Gone Outdoors

How to Build a V-Hull Wooden Boat Suitable for Outboard Motors

by Contributing Writer

On most spring, summer or fall days outboard boats can be seen on nearly every lake and river in the country. V hulled boats are popular because they maintain stability through choppy water better than flat bottomed boats. Plywood is a common material for home boat building because is easy to use and readily obtainable. One of the most common methods to build wooden boats is called the stitch and glue method. Most any future boat owner can build a wooden boat using plans from the Internet and materials purchased at home stores.

Review plans from different plan companies and choose the most appropriate plan for the boating activities anticipated. Choose a plan for a boat that is large enough to accomplish the majority of desired activities but refrain from choosing a plan that is too large. The larger the boat the more difficult and expensive the project.

Place two sawhorses in an open area. The area should be covered from rain but open enough to allow the boat to be removed when complete.

Place one sheet of marine plywood on the sawhorses. Transpose the boat drawings with the marking pen to the sheet of plywood according to the boat plans. Continue this until each plywood piece of the plan is transposed to plywood. Most plans will have pieces for two sides, the bottom, the transom and additional framing and seating pieces.

Lock a one quarter inch drill bit into the electric drill. Drill holes every two inches along the edges of each piece of plywood that will touch when complete. For instance, the base of each side of the boat will touch the edge of each side of the bottom. Where these pieces touch awhole should be drilled every two inches.

Align the side pieces with the bottom piece. Stitch these pieces together using zip ties in the holes drilled in the previous step. Align the transom with the back edge of the sides and the bottom. Stitch in place with the zip ties. Force the two sides together at the front making of V. Stitch the two sides together to make the V using zip ties. The boat will now be stitched together using zip ties and have the appearance of a V hulled wooden boat.

Mix Marine epoxy with powdered sawdust in the plastic mixing bowls. Keep adding sawdust until the mixture is the texture and consistency of peanut butter. Use the spatula to apply a fillet of this mixture along each interior seam of the boat. The fillet will cover the zip ties and to be approximately one half inch deep at the center and two inches wide. Allow to dry overnight.

Remove the zip ties with this scissors after the epoxy has dried. The boat will now be extremely firm. Add interior frames and seats as indicated in the drawings. These frames will be secured using epoxy paste in the same manner as used in the previous step. Allow to dry overnight and remove zip ties.

Cut the fiberglass cloth with the scissors into three inch wide strips. Lay these strips over the dried epoxy fillets. Make additional marine epoxy without sawdust. Use the paintbrush to thoroughly wet the fiberglass cloth strips. Allow to dry overnight.

Sand the entire boat with sandpaper. Paint or varnish the boat as desired. Add finishing materials such a steering mechanism, windshield or any other desired option. Mount the outboard motor on the transom. Attach the steering mechanism to the outboard. Launch the boat.

Items you will need
  • Boat plans
  • Two sawhorses
  • Marine plywood
  • Marking pen
  • Jigsaw
  • Electric drill with drill bits
  • Zip ties
  • Marine epoxy
  • Plastic mixing containers
  • Spatulas
  • Scissors
  • Disposable paint brushes
  • Powdered sawdust
  • Fiberglass cloth
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or varnish
  • Finishing materials

Tip

  • Use epoxy quickly after mixing. Epoxy dries fast and once dried is extremely hard

Photo Credits

  • boat moored in the sea image by Nicola Gavin from Fotolia.com