Building a homemade wooden speedboat is considered an ambitious project, to say the least. While certainly not easy, securing the right plans for your homemade wooden boat can make a potentially arduous process achievable. Being prepared is crucial. Ensure you have access to the right materials, tools and the space needed to protect the boat from the elements during the construction process.
Determine the size of the boat you want to build. While there are plans available for multiple sizes, some boat designers specialise in small, medium or larger speed boats. It is best to focus on those designers who specialise in the size and shape of your desired homemade boat.
Consider your financial situation, both for the design and construction. A review of the needed materials will help to provide an estimate of the final costs. Too many half-built boats sit in yards and garages due to a lack of funds. Costs will vary widely depending upon the size of your wooden speed boat, the wood chosen (laminated plywood versus teak, for example), appointments and engine size. Homemade wooden speedboats are generally 50 per cent the cost of manufactured boats. With new wooden boats selling from £4,875 to over £19,500 you can begin to get a sense for cost.
Compare plans that require lofting versus those that are pre-lofted. Lofting is the process of taking a boat design from an 8 1/2 by 11-inch piece of paper, and redrawing it to actual size while maintaining the integrity of the specs. This is considered one of the most difficult aspects of boat design, but there are designers that offer pre-lofted boat plans. Pre-lofted boat plans are in the £130 range and are delivered via mail, while traditional plans can be had for £48 to £65. Most wooden speedboat plans can be downloaded directly from the Internet, though some are available on DVDs.
Focus your efforts on wooden speed boat plans only. Many home boat builders try to adapt plans from fibreglass or steel boats. However, there are entirely different techniques and schematics based on the material, and with a process as intricate as boat building an inch here or an inch there can make the difference between success and failure.
There are many providers of wooden boat plans. Gen-L designs, the company that offers pre-lofted specs, is one of the leaders in the industry. However boatplans.dk provides a potentially valuable service for homemade wooden boat builders; access to the designer himself is available via e-mail. This is an important consideration, particularly for those new to boat building.