Boatbuilding Tips and Tricks Blog

Here are the latest few blog posts. The balance of this years, appear below the list of posts and the column on the right, the index, lists all posts since 2008 when I started this blog, over 300 posts and 8 years.



Friday, November 25, 2016

Give the Gift of Boat Plans this Christmas

From now until December 24th this year, I will be shipping paper printed boat plans along with a hand signed Master Carpenters certificate, a Christmas card, and a 2GB memory stick containing all of my e-books, reports, US Coast Guard publications, free kayak plans, Boat Plans Catalog pdf, oar and cabin plans, study prints of all of my boats, and a load of other boatbuilding information.

Huntington Harbor Kayak Wood Boat Plans

My best wishes for a wonderful Christmas or Holiday Season.

My listing of boat plans may be found at: Spira International, Easy-to-Build Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fleet of Huntington Harbor Kayaks

Peter Reimer sent me these great photos of a fleet of Huntington Harbor kayaks he built for his family. His own is the clear coat showing off the wood grain. His wife's has the dark blue hull, and the light blue hulled boat has been shortened to 9' for their son.

Huntington Harbor Kayak Wood Boat Plans

Huntington Harbor Kayak Wooden Boat Plans

Huntington Harbor Kayak Free Boat Plans

Nice fleet! Hope you all enjoy them on the water.

The Huntington Harbor Kayak plans and instructions are free and may be downloaded at: Huntington Harbor Kayak Free Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

First In-the-Water Veracruz Panga Photos

Keith Prager just sent me these pictures and email about his recently completed 18' Veracruz Panga:

Hi Jeff,

This has been a great project. It still needs a few odds and ends, but we couldn't have asked for a better design for our boating purposes. Everybody has asked, where we got the plans, from law enforcement to random people pulling up and just asking. I gave your web address out at least 50 times.

There are no leaks and our little 50lb trolling motor moves her 3 mph into a headwind, it steers great, is incredibly stable, and most importantly, it floats!

Thank you again for taking the time to design such easy to build boats and for always being just an email away. We can't wait to start our next vessel, and are thinking about your tug design; it just looks and sounds like a lot of fun.

Thank you again for everything,

Keith Prager

Veracruz Panga Wood Boat Plans

Veracruz Panga Wooden Boat Plans

I always like it when first time boatbuilders are surprised when their homebuilt boats actually float! The boat looks like you did a great job with it. I'd love to see what it will do with a 40 hp motor or so.

Free study prints and more information is available at: 18' Veracruz Panga Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bolsa Chica Stand-Up Paddleboard in Australia

I received these photos of Andrew Russell's Bolsa Chica Stand-Up Paddleboard recently:

Bolsa Chica Stand-Up Paddleboard Wood Boat Plans

Bolsa Chica Stand-Up Paddleboard Wooden Boat Plans

Bolsa Chica Stand-Up Paddleboard Plywood Boat Plans

Here's Andrew's email to me:

Dear Jeff

My son and I have just completed and successfully tested a SUP build from your plans. Thanks very much for your work in design and making available excellent plans for what has turned out to be a very enjoyable build.

We learned a lot on the way and were glad to have even limited experience of building a prior rowing boat prior to tackling the sup. Your plans were easy to use and were exactly as described - no experience necessary and easy to make on weekends. We decided to add floatation foam for extra buoyancy and were glad of it in the end. Although our experience on sups is limited to some holiday tryouts, we were impressed with the stability and easy glide through the water. The last time I was on a sup, I broke a couple of ribs falling onto the board and was worried that it would be a folly to build my own, but we are very pleased with the results. It's not just for the inexperienced boat builder but also pretty good for the inexperienced paddler!

We tested the sup on Lake Kawongbah in Queensland, Australia - your plans are really international! I have attached a few photos for your perusal.

Many thanks and we can't wait for the next fine weekend to glide on the water again!

Andrew Russell

I'm very happy that Andrew likes the glide of the boat. I designed this to be a flat water cruiser rather than a surfboard. It just makes more sense based on what most of them are used for. Let me know if anyone wants a Fly-Fishing or Yoga version. I'm thinking of a new model.

Free study prints and more information is available at: Bolsa Chica Stand-Up Paddleboard Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Randy Novak's 24' Clemente V-Dory Maiden Voyage

I just got these photos and video of Randy Novak's recently completed 24' Clemente V-Bottom Dory:

Clemente V-Bottom Dory Wood Boat Plans

Clemente V-Bottom Dory Wooden Boat Plans

Clemente V-Bottom Dory Plywood Boat Plans

Randy said this in his email to me:

I can't imagine any boat performing better, to be honest. It seems to come up instantly and flat as a pancake. It was an awesome day. Almost 2 1/2 years in the making and still needs finishing touches. Can't begin to say thanks enough to you for offering up such a wonderful experience.

Here's a video of the boat at cruising speed:

Looks like he did an exceptional job on this beautiful cruiser.

Free study prints and more information is available at: Clemente V-Bottom Dory Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Charles Timm's Huntington Harbor Kayak

I received this photo recently from Charles Timm. He and his son built the Huntington Harbor Kayak over the summer:

Huntington Harbor Kayak Free Boat Plans

Nice job on the boat, Charles. I'm sure your boy will remember this experience for the rest of his life.

The plans and instructions are FREE and may be downloaded at: Huntington Harbor Kayak Free Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Seneca Ocean Trolling in Hawaii

I just got this email from Hawaii of a 14' Seneca used for ocean trolling:

Hi Jeff!
Really happy with the Seneca plans. You are very good at what you do!

The boat has been on the water now for 9+ months. It has almost 3000 miles of blue water trolling and lots of other fishing on the "mostly" calm water of South Kona Hawaii. I built it extra strong for heavy use on the ocean.

Seriously, with the "half cab" the boat is super dry. If we're getting wet on deck it means that I shouldn't be out. Finishing the inside took much longer than building the hull. Great project, but if I ever do build another one I will call it a "work boat" and make it straight and strong, but not worry about looks and details! (and do waaayyy less sanding!)

The pictures I attached are mostly from New Years Day 2016. This was the boat's first fish - a 32# ono/wahoo. My wonderful wife Diana was onboard and she brought us luck! The newest record is a 140# Ahi last month by myself and that's a whole other story.

Thanks again and Aloha!

John Duskey

Seneca Pacific Power Dory Wood Boat Plans

Seneca Pacific Power Wooden Boat Plans

Seneca Pacific Power Plywood Boat Plans

Seneca Pacific Power Easy Boat Plans

Beautiful boat, John. Looks like a great place to boat and fish too.

More information, pictures, videos, and free downloadable study prints to build this 15' Seneca Pacific Power Dory are available at: Seneca Pacific Power Dory Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

How to Build a 19' Galveston Garvey Dory

I just developed this video for the Galveston Garvey Dory so people can see how easily these go together, and how universal they are. This is the third in a series of my boats where I'm going to take the photos and videos I've received from customers and assemble them into short videos that explain how easy and how much fun building these boats really are.

This video will be featured on my : Construction Video Page.

More pictures, free study prints, free construction photo essay, and links to purchase plans for this Galveston Garvey Dory may be found at: Galveston Garvey Dory Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Another Seneca Pacific Dory in British Columbia

Another notification of a new build just arrived:

Hi Jeff,
I finished this Seneca, my first build, last year. My wife affectionately calls it the "Mistress." The boat performed well on the large and gusty lake near our home, The four stroke 15hp pushes the boat up on a plane easily. We enjoy loading up overnight gear as well as our two large dogs and finding our own private lake side camping.

In terms of fit and finish, the boat has a lot of visible lessons learned, but thanks to the quality, detail and clarity of the plans, the boat is solid, fast, and reliable.

Thanks for the inspiration (and the answers to my build questions.)

Dave R.
British Colombia

Seneca Pacific Power Dory Wood Boat Plans

Seneca Pacific Power Wooden Boat Plans

Very nice job Dave. So happy the project is working out for you.

More information, pictures, videos, and free downloadable study prints to build this 15' Seneca Pacific Power Dory are available at: Seneca Pacific Power Dory Boat Plans.

Jeff Spira, Naval Architect, marine engineer and boat designer

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Complete Boatbuilding Tips and Tricks Blog Index for 2016


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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