How to Make a Homemade Motor Boat

by Isaiah David

The easiest approach to building a motor boat is the stitch-and-glue method. Although you can make a boat out of fiberglass or a wooden frame and planking, both methods are too difficult and involved for most beginning boat builders. The stitch-and-glue method uses plywood sheets connected together with fiberglass tape and epoxy. The boat will be firm and seaworthy without the need for a frame or fiberglass forms.

Choose the style of motor boat you want to build. Row boats, Jon boats, motor cruisers, and many other styles can be propelled with a small outboard engine. Two- and three-person boats make for good first-time projects, but you can build a bigger boat if you wish.

Decide on a method you want to use to build your boat. The stitch-and-glue method is by far the easiest method, but there are several other approaches to boat building (see Resources below).

Clear out a work room. An average garage is a great space in which to build a boat. If you have no space, you can build outside, but it will make it harder to make accurate measurements and will expose your unfinished boat to the elements.

Trace the plans onto plywood boards, and cut out your parts as accurately as possible. Sand any rough edges.

Put the boat together. If you are making a stitch-and-glue boat, drill regularly spaced holes near the edges of the pieces you are joining. Stitch the two pieces together by twisting wire between them. Once they are stitched up, join the pieces together with fiberglass tape. Finally, reinforce the join with epoxy.

Paint your motor boat. A coat of paint will prevent water damage and make your boat look spiffy.

Mount the motor. Make sure the transom is solid and stable before you bolt it on.

Items you will need

  • Pen
  • Drafting paper
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Nails
  • Plans
  • Plywood
  • Wood
  • Glue
  • Fiberglass tape
  • Ruler
  • Other tools
  • Motor
  • Gas
  • Sandpaper

Warning

  • Avoid boats with complex, curved shapes. The simpler the shape, the easier it will be to put together.

About the Author

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.