Boatbuilding Tips and Tricks

I've been compiling this blog of boatbuilding tips and tricks, plus launchings and in-progress boatbuilding projects for over five years now. The vast majority of the questions I receive by email have already been asked by someone else, so if you take the time to read through the archives, you'll probably run across many the questions you may already have plus find answers to questions you haven't thought of yet. You also get a chance to look through many of the projects that others are building. I try to include as many of the photos I receive from builders as well, some from facebook pages.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

What Comes With Your Plans and What's the Difference Between E-Plans and Printed Plans?

These are two Frequently Asked Questions, so I thought I'd make another blog post discussing the plans.

My plans consist of from 4 to 9 sheets of blueprints in "C" size (18 x 24 inches) depending on the complexity of the specific boat model. The first sheet is a general layout and the second a drawing & description of the construction, a bill of materials and sometimes notes. The following pages give detailed drawings of every part needed to build the boat, and layouts showing where each part goes. They're dimensioned in Imperial Measurements (inches) or Metric (millimeters) and computer CAD generated for readability.

Along with the plans, comes an illustrated guide with a description of the construction process, a tool list, some notes about the materials, a step-by-step description of each step in the construction process, and other pertinant construction information. Some builders, especially those who have built boats from other designers, generally agree that mine are the most clear of anyone's they've seen.

Spira International Boat Plans

The plans are drawn in various scales from 1/8, to 1/2"=1' in cad then transferred to pdf files to be printed to proper scale on 18"x24" paper ("C" size.) If you order printed plans, the same e-plan pdfs are emailed over to the friendly local blueprint shop where they print them out on 18x24" paper, then they're picked up, folded, put in a priority mail envelope along with the printed instruction manual, then and mailed to you via Priority Mail.

Spira International Boat Plans

If you order e-plans, you get the very same pdfs, as the paper plans are print from, but you download the plans and manual yourself. The difference in price between the printed plans and the e-plans is the approximate cost for having them printed and shipped. No additional profit from printing and shipping them is in the price.

If you decide to download the e-plans, you may print them by:

  1. Print the pdfs on your home printer in 8-1/2 x 11
  2. Email or take them on a flash drive to your friendly local blueprint shop and have the plans printed on 18x24 paper (just like I do) and print the instruction manual on your home printer, or,
  3. Take them to your local blueprint shop and have them scaled up and printed on huge roll sized paper to create full sized patterns (beware, though, before you say OK, get a quote because it may be quite pricey - that's why I don't offer this option.)

Hope this helps.

Here are the available plans: Wooden Boat Plans offered by Spira International.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Boatbuilding Pictures

Boat Building Photos

Please don't be embarrassed to send in photos of your projects. I get a lot of emails from people who tell me about their build but never send any pictures. I'd love to see them, as would all of the other people who are either building a boat or thinking about it. They need all the encouragement they can get.

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