How to Build a Pirate's Ship From Wood

Written by erica dreisbach
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How to Build a Pirate's Ship From Wood
Make your own model pirate ship from wood. (model of old ship on the white background image by jonnysek from

A pirate's ship is a potential project for any woodworker, modeler or craftsman. You can build a pirate's ship that will actually float in water using wood, glue and a jigsaw. Add the pirate ship to your own model ship collection or give it to a child or friend who appreciates pirates.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Jigsaw
  • Wood
  • Sandpaper or belt sander
  • Wood glue
  • Power drill
  • Wooden dowels
  • Small basket
  • Black marker

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  1. 1

    Cut the bottom of the hull with the jigsaw. Give the hull a rounded stern and a square aft. The port and starboard sides should be symmetrical.

  2. 2

    Cut the hull layers from thick pieces of wood. Create each layer by cutting a piece of wood so that it fits exactly over the bottom of the hull, then cut a large hole in the middle so that the layer forms walls around the hull. Repeat until your pirate ship hull is as tall as you desire.

  3. 3

    Sand the hull bottom and hull layers with fine sandpaper or a belt sander.

  4. 4

    Cut two small platforms as decks of the pirate ship at the stern and aft that fit inside walls of the hull layers. Cut windows for cannons in one of the hull layers. Glue the layers of the hull and the decks together with wood glue. Fill in gaps in the hull with putty as needed.

  5. 5

    Drill three holes into the deck that are each large enough for a wooden dowel. Insert two wooden dowels in the holes to serve as masts for the ship. Insert a third wooden dowel to serve as the crow's nest. Add a crosspiece near the top of the crow's nest mast. Drill a hole in the bottom of the basket, then insert it over the mast and secure it with wood glue. Drill a hole in the stern and insert a fourth dowel as the long prow of the ship.

  6. 6

    Add the final touch to your wooden pirate ship with a Jolly Roger flag that hangs at full mast. Cut a piece of paper to the right proportional size for your pirate ship's flag. Draw the skull and crossbones with a black marker and fill in the white space of the paper with black ink. Glue the paper to the top of a dowel or skewer and glue the flag to the crow's nest.

Tips and warnings

  • Add pirate figurines for added effect.
  • Add cloth sails and/or ropes as desired.

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