Building tips

The Traditional Maritime Skills website is a fantastic resource, with interviews, photos, and videos providing a wealth of information on a wide variety of aspects of traditional boatbuilding skills. Their YouTube channel, Traditional Maritime Skills, offers a quick way to access to all sorts of tips and tricks.

The forum is a great spot for information and support for small boat bulding and maintenance.

There are many design-specific forums available at Yahoo Groups. A designer's website will also often have links to a forum or support group for people building one of their designs.

Our library also has numerous books covering boatbuilding techniques and tips. The library is open at each club night and sailing day at Albert Park Lake, and members are invited to browse and borrow books as needed.


We are often asked about boat plans. We don't offer any plans ourselves, but listed here are a number of designers and collections of free plans available online.  You may also like to read about some of our members' building projects and experiences.

When looking for boat plans, it is a good idea to set up some selection criteria first. How many people should the boat carry? Is it to be purely for rowing, sailing, motoring, or a combination of some of these? Boats suitable for rivers and sheltered estuaries probably won't be suitable for the open sea, and good deep water boats may not be suitable for exploring shallow creeks and backwaters.

Find out about the sort of support a designer offers, if there are online forums where you can talk to builders of the design you are interested in, and ask others for their opinion about a design, and about the reputation of the designer.

With the above advice in mind, the sites listed below, in no particular order, will be a good starting point when looking for plans online:


Classic Wooden Boat Plans

Michael Storer Wooden Boat Plans

Selway Fisher Design

Duck Flat Wooden Boats

David Payne Yacht Designs

Headland Boats

B&B Yacht Designs

Common Sense Boats

Iain Oughtred Designs

Glen-L marine designs

Svenson's free boat plans - boat plans and boat kits for powered and sailing craft

Bateau (check out their free plans as well)

Old Boats: Treasures from the Past - free boat plans from the 1930's and 1940's

Making a high performance white polytarp sail

Hartley boat plans and boatbuilding guides

The Ultimate Boat Maintenance Guide

Wooden Boat magazine-Boat plans and kits - directory of wooden boat plans and kits, searchable by type of craft and/or keyword, e.g. designer's name or model