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13 Free Boat Plans You Can Build For Cheap

You can become the captain of your own boat when you use one of these free boat plans to build yourself a water vessel. If you enjoy spending time on the water, then why not build yourself a DIY boat for cheap? You can sail, row, fish, or just enjoy the scenery from the comfort of your own boat.

These 13 free boat plans we have collected and make a list will provide building options so you will be able to build a homemade boat that meets your needs. The boats are cheap to build and small enough to be easily transported to the lake or river. You may want to build several so everyone in the family can have their own boat. Think of all the fun afternoons you can spend with your family enjoying water sports and get busy building some of these cheap watercrafts.

1- Flat Bottom Punt

If you would like a DIY boat that is cheap to build and can hold 2-3 people,we recommend this free plan for a flat bottom punt.

Ideal for fishing or duck hunting in shallow water, this flat bottom punt by hvartial is sturdy enough to handle a small outboard motor. The boat can also be propelled manually with a pole or oars.

You will need a small trailer to haul this homemade boat. The free plans will show you how to build one with a custom length of 13-17 feet and the weight of the finished boat will be around 250 pounds.

The detailed plans make the DIY project very easy and the total cost is very affordable that why like this project.

Flat Bottom Punt
DIY Flat Bottom, Image source: hvartial

2- Classic Boat Plans

A boat gives you freedom on the water so you can explore areas that are not accessible by land. As we know boats are an expensive luxury items unless you build one yourself. These free plans by popularmechanics will show you how to build a classic boat that will give you freedom on the water for many years.

You can download and print out the detailed instructions from the PDF manual. The printed instructions can be taken outside to the building site so you can build this boat with ease.

A classic boat like this one will allow you to fish, hunt, explore, or just relax on the water.

Classic-Boat-Plans, Image source: popularmechanics

3- Woodworkers Dream Boat

This is a great project for a woodworker! It’s a wooden dream boat on youtube that will give you many years of pleasure on the water.

These free boat plans on YouTube will show you how to build a wooden boat that is large and safe enough for 3-4 people. You can enjoy a day of fishing with your family or friends in this homemade watercraft.

Ducks hunters also use boats to access prime hunting land that is unreachable by vehicle. This wooden dream boat is large enough to haul fishing gear, hunting gear, and/or camping gear. You will be able to take a boat like this out for a weekend getaway trip of camping and exploring new areas.

4- Mouseboat Plans

At fourth we have a simple design is similar to a kayak but the hull is squared for better stability in the water. These wooden boat plans by Instructables will show you how to build a mouseboat using plywood and zip ties. It’s an easy build that creates a lightweight and safe boat for one person. The homemade mouseboat is light enough to carry upstairs and to transport on the top luggage rack of your vehicle.

The squared end and semi-flat bottom make this boat safe and stable for fishing. The size is comfortable for one person and a small amount of fishing gear. You can enjoy the water without spending a lot of money when you build this wooden boat.

Mouseboat Plans
Mouseboat Plans, Image source: Instructables

5- Plywood Boat Plans

This is a great DIY project to enjoy building with your kids. This YouTube video makes the building process very easy to understand. When the plywood boat is completed, you and your kids can enjoy using the boat for years to come.

Built from plywood, this YouTube video will show you detailed wooden boat plans so you will be able to build one at home. The small size of the boat makes it a project that is easy to do inside a garage.

This plywood boat on youtube is lightweight enough to be easily pulled or carried to the lake. It’s sturdy enough for a small outboard motor and stable enough for two people. Go fishing, hunting, or just riding around on the lake in a plywood boat built for two.

6- Stitch And Glue Kayak

A little wood cutting, a little stitching with wire, and a whole lot of glue are the basis of these freeboat plans by instructables.

Follow these free plans and build a cheap kayak so you can get out on the water and row. Kayaking is a great exercise for the upper body and the watercraft is small and easy to maneuver. The plans will show you how to build up to a 16-feet long kayak but the length is easy to customize. The cheap building cost will allow you to build more than one so you can make kayaking a family experience on summer weekends.

free boat plans
Stitch And Glue Kayak, Image source: instructables

7- Little Boat

Check out this little wooden boat that is small enough to fit on the top of your car, yet big enough to go fishing or hunting in.

These free plywood boat plans by wikihow are detailed and easy to follow. The low cost of this easy building project will enable you to have a little boat that is ready for an afternoon fishing trip or a weekend camping trip. The boat is ready to go whenever you are with minimal effort of loading and unloading the watercraft.

The small size will allow you to haul two on the top of your vehicle so you and your someone else can enjoy time on the water together.

plywood boat plans
Little Boat made from plywood, Image source: wikihow

8- Two Piece Wooden Boat

Check out these free plans for a two-piece wooden boat. This boat is large and sturdy but because it’s made to be taken apart, it can be taken apart for easy transport and storage.

These are great fishing boat plans by motherearthnews when you want a boat that is large enough for 3-4 people and sturdy enough for a small outboard motor. The two-piece design lets you take the boat apart and place the front half inside the back half so the homemade boat will fit on a small utility trailer.

The two-piece boat is easy to store when not in use since it won’t take up much space.

Go fishing, duck hunting, exploring, swimming, or relaxing after you use these free boat plans and build a watercraft for yourself.

fishing boat plans
Two Piece Wooden Boat, Image source: motherearthnews

9- Pontoon Boat

This YouTube video will provide you with pontoon boat plans so you can easily and cheaply build one for yourself.

This homemade pontoon boat on youtube has plenty of seating for the whole family and is covered so everyone will be protected from the burning rays of the sun. A deck surrounds the seating so there is plenty of space for fishing, jumping into the water, sunbathing, and picnicking.

The recycled 55-gallons drums keep the pontoon boat buoyant and the small outboard motor keeps the boat on course to your chosen destination.

10- Blow Up Raft Boat

When you want a boat for fishing but can’t afford to buy one, what can you do? Use this amazing idea to create a fishing boat from a blow-up raft.

These free boat plans will show you how to transform an inexpensive blow-up raft into a fishing boat that has seating and a stereo system. With just a few dollars and little work you can build a fishing boat just like this one.

This DIY boat by littlethings is safe for two people to fish in and provides plenty of space and comfort for a full day on the lake. The boat is equipped with fishing rod holders, a small trolling motor and a couple of paddles. Add a cooler, bait, and fishing tackle and you’re ready for a fun day of fishing.

Blow Up Raft Boat
Blow Up Raft Boat, Image source: littlethings

11- PVC Pipe Pontoon Boat

This unique flat top pontoon is kept afloat by large pieces of PVC pipes and it’s cheap to build. It’s also quick to build and can be completed in just one day so you can get out on the lake quickly. The flat top is great for sitting, picnicking, fishing, exploring, or duck hunting. It will also make a good deck for jumping into the water and swimming and sunbathing.

A small outboard motor easily propels the pontoon boat like in this youtube video through the water. The lightweight watercraft can be transported on the luggage rack of a vehicle or on a small camper trailer. Check out these free boat plans on YouTube and build yourself a unique PVC pipe pontoon boat like this one.

12- $200 Pontoon Boat

You can build a pontoon boat for $200 with these free boat plans on YouTube. It’s a low budget DIY project that uses 55-gallon drums as the floatation device and treated lumber for the decking. Great for fishing or trolling around the lake with a small outboard motor.

The platform is large enough for the whole family so this cheap pontoon boat on youtube video will provide hours of fun for everyone. Use it to go fishing, swimming, picnicking, and exploring. Good cheap family fun from this $200 wooden pontoon boat that you can build yourself.

13- Electric Motor Boat

This unique DIY project creates a boat that looks like a surfboard but is propelled by a small electric motor. This could also be used as free sail boat like in this YouTube instructions if you wanted to add a sail instead of an electric motor.

The bottom of the boat is made from the same type of foam that surf boards are created from. It’s wider than a surf board for better stability while in the water. The electric motor boat has a seat for comfort while you’re out on the lake fishing or exploring.

The lightweight foam makes the boat easy to carry anywhere you want to take it. It will also fit on top of most vehicles for easy transport. This electric motor boat is cheap and easy to build. It will only take a couple of hours to create when you follow these detailed plans on YouTube.


Having your own boat is quite expensive as compared to the one you made yourself. Enjoy time on water, sail, or hunting fish with your friends and family with these easy to make boats. You can select from any of these free boat plans to build your boat that suits your skills and budget.


JSTOR, The Journal of Educational Thought, Vol. 39, No. 1 (Spring, 2005), Published By: Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, “Boat Building: A Metaphor for Teaching as a Creative Enterprise”, https://www.jstor.org/stable/23767484

Web.archive.org, International Journal of Online Pedagogy and Course Design, 3(3), 43-61, July-September 2013, “A Study on Project-Based
Learning in a Boat Design and Building University Course” https://web.archive.org/web/20190307033244id_/http://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d9f6/cee1e5a83de34c8eb23c960c67b6c9a69bc3.pdf

Education Royal Society Of Chemistry, “Building a chemically powered boat”, https://edu.rsc.org/in-search-of-solutions/building-a-chemically-powered-boat/1170.article

About Farhan Ahsan

My name is Farhan Ahsan,I am web enthusiast, writer and blogger. I always strive to be passionate about my work. I started my work at the beginning of 2007 by engaging myself with detail reading and exchanging information with others. Since then things and times have changed, but one thing remains the same and that is my passion for helping and educating people, building a successful blog and delivering quality content to the readers. I always love to write about gardening, sustainable life, off grid living and homestead farming.

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