Bottomless Boat Construction

These are just suggestions, feel free to be as creative as you like


Base Materials : sheet of plywood (1/4” max) or plywood scraps.

6 x   ¾” or 1” sturdy bolts, with nuts and lock washers (wing nuts help for ease of dismantling)

At least 4 Large flat washers


Additional Materials : Paints, decorations to suit


Step 1.  Cut 4 pieces approximately   4 ft long by 1.5 ft deep, Cut to your own design size and shape.

Step 2.  At the Bow/Stern ends of each piece drill 2 holes to fit bolt size,  6” – 8” apart, and 1”- 2” from edge. At the mid-beam ends drill  one hole about 2” to 4” from the edge at mid depth. NB: All holes should match on all pieces.

Step 3.  Paint and decorate to your hearts content.

Step 4.  To construct:  Make two halves of the boat by bolting two bow/stern ends together.  Then bolt the corresponding mid-beam joints. Place two large flat washers between the plywood, when bolting the mid-beam, this allows for flexibility. The nut ends of the bolts should be placed facing out, to avoid injuring crew. If you use ¼” ply the sides will be flexible enough to widen the beam.

Step 5. To Race:

  • You need 2 to 4 crewmen (or more).
  • The crew stands between the starboard and port sides
  • Run the course as directed.

Step 6. Make modifications as desired: here are some ideas:

  • Cut hand holds for crew to carry boat
  • Add shoulder ropes for each crewmember to help carry
  • Add a couple of cross beam stabilizers to give boat width
  • Add trappings that any good Captain would have in his or her vessel.