Many of us find, once we start building a boat that it's not quite as simple as we thought it was going to be. Here, I'm going to tell you why this is and what to do about it.
I'm going to be talking in the context of a home construction DIY project because that's what I know best. I've built four boats over the last fifteen years; two from plans I purchased and two from plans I drew up myself.
The first two boats caused me no end of trouble. In fact the first one was a disaster and never made it into the water. And, although my inexperience must have had something to do with it, I'd say that the major of the blame lay with whoever it was that drew up those plans. I have a theory. The majority of plans you buy are based on an existing design and are actually drawn up AFTER the boat has been built.
It's not difficult to build a boat with no plans at all. You just cut and glue, cut and glue, adding a bit here, removing some wood there. After all, this is how the first boats were built. Our distant ancestors had no plans. And when the boat was finished, the guy drew some plans from them and decided to sell them on the Internet.
After I struggled with my first boat, due to badly drawn plans, I decided to have another go. I was a bit more experienced this time and after a while it became obvious to me that it was the plans that had been at fault, not me.
Using the right sort of software makes a huge difference and if you can find something that is easy and intuitive to use and that will give you quick results that you can experiment with, then so much the better. There is some every good software available now at under fifty dollars. So it's well worth experimenting.
So when I say do you really want to design your own boat, I guess what I really mean is, you're prepared for all the trouble that pre-drawn plans are likely to give you or do you want to go the whole hog and design it yourself too? I must say, after my experiences I'll never buy plans again. Sure, there's a bit of a learning curve associated with design-it-yourself. But that's half the pleasure in it – learning a new skill and finding out hat you're better at it than you thought you'd be.