Maiden Voyage of Our Homemade Plywood Boat

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This boat, for its size (8′ X 3′) is kind of heavy.  It’s made of plywood and fiberglass, and it was designed to fit on top of our Honda CR-V.

Our little diy boat is a car topper

Well, I can get this on top of the car by myself, but it works a lot better when Matthew or my girlfriend helps me.

Lucas poses with our homemade plywood fishing boat

My youngest son, Lucas, poses with our boat

We let the paint dry in the summer air for a day or two, and then Matthew and I decided we would take it on its maiden voyage to a nearby lake in the Columbia River Gorge near Portland, Oregon.

Matthew poses with our wooden boat

This boat is meant for protected waterways, which means hardly any waves or wake, and no a lot of heavy current, so this little lake (some might call it a big pond) would be a fairly safe place in case it sprung a leak. I also made sure we both had PFDs (or, personal flotation devices) in the form of life vests.

We brought our fishing poles, too, but I hadn’t built our homemade boat anchor yet, so we weren’t going to be able to anchor off.

2 sheet plywood boat

We carried the boat down to the water, and people couldn’t stop staring and smiling.  They could tell something was different about this coffin-sized object, but they were surprised and supportive when we told them it was the maiden voyage of our father-son boat-building project.

Plywood homemade boat doesn't leak

We placed it in the lake, and anxiously looked inside to see if any spouts of water were welling up.  Nothing. So far, so good.

I let Matthew get in first.  No water, and the boat seemed remarkably stable for such a small craft. I pushed him out a bit, and then I hauled my 250+ pounds into the boat.  It floated!  No leaks nothing.  We paddled out into the middle of the lake, my eyes on every nook and cranny of the inside of the boat.  It sat a bit low n the water with our roughly 400 pounds inside, but nothing dangerous or uncomfortable.

Matthe loves the boat

So, I breathed a sigh of relief and we reveled in the fact that we had built a boat that we could catch fish and explore place other folks on shore couldn’t.  It tracked fairly straight for our little department store paddles, but it won’t win any races.

Next thing we needed was a homemade anchor.  (I will be adding a post on how to make one of these soon)


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Jason Sipe Jason Sipe (68 Posts)

Jason Sipe is an artist, craftsman and writer. He has spent the last 20 years working in the art and media fields. He now turns to this blog and helping others learn about creating art as his main focus.