Building Portal

Boat Plans: How to Build a Boat

A high-quality set of authentic boat plans are needed to start the process of self-constructing a boat in a preferred choice of build materials, styles and designs.

Boat Building PlansIf planning to construct a wide, flat-bottomed boat for still or shallow waters, a sailing boat for a quiet cruise or a multipurpose pontoon boat to fish, cruise or entertain friends, there is a great selection of step-by-step plans, kits and supplies available.

Most, if not all the boat plans are designed to be within the grasp of the first-time or novice builder – although, it can still benefit to have a prior knowledge of some of the fundamentals of woodworking, welding, etc.

Boat kits come complete with detailed step-by-step instructions, patterns (full size), materials list, and hand or power-tools required to start the project as soon as possible.

Boat Construction Methods

Common construction materials consist of aluminum, fiberglass, plywood, and steel. Build techniques for the amateur plans include plank on frame, stitch and glue, panel assemble, strip planking, and cold molded.

  • Stitch & glue construction – Self-build plans designed to use the stitch and glue construction technique is the simplest construction method. Plywood is the material of choice for someone with basic to moderate carpentry skills, while those with knowledge of welding, the build possibilities increase with the option to build in aluminum or steel.
  • Skills – Basic carpentry skills required in the construction of a straight-framed or plywood vessel include the acquired knowledge of planning, cutting, wood grain, and fastening screws. Extra skills are gained in time as the built process proceeds.
  • Building materials – Building kits include an itemized list of materials to assist in determining the volume of construction materials required, as well as the expected cost of these items. Visit several different hardware stores to obtain the most competitive costs for the hull materials, trim, and outfit.
  • Tools – Many boat plans are made to be constructed with everyday hand and power-tools. A wooden built sailing boat for instance might need such tools as a sander, plane, circular saw, and drill to assist in the construction process. Also, hand-tools can also feature a tape measure, chisel, clamps, screwdriver, sander, saber saw, plane, etc. Other construction practices, such as those made in steel or aluminum, often call on high-grade industrial tools.

Choosing the type and class of craft to construct often comes down to a boaters person activities – if aiming to self-build a craft in a similar style to a professionally built machine, search for a detailed set of aluminum, fiberglass or wood boat plans offering a similar hull structure and design.

Costs Involved In a Self-Build Project

Building plans, materials and tools used in the construction of a boat cost a lot less than purchasing an all-ready sail or motorboat from a dealer’s forecourt. Plans retail at $35 to $695 based on the type and class of vessel. But this doesn’t take into account the cost of materials, tools, and labor. Boat building supplies sourced independently are often a lot more cost-effective than purchasing an all-in-one kit.

  • Survey & Valuation – Other related costs; insurance. An amateur or self-built sail or motor-driven craft at 18-ft plus often requires a full out-of-the-water survey and valuation report carried prior to effecting all-risks boat insurance coverage. On smaller sized crafts, this requirement isn’t often implemented – and in the case of low-valued boats, a liability only policy is often enough.
  • Free plans – Free boat plans often feature on the net, although these rarely offer the detailed, step-by-step instructions required. So it is worthwhile investing a small sum into a set of reliable plans to aid in constructing a sail or motor-driving boat to a high standard. Plans are also available for road trailers, dock structures, paddles, etc.

In summary

Savings at 15% to 45% are often possible in the construction of a self-built boat when compared to that of a commercial built vessel. A DIY built vessel might not come equipped with all the features of a brand-name model. But if the boat plans are built as directed and constructed to a watertight standard – it will do much the same job as any other watercraft.


Bass Fishing Tips & Tactics

Bass is a generic term that can relate to several species of fish. A popular fish species often visualized is the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and one of the most sought by fisherman.

Largemouth Bass

Other types include:

  • White bass (Morone chrysops)
  • Striped bass (M. saxatilis)
  • Spotted bass (M. punctulatus)
  • Smallmouth bass (M. dolomieu)
  • Guadalupe bass (M. treculii)
  • Choctaw bass (M. haiaka)

Largemouth bass

A highly popular fish in North America, the largemouth bass is olive green in color with a distinct dark strip and can reach up to 22 pounds in weight and 29.5 inches in body length. This popular game fish survives on a diet of snakes, small fish, shrimp, scuds, insects, frogs, crawfish, and bait fish. Life expectancy in the wild is in the region of 16 years. Largemouth bass can easily catch prey that is at least 25-50% of body length.

Here are several of the most practical tips and tactics for bass fishing:

Pre-spawn season

Bass fishing is particularly active throughout the largemouth pre-spawn season. The start of pre-spawn is usually early spring when the temperature of the water starts to reach 55-65°. Throughout this period the male and female fish will start to feed aggressively in the shallow areas and seek out the most attractive nesting site. Bass are easy to detect during this time and often quite close to shore. Use a catch and release policy for the female fish to ensure the spawning cycle can be completed.

Bass habits

Weather can dictate the whereabouts of bass. Bright sunlight can force the fish to look for areas of shelter. Bass are more active when there is little sun or cloudy and will leave their place of shelter. So, when it is sunny outside, the best fishing areas to keep your live bait or lure are those places the fish might use for protection and shelter.

Right time of day

Bass fishing is most productive at the start of the day or left until the evening. The best time to arrive at a preferred fishing spot is one or two hours before sunset or sunup – although bass will feed earlier in the afternoon if the water is muddy or it is a cloudy day.

Map study

Study a map to help identify drops-offs and different depths. Most bodies of water have maps and easily source online using local or state resources. Maps can also list sunken structures or cribs that are used for protection. A map can be marked with successful or non-productive areas for future reference.

Captured bass

A captured bass will often throw-up the stomach contents when fighting you. By looking inside the mouth, it is possible to see the feed and this can be mimicked with a similar looking lure. Alternatively, for live bait try to catch what the bass are feeding on and hook that to the end of the line.

Watch the line

Give the line a thorough examination every so often to ensure it isn’t starting to fray or wear. The fishing line is often in contact with stumps, branches, gravel, rocks, etc. A low-quality line can easily break, especially when targeting a monster bass.

Size of lure

The size of lure isn’t likely to have an impact on the size of fish you hook. Many of the largemouth bass will go after prey that is a quarter or half its body length. If unsuccessful at catching any bass on your lures, it might be practical to swap-out for a smaller size to see if more positive results are achieved.

Live bait

If artificial lures aren’t producing the productive catch of bass it might benefit to start using a variety of live bait. Frogs, crayfish, and worms are great options to use as live bait. A slip bobber can also be used to help with adjusting the baits depth for more effective casting.

Insure My Boat

Boat Insurance Explained

Get the perfect boat insurance coverage in place to protect a high-value Motor-driven Yacht – Sports Boat – PWC against a range of eventualities, including at sea, in transit, or on moorings. Shop multiple boat insurance quotes to obtain the most comprehensive quotation, cover and cost.

Yacht & Boat Insurance

1 – Coverage Options

The degree of coverage, benefits and exclusions varies greatly with each of the marine insurance companies. Best possible coverage is available at insurers that specialize in one particular type of insurance. Dedicated insurance providers know the precise questions to ask to guarantee the most comprehensive coverage is in place.

Questions asked at the time of calculating the boat insurance rates include – type, class and age of vessel to insure, waters to explore (inland, coastal, or extended cruises), mooring or storage destination, overall value (including all equipment), season of use, claims and boating experience, etc.

2 – All Risks vs. Liability

Comprehensive (also noted as all risks or full coverage) is designed to offer the widest form of insurance coverage for a vessel in commission or static (laid up on water or ashore). Fire, theft, vandalism, accidental damage, collision, etc. form part of a standard boat insurance set-up.

All-risk insurance plans also feature a Protection & Indemnity (P&I) section (also know as the third-party or liability section) to give an adequate level of coverage in the event of damage to a third-party (person or property) – with the insured’s legal liability limit noted on the insurance schedule.

3 – Handling Claims in the Event of an Accident or Loss

Is it an ‘Actual Cash Value’ or ‘Agreed Value’ marine insurance scheme? The type of insurance protection offered can differ in the event of an accident or loss?

An ‘Actual Cash Value’ insurance plan is designed so that the insured value of the vessel and equipment is agreed at the time of the quotation and prior to putting cover in force – so in effect, the insured values are fixed for the duration of an insurance period.

4 – Savings & Discounts

The simplest method to save on insurance premiums is to search money-saving discounts and benefits at renewal. It’s not a good idea to just rely on the existing insurer to put forward the best price and terms in the market. Savings to be found: reduced rates for holding a boating qualification or completing a boat course, as well as discounts for taking out dual policies with a single insurance provider.

5 – Pre-Purchase Survey and Inspection Reports

If a motor-drive or sail boat is amateur built, aged 15+ years of age (or less with certain marine boat insurance companies), a particular type or class known to have a defect, or over a certain length, there might be a requirement to obtain a full out-of-the-water survey and valuation report.

If an insurance quotation is subject to sight of a survey or inspection report, this will need to be presented to the insurance provider prior to arranging the coverage.

6 – Making Changes to the Insurance Policy

Making changes to a typical insurance plan is often a quick and easy process. An add-on or extra to a standard marine insurance policy include:

  • Electronics
  • Dinghies
  • Trailers
  • Altering the period in commission
  • Using a different mooring location
  • Entering a one-off racing event
  • Hiring the boat out for charter
  • Extending the cruising limits

In summary

It is essential to put in place all-inclusive boat insurance coverage to protect a chosen sail or motor-driven boat from a variety of eventualities that might result in the need to make a potential claim.


Fishing Tackle & Gear for Beginners

Fishing tackle and gear is the wide-ranging supplies used by fishermen when fishing. Specific tackle equipment can include boxes, reels, gaffs, nets, lines, sinkers, baits, waders, lures, etc.

Fishing Lures and Tackle BoxBelow is an overview of the specific bits of kit used by fishermen:

Fishing rods

Basic fishing gear for the angler includes a rod and reel. A fishing rod can vary from a sophisticated rod to a simple stick. High-end rods come in high-tech materials and expertly crafted. Modern rods are manufactured in graphite, fiberglass, or a combination of both. Early rods were produced in materials like cane and bamboo. Fishing rods come in varied sizes, strengths, lengths, and shapes. Also, rods can be manufactured for catching a specific species of fish or for a particular fishing spot.


Fishing reels are largely split into three styles: multipliers, spinning reels (or fixed spool), and fly reels. Reels are what the angler uses to let out the fishing line and pull in the captured fish. This means fishing is possible at a greater distance. Reels vary significantly and come in a variety of shapes and sizes to match the intended style of fishing, speed of retrieval, strength, and amount of line to hold.


Stock the tackle box with multiple sizes and configurations of hooks to ensure you are ready to snare any sort of quarry. The hook comes in many different sizes, shapes, and materials, and includes the single to treble hooks. A regular J-hook is a popular choice, while a French hook is also favored. Hook sizes vary from the smallest at 32 to the largest at number 19/0.

Fishing line

The type of line packed in the tackle box depends on the species of fish you are fishing for and where you are fishing. The fishing line is available in plenty of different types that vary in relation to shape, fabric, elasticity, breaking strain, color, feel, diameter, and length. If fishing in a calm, crystal-clear lake a clear and thin line is a practical option, whereas, a heavy-duty line is more advisable if fishing in difficult conditions. A durable and heavy line is much less likely to snap when attempting to haul out the larger catch.


Bait comes in all shapes and sizes. Of course a popular choice is the different kinds of natural bait such as nuts, hemps, larvae, grubs, red worms, as well as several types of fish and meat. Alternatively, the fabricated baits consist of boiled, sweet corn, and bread. Preferred bait relates to the type of fish you are attempting to pursue and capture. Fleshy baits will attract the attention of carnivorous fish like pike, sharks, and barracuda. Carp is caught using edible bait like boiled nuts, luncheon meat, and bread flake.


Most fishermen can get away with an old hook and worm at the end of the rod when perusing fish. But there are literally thousand of different types of lures: minnow imitations, spoons, and spinners are some of the top-rated lures. Different lures react in different ways to help attract the fish. For instance, a minnow imitation is compact in size and appears much like miniature minnows swimming. This lure can attract several different types of medium-large sized fish. Spinners are one of the most popular and designed with an attached blade which helps to create a spinning motion; this helps to attract the fish.


Bobbers (also call floaters) are helpful for letting the angler know when a fish bites on the line. Any fish that bites on the bait will cause the bobber to sink. This lets the fisherman know it is time to start reeling in the catch. Again, there are several different types of bobbers to choose from. A standard bobber is in a plastic material, round, and colored white or red. However, a bobber can put a limit on the depth the line can be cast.

Plastic worms

Plastic worms offer a convenient alternative to live bait and come in several different sizes and colors. Plastic worms with the longer tail are the most clear-cut to use. Soft plastic bait is highly versatile and an effective option for catching certain fish like sea angler bass, wrasse, and Pollock.

Navigation & Electronics

Best Fish Finder: Get Serious About Fishfinders

Many features appear on the latest high-tech fish finders. Using a mounted or portable fish finder might well mean a fisherman catches a full complement of fish on the next angling trip or is unfortunate to arrive home empty-handed.

Fish Finder in Action

Wide-ranging in design, there is a great number of fish finders in the market with the cost-effective choices available with a ballpark figure of $125 to the top-rated fish finder marketed at $1000 or more. A feature-packed fish finder might be able to detect the whereabouts of the fish, but it will still need the skills of the angler to hook the fish and bring them to the surface.

In the process of shopping for the very latest in high-tech fish finders it makes complete sense to search for those that come complete with all features needed.

Here are some of the major types of fish finders:

Shore fishing

Even if you don’t fish from a Jon, Bass boat or Pontoon boat, you can still take full advantage of the fish finders from a shore-based location. Whether on ice or shore, a rod or wrist-mounted fish finder is highly effective at capturing the location of the fish species. If participating in ice fishing, a fish finder unit will need to be at a quality to penetrate many inches of thick and solid ice.

They are equally efficient when searching for bass or similar fish species in shallow bodies of water on a boat and you would prefer not to notify the fish of you presence. It is possible to maintain the vessel at a distance from the area of the fish by casting a line into the shallow waters to identify the fish and whereabouts via the rod-mounted fish finder.

Portable fishing

A portable fish finder is preferred if likely to be fishing from fish boat to fish boat. If you aren’t able to invest in a fish-ready bass or flats boat, you can use one of the portable fish finders which attach to a boat or kayak via suction or similar devices. A portable fish finder is perfect to mount to any vessel, irrespective if owned or rented.

A further quality aspect of the portable fish finder is the ability to remove from the vessel in times of non-use and store in a safe and secure place until required on the next fishing outing.

GPS fish finder unit

A dual-purpose fish finder / GPS unit is able to greatly advance on the basic functionality of the fixed and portable fish fishers. If you’re likely to be investing a significant amount of time offshore fishing, a high-tech GPS fish finder might be a highly advantageous piece of equipment. Similar to most GPS units, they are likely to be pre-installed with detailed maps of the local inland waters and satellite imagery of the area. Satellite imagery is ideal for sourcing local attractions and areas of importance, such as the marinas and campsites.

A GPS fish finder is likely to offer the ability to give real-time updates on the weather at sea which is highly desirable to avoid being caught up in stormy weather.

Transducers for fish finders

Getting the right transducers for the fish finder is highly desirable since it can have a significant impact on the overall effectiveness of this high-tech technology. If you are likely to be fishing the flats, rivers, lakes, etc for bass or similar fish species in the shallow bodies of water, the most desirable results are to be had with the single frequency transducers. But, if planning on fishing offshore, a transducer with dual frequency might be more desirable with its ability to identify fish in deep water.

Boat Maintenance & Organization

6 Quick Tips for Boat Care & Maintenance

A well-maintained fiberglass boat has the potential to offer many years of boating, pleasure, and fun.

Motor Yacht

While a fiberglass boat doesn’t require an extensive amount of maintenance, it can still benefit from a practical repair schedule. Issues with a fiberglass boat include repainting the hull, repairing any cracks, or giving a good clean and polish. Proper maintenance is certain to keep the boat operating issue free for that much longer.

Below are six steps to maintain the aesthetics, performance, and safety of the fiberglass boat:


Get organized by writing out a maintenance schedule to ensure the work on the boat is completed on a consistent basis. A separate calendar for boat cleaning can itemize the best times to check parts for failure or wear, apply fresh paint, give a general clean, or prepare for winter lay-up.

Good wash

Giving the fiberglass boat a good wash is certain to help maintain the attractive appearance and avoid the buildup of salt, stains, and dirt. A periodic washing schedule is essential for not only keeping a clean hull and deck, but also makes it easier to notice other maintenance work. Only use the made for purpose cleaning solutions when washing the fiberglass hull and avoid heavy abrasives.

1 – Fresh water rinse

After using the boat in a saltwater environment give it a complete wash down using clean, fresh-water to help with removing all signs of salt residue. Also, make sure to clean the outboard engine (if applicable). A build up of salt residue can soon start eating away at the finish of the boat.

2 – Superstructure (clean)

Give the entire area of the deck (superstructure) a complete wash with a high-quality marine soap, warm water, and soft sponge. This should include washing and rinsing the windshield, deck boxes, vinyl seats, etc.

3 – Scrub the Deck

Scrub down the hull, deck, fixture and fittings using a pH-balanced and biodegradable that is especially intended for marine applications. A medium stiffness deck brush is likely to give the desired results. Avoid the brush with stiff bristle as this could potentially damage the boat’s finish.

4 – Superstructure (dry)

After the superstructure is fully cleaned make sure to thoroughly dry the surfaces using a dry, soft cloth.

5 – Windows and upholstery

Give the windows a sparkling shine using a home solution of water and vinegar or a more typical commercial cleaning product. Also, give the upholstery a good coating of a commercial vinyl solution to ensure the boat and equipment is well-maintained at all times.

6 – Polish and protect

A high-quality polish can help to protect the surface of the fiberglass hull once it has been given a good wash. A quality wax benefits the fiberglass material by providing a hard shell and a great shine. This protective layer will help to minimize the signs of color fading or discoloring after long-term exposure to the salt water. Use the right equipment when polishing to avoid scratching or digging into the surface of the hull.


Any small cracks identified in the fiberglass material should be repaired as soon as possible. A fiberglass hull is most susceptible to cracks if likely to launch and recover from the beach or sailing in rough waters. A minor crack that isn’t fixed immediately can soon turn into a significant crack in a short time-frame. Any reliable fiberglass repair kit should be able to help with repairing these small cracks.


A yearly inspection or replacement of the pump is essential for the fiberglass boats. A low performing pump can mean the water that trickles in isn’t pumped out. A boat used every year can benefit from having the pump replaced yearly. This is a quite simple job and can be completed with a few basic tools.


If planning to work with fiberglass it helps to utilize the proper personal safety gear to avoid inhaling the potentially toxic fumes. Safety equipment to wear when working with fiberglass (repairing cracks, cleaning the hull, prep work for painting, etc.) includes full body protection suits, goggles, gloves, and respirator. This should make sure the toxic particles in the air aren’t breathed in when working on the boat.

Boat & Yacht Market

Used Boats for Sale: Guide to Buying a Boat

Buying one of the used boats for sale is often a difficult prospect, so it is important to consider all other practicalities that come with owning a watercraft, such as the cost of maintenance, mooring fees, financial obligations (insurance and mortgage costs), taxes, etc.

Points to Consider

A number of questions need asking before even considering the purchase of Motor-driven Yacht – Sportsfishing Boat – Jet Ski while being certain to take all steps to guarantee that the info gathered is true and accurate.

  1. Is all equipment (outboard, road trailer, electronics, etc) included within the quoted price?
  2. Ask the reason for selling the craft.
  3. Find out the age of the craft and its equipment
  4. Has the craft been given a survey or mechanic report in the past?
  5. Ask questions relating to prior claims history, damage, and maintenance.
  6. If practical, take the boat out on a trail run.

Potential Uses of a Boat

Is salt or freshwater on the plan – are the cruising waters used coastal, inshore, or quiet lakes, what is the anticipated mooring type – either afloat or on dry-shore, and is the boat used year-round or the main seasonal months.

Be certain to book a mooring space at the earliest point possible if planning on using one of the popular slips, anchorage points, or marina berths – as these can be difficult to virtually impossible to book at short notice in some areas.

Is the planned purchase a sailboat, motor-cruiser, or high-performance PWC – either to experience the thrills of a highly maneuverable Jet Ski, fish shallow bodies of water in a wide, flat-bottomed boat, or cruise at a leisurely pace in a sailboat? Is water-sports, fishing or cruising the reason behind purchasing a watercraft. Or perhaps a combination of these activities – when fish and ski or deck boat will be more appropriate.

Who plans to step on-board the watercraft? Is there enough space to accept all those wishing to use the boat – an all-welded Jon or flat-bottomed boat is perfect for angling parties in shallow bodies of water, while a multi-functional deck boat at 32-ft plus offers a great choice for angling parties or just to entertain friends. A clear ideal on the type and class of vessel helps with determining the most desirable boat for sale.

Associated Costs of Owning

It is essential to total up all potential costs that might relate to owning a sizable watercraft. Such fees include on-going maintenance costs, mooring, dock structure or storage fees, fuel and oil, loan and mortgage costs, licenses and registration fees, and potential taxes.

Boats for Sale by Owner, Dealer or Trader

Purchasing the latest model fishing machine is likely to be a high-priced endeavor, comes in full operating order, and complete with a manufacturers warranty – although, a 2012 model often takes a sizable depreciation in value as soon as it leaves the dealers forecourt – in some cases, a 30-percent drop is noticed soon after its taken off the forecourt.

However, the experience boater is often able to appreciate the value in the pre-owned market, thou it is vital to take more care in shopping for a used PWC for sale to guarantee the best craft is obtained for the price.

Pre-purchase Inspection Reports

With pre-owned watercrafts, it is crucial to inspect it for signs of potential neglect or miss-use. What is the condition of the hull and deck – are there signs of fading, scratching or chipping – if so, the craft might not of been received the desired attention at the hands of the previous owner. If signs note noticeable damage to the outside of the vessel, than it is often a great benefit to inspect the inside, such as the electrical components and machinery.

Prior to making a promise to purchase in the second-hand market, it is advisable to obtain a full inspection report, with the report carried out by a qualified mechanic, marine surveyor, marine shop worker. Also, if possible, a test drive or on-water sea trail offer another opportunity to establish the handling and performance of the craft.

And relating to insurance – if a vessel is aged – often at 10 – 15 years – self-built, or of a particular brand – it’s often a necessity to submit a copy of the full out-of-water survey and valuation prior to effective all-risks boat insurance coverage.

Destinations for Boats for Sale

Possible destination for locating a desirable second-hand sail or motor-driven craft include the high number of boat dealerships, marinas, and boat yards, which give easy access for those living in a boating community. Alternatively, go visit a marine, yard, or accessory store to search the bulletin boards, while classified ads in local newspaper offer a further option. Online auction sites (see the high volume of boats for sale on eBay for example), repo boats and boat dealerships are also a great place to locate potential powerboats, sailboats or jet skis for sale.

If plans are in motion to search out one of the used boats for sale, it is vital not to ignore the potential on-going costs that come with boat ownership, in order to experience a long-lasting and fun time on the water.