Imagine back in the days before tools and manufacturing plants were available, the first wooden boat was probably a hollowed out log. Until about the middle of the 20th century, wood was the popular choice of building materials for boats, due to its pliability and workability, made into boats of all sizes. From a one-person canoe to the famed Cutty Shark and other tall sailing vessels, there were so many different wooden boat designs for various types of boating.

While the art of boat building with wood did not completely die out, the use of fiberglass in the 1950’s quickly overtook wood as the primary boat-building material due to its ease in manufacturing, lighter boats and durability. Many wooden boat makers closed up shop as people tended to be attracted to the boats that were free of the natural degrading properties of the wooden boat, such as wood rot, weather damage and even termites.

However, as development on wood preserving materials and new paint products have been developed, there has been in increase in the number of the people going back to the wooden boat for its generally smoother ride in rough waters. Additionally, designers have been adding more amenities to the larger vessels and with rich wood interior finishing, they can reflect the look of luxury of the older, turn-of-the century craft.

Kits Available For Home Handyman

For those who love working with their hands, as well as have a lot of time on their hands, there are various kits available for building a wooden boat in the garage or basement, provided there is a way to get it out once it is completed. There will be a lot of work involved in building a wooden boat as most kits contain the prints for the craft and some of the parts. The wood however, will usually be obtained locally and all cutting and fitting will have to be done as part of the project.

An extremely simple wooden boat can be made with water resistant plywood and painted with waterproof paint, but will probably be too small for anything other than using on a small backyard pond. However, building even a small wooden boat can offer some satisfaction when it slips onto the water and remain on the surface.

The builders of wooden boats do not consider it a lost art, despite there are so few of them remaining, but with the newer gluing and sealing technologies become increasingly available, the wooden boat continues to improve.

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