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
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
Kayak Plans and Small Boat Designs by Avid Kayakers and Small Boat Lovers
We design, build and use our kayaks and small 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 Kayaker & Boater
It takes years of kayaking experience on the water to learn how a kayak handles in all conditions. We design our boats to do more than merely float. They will perform. You want a kayak 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.
15.5-foot Sea Kayak with Classic LinesView the Kayak Plans
Adirondack Guide Boat
Traditional rowing craft from New York StateView the Guide Boat Plans
Mystic River Tandem
A Classic Tandem Cedar Strip CanoeView the Canoe Plans
14-foot Fun & Responsive Recreational KayakView the Kayak Plans
8-foot Pram style yacht tenderView the Dinghy Plans
14-foot Recreational Kayak with Classic LinesView the Kayak Plans
Noank Pulling Boat
Open Water Sliding Seat Rowing CraftView the Rowing Boat Plans
Stitch and Glue Night Heron
15.5-foot Sea Kayak with Classic LinesView the Sea Kayak Plans
15-pound Solo Pack CanoeView the Pack Canoe Plans
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 writes articles on boat building, boat design, and boat use.
What Makes a Sea Kayak?
Tradition The articles in the late great print magazine “Sea Kayaker” featured articles of people doing multi day expeditions to far exotic places. Today’s legendary kayaks became legendary because of[…]Read more
Announcing Canoe Plans from John Winters and Green Valley Boat Works
There is a lot of mythology about what makes a good canoe. John Winters cut through the BS and actually studied canoe performance systematically and scientifically to learn what really made canoes and[…]Read more
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[…]Read more