The (Ply)Wooden Boat, Part I: Conception of a Crazy Idea

In September of 2011 Marc Spagnolo blogged about the plywood boat they made on GardenFork.tv. Entrigued, I watched the GardenFork.tv video and fell in love the idea. How could I say no to making a simple, functional boat out of nothing but plywood, screws, caulking and some very simple carpentry tools?


I couldn’t. So, I decided it would be the perfect family activity for our annual vacation in Lake George the following August.

My plan was to pack a tool bag with the smallest tool kit possible. Then, once we were up at Lake George, I would buy the material locally, build the boat, use it in the lake and then scrap it when we were ready to go home.

In order to determine the tool kit (I didn’t want to be short a needed tool or schelp unnecessary tools to and from Lake George) I first set about building a mock plywood boat.

For the mock boat I used a sheet of ¼” luan plywood and some 1x3 as battens. I used my Makita 6½” 18v Li-Ion saw with a Freud ATB framing blade. I marked line with a chalk line and then cut them by eye. I screwed the whole thing together using Kreg screws so I wouldn’t have to pre-drill anything.
Much of my tool kit (and the boat making materials).
With the mock boat constructed, I packed up my Makita saw, my 12v drill, a chalk line, some clamps, a cheap plastic framing square, my Kreg screws and a handful of other small tools. I had the basic build figured out. It was time to go on vacation and build the actual boat.

Before I get too far into my odyssey, here's the video that started me on my way.