How to Build Model Rowing Boats

Updated April 17, 2017

A model boat collection can be a sleek addition to any room's decor, especially a game room's. Building the model boats yourself allows you to customise your collection for a personalised touch, and can also make for an entertaining hobby. A rowing boat should be a part of any model boat collection, as this type of watercraft is commonly used for sporting and recreational purposes. You can build your own model boat with materials found at most hardware stores.

Place the balsa wood sheets on a flat surface. Draw a 3-inch line to form the bottom of the boat side. Connect a 10-inch vertical line at one end of the 3-inch line and a 7-inch line at the other end. Join the ends of the 7- and 10-inch lines with a diagonal line. Repeat the procedures to draw the boat's second side.

Draw a 4-inch line on the wood and mark its centre. Measure 10 inches above the centre point and mark the spot. Connect the ends of the 4-inch line to the mark 10 inches above the line by creating a shape that is tapered toward the top to form the boat's bottom.

Outline two 4-by-2-inch rectangles to form the boat's seats and a 4-by-3-inch rectangle for the boat's back.

Trace two triangles 1 inch wide and 2 inches long for the boat's paddles.

Cut the various boat pieces from the wood sheets with a saw.

Use the hot glue gun to glue the pointed tips of the boat sides together with the 7-inch edge facing downward. Affix the pieces to the boat's bottom with hot glue. Carefully bend the side pieces to adhere to the tapered shape of the boat's bottom piece and secure the pieces with glue.

Tape the side pieces to the bottom pieces while the glue dries. It's normal for the bottom portion of the boat to overlap slightly at the front.

Affix the boat's back piece in position with hot glue and tape the edges. Allow the glue to set on all the pieces.

Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the sides of the seats so they fit into the tapered shape of the boat. Hot glue the first piece closer to the back portion and the front piece toward the front of the boat. Do not press the pieces against the bottom of the boat.

Attach the first screw to the side of the centre of the interior of the boat by applying a dab of hot glue to the side of the screw. Attach the second screw in the same position on the opposite side.

Sand the edges of the triangular pieces to form paddles with rounded edges. Hot glue the paddle tips to one end of the dowels.

Allow the glue to dry and remove the tape pieces securing the boat.

Sand down the boat's bottom so the front portion is flush with the side pieces. Insert the dowel rods into the eyehole screws to hold the paddles.


Paint the boat in various colours or with wood stain to create a personalised look.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • 1/16-inch thick balsa wood sheets
  • Saw
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Tape
  • Two eyehole screws
  • Two 4-inch dowels (1/8-inch diameter)
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Scarlett Gauthier began writing in 2003. Gauthier has a graphic design/arts DVS from Rosemount Technology Center in Montreal.