If you plan to take on the task of building your own boat or need resources to repair damages to your current boat, boat building supplies are a must. There are many types of boats you can build, so knowing which supplies you need will help you with certain boats and save you time and headache.
The first supply you need is a boat blueprint. Don't try to build one from scratch (unless you are an expert builder) with no plans; what you end up with won't adhere to boating standards and may not even float. For free blueprints, visit howtobuildaboat.net for a listing of various types of boats and schematics. Some blueprints will come as a simple paper printout while others include 3D computer models and instruction.
Boat Building Supplies
What materials are typically used when building a boat? That depends on your budget and the kind of boat you want to build.
- Marine plywood is used for small boats, but should absolutely be used in larger boats, too. This plywood is more resilient and very easy to work with, no matter what your skill level is.
- The foam core helps keep the boat afloat. Depending on the size of your boat, varying thicknesses are available.
- Honeycomb cores work the same as the foam cores, but are usually more expensive. This core is much less prone to damage if the hull is breached.
- Composite parts need to be used to add more stability to the often-used portions of the boat, like the deck or around hatches.
Epoxies and Glues
How are you going to hold your boat together and keep the outside water resistant without epoxies and glues? There are different grades of epoxies and glue and it just depends on the kind of boat you are building. For example, wooden boats need a hardening epoxy. Most stores and websites offer kits so you can have everything at once and not worry about getting one brand of this or one brand of that.
Other Materials and Supplies
After you get your hull or the frame together, it's time to start thinking about the little things. If you are building a small rowboat or something similar, you will need to be concerned about rowing eyelets, seats, and other accessories for comfort. As you build larger boats with motors and other equipment, you should think about rails, ladders, steering kits, gas tanks, and other hardware.
Where to Find Building Supplies
To save on large amounts of shipping, consider locating a marina or boating shop in your area. While they may not have boat building supplies, someone there might know where you can start shopping.
For online building supply retailers, visit some of the following websites:
- Beteau has everything you need to build all kinds of boats like small boats, sail boats, and even power boats. They offer plans and various boat-building kits. Shipping is calculated from Florida.
- Jamestown Distributors specializes in marine and boat-building supplies at wholesale prices. They have a Builder's Club that costs $40 per year, but being in the club gets you special deals like free shipping, discounts, and use of their technical support.
- Duckworks sells supplies and publishes Duckworks Magazine, which is for the boat building enthusiast. They also carry materials to build canoes and kayaks and have plans on how to make sails. They are a family-owned company and are very helpful, but since they don't have a massive amount of employees, you should research the materials and equipment you need so you know what you are looking for.
Having trouble figuring out where to get started? A good spot to start is How to Build a Boat. You can read articles and watch videos on boat building and obtain additional information in making your boat dream a water reality.