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13 Free Boat Plans You Can Build For Cheap

Imagine being the captain of your very own boat that you built yourself! I remember the excitement of building DIY boats with my family. We found some free boat plans online and got to work. It was a great bonding experience and saved us a lot of money.

With these free boat plans, you can build your own water vessel without breaking the bank. Whether you love sailing, rowing, or just relaxing on the water, there’s a DIY boat for you. And the best part is, they’re small enough to easily take to the lake or river.

I remember thinking about all the fun we’d have on the water once our boats were finished. We could go fishing, have races, or simply enjoy the scenery together. It was exciting to think about all the adventures we’d have as a family with our homemade boats. 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’re looking for a DIY boat that’s both affordable and spacious enough for 2-3 people, I suggest trying out this free plan for a flat bottom punt by hvartial. I remember when I built one of these with my friends, and it was perfect for our fishing trips on the nearby lake.

This flat bottom punt is great for shallow waters, making it ideal for fishing or even duck hunting. We found it really sturdy, especially when we added a small outboard motor. And if you prefer a quieter experience, you can easily propel it with a pole or oars. It was so versatile!

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

Building a wooden boat from YouTube is an exciting project, especially if you’re into woodworking like I am. I remember the satisfaction of creating something with my own hands, knowing it would bring joy for years to come on the water.

The free boat plans on YouTube guide you through crafting a wooden boat that comfortably fits 3-4 people. It’s perfect for a day of fishing with loved ones. I’ve found that these homemade boats are not only sturdy but also spacious enough to carry fishing, hunting, or camping gear. With a boat like this, you can embark on weekend getaways, exploring new areas and enjoying nature to the fullest.

4- Mouseboat Plans

Coming in at number four is a simple DIY boat design that resembles a kayak but offers better stability on the water with its squared hull. I remember building one of these mouseboats using plywood and zip ties, following the instructions from Instructables. It was a breeze to put together, resulting in a lightweight and secure boat perfect for solo adventures.

The squared end and semi-flat bottom design make this boat ideal for fishing, ensuring safety and stability on the water. With enough space for one person and a bit of fishing gear, it’s a cost-effective way to enjoy the water without breaking the bank. Plus, its lightweight nature allows for easy transportation, whether carrying it upstairs or securing it on the top luggage rack of your vehicle.

Mouseboat Plans
Mouseboat Plans, Image source: Instructables

5- Plywood Boat Plans

Building your own boat can be a wonderful bonding experience with your kids. I remember when my dad and I built a small sailboat together; it was a project filled with learning and laughter. Watching a YouTube video for guidance can simplify the process, making it accessible for both beginners and experienced builders alike.

Plywood boats are practical and manageable projects, especially if you have limited space like I did in my small apartment. The detailed plans provided in the video ensure that you have clear instructions every step of the way. Plus, working with plywood keeps the cost down while still producing a sturdy and reliable vessel for your adventures on the water.

6- Stitch And Glue Kayak

Creating your own boat can be a rewarding journey, blending craftsmanship with adventure. I recall when I built my first kayak using similar free plans like this one by instructables; it was a process of trial and error that ultimately led to a vessel I was proud to call my own.

Following these freeboat plans opens up a world of possibilities. From selecting the perfect wood to mastering the art of stitching and gluing, each step brings you closer to your own custom kayak. Not only is kayaking a fantastic way to stay active and explore nature, but building your own kayak also adds a sense of accomplishment and connection to your watercraft. Whether you’re paddling solo or with loved ones, the memories you create on the water will be priceless.

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

7- Little Boat

Crafting your own boat evokes a sense of adventure and fulfillment, reminiscent of the time I stumbled upon plans on Wikihow for a compact wooden vessel. Its size perfectly suited for car-top transport, it promised boundless fishing and hunting escapades without the hassle of towing.

The detailed guidance provided in these complimentary plywood boat blueprints streamlined the construction process, transforming a modest investment into a seaworthy craft. Owning a pair of these boats expanded the joy of water exploration, allowing for shared experiences with friends or loved ones, doubling the excitement on our aquatic outings.

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

8- Two Piece Wooden Boat

Building your own boat can be a fulfilling adventure, much like when I discovered plans for a two-piece wooden vessel. Its size and sturdiness were enticing, but what intrigued me most was its clever design, allowing for effortless disassembly and storage.

These fishing boat plans from motherearthnews offer versatility for various water activities. Whether you’re angling with friends or cruising with family, the spacious design accommodates your needs. The convenience of disassembling the boat means you can easily transport it on a small trailer, opening up possibilities for exploration in distant waters.

When not in use, the compact storage of the two-piece boat ensures it won’t clutter your space, leaving room for other adventures. With your homemade watercraft at the ready, you can embark on fishing trips, duck hunts, or simply unwind on tranquil waters, creating memories to cherish for years to come.

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

Transforming an ordinary blow-up raft into a fully equipped fishing boat is not only affordable but also a rewarding endeavor, much like my own experience of creating a customized watercraft from unconventional materials. These free boat plans offer a practical solution for anglers on a budget, allowing you to craft a fishing boat complete with seating and entertainment amenities.

The DIY boat featured by littlethings ensures a safe and enjoyable fishing experience for two, boasting ample space and comfort for a full day of angling. Equipped with essential features like fishing rod holders, a trolling motor, and paddles, this makeshift vessel is ready for adventure with minimal investment. By adding personal touches like a cooler, bait, and fishing tackle, you can tailor your boat to suit your specific needs, guaranteeing countless hours of fun on the water.

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

11- PVC Pipe Pontoon Boat

Crafting your own boat can lead to inventive solutions, much like when I stumbled upon plans for a flat top pontoon utilizing PVC pipes. Its unique design promised affordability and quick assembly, allowing for spontaneous lake outings without delay.

Watching a YouTube video demonstrating the propulsion of the pontoon by a small outboard motor sparked my imagination for future adventures. The lightweight construction of the watercraft made it easily transportable, whether on the roof rack of a vehicle or a compact camper trailer. With free boat plans available online, you too can embark on the journey of building your own PVC pipe pontoon boat, offering endless possibilities for leisurely activities on the water.

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

Crafting your own boat opens doors to creativity and innovation, much like when I delved into building a DIY boat resembling a surfboard, but with the added twist of a small electric motor. Inspired by similar projects showcased in YouTube instructions, I envisioned the potential for free-sailing adventures by incorporating a sail into the design.

Utilizing foam akin to that used in surfboards for the boat’s bottom provided not only buoyancy but also enhanced stability on the water. The inclusion of a comfortable seat ensured leisurely outings, whether fishing or exploring the lake’s tranquil waters.

The lightweight nature of the foam rendered the boat effortlessly portable, facilitating easy transport to any desired destination. Its compact size allowed it to snugly fit atop most vehicles, offering convenience for spontaneous excursions. With detailed plans available on YouTube, constructing this electric motor boat became a straightforward endeavor, requiring just a few hours of dedication to bring the vision to life.


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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