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Stitch and Glue Boat Building: How to Build a SnG Boat

Stitch and glue boat building is the easiest of the construction techniques. S & G boats are built using marine-grade plywood panels, pre-cut to precise shapes or sizes, which are ‘stitched’ in place using wire sutures or cable tires – this has the effect of clamping the plywood panels together. Panels are glued or epoxied to seal all pieces in place and coated with a fiberglass type cloth.

Stitch & Glue DayboatIn the constructing process for stitch and glue boat building, plywood sheets in kit form are cut to a precise size, often via prototypes or computer programs, to guarantee the panels fit or bend to the desired shape and design.

Advantages of SnG

Advantages of building in stitch and glue are great, including no complicated building molds or lofting. Also, fewer tools are used in the construction process. An S & G boat is sleek, clean, and modern-inspired, with a frame that is as strong and capable as a traditional frame-built boat provided it is fabricated to the right specifications.

Even so, some limitations do apply – and this relates to the different hull shapes that can be created from the series of pre-cut, flat plywood panels. Most, if not all of the SnG boats are designed with a V-bottom and a single chine – or angle of the hull.

Boat Building Kits, Plans, or Blueprints

Authentic boat plans are developed with the amateur builder in mind. Stitch & glue plans are the among the most basic in the market for self-constructing a Paddle Craft – Sailing Boat – Tugboat – Outboard Cruiser. All that is required is the ability to construct the framework, mount the panels – either pre or self-cut – and to mix and spread the epoxy coating.

If searching a set of high-quality blueprints or illustrations it is important that step-by-step instructions, material lists, panel drawings, and a tools list are included. Using the proper tools and equipment helps to shorten the construction process. Plans for boat building –either or sale or free – are available at the following destinations.

  • BoatDesigns.com – offer 30+ stitch glue boat plans, from a 6-ft rowboat, 17-ft sea kayak, 18-ft cabin skiff, and a lot more in between.
  • ClarkCraft.com – offer a series of kits or plans complete with wood filler, fiberglass tape, wire, and epoxy-resin for ease in the build process.
  • SpiraInternational.com – offer a varied collection of boat plans following the S&G build process – from a 14-ft drift boat to a 20-ft ultra-light dory.

Elsewhere, try Svensons.com for a series of free boat building plans. In addition, these websites offer a lot of helpful advice on a variety of plywood construction methods, including SnG.

In summary

All in all, the stitch and glue boat building technique relies on fiberglass, wood, and epoxy – with the actual boat made of wood. 1/4 inch plywood is a strong, reliable base material once reinforced with a series of battens and silicon bronze-type screws (brass screws can be brittle, so it is best to avoid those). Fiberglass is often required to sheath the outer portions of the vessel, than epoxy glues the parts in place – epoxy-resin is highly rated if working with wood. Epoxy is a lot more effective than polyester as a bonding agent, and gives a solid, dependable hold.

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