How to Build a Rowboat


If you like making things, then you'll enjoy building a rowboat. A rowboat takes many hours, lots of patience and quite a bit of room to build, but many people have gotten a lot of satisfaction out of building one. The instructions below are a basic guideline for building a 12-foot rowboat, but it's a good idea to get detailed boat plans before you build.

Things You'll Need

  • 10 14 inch long, 7/8 inch thick pine or cedar boards
  • 2 13 foot long, 14 inch wide, 7/8 inch thick pine or cedar boards
  • 1 inch long thick oak, 10 inch wide and 2 feet 6 inches long
  • 16 inch long piece of oak, 8 inch wide, 1.5 inches thick
  • Lead paint
  • Large box of galvanized nails
  • Begin by building the boat stem by taking the 16 inch piece of oak and use a hacksaw to cut two triangle-shaped grooves on both sides of each end.

  • Cut a piece of oak so that it's one-inch thick, 10 inches wide and 28 inches long at the top and 22 inches long at the bottom. This section will be the stern. Use pine to make a cross-board the same width and thickness but that 4 feet on the top and 3 foot 6 inches on the bottom.

  • Saw off the ends of the two side boards so that the top is eight inches shorter than the bottom. Position the side boards into the grooves of the stem. The bottom end of the stem should be flush with the side board bottoms. Attach the pieces with brass screws.

  • Put the cross-board halfway between the end of the side pieces and nail. Nail the side pieces to the stern board. You may need to use rope and a stick to join the side pieces to the stern. Nail on the eight-inch wide, 7/8-inch thick bottom boards.

  • Turn the boat over and add the cleats for the seats. Install the seats to finish it out.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure the wood you use is as free of knots as possible.
  • Coat joints with lead paint before joining.
  • Test your boat to make sure it's ready for the water.

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