Small Craft Plans

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Three Trailer Barges (Pub. No. 5622)

Park a house trailer on one of these barges and go to sea! (Well around the marina anyway)

The garvey type hull shown here in three designs and two sizes to suit a large, or small house trailer and in either waterproof plywood or ordinary lumber construction has several interesting possibilities as a houseboat proposition. Easy loading and unloading of the trailer has been kept uppermost in-mind. The barge’s long cut. away bow can be run far enough up on shore to take gangplanks down which the trailer can be backed by hand or car. With the trailer loaded, temporary deck beams forward are dropped in sockets and plywood or T. & G. built panels placed over them to form a spacious forward deck over which an awning can be arranged to suit.

16 pages, 5 plate(s)

Tubby--A 17 ft Pontoon Boat (Pub. No. 5623)

by Peter Clarke

"Tubby", although not exactly beautiful to look at, represents a very useful and comfortable way of getting around on lakes and small sheltered coves. She was designed with the idea of producing a very simple-to-build craft that would give the maximum amount of deck space with the minimum expense. In spite of her ungainly appearance, with a four horsepower motor she can whip herself up to a fair and honest five miles an hour, and with over one hundred square feet of useful deck space available, there is ample room for swimming, diving, fishing, or even small parties. On one occasion, with the aid of a piece of tin on the fore deck, a very respectable weinie roast was held while slowly cruising along the lake. And the luxury of having a fishing party with three or four people fishing from deck chair.s was formerly reserved for those fortunate enough to own forty foot cruisers. But Tubby, though admittedly not as pretty, is every bit as much fun to own.

4 pages, 2 plate(s)

Imada and How I Made Her, The (Pub. No. 5646)

(A Thames punt)

Reprinted from "The Boy's Own Paper."

by G.H. Bailey

The “Imada” is the name of my punt, with which I drift down the stream of life—which in my case is a very small trout stream, flowing slowly and silently through countless water meadows, eventually finding its way into the river Itchen at a spot just below Winchester.  There are many fellows living near such streams who cannot utilize them because the building of a small boat to them is a matter of great difficulty and expense; and it is for them that I here describe the building of a small flat-bottomed boat, which can be punted, paddled, or oared along, and which only draws an inch and a half of water.  From the instructions given it will be found easy to build; but, of course, great care must be taken in getting the measurements exact, and the seams well caulked to prevent leakage.

8 pages

How to Make a Canvas Canoe (Pub. No. 5653)

by E.T. Littlewood

Reprinted from "The Boys Own Book of Boats"

"I propose to give directions for the construction of a canvas canoe, requiring no great expenditure of money, from a week to a fortnight of spare time, a very few tools, and a moderate amount of skill.  I have from time to time made canoes of various kinds, and have been led to adopt the pattern to be hereafter described as being most easily and cheaply constructed, and as possessing the important characters of speed, comfort, safety, and fair durability, and not being too heavy to carry on the shoulder for a quarter of a mile or so if necessary."

12 pages

How to Build a Sectional Canoe (Pub. No. 5654)

by George Pontin

Reprinted from "The Boy's Own Paper."

I do not remember having seen a sectional canoe built to pack up and carry away in a very handy and portable state, and I think the accompanying designs will appeal to many readers as just the thing for the next holidays.  If a train journey has to be accomplished at first to get to the water, a canoe of ten or twelve feet long becomes somewhat of a trouble and is liable to get damaged en route as well, but when the twelve-footer can be made to take to pieces and pack up into one parcel of, say, five feet by two feet six, then the advantage of this type of craft becomes apparent.

7 pages, 1 plate(s)

How I Rigged the Canoe "Frolic" (Pub. No. 5655)

by Major Battiscombe

Reprinted from "The Boy's Own Paper."

"On the afternoon of one day in the month of September of a year long past, when I was fifteen years old, I had walked down to the house of a man who had always been a great friend to my brothers and myself, and who lived close to the river Wye. In the course of conversation he said:  “I’ve thought of something to do this afternoon; we will launch my two Rob Roy canoes, and, as there is a nice breeze blowing up the river, we will have a sail.”  I nearly jumped for joy at the words; I had never sailed a canoe or anything else in my life, except a toy boat on the Round Pond in Kensington Gardens, and here was the ambition of my existence about tobe fulfilled. . . ."

8 pages, 1 plate(s)

How to Build a Simple 14' Fishing Punt (Pub. No. 5661)

by Gordon Meggy

Reprinted from "The Boy's Own Paper

Ask the ordinary boat-builder how much he will charge to build you a fishing punt and he will probably surprise you with the extent of his demands. To remonstrate with him is useless. He enlarges upon the expense of material, the skill and knowledge required and the time occupied, and you will no doubt come to the conclusion that the craft is beyond your pocket.  Yet the building of a fishing punt is no difficult matter to anyone with a taste for amateur carpentering, and the cost will not exceed a few pounds, which will cover every possible item for a good punt 14 ft. long.

12 pages

Featherweight--An 8' Duckboat (Pub. No. 5665)

Light enough to carry on a car or even on your shoulders, this boat will enable you to reach hideaways that are inaccessible with heavier craft. It is sturdy enough to push through dense weed growths and light enough to navigate the shallowest waters. Although only 8 ft. 4 in. long, "Featherweight" has a capacity of well over 300 pounds. Its construction of  ¼-in. Waterproof plywood over light pine framing gives it the well-proportioned lines shown in the illustration.

8 pages, 3 plate(s)

Reelfoot Boat-A Forward Rowing Boat from Tenn, The (Pub. No. 5678)

by George Laycock

At one time found only in Tennessee, this popular craft is presently utilized in almost every state in the country.

The "Reelfoot Boat"  is an unusual and highly efficient boat that grew out of a need. Reelfoot Lake in northwestern Tennessee is studded with cypress stumps. Because of these stumps, Reelfoot natives and visiting sportsmen need to see where they are rowing. This prompted the invention of a peculiar oar with a double elbow in the middle that enables a fisherman to pull his oars in the customary fashion but go forward instead of backward—a definite aid in missing stumps. But the Reelfoot boat, with or without the bow-facing oars, has a lot to recommend itself to the average guy. It is rugged and easily maneuvered and is easily equipped with a motor.

12 pages, 2 plate(s)

Little Fellow--A Midget Inboard Runabout for Kids (Pub. No. 5685)

This midget inboard has an outboard power plant.

by Robert Ruskauff

Got a little fellow who yearns to skipper his own craft? Then take a cue from Bob Brakensiek, a Californian who designed and built a pint-size inboard for his mne-year-old son. He was so successful that other dads went to work and now small salts as young as seven are veterans at the wheel.  Little Fellow is only 78 inches long, has a beam of 36 inches and weighs about 125 pounds. For power, Bob Brakensiek’s original model had a 71/2-hp engine which drove it along at 30 mph. However, it was later decided that a cutdown 5-hp Scott-Atwater outboard would be ample, giving a speed of 25 mp

4 pages, 2 plate(s)

Canvasback--A Canvas Kayak (Pub. No. 5688)

by S. Calhoun Smith

Build this kayak in your bedroom with hand tools and C-clamps

This kayak is the answer for young people who want to build an inexpensive boat for summer fun. We turned out several Canvasbacks—and each took only a week of spare time. A shop full of power tools isn’t necessary, either. Ours consisted of a power jig saw and a quarter-inch electric hand drill. But all the work can be done with ordinary hand tools and a few C clamps.  Canvasback will carry one adult but it’s handiest when paddled by a youngster. The boat is stable in the water and, even though it can be turned over, it won’t sink. It’s also light enough to be carried with ease. Building is so simple that the “jig” consists of only two blocks and a few bricks.

8 pages, 3 plate(s)

All purpose 11 1/2 ft Boat, An (Pub. No. 5699)

(For Oars, Sail, or Outboard Motor)

Designed for use with oars, sails, or outboard motor, the small all-purpose boat described here will provide exciting sport the year round on virtually any water. Its shallow draft makes it usable on streams and lakes that would bar some other boats of comparable size and utility. Weighing only 100 pounds , it can be transported atop a car or carried on a trailer. Two men can handle it easily, or even one if need be. Due to its simple construction, the boat is strong and sturdy, and will withstand any amount of banging around. It will seat three persons comfortably, and four if necessary. Regardless of how it is powered--sails, oars, or outboard--it will be found entirely seaworthy and stable.

6 pages, 3 plate(s)

How to Build a Fold Boat (Pub. No. 5700)

by George O. Bauwens

Among the more modern kinds of sports that have come to the front, the use of the so-called Fold Boat has gained unusual headway, and especially for the travel on rivers, the touring of lakes and lagoons, this special type has gained immense favor. A boat constructed along the lines given here is safe and its firm but flexible construction lets it survive where any other rigidly built boat would draw a leak or break. It is quickly assembled or taken apart, it can be stored in any automobile compartment out of sight. This type of fold boat will carry two persons and has ample place for storing camping equipment and supplies.

28 pages, 2 plate(s)

Little Star--An All-Purpose Utility Dinghy (Pub. No. 5706)

by Sam Rabl

A really handsom little round-bilge lapstreak pram. Designed for a variety of uses, this eleven foot pram-type dinghy may be rowed, sailed, raced in the Moth class, or driven by an outboard engine. It is clinker built of white oak and mahogany, copper fastened throughout.

To facilitate construction level a strongback of 2” by 6” timbers twelve feet long on two saw horses. Make the moulds from 3/4" white pine as shown on the drawings. The joints in these can be made with Stanley corrugated fasteners to save the bother of battens and screws. Construct the transom from 7/8” mahogany to dimensions shown on the plan. No attempt to bevel this member to the lines is made as the cuts for the planking take care of this later. The motor pad is screwed and casein glued to the inside of the transom before erection. All screws that might eventually show above the stern seat are let in and covered with ½” mahogany plugs.

7 pages, 2 plate(s)

Build Plyak (Pub. No. 5719)

by M.E. Afford

The name Plyak comes from the elision of the two words that describe it--plywood nad kayak. It's a single-seater for the enthusiast, analogous to a sports car in performance. Designed fot he navigation of small fast streams or rough water. And as a result of an unusual design feature, it is very easy to build. Its unique keel/rib not only gives the kayak unusual strength but serves as a built-in jig. In addition, gunwale mounts make it possible to attach such accessories as tie-down straps and an outrigger for sailing. Plyak's features are summarized as follows: length, 14 ft. 9 in.; beam, 30 in.; weight, 65 lbs.; draft, 31/2 in. (carryig 250 lbs.); time to build, 50 hours.

6 pages, 1 plate(s)

Wanigan, The (Pub. No. 5740)

LOA 15', BEAM 63"

by Weston Farmer

As old as boating in America is the garvey design. It’s no wonder. These shoal-draft work horses combine super-simplicity with rugged carrying ability

This utility garvey was designed to fill a need for a simple work scow anyone can build to use in a summer camp. You can haul rocks with her, fish out of her, beach her easily. The garvey is a gussied-up scow. The name is a local one, in use on the Jersey marsh reaches, where the water is thin, money sometimes thinner, and where the scow type of hull has for generations blossomed forth as the “garvey”—plebeian, often homely, always plain, but what a work horse! But even in this simple design there were some problems. I knew she’d have to be trailable, whereas the true garvey is heavy. She’d have to be fine-lined enough to move with from 3 to 7 hp kickers, and she’d have to have the carrying power of a north woods wanigan—a lumberjack’s store boat—to lug the camping stuff Joe Doakes would. How to meet these conificting requirements may not loom large now, but they did at first. I was sitting on a cedar stump in my yard after supper, when the answer came to me. There, before me, bottom up on the muskeg, was a boat I have loved for 46 years—Badger. Badger had the feel I wanted this new garvey to have. Here was a boat sized by some ancient master in the old Toppan Dory shops. I’d cruised her into every pothole from Duluth to Rossport, and loved her. Notwithstanding some purely dory traits, such as crankiness until loaded, she has given more pleasure to several owners than any other boat I can recall offhand.

9 pages, 3 plate(s)

Buiding a Birch-Bark Canoe (Pub. No. 5754)

by George F. Snell, Jr.

The almost-lost art of building a true Ojibway canoe is here recorded and preserved for future boatbuilders.

Ever since my salad days, when I infested the West Side of St. Paul, Minnesota, I’ve wanted to build, or at least see built, a birchbark canoe. I wanted one then for the purpose of removing myself from under the irksome parental thumb; Joe McMahon and I intended, at the advanced age of seven, to canoe to Hudson Bay, via the Minnesota, Red and Nelson rivers, and live with the Eskimos. Our notions of construction were, unhappily, vague, being based on the ideas of Longfellow, as set forth in Hiawatha. So it came to this, that we peeled a few trees down on the bluff, and gradually forgot about the canoe. Or, at least, Joe did. I never quite have. The article that follows, then, is the fruition of a long-standing ambition. When I started working to get the material for this article, I soon found the thing assuming the proportions of the revival of a nearly lost art. it is not lost completely, since there still are Indians who remember the venerable technique of building birchbark canoes—a "wigwahs cheemahn", the Ojibways call it. There is another reason why very few birch bark canoes are built today. That is the scarcity of suitable canoe birches and white cedars, the lattet almost indispensable for the framing. It was not difficult to find an Indian who would agree to build a canoe fot me. I had only to ask of my friends among the Pine County, Minnesota Ojibways living in the settlement north of Highway 48 and near the St. Croix River. Fred St. John was the one who took the job, and I was happy about that. I knew him to be a marvelous workman with the pioneer’s tools involved; ax, saw, froe knife and drill.

20 pages

Widgeon--A Plywood Sneakbox (Pub. No. 5758)

by H.P. Megargee

LOA 11' 9", BEAM 46 1/2"

The greatest little boat ever designed for hunting and fishing inland waterways.

In 1875 Nathaniel Bishop, a seafaring man from Medford, Massachusetts, where he was born in 1837, planned a cruise down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and along the Gulf Coast to the mouth of the Suwannee River in Florida. Bishop, who had had worldwide experience with small craft, selected a Barnegat sneakbox for the trip. He described his voyage in the book Four Months in a Sneak Box, published in 1879. Starting from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on December 2, 1875, he lived for four months in this tiny floating home, 12’ long and 4’ wide, while he sailed and rowed 2,600 miles to his destination. Except for the two weeks when the Ohio River was frozen over, he slept aboard and wrote his book by the light of a 3” candle—a longer one would have burned the hatch above him. Nat Bishop’s book, written 80 years ago, contains sketches and diagrams of his boat that would serve to describe sneakboxes built today. She was built by Captain George Bogart of Manahawkin, New Jersey, and followed closely the lines originated about 40 years earlier by Captain Hazleton Seaman of West Creek, New Jersey. The baymen who built these boats 100 years ago were for the most part Coast Guardsmen, wise in the hazards of the sea and clever in the design of craft that ride the waves. In the intervening years their successors have not been able to improve substantially on the earliest models. Certainly Nat Bishop had nothing but the highest praise for the comfort, seaworthiness and maneuverability of his craft. Joining in Bishop’s enthusiasm, I would go a step further and say that for its manifold purposes of hunting and fishing in inland waterways it is the greatest little boat ever designed. Strictly a one-man boat, it will carry you safely and comfortably in weather that would trouble boats twice its size. Covered with thatch or seaweed and drawn into a notch on shore or in still water, afloat against the bank, it serves as a blind for the reclining hunter. I have hunted ducks from sunken blinds, concrete pits, stick-up blinds, Chesapeake Bay booby blinds and other hides in the United States and Europe, but never have I found anything as comfortable or that lends itself as well to duck shooting. In it with plenty of dry hay, a man with reasonably good circulation can stay out in cold that would freeze a black duck to death. The Widgeon is not a true sneakbox, for old baymen will tell you that these boats should have “clean-swept chines,” meaning that the bottom and crowned deck timbers as well as the curve of the chine are all arcs of circles. Our boat is a modified sneakbox with dead rise sides and V bottom. It is designed for simplicity of construction with plywood which cannot be bent into the compound curves inherent in a true sneakbox.

15 pages, 2 plate(s)

Purposeful Punt (Pub. No. 5759)

by Michael Cramond

LOA 10', BEAM 46"

There’s a lot of boat packed into this pint-sized package, and it can be yours for less than $20 and a few spare evenings. This one is easy enough for you to build—whoever you are.

Most boats are not simple to build, and those that are, are often so simple they are good for nothing. Simplicity and low cost are not always the same. Some 30 years as a fisherman and hunter, stepping into (and sometimes being flipped out of) hulls, forced me to design what I had hoped would flil my particular bill of easy-to— build, strength at low cost, and adaptability to a variety of oonditions. Strangely, for the first try at anything new or unique in hull design, it worked. I built this boat in a couple of weeks of spare evenings down in the basement. The cost was just under $20, and it was simple enough for a schoolboy to build. Because I am a hunter and fisherman by occupation (outdoor editor-columnist of a daily newspaper) my prime purpose was a vessel that could be rowed, punted, outboarded, sailed or slept in, put atop a car, safe enough to fly-fish from, rugged enough to withstand the recoil of a shotgun. The resulting hull was a real surprise. Although the boat is only 10’ long, two men can fly-fish from it while a third rows. I have shot a limit of ducks from it in choppy salt-water marshes, outboarded it with three big men aboard, used it for rowing and trolling for salmon on the open sea. Also, as many as four children have gone sailing in it. The ceiling load—with freeboard to row on calm water—has been five grownups totaling 850 pounds; and because the boat weighs only 70 pounds, one man can auto-top it easily, or carry it some distance to water. With the intermediate frames left solid, permanent air pockets in bow and stern are formed. The boat will float two men when filled with water, and even when the boat is capsized one man can walk upon it completely free of the water. Not all of these things were designed into it, but came about by the unique method of construction. Materials are primarily plywood, but can be interchanged (with the exception of the bottom) with stock lumber or other materials.

14 pages, 3 plate(s)

Duckling--An 8-Ft. Duckboat (Pub. No. 5767)

by Harry Megargee

LOA 8', BEAM 28"

This little pond boat can be carried on top of your car, get you into the most unlikely potholes, and best of all, it's no sweat to put her together.

My first boatbuilding effort was at age 15 when I made one of the small duck hunting craft generally known along the Jersey shore as a pond box. These boats took a variety of forms but had the common features of shallow draft, light weight and low silhouette. A must requirement was that they be light enough to be carried or dragged to inaccessible ponds or waterways. At that time, half a century ago, we did not have the modern wonder boatbuilding material, plyIwood. My box was planked with ½” cedar siding. She was little and light but relatively heavy when compared with the Duckling. As these plans show, Duckling is an extremely small boat. She is 8’ long 28” wide, 10” deep. At the crown of the deck amidship she is 13” deep. For added seaworthiness the design calls for 4” detachable washboards surrounding the cockpit. Even with washboards this is not in any sense a big-water craft. She should never be used for transportation over large bodies of water where sizable seas may be encountered; however, along the shores of such waters she may serve as a blind in conjunction with a larger boat. The hunter should never stand up in Duckling when afloat and should move in her as carefully as he would in a canoe. When used as a blind the boat is drawn out at the water’s edge with her bow pointed outward. Her deck is then covered with thatch, and grasses are inserted in the open gunwales and stacked against her sides. The hunter reclines, with his legs under the deck and his shoulders resting on an inclined board at the stern. When ducks are over the decoys he rises to a sitting position to shoot. If you have never hunted ducks from a reclining position, you will be surprised at how comfortable it is even in bitter-cold weather. Throw in a couple armsful of hay, and you might as well be in a feather bed. Eliminating big waters, Duckling still has terrific possibilities. In some 48 states alone there are 53,000 miles of shoreline to the head of tide water, a large part consisting of shallow bays, coves, thoroughfares and little rivers. Beside tidewater there are 47,000 square miles of inland waterways, including ponds of more than 40 acres. Add to all this the uncounted thousands of little ponds, sloughs and flooded marshes that would be accessible to the Duckling, and her operating area is boundless. This little boat is truly a do-it-yourselfer’s dream. Scow-type with straight sides and flat bottom, the boat’s construction is simple enough for any tyro. Small as she is, she has adequate buoyancy to support a big man; 200 pounds submerges only 3” of her 10” freeboard. Many a man will recognize Duckling as just what the doctor ordered for that backwoods pond or swamp where some sort of boat is a must but which is next to impossible for the ordinary heavy craft. Weighing only about 50 pounds, she can be carried or pulled on her runners with little effort. Hunting companions can transport two of the boats inside a station wagon or on a car-top rig so that each will have his individual blind. As auxiliaries to a powerboat two or more Ducklings may be towed to a gunning point and placed side by side with a hunter in each boat. Lashed together in tide water, they will form a floating blind when the marshes are flooded.

10 pages, 3 plate(s)

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