Boatbuilding Tips and Tricks Blog

Here are the latest few blog posts. The balance of this years, appear below the list of posts and the column on the right, the index, lists all posts since 2008 when I started this blog, over 300 posts and 8 years.



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Homebuilt Grander Whitewater Dory in the Grand Canyon

I received this email and pictures just yesterday.

Dear Jeff,
Several years ago I wrote to you asking for a double ender whitewater dory design. Within a year a design was out for the Grander. Two years I finally had the time to undertake the building of the dory and the space to build it. Wow! What a year it has been. It was a daily learning experience. I stopped working on the dory at least twice simply because it was more than I could do. With encouragement from friends and a friend who put in many hours, I finally finished the dory two weeks before my Grand Canyon launch date: March 22, 2017.

Take a look at her and realize she (Zenah) was the best dory a person could use to run the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Zenah took on the biggest holes and grandest wave with ease. I never thought during the entire 235 mile trip with a hundred plus rapids that she would fail me. What an incredible design and awesome dory. Lava Falls is one of the biggest rapids on the Grand, the pictures will give you an idea of the wave size.

Thanks,

Dale Holt Houghtaling

Grander Whitewater Dory Wooden Boat Plans

Grander Whitewater Dory Wood Boat Plans

235 miles and 100 rapids? Wow, what a trip that must have been. So happy you enjoyed it and the dory!

More information and access to free study prints, and links to purchase these plans may be downloaded at: 17' Grander Whitewater Dory Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Seneca Pacific Dory Completed in Washington

Just got this note from a builder in Washington.

Hey Jeff,
I just completed the construction of a 14 foot Seneca pacific power dory. I started the boat in October and finished up on Easter. Since then, I have used the boat three times in Lake Washington near Seattle. The construction was definitely more work than I thought but I ended up with a great boat. We placed a 15 horsepower motor on the boat which pushes it along well. With one person you are flying across the water but once you get up to three people it slows down a lot. With two people, I could get the boat going about 16 mph. I would like to potentially get a bigger motor. The Seneca cuts through larger waves well and is quite stable. The boat building experience was great and I would like to continue it in the future.

Thanks for all of your help!

-Will.

Seneca Pacific Power Dory Wooden Boat Plans

Seneca Pacific Power Dory Wood Boat Plans

Seneca Pacific Power Dory Plywood Boat Plans

Now that is a beautiful interior!

More information and access to free study prints, and links to purchase these plans may be downloaded at: 14' Seneca Pacific Power Dory Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

New Planked Foredeck of Pescadero Carolina Dory - Australia

A builder of this nice Pescadero Carolina Dory from Australia just sent me this nice email and photos.

Hi Jeff,
Trust you are well over there. All fine here with Hilary and myself.

Here is a pic of the foredeck of my Pescadero. It looks similar to what John Rocco Macar has done with his Caladesi. Now the weather has cooled off here I am getting on with finishing the Pesadero and moving along with the Chesapeke V bottom dory. The cleat in the pic is just sitting there for effect. Not even sure where I will put it yet. I may even run the anchor chain through a hole near the fairlead to save scuffing up the nice foredeck.

Kind regards,

David Ambler
Winfield, Qld
Australia

P.S. A nice grey kangaroo pic attached as well. Gotta keep up the Aussie image eh!!

Pescadero Carolina Dory Wooden Boat Plans

Pescadero Carolina Dory Wood Boat Plans

Pescadero Carolina Dory Plywood Boat Plans

Great looking deck. I can't wait to see the completed boat on the water.

More information and access to free study prints, and links to purchase these plans may be downloaded at: 14' Pescadero Carolina Dory Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

New Caladesi Carolina Dory Completed in Chicago, Illinois

A Caladesi builder just sent me this email and pictures.

Hello Jeff,
I am proud to say that I have recently completed construction on my Caladesi 18'6" Dory. It's 18'6" due to the fact I shortened the centers on the forward framing to 16 inches (normally 18"). I began the project in August 2016 and just installed the engine yesterday (4/28/17). I absolutely have loved the boat building process. Along the way, your website was a lot of help. I have included some pictures below, and have attached several pics documenting the whole build. Can't wait to go fishing!

Note: This boat is dedicated to the many "Coal Miner's Daughters" and Coal Miners whom my wife Jennifer and I are descended from. I give you the FV Loretta Lynn.

As a former USCG licensed Tug Master and Engineer, I can't wait to get back out on my home waterways. For the last 10 years I have primarily been a land lubber working in the rotating equipment and petrochemical fields. She'll go to sea trails on the Calumet River, Chicago Illinois (yep that's home), then spend her days plying the waters of the Great Lakes and North Woods. Island camping in the Boundary Waters and Voyager's National Parks will be next. Thanks again for the great plans and advice.

Best Regards,
John Rocco Macari

Caladesi Carolina Dory Wooden Boat Plans

Caladesi Carolina Dory Wood Boat Plans

Caladesi Carolina Dory Plywood Boat Plans

Caladesi Carolina Dory Easy Boat Plans

John did a fantastic job on the boat. I love the names of his coal miner's daughters too. I'm sure he'll get plenty of compliments on his workmanship and the design in that area. I lived outside Chicago in my high school days but missed some of the great boating advantures there. I'm sure it will be a lot of fun, there with this great boat.

More information and access to free study prints, and links to purchase these plans may be downloaded at: 20' Caladesi Carolina Dory Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

La Paz Mullet Skiff Completed in Canada

Just got this email and photos of a Laq Paz Mullet Skiff.

Jeff - I hope you are well.
You may remember that I am building a boat using your mullet skiff hull design - with a cabin. Here's a recent photo taken from the roof of our house!
I floated the hull last year and it was fine - and very stable. I'm planning to launch it in May / June of this year.
Thanks,
Richard Brown

La Paz Mullet Skiff Wooden Boat Plans

More information and access to free study prints, and links to purchase these plans may be downloaded at: 24' La Paz Mullet Skiff Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

First Avila Garvey Dory launched in California

Just got this email and photos of the very first 12' Avila Garvey Dory build.

Hi Jeff,
Thank you for a wonderful 12' Garvey Dory! The Avila took my wife and me about 6 months to build working a few hours a week. Avila sits in the water just as you designed and is very stable. We have powered it with a 5hp outboard and that is plenty of power to cruise the local lakes and harbors. We look forward to many days of enjoying Avila.
Thanks again,
Aaron and Mary Jane

Avila Garvey Dory Wooden Boat Plans

Avila Garvey Dory Wood Boat Plans

Avila Garvey Dory Plywood Boat Plans

Avila Garvey Dory Easy Boat Plans

More information and access to free study prints, and links to purchase these plans may be downloaded at: 12' Avila Garvey Dory Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Rogue Power Drift Boat built by Noel Mueller in Idaho

Noel Mueller emailed me these pictures of his recently launched Rogue Power Drifter. In his email, he said:

Jeff:
I finally got my Rogue Drift Boat completed, and it actually floats! I want to thank you so much for the great plans and instructions for the build. I couldn't be happier. Also thank you for your advice for the construction.
Best,
Noel Mueller

Rogue Power Drift Boat Wooden Boat Plans

His photos also created this Construction Photo Essay document, that may be downloaded from the Rogue River web page:

Rogue Power Drift Boat Wood Boat Plans

More information and access to free study prints, and links to purchase the plans may be downloaded at: 16' Rogue Power Drift Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Albion Pacific Power Dory built by Steve Roundtree

Steve Rountree just sent me some pictures of his recently completed Albion Pacific Power Dory:

Albion Pacific Power Dory Wooden Boat Plans

Albion Pacific Power Dory Wood Boat Plans

Albion Pacific Power Dory Easy Boat Plans

More information and access to free study prints, and links to purchase the plans may be downloaded at: 19' Albion Pacific Power Dory Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

How to Build a Mackinaw McKenzie River Style Drift Boat Video

I just uploaded this new video about how to build a Mackinaw McKenzie River Style Drift Boat. I have gone through the construction steps so you can see what goes into its construction.

More information and access to free study prints, and links to purchase the plans may be downloaded at: 13' Mackinaw McKenzie River Style Drift Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Lynn Leksell's Oysterman Carolina Dory

Lynn Leksell recently completed this Oysterman Carolina dory. He posted this in my Boatbuilding Facebook group:

Hi Jeff,
Here's the Oysterman I built from your plans. I chose this design to be easy to launch and to exercise six or seven outboard motors that I had. I had a lot of materials on hand, so I invested less than $500 dollars total. The frames were lumberyard 2x4's, bottom 1/2" MDO. and the sides 1/4" AB fir plywood. I fastened with Gorilla Glue and Epoxy and stainless screws.
The boat performs well with 25hp, I was surprised to find it can use more horse power than I expected. It's a pretty boat, I get stopped a lot by larger boat ownerss wondering where I got it. I tell them I built it with one hand (I lost my right hand in a farm accident 45 years ago.)
I really enjoy the boat. Building a boat was on my bucket list (every one should do it once.) Thanks for the great design.
Regards,
Lynn Leksell

Oysterman Carolina dory Wooden Boat Plans

Oysterman Carolina dory Wood Boat Plans

Lynn did a great job, especially with only one hand!

More information and access to free study prints, and links to purchase the plans for the 16' Oysterman Carolina Dory Boat plans may be downloaded at: 16' Oysterman Carolina Dory Boat plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Complete Boatbuilding Tips and Tricks Blog Index for 2017


Boatbuilding Pictures

Boat Building Photos

Please don't be embarrassed to send in photos of your projects. I get a lot of emails from people who tell me about their build but never send any pictures. I'd love to see them, as would all of the other people who are either building a boat or thinking about it. They need all the encouragement they can get.

I believe in offering you all the information you need to learn more about how to build a boat. That's why I offer free videos, free ebooks, and free reports. There's even some free plans available to isiders and some seminars I've delivered. To join, just click below:

Download Free Plans for the Huntington Harbor Kayak

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