If you can use a hammer, saw and nails efficiently you probably have the basic woodworking skills to build your own boat. Please be aware that it also takes a lot of patience, determination and time also.
One of the better classic boat designs out there is called a Dory. The Dory has a long and storied history as a fishing vessel. The boats traditionally have had a narrow, flat bottom that causes them to tip to a certain point. However, they recover nicely and prove to be very stable in rough waters. Because of their shape as a double-ended boat they are also very easy to row and maneuver. Dories always have high sides and sharp bows which adds further to their stability.
The Swampscott Dory (named after the town that they originated in) was probably the original classic wooden boat in modern times. They were excellent in the ocean surf because the bottoms had a round shape. A later model called the Banks Dory became the choice among the masses due to their inexpensive cost of construction. One boat can be stored on top of another resulting in easy storage. With the introduction of outboard motors, Dory designers have developed “semi-dory” and “half-dory” models that fare better today.
Your investment for tools should be pretty minimal to make a wooden boat ordinarily. Many individuals make the mistake of assuming that good wood boat plans are foolish. Nothing could be further from the truth. Unless you build boats for a living and do it day in and day out it’s best to find some plans that “walk you by the hand”. Let’s face it. Most of us measure once (instead of twice) and end up cutting a few boards too short. You will inevitably have a lot less waste if you stick with quality plans.
You should always be prepared to spend the extra money to buy the right kinds of wood. Lapstreak, white pine, oak, birch and spruce are common materials. They will last 30 or 40 years with the right water sealants and marine caulking!
As crazy as it sounds, a homemade wooden boat can be made in 2 or 3 weeks if you are really dedicated and determined. Imagine the satisfaction of spending a day in your favorite fishing spot or drfting around in a boat that you made from scratch!
Investing in flat bottom boat plans is a smart move for many do it yourselfers! Sailing wooden boats not only becomes a hobby but an obsession for many folks! May all your future boating ventures in your home made boat bring valuable memories!