Plan, Execute and Enjoy !
Updated on July 18, 2014
Added the "Fixed Hull KAYAK" by Roland Moose to the 'Builders Projects' pages.
Added the QUAD Project by Jeremy Bradberry of South Carolina.
Added an Original Design by Don Bradner of Virginia.
(Go to 'Boat Builders Projects' below.)
FEATURED DESIGN - Mini Camper Cruiser
Projects updated: August 18, 2014
Updated: April 27,2014
1 SHEET + is an attempt to make a nice looking, good performing small boat out of a single sheet of plywood. With a 30" beam and a length of 88", the boat achieves 4 mph with a trolling motor. Of course it can be rowed and paddled too. Costing about $100 to construct, and capable of a 6 foot 190 pound occupant, it can be many things to many people. Stable and strong, and it fits in most any vehicle for transport. (Aug 2011)
The 4 + CORO-HULLS, is a combination of four different, but similar, plastic-hull designs constructed of 1 sheet of 4 MM COROPLAST material. The plans detail the SKIFF design (shown), the most complicated, but also apply to the a few others; Pram, Kayak, Jon Boat and Canoe as well. Each weighs less than 20 pounds, and all will fold and fit in just about any vehicle. Two designs can be trolling motor powered, and all can be easily paddled. These are ideal for the beginner, as they are unsinkable and easy to handle. (June 2014)
APRIL LOVE is a unique 4 module, multi-purpose small boat, inspired by Paul Austin. It can be configured as a rowboat or can be trolling motor powered. But, with the addition of a stern module it can become a day sailer ! Because each module is less than 4' x 18" x 15", it can be stored or transported just about anywhere. Strong and stable, it also includes buoyancy cells for safety. Only 3 sheets of plywood required. (Feb 2012)
COMPOSITE CRUISER - The primary purpose of this design was to build a small pram style boat that was ultra-lightweight, easy and inexpensive to build, was unsinkable, and used Coroplast plastic as the hull material. The "CC" is less than 30 pounds empty, and it fits in almost any vehicle for transport. The construction is simple, and only handyman tools are required to build it. The basic hull can be constructed in just a week. Plans are 28 pages with photos. Gets a lot of attention at the water. (Sept 2012)
CPB-1 CoroPlast Boat - The intent of this design was to build a folding plastic hulled boat that was easy and inexpensive to construct. The end result is a single occupant paddle boat that fold up to a 2' x 4' x 6" package. It fits in almost every vehicle for transport. The plans are simple, and the boat is unsinkable. Only handyman tools are required for assembly. Waterproof taped seams are durable, and long lasting. The plans are FREE. (Oct 2012)
DAY CRUISER - By comparison, this is a large boat at 10' long, 4' wide and 2' high. Capable of almost 500 pounds capacity, it is destined to be used as a weekender. It comfortably sleeps 2 aboard. And with up to a 5 hp outboard, it will get to where you want to go with ease. The built-in buoyancy and ample storage space, coupled with the optional sailing rig completes the design as a true multi-purpose boat. (Nov 2011)
DNP KAYAK - Is a small, single occupant, kayak style, portable boat. It can fit in any car for transport. It has good water manners, and is easy to paddle. The built-in buoyancy chambers produce an unsinkable hull, even if filled with water. The boat, named after my Grandsons, is handsome, like them, and is easy to build from 2 sheets of plywood. A great starter boat for kids of all ages. (Apr 2011)
DUET Utility Boat - A two module transportable that has the capacity to hold a small family. With built-in safety buoyancy and generous freeboard, it can provide great family fun. Easy to build and assemble at the water, it fits in all trucks and suv's, no trailer required. With a 500 pound capacity and ample storage, it also makes a great fishing boat or tender, easily handled by a single person. (May 2011)
EASY ONE is so named because of it's portability and set-up. Just a few simple steps from vehicle to water, then the easy part begins, safely cruising around your favorite water spot. This is the third generation of the "wedge" hull shape design, and it incorporates the previous builders suggestions for greater freeboard, dry storage and a sail rig option. Rugged yet lightweight (60 pounds empty), the Easy One makes a great utility boat, and with an added center module, can seat two in comfort. (December 2013)
EXPLORER 2 - Is a simple to build, 2 module portable boat, ideal for cruising small lakes, ponds and tributaries. It is much like a traditional rowboat, but nests to fit in the back of most vehicles. It can be rowed or powered by a trolling motor, and is suitable for a single occupant. It is 8' long and 30" wide, with good freeboard, and minimum draft. With a cost of around $100 to build, plus accessories, it is a good boat for those just getting into the boat building hobby. (Aug 2009)
The previously listed EZ-2 Canoe has been replaced by the QUAD design, further down this list.
FOAM BOAT - A single occupant, two module nesting design that is constructed of 1 inch polyfoam sheets, and reinforced with fiberglass cloth. The result is a 30 pound craft that is easy to transport and easy to paddle, and literally sits on top of the water. It can also be outfitted with a trolling motor. The hull design is unique for a boat this size, and utilizes my "skin on foam" construction process. No epoxy used ! Cost to build about $150. (Mar 2012)
FOLDING KAYAK - This is one of the more unique designs, and has some unusual properties. First, it folds up to only a 15" wide by 1-1/2" thick, 8' long package, that weighs only 20 pounds. It's easy to transport, and fits in most trucks and suv's. The cost to get it in the water is less than $100. Because of the hull shape, it is very easy to paddle, and has fins to keep it in line. Build one for each family member ! (Aug 2012)
KWIKY is the second generation of the folding kayak. It folds in half, to a 4 foot length, a 28 inch width and a 2 inch thickness, so that it will fit in any vehicle for transport. Made of 5MM plywood (1/4" optional), with enhanced edge seals, it weighs only 20 pounds. But, the biggest new feature is the redesigned aft end that can now accept an optional trolling motor. To achieve this feature, the hull shape has been revised for greater buoyancy. The benefit is an increased payload capacity. (Feb 2014)
KAYAK+ - This was designed as a dual function boat that would be easy to paddle, and also be trolling motor powered. It can be constructed in one of two sizes, one only 9" high, strictly as a kayak, the other 12" for motoring, both with buoyancy compartments for safety. The single occupant hull is 8' long, with an additional center module it will seat two, and is 11' feet long. This is a non-nesting modular design. (July 2008)
MINI CAMPER CRUISER - A real unique design by Craig Titmus of Tasmania, Australia. A boat with a capacity of 750 pounds on the water, converts to a 7 foot camper with accommodations for 2 adults. At 4' wide and 12' long it is stable and roomy. When folded in half it can fit in the bed of a pickup, or on a small flat bed trailer. Empty weight is about 130 pounds, plus gear, and it is easily fabricated with common shop tools. It's great for those weekend excursions. (Feb 2013)
MINI-CAT - This is a small twin-hull platform boat design, which was the Design Contest Winner for 2012. Comfortable for 2 people with gear, it can fit in any truck, van or suv. Builders options include a trolling motor, sun canopy and enclosed cooler. Stable, lightweight and easy to build. Simplicity at it's best. Ideal for fishing or just casual boating. Pontoons are 8' long and the deck is 4' wide. Bring your sleeping bag for an overnight ! Low in cost to build and operate. (May 2012)
MPDR - MODULAR PD RACER was designed for those that want the PDR experience, but prefer not to trailer it. This 3 module nesting version holds true to the hull design criteria, while providing a shorter length for transport and storage. Approved by Shorty Routh, the PDR originator, the modular version has good interior room and can accept all PDR options, and it is class legal to race. The plans are FREE ! (Mar 2011)
POD-2 (Paddle On Demand) - This is a redesign of a very popular boat, expressly intended for the younger generation. It is easy to cut out and assemble, with straight sides and minimal curves. It has built-in safety buoyancy, and can be fitted with a small sail rig. At only 6' long and 30" wide, it folds in half for transport. A great project to get kids interested in boat construction, and boating safety. The plans are FREE. (Apr 2010)
POKE ABOUT - A personal little boat that fits in just about any vehicle for transport. It's forerunner wedge hull design is widest at the stern, where the heaviest load is placed. Extremely easy and inexpensive to build, it can carry a load of up to 250 pounds. It is also easy to paddle, and will accept a trolling motor for hours of leisurely cruising at 3 mph. Stable, and with 7 inches of freeboard, it is a safety plus design. (Oct 2010)
POLLYWOG - This is one of the larger boats in the fleet. It can hold 2 adults and 2 children. Composed of two nesting modules, it can fit in all trucks and suv's, and some wagons. Adapts easily to a trolling motor or small outboard, and is ruggedly constructed of 1/4 inch plywood. The boat is ideally suited as a tender or launch, and makes a great fishing boat. Built-in seating and buoyancy chambers for safety. Also available is a sail rig set of plans designed specifically for the Pollywog, see below. (Feb 2009)
POLLYWOG SAIL - The natural expansion of the Pollywog tender. The unique aspect of the design is the foldable mast and boom, which all fits in the hull for transport. With a removable daggerboard and a flip-up rudder, the boat can be beached easily. Hull speed is about 6 mph, but with one occupant expect sailing excitement. The sail is home made of white polytarp material, and should provide many seasons of enjoyment at very little cost. Download the folding mast plans for free on the website. (Apr 2009)
QUAD - A 4 module, 11 foot long, multi-purpose boat. Primarily designed as a 2 occupant canoe, it can also be used as a 3 module motorized skiff. All 4 modules nest to allow transport in any truck or suv. Wide and stable, yet smooth through the water, it is easy to construct, and costs less than $150. Total empty weight is about 50 pounds. Ruggedly built, goes anywhere, and because it seats two, you won't be alone. (Sept 2013)
SIMPLE 8' PRAM - A wide and stable design, constructed of 1/4" plywood for strength and durability. The two modules fold on top of each other for a transport size of 4' long, 3' wide and 2' high. Capable of accommodating 2 adults, it makes a great hunting or fishing boat, to get into those hard to reach areas. Row, paddle or trolling motor powered. The plans are FREE. Request by e-mail. (Aug 2013)
SIMPLE 9 - A kayak like, 3 module portable boat. Constructed of lightweight plywood, it weighs only 40 pounds. It's 9 foot length and 30 inch beam give it good performance and stability in the water. It gets it name from what it is: Simple-Inexpensive-Multipurpose-Portable-Lightweight-Easy to build. An ideal starter boat for all ages. Fits in most cars and all trucks and suv's. The plans are FREE. (Nov 2010)
TOTER 2 - The updated version of the original Toter, can now seat 2 in tandem. This new design can also be fitted as a daysailer. All this in a size that fits in most cars, and all trucks and suv's. It also has built-in buoyancy, but still nests to store in less than 5 square feet of floor space. The 3 modules easily bolt together for fast assembly at the water, and the refined structure will provide years of service. (May 2010)
TOTER 2 SAIL - Completes the design cycle for this series. With a mainsail and a jib, the boat is capable of some fun sailing, and it can accommodate 2 occupants. All the attributes of the Toter 2 are enhanced with the sail rig, making the boat a true multi-tasker. With built-in safety buoyancy and a short, wide sail, the boat is safe for almost anyone to operate. The controls are always at hand, and easy to manage. All components fit in the center module for storage and transport. (June 2010)
TOTER DUCKBOAT - Developed per a customer request for a duckboat that was hunting dog friendly. Based on the original Toter hull series, the inside aft of the hull was lowered to almost water level to allow the dog easy exit and entry of the boat. The platform is treated with a non-slip finish, to allow grip for the dog. A buoyancy chamber below provides additional safety. A camouflage paint job makes the boat nearly invisible. The plans include an XL version, for a larger payload capacity. (May 2010)
TRIFECTA - As the name implies, there are 3 unique hull plans offered on one plan set. All are different, yet similar in construction. Each is built from a single sheet of plywood, and each holds only one occupant. There is a Double-Ender, a Rowboat (pictured), and a Longboat type hull. All have their own attributes, and shortcomings, but are good entry level boats for the new home-built boat hobbyist. The plans are FREE. (June 2009)
ULTRA PRAM - The concept of Roland Moose, who needed a roomy and rugged fishing boat that had ample storage for gear and camping equipment. At a little over 8 feet long and 4 feet wide, with 18 inch sides, the design provides seating room for 2 adults and 2 children. An optional 3rd center module increases the capacity to carry 4 adults easily. All this, and it fits in the bed of most trucks, suv's and motor homes. The cost to build is under $200, excluding accessories. (Jan 2011)
WEDGE - This is a sturdy, roomy, 2 module utility boat with a unique hull shape. The wedge shape puts the buoyancy where the load is. It has good freeboard, and a 400 pound capacity. Ideal for sole hunters or fishermen with a lot of gear, and it is stand-up stable. Finished weight is only about 80 pounds. Powered by up to a 3 hp motor, or oars and paddles. It can also be converted into a very capable day sailer. (Oct 2011)
- Accessory Plans Listing -
All these plans can be downloaded FREE from the individual listings below.
ASSEMBLY KNOB - It was only a matter of time before it was obvious that a quicker method of fastening the hull modules together was developed. This knob essentially takes the place of a wrench, and makes the installation of the hull assembly bolts a much easier process.
The single page plans are FREE to download.
FOLDING MAST & BOOM - This is a clever way to get a 12 foot object into a 6 foot container. By using everyday available components, the mast and boom of most small sailboats can be made to fold in half for transport in your vehicle, not on it. Originally designed for the WEDGE, but applicable to all my sailboat designs. FREE to download.
FOLDING PLYWOOD SEAT - This design can be used on any of my boats that do not specify fixed seating. Easy to make, low in cost, about $15. Big enough for even the large person, the angle back can be adjusted to suite individual needs. Made of 1/2 inch plywood, can be painted to match your boat. Increase comfort by adding back and seat cushions. The plans are FREE.
PADDLE, Kayak Style - A long overdue addition to the plans page. I Built this basically from scrap materials, and it is rugged and easy to make. The double ended Paddle consists of a PVC pipe shaft, and reinforced 1/4 inch plywood paddles. It comes apart in 2 sections for easy storage. The total cost should be about $15 if you use leftover materials. FREE
This is the SIDE MOUNT BRACKET for attaching a Trolling Motor to the side of a hull. The primary purpose is to place the motor controls convenient to the operator's hand, without additional extensions. The bracket slips over the side of the hull, and bolts in place. The Trolling Motor is then easily secured to the mount. FREE ( Sept 2013)
SPONSONS - These are short, curved, air filled buoyancy cells on the side of a hull, imparting lateral stability in the water. They are designed to be easily added, and removed, from the boat. Certain narrow hull boats can benefit from the use of sponsons to increase load capacity as well as stabilizing the boat in rough water. The plans are intended to be universal, so the builder can modify them to suite the application. FREE
TAPE & GLUE PROCESS 2 - This is a method of boat assembly developed by this designer, to produce a simple, waterproof, non-toxic and secure method of sealing a hull assembly. It is applied after the basic hull is assembled. Many small boats up to 12 feet in length have been constructed using this process, as are all current designs on this website. FREE
TITEBOND III Ultimate Wood Glue - This is the first one-part, water clean up wood glue ever offered that is proven waterproof. It is non-toxic, solvent free, and cleans up with water. Much safer to use than other traditional waterproof glues. FDA Approved, it is ideal for both interior and exterior applications, and has longer assembly time. Specs below. FREE
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Recently I had the pleasure of submitting an article, about small boat design, to the magazine SMALL CRAFT ADVISOR. This is a publication dedicated to the small boat community, and has many well known contributors, including Chuck Leinweber of Duckworks. I mention this because, after reading the many good articles in this magazine for the first time, I realized I have been missing a lot of current news, building tips and great boating experiences that the magazine focuses on. So, if you find yourself at the local book store, ask if they have the latest issue of Small Craft Advisor, you will not be disappointed.
Jim M Matl&Tools.pdf
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'NEW DESIGN IDEAS' WILL BE POSTED BELOW FOR YOUR COMMENT.
If you are interested, please e-mail me and I will reply promptly.
The RIVER ROVER plans now include 3 different size hull designs.
The PORTABLE YACHT plans are not yet complete, and construction of the prototype will start this summer.
It's always better when man's best friend enjoys the small boating experience in one of our designs.
Say Hello to Jake !
Please visit these other great boating sites.
DUCKWORKS is the best place to look for boat building plans, materials and articles.
A Boat Builders Best Friend.
BoatingLinks.com Web Directory, find what you're looking for!
It has been pointed out to me that the portable boats I design are helpful to the greening of our planet. Look at it this way: They all utilize primarily wood as a structural material, they all use TB3 Glue, which is FDA approved and biodegradable, and they all are recyclable, so when you are through with one it can readily be used by another, or cut up for kindling. Very little material is used in the construction, or use of these boats, that is not earth friendly. Even the recommended trolling motors are non-polluters.
So, join the hundreds that have bought one of my plans, and help the greening of our planet. Thank you.
Web Site Created September 2009
The boat plans listed here are the sole creation of the designer, Ken Simpson. It is his ongoing goal to design and develop small transportable boats that are easy and affordable to build. Although each design is unique, intended for a specific purpose, all share common assembly techniques. For instance, there are very few, if any, hull forms used in construction of these boats, as the bulkheads and transoms, combined with the mounted side panels, create the basic hull shape. The glue of choice for all construction is TiteBond III, a waterproof wood glue. No epoxy specified, or used. All seams are treated with layers of glass cloth tape impregnated with TiteBond III. This method was developed by the designer, and many boats of different sizes, up to 12 feet in length, have been successfully built using the process, now called the ' Tape & Glue Method of Assembly '.
That being said, the designer takes no responsibility, and cannot be held liable for any construction faults, personal injury, or any other result of the builders actions, on or off the water. Also, the plans cannot be used for commercial purposes without the designers written permission.