5 Tips For Designing Your Own Boat

Posted on October 15, 2013 by Lee under Boating Comments Off on 5 Tips For Designing Your Own Boat

Sailing: building a boatWhether you have been sailing for years, or just starting out, you may have at some point considered designing your own boat. Well, the good news, is it’s not impossible and you may actually enjoy it. While it may at first seem quite daunting, like any other aspect of DIY it’s about planning, preparation and embarking on a task that is within your skill set.

1: What are you using your boat for?

This is an important place to start, as this should affect the type of design you opt for. From racing to recreation, every type of boat is different and as such, this will need to be your first consideration. If you plan on using your boat for recreation, you should consider whether it will just be for day trips, or if you’ll need sleeping quarters as well.

2: What’s your budget?

From wood to fibreglass, the materials that you use to consider when thinking about designing your own boat will vary considerably in price. As such, you should look at your total budget and see how much the design you‘re looking to build will cost. This way, you will have a far better idea if it is financially viable or not.

An important factor to remember, is that it’s very easy to go over budget. Expect the unexpected and don’t design a boat that is going to stretch your budget too much, as you won’t want to run out of money half way through.

Remember too that with any project such as this, there are always going to be things that need paying for that you haven’t accounted for, so do set aside a safety-net budget too.

3: Get a clear set of plans

For those of you out there who have built your own boat in the past, this step may not be so important. An experienced boat builder will no doubt be able to start from scratch and make the designs themselves. On the other hand, if you’re still a novice it is advisable to look for a set of plans to help you along the way.

Boat building is similar to any other form of DIY in as much as some designs are going to be lot more difficulty than others so it’s important not to take on too much too soon. After all, if you take on more than you’re ready for, you could easily find yourself encountering plenty of obstacles and a cost that spirals out of control.

4: Consider 3D boat design software

3D software can help you with your design, from conceptualisation right through to the finished model. While many aspiring boat builders have struggled with 2D design in the past, 3D software can be ideal in helping make the job much easier. If this is your first attempt at building your own boat then this type of software could prove invaluable.

5: Remember that boat building is a skilled job

Professional boat builders take a long time to acquire their skills, so your approach should be one that accounts for this. Once you have your designs together, enlist the help of a professional who can help you to consider the overall picture. This should take into account safety and all of the technical issues that you more than likely haven’t considered. After all, you don’t want to sink on your very first outing.

If you’re considering designing and building your own boat then it’s definitely not something to rush into. By taking your time to get everything right first time, you could save yourself a lot of time and money along the way.

Be prepared

If you are just starting out in the sailing world it’s also worth considering looking at various sailing courses to make sure you are competent when you get into your boat for the first time. After all, if you are sailing with family or friends, their lives will be in your hands and you will want to make the whole experience enjoyable and safe for everyone.


Whether you plan on using your boat for relaxation purposes, or for work or sport, you’re about to embark on a wonderful adventure, so make sure you savour every moment.

Photo Credit: neloqua

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