Professional Designs for Amateur Boatbuilders

Kayak, Canoe and Small Boat Plans

Build your own small boat with professional designs and comprehensive instructions

Read How its Done

Learn from the best. These books have become the bibles of building kayaks, canoes and other small boats.

Watch Instructional Video

If you are a visual learner, we have hours of video showing you every step of building a small boat

Take A Class

Learn how to build a small boat in a class with a professional boatbuilder

Professional Plans from an Experienced Designer

Good boats starts from good plans. Quality Designs come from Experienced Boaters. 
We sell curated plans from professional designers who spend time on the water.

Building your own boat is not a trivial undertaking. While anyone can do it, the project does require an investment in materials and time. Saving money by skimping on the plans will cost you time and money in the long run and produce a less satisfying boat.

Browse Our Catalog of Professional Designs

Small Boat Designs by Small Boat Lovers


We design, build and use our boats. This is important. We use these boats so we know how they work. We build these boats so we know how they go together. And we design these boats so they go together easily and perform well.
There are a lot of cheap or even free boat plans out there that were obviously designed by someone who didn’t really understand what makes a small boat great. We are enthusiastic and commited users of small boats. Honestly, the only thing better than building a boat is getting out on the water in a boat you built yourself.

Designed By an Avid Boater

It takes years of experience on the water to learn how a small boat handles in all conditions. We design boats to do more than merely float. They will perform. You want a boat that helps you enjoy your time on the water, not fight against you.
This doesn’t happen by accident, we design it into the plans.

Built by the Designer and User

 Everything goes hand-in-hand. Since we build them, we know how to design them so they can be built. Since we use them, we know how to design them so the perform well on the water and build them so they hold up to our abuse. 
We have broken more boats than most peole have built. Not because the boats aren’t built well, but because we use them hard. This teaches us how to build them so they can take the abuse.

Used by the Designer

Quality boat design requires constant feedback between how the boat handles on the water and what is being drawn in CAD. With years of experience on the water, we know what makes a good design really sing when you use it.
The continuous cycle of Design-Build-Use creates quality boats that you can build, that will last well and perform to the highest standards.

Boat Plans Portfolio

We have boat designs for every use. From simple, lightweight double paddle canoes, to seaworthy roughwater, sliding seat rowing craft. High performance sea kayaks to high capacity dinghies.We have boat designs for every use. From simple, lightweight double paddle canoes, to seaworthy roughwater, sliding seat rowing craft. High performance sea kayaks to high capacity dinghies.

microBootlegger Sport Sea Kayak Plans

microBootlegger Sport

15.5-foot Sea Kayak with Classic Lines

View the Kayak Plans
Traditional Adirondack Guide Boat Cedar Strip Plans

Adirondack Guide Boat

Traditional rowing craft from New York State

View the Guide Boat Plans
Mystic River Tandem Cedar Strip Canoe Plans

Mystic River Tandem

A Classic Tandem Cedar Strip Canoe

View the Canoe Plans
Petrel Play Cedar Strip Recreational Sea Kayak Plans

Petrel Play

14-foot Fun& Responsive Recreational Kayak

View the Kayak Plans
Coot strip planked Dinghy Boat Tender Plans

Coot Dinghy

8-foot Pram style yacht tender

View the Dinghy Plans
Solo microBootlegger Recreational Kayak Plans

Solo microBootlegger

14-foot Recreational Kayak with Classic Lines

View the Kayak Plans
microBootlegger Sport Sea Kayak Plans

Noank Pulling Boat

Open Water Sliding Seat Rowing Craft

View the Rowing Boat Plans
microBootlegger Sport Sea Kayak Plans

Stitch and Glue Night Heron

15.5-foot Sea Kayak with Classic Lines

View the Sea Kayak Plans
microBootlegger Sport Sea Kayak Plans

Nymph Canoe

15-pound Solo Pack Canoe

View the Pack Canoe Plans

Our Designers

Our curated catalog of kayak plans, canoe plans and other small boat designs come from some of the best small boat designers and builders in the world

Nick Schade

Guillemot Kayaks

Ted Moores

Bear Mountain Boats

Nick’s Blog

Nick Schade writes articles on boat building, boat design, and boat use. 

Canoe and Kayak Plans from Bear Mountain Boats

​ I am excited and deeply honored to be able to announce that I am now offering plans from Bear Mountain Boats. For those who don’t know Bear Mountain Boats is[…]

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Comparing Petrel with the Petrel Play

Do You Really Need a Longer Kayak?

I often get questions to the effect of: “I have trouble keeping up with my friends, what kayak should I get?” Everyone knows that longer kayaks are faster, so obviously[…]

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3-piece DIY kayak

A Ganymede in Three Sections

BY DAVID LARGE After making a canoe, in a stich and tape design, I decided that I needed something that was more seaworthy. The canoe is fine for closed waterways[…]

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