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Plans Packages

What do you get when you buy our plans?
(The description below covers the very large majority of the boat plans sold at this web site. A few plans, for example, The Rebecca, are drafted the traditional way and while very detailed, require some more advanced skills. In those cases, we clearly state that difference on the page of that particular boat.)

Some remarks first:

  • None of our plans require lofting. We did the lofting for you: all our plans are computer lofted and tested during the building of prototypes.
  • Our 3D CAD models are extremely accurate and allow us to optimize each design for performance and ease of building. Full size patterns are included in many small boats plans.
  • All dimensions needed to build the boat without patterns (if you prefer that method) are always included.
  • Most of our plans are available in US or metric units.

All plans include at least the following drawings:

  • Plan & profile views
  • Construction drawings showing the structure, in particular all bulkheads, frames and transom.
  • Expanded plates and nesting (for stitch and glue boats)
  • Construction details, fiberglass schedule
  • For sail boats: sail and rigging plans All small boat plans include full size patterns for the frames and the side/bottom panels. Plans for larger boats may include patterns, see study plans for details. Special full size patterns in one piece, Mylar, up to 50' long are available as an option for $ 3.00 per square foot.

    This picture shows some of the drawings included in a 18' sailboat plan set. Not shown are the full size patterns and the printed material:

  • Building notes describing the building sequence and tips.
  • Notes and sketches about the sprit rig if applicable.
  • Notes and sketches about options such as deck layouts, consoles etc. if applicable.
  • Bill Of Materials
  • List of suppliers (US) Kits.
  • List price or discount sheet for hull materials, rigging, sails etc.

The nesting drawings shows the best possible layout of all the plywood parts on standard plywood panels.

(Indian River Skiff plans excerpt)

Notice how we minimized waste. Also note that the edges of the plywood sheets coincide with the location of frames or bulkheads: the butt block will fit just under the frame. It is stronger, easier, esthetically pleasant and the result of careful engineering. The butt block will reinforce the boat and no scarfing is needed.

The "stitch and glue" building method requires to cut the side panels and the frames first. Our patterns will give you a quick start: transfer the outline to the plywood, cut and assemble the hull. Our full size patterns are different. Many plans are sold without full size patterns, other advertise patterns but these are for the frames only, sometimes for small parts.
We do not know of any other plans sold with patterns for the side and bottom panels.

  • Our standard plans include a few full size patterns that must be tiled. This means that, for large panels, you must move the pattern drawing along the sides of your plywood sheet and transfer the outline to the plywood one piece at a time. See example below.

Let's look at an example of patterns: the PK78 plans. Here is a picture of the patterns sheets as sold with the standard plans (the other drawings are not shown, only the patterns):

The only one that is made of several parts is the pattern for the side and bottom panels:
You must copy the 3 different parts this way: (To make it easy, each "frame" has a different linetype and you can use the frames of the drawings to line them up.)

After transfer of all patterns to the plywood, here is how it should look (rudder etc. not shown):

All plans include patterns for the frames:

In some cases, when the curves are difficult to scribe, we also include patterns for the seats

and for the appendages such as rudder and daggerboard:

In addition to the patterns, our plans include drawings with dimensions for all these parts. It is redundant but some of us prefer to measure . . Our plans are the easiest ones to build from.

Read some testimonies from people building boats from our plans:

  • I just want you to know I am delighted with the dinghy. I built the sprit rig version, totally finished for less than 200 dollars. It will take 15 mile an hour winds and barely heel yet will get you where you want to go. I was surprised at the stiffness. Once again, thanks for ... your plans ... I can say they are more than worth the money. Joe
  • Here are the pictures of the Scilly Gig, she was quick to build and quick on the oars. It was a pleasure to work with you and your plans. Paul Lintz, Far North Wooden Boats.
  • I ABSOLUTELY LOVED YOUR PLANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Joe
  • The Nutshell went together in one weekend: she looks great and is a lot of fun. Tom Seadon, FL
  • This is the best flat bottom boat I've ever tried: she has a magic bottom! Bill Miller, Paradise Boat Works, FL. (Outboard Dory 16)
  • ... he (designer Jacques Mertens) has experience as a blue water sailor, boat builder, and designer--a combination one rarely finds in one person. Justin Pipkorn (Vagabond builder) Thousand Oaks CA

If you did not find the answer to your question, please use our message board and we will respond within a few hours.
Or explore the HowTo files at our technical support web site