead of a chore. Because of her light weight and leakproof construction, she makes an ideal tender for a larger boat. By hanging a small outboard on the transom, the dink becomes a runabout with a good turn of speed and plenty of room to take someone along for the ride. And last but not the least of her good points is that with a centerboard, rudder and inboard rig she can be converted for sailing, with a particular appeal for the small fry or beginners at the sport. The construction of Stubby is simple and practically foolproof for the amateur builder.

8 pages, 2 plate(s)

Skippy--A 9-Ft. Junior Sailor (Pub. No. 5340)

A 9-ft. junior sailer with big-boat safety and performance; V-bottom hull has all-plywood construction.

Most of the boats intended to be sailed by children are sorry-looking, tubby affairs on which the rigging and sails seem to have been added as an afterthought. Apart from the fact that they may capsize from a sudden puff or fill from the wash of a passing boat, a youngster has as much chance of learning how to sail in them as he would maneuvering a wash tub on the living room floor. And yet, as the plans on these pages will prove, there’s no reason why a boat for the small fry can’t have not only the lines, but the safety and performance of a larger sailboat: As her name implies, Skippy was designed to be sailed and raced by children or beginners (from 8 to 80) with no previous sailing experience. She is 9 ft. 3 in. overall with a beam of 4 ft. and a sail area of 48 sq. ft. in an easily-handled knockabotit rig. A heavy steel centerboard, placed low in the boat, makes her extremely stable and, for further safety, the cockpit has purposely been kept small so the boat will sail well heeled without shipping any water. As a result of this combination, it is almost impossible to capsize the little sailer under normal conditions.

12 pages, 4 plate(s)

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