Many years ago all shores of rivers and ponds were full of wooden boats of various models and constructions. Rubber boats also existed, but they were not really popular and people were using them for many years, making one repair after another. One could also find incredibly rare duraluminium devices, which were produced in really small quantities.
But those years have already passed, taking old hunter and fisher boat construction traditions away. Now their place is firmly taken by inflatable boats. They are more mobile, light and comfortable. However, one can still find some handcrafted boats in distant places, located far away from big cities.
A boat equipped with one non-fixed paddle, a sharply tapered bow, and strong wooden boards is great for narrow rivers, as well as for dense areas of reeds, thus it can be perfectly used for hunting and fishing. Such vessels were built using similar principles, but each region’s boats had several specific traditions and peculiarities. For example, one type of boats were having a wooden bottom part, while another had a rubber or even metal.
If you need such a boat for some reason, you will definitely be able to construct one yourself at the conditions of your home. There’s nothing really difficult in the construction process, even though you may not reach the required result from the first attempt. So, let’s start. Before starting the construction process, you need to think about the most important parts of your boat, i.e. about its boards.
In order to make them, one has to collect long, wide and not thick pines or fir-trees, preferably without knots. Such wood has to spend at least one year in a dry place, on a level surface with a lightweight on it in order to avoid natural bending. By the way, I really recommend you to download the book “My Boat Plans“. Martin Reid’s PDF guide will help a lot in your boat construction process at home.
You have to perform additional wooden planks checking in order to find possible defects, i.e. cracks, broken knots and so on. Then you have to select the desired length (we won’t give you any specific boat detail sizes, because they always depend on your specific project), adding several additional centimeters and saw each plank by 45 degrees. This part will be the bow of your future boat.
Then you need to whittle planks and chamfer sawn-off edges in order to remove any possible gaps when two planks are combined together. Before constructing, you have to put a protective layer of antiseptic solution on parts, which won’t be available for painting after assembling of your boat.
After that, you can switch to the construction of a triangular bar, which will serve as the base for your boat bow. Its length has to be around 1.5 times higher than the width of boards. Whittle the bar and cover it with the protective layer.
Then we need to find a proper piece of a pretty wide-plank (50 mm). We will make the rear board for our boat from it. Don’t forget to leave several additional centimeters in both upper and lower parts, because all unnecessary parts can be sawn off later.
After the preparation of the mentioned elements, you can proceed to the assembling of the boat. Start from the bow. Fix both boards and the triangular bar with tapping screws or nails. All protruding parts have to be sawn off in order to create a smooth surface.
Then we need to prepare the most important moment of the process, i.e. form-giving to the boat. In order to do that, you have to find a brace of any desired width (which depends on your needs and requirements). Its height has to be exactly like on the photo; otherwise, boards can be broken during the bending process. Don’t use too big brace angle.
My Boat Plans by Martin Reid