How to Build a Small Fishing Boat for Kids

How to Build a Small Fishing Boat for Kids
Enjoy fishing and building by constructing your own small fishing boat. Though the task takes time and plenty of effort, constructing your own boat for kids can both be a challenging and enjoyable project. Choose from a wide selection of boat plans that best accommodate all your fishing gear and the space necessary for the kids to fit comfortably inside.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Boat plan
  • Pre-cut stems and rib sets
  • 2 sheets of exterior grade plywood, 1/4 inch thick, 12 to 15 feet long
  • Saw
  • Fiberglass cloth
  • Paint
  • 2 rub rails, 3/4 by 1.25 inches
  • Epoxy glue
  • Resin
  • 1 dozen screws, 3/4 inch
Step 1
Obtain a boat design plan and kit. Choose a size and design that is small enough to build at home but big enough to serve as a fishing boat for kids.
Step 2
Prepare all the pre-cut parts that came with the kit and plan. Use the saw and cut all other necessary parts, including the sideboards and bottom pieces. Cut sideboards to your desired length with a 45-degree angle on each end. Stack the two sideboards and cut both at the same time to assure their length is identical.
Step 3
Put together the sideboards and the bottom pieces using the "butt joint technique"--butt the two ends together with glue and use five-inch fiberglass cloth on both sides of the wood.
Step 4
Align the stems and sideboards, then attach using a waterproof glue and four one-inch screws on each side of the stem. Pull the ends together and the stems' compound angles should cause the sides to bow outward and upward.
Step 5
Assemble and attach the rib sets that came with the boat design kit. Use the clamps and waterproof glue to assemble the ribs. Follow the assembly order based on the boat plan.
Step 6
Attach the rub rails using waterproof glue. Start at the middle of your boat and work your way to each end. Putting on the rub rails will shape and stiffen your boat before attaching the bottom. Mold the rub rails to blend with the shape of the stem at the end.
Step 7
Start attaching the bottom by turning the boat upside-down. Place the bottom in place and pencil in the hull shape. Add a quarter inch all around, then remove and cut to shape.
Step 8
Put the shaped bottom and glue in place. Start by putting glue on the bottom of the sideboards and ribs, then place the bottom in position (you can add weight on top to hold the bottom in place until the glue is dry). Screw the center of the rib bottoms for added strength.
Step 9
Fiber glass the seams inside and out with 3-inch wide cloth to seal the edges.
Step 10
Apply the epoxy resin with the paintbrush on the bottom of the boat and allow to dry overnight.
Step 11
Apply paint throughout after the resin is completely cured.

Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.