Wooden Boat Building Methods

There are some different methods that can be used to build a boat. You have Carvel Planking, Lapstrake Planking, Strip Planking, and Stitch & Glue. You'll find the basics of each below.

With Carvel Planking the planks abut one another on a framework. First, you create the frame. Then you connect the abutting planks to the frame with nails or screws. You then have to do some caulking to seal the seams so water does not get in.

Lapstrake Planking is comparable to Carvel since you assemble it on a frame. However, the planks overlie each other instead of sitting edge to edge. They are fastened to the frame with rivets and glue and they generally do not have to be sealed due to the planks being fitted so tightly together. Maintenance to this kind of wooden boat is more complex than others because of the overlapping assembly.

Strip Planking is a lot like Carvel Planking apart from the narrows strips of timber that are used as an alternative to large planks. This style of wooden boat can be joined together with epoxy or nails.

Stitch & Glue is probably the simplest technique for building a wooden boat. This is the method recommended to somebody building a boat for the first time. With this method you use marine grade plywood to cut out the different sections of the boat using the instructions found in your boat plans. Then, you bore holes down the edges of your pieces that will link to another plywood section and line up the holes. The pieces are held together by inserting plastic wire ties or metal wire pieces though the holes. Then you fill the joints with epoxy to keep them together. When it is completely dry, remove the wire ties and fill in the holes with epoxy. This method can be used to build a flat bottomed boat, a "V" bottomed boat, or a multi-chined bottomed boat which is a more curved hull. This kind of construction is extremely easy to fix because you can patch in a fresh section of plywood and be back on the lake rather quickly.

The Stitch & Glue method involves less material and does not call for an under frame frame or a garage full of tools to wind up with a stunning wooden boat that is pleasing to the eye. This is why it is the simplest, cheapest, and requires the least amount of time of all the wooden boat building methods.