One Sheet Plywood Boat

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About: I just like creating stuff. Mostly recreational woodworking and diy projects. Please consider following me. It will fuel me to create more instructables. :-) Please check out my YouTube channel here : https:...

I have always wanted to build myself a boat. This was maybe not the one I had in mind. But I have to start somewhere I guess.:-)

It's a pretty simple and quick build. The boat is made from just one sheet of cheap construction plywood.

I made a little video of the build if you want to see the process in moving pictures too.

Video of the one sheet plywood boat

Tools used

  • circular saw
  • jig saw (optional)
  • drill (with a drill and countersink bit)
  • impact screw driver
  • long ruler/straight edge
  • Sanding block
  • Pen and tape meassure

Other things used

  • Silicone (wetroom FA180)
  • Screws (drywall screws)
  • A paddle
  • Linseed oil for protection of the wood

Step 1: Meassuring and Marking

Here is my layout of the sheet.

I made my boat a bit shorther than it needed to be. I cut off about 50 cm (the top of the sheet in the second picture). Why? Several reasons. :-)

  • I wanted it to fit inside our car
  • I wanted it to be easy to carry
  • I was unsure if I needed to reinforce any part, so I needed to save some plywood for later.

Step 2: Cutting the Parts

I used a circular saw to cut the parts.

The boat will be constructed out of four parts in total. A bottom and three sides.

Step 3: Bending the Boat

I have seen other design where the bottom is cut to make a angle in the front of the boat. I wanted to have a bent bottom instead.

The thickness of this plywood is 1,2 cm. I set the depth on my circular saw to 5 mm and cut lines where I wanted to bend the plywood.

I will later put silicone in the cut-lines so the structure will be rigid.

When I can see that the plywood bottom bends right, I hand sand the parts before putting it all together.

Step 4: Parts

Here is the parts. You can also se the lines in the front of the bottom that makes the plywood being able to bend.

Step 5: The Assembly

I put silicone around the bottom and use a small nail gun, just for speeding the process up. I use as few nails as I can. Then I put the left side on, the back and then the right side.

I put a few screws in for support.

Remember to pre-drill and counter sink all the screw holes.

I actually put silicone in each screw hole and on top of every screw too.

Step 6: The Bottom

When the sides is mounted, and bend the front to the sides and put in screws. Then I add more screws from the bottom side.

Remeber to seal everything with silicone.

Step 7: The Result

There is some more pictures of the boat "Förlisia" and action shots is found in the video here. :-)

This was a really fun build and a perfect summer project. Took a couple of hours to make. I had no plans to go on, so I made things up as I went along. So I have some suggestions for improvement.

Improvements

If possibe - use the entire length of the ply sheet.

If you are not as heavy as me, you can have shorter sides (making the bottom wider and the boat more stable in the water). I had 30 cm height on the sides. If you go with 25 cm instead, you get 70 cm wide bottom instead.

I would place some runners underneath the bottom, making the boat go more straight in the water.

I would make something to sit on, so its more comfortable.

Thank you for reading this instructable! Please let me know if you have any questions or let me know what you think. It's much appreciated! You can also look at my other projects here on instructable or check out my YouTube channel.

A vote for the boat?

I entered the Water Contest, so if you like this project please consider a vote for this little boat! :-) It would be much appreciated! Thanks again!

Water Contest

Runner Up in the
Water Contest

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    23 Discussions

    Wow this was awesome man! I loved it. I don't know what it is, but I love homemade small boats! :) Have you thought about making anything bigger? I know there are places out there that sell plans for wooden sail boats, etc.

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    jsadler1

    4 months ago on Step 7

    I think you will find that silicone is not such a great idea. It tends to fail in boating uses. Perhaps a couple of tubes of a good marine caulk - adhesive would last a lot longer. Also instead of cutting half way through to bend a bit of steam or even boiling water on rags would make that plywood bend easily for you. The seat is actually vital as it helps keep the sides of the boat from collapsing inward. But you just might love to build an identical second unit such that the two can be easily clamped together thus forming a larger vessel.

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    dekerosjsadler1

    Reply 4 months ago

    Hello there! Sorry for my late reply. Thank you for your insights. I will consider them in my next boat build. I have some additions to make first to this one :-)

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    dollywild

    4 months ago

    lovely! thank you for this. seems like just the thing for the kids to play in at the beach. I think I will drop an anchor in the shallow water so I dont need to worry about them paddling too far out.

    now looking forward to the two sheet boat so that *I* can have a paddling boat.

    the river you put in at is beautiful, as well.

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    dekerosdollywild

    Reply 4 months ago

    Hello - and thank you so much! That part with the anchor was a great idea!

    I'm already thinking on making a larger boat. If you beat me to it, please let me know! :-)

    Thanks big time again! :-)

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    dekerosGlumgad

    Answer 4 months ago

    Hello and thank you for your question! I put silicone on all "end grain" and screw holes. I also treated the wood with linseed oil after the silicone was cured. I built the "boat" last summer, had it in the water a couple of times and stored outside during the winter, just to see/test how it held up. This summer, I see no wear or tear. But before putting it in the water I put on a another coat of oil a week or so before. I'm thinking on putting clear lacquer (for boats) in the near future to make this last longer. Thanks again - a very relevant question - glad you asked! :-)

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    dollywilddekeros

    Reply 4 months ago

    in the US if you look for something called Spar varnish, you can use that, as well. if you use linseed oil, it would be wise to put on a fresh coat every season.

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    dekerosdollywild

    Reply 4 months ago

    Hey there! Thanks - yes, that seems to be the same we use here, but I was unable to find the right translated word (spar varnish). Now I know! :-) I have not decided yet if I want to use something clear or paint it.
    Thank you for your input - much appreciated! :-)

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    Akolpacke

    Question 5 months ago

    Who makes the circular saw and cutting guide you are using in your video?

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    dekerosAkolpacke

    Answer 5 months ago

    Hello and thank you for your question - the circular saw is a Ryobi (RWSL180M). The cutting guide I have made myself, out of two strips of masonite board that is painted black. I wanted a bendy guide that comform to sheets of plywood and such. It still cuts straight. :-) Hope this answers your questions, otherwise please notice me again. Thanks and have a nice day! :-)

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    dekerosGregH104

    Reply 5 months ago

    Thank you so very much for your kind words! I'm honored.

    All the best to you and thanks again! :-)

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    sawdustagain

    5 months ago

    Nobody can make just one boat. Get ready for your next project.

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    dekerossawdustagain

    Reply 5 months ago

    Haha. Thanks! I just love this comment! :-) I'm afraid you might be right too. :-)

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    dekerosKink Jarfold

    Reply 5 months ago

    Haha. Thank you so much buddy! :-) Appreciate it bunch! :-)

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    MikeB224

    5 months ago

    I've dreamed of making a boat for the past 50 odd years, I wish I lived near some water now to make one like yours.

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    dekerosMikeB224

    Reply 5 months ago

    Thank you so much for your very kind words! I know exactly what you mean - and I have to say it was a very rewarding feeling to make a transportation vessel on water. I have a feeling it will not be my last project like this. Thanks again and I hope you may fulfill your dream somehow too!

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    jprussack

    5 months ago

    Well done! Enjoyed the video.