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Thread: Free Boat plans... and lots of 'em!

  1. #1
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    If anyone out there is interested in the older magazine style boat plans from the 50's and 60's check out

    www.svensons.com/boats

    Most of them look like reasonably complete plans ( I have the originals for the playboy runabout, and its the same thing). Get out the ruler and batten though! Good luck.

  2. #2
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    Gosh some of those old free plans look a lot like what some others are selling as their own. example look at the Rowboat section , "Sea Midge " .... nothing is new - it just gets rediscovered

  3. #3
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    Man- I love these! My first boat, the "Minimax", what a wild ride that was. And my dream yacht, the 16' Petrel sailboat.

    The world would be a better place if more families built silly little boats together.

  4. #4
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    Zactly, I hope everyone checks it out.

    I have a few of those old relics, err, boat building magazines around from the '50's (when my Dad and Uncle were boys). They are full of complete plans for many small to mid size boats. And they are definitely among my most cherished possesions.

    It was great to find them on the net, many more than I've got. Stuff for free!! Now you've gotta love that.

    "Heres to swimmin with bow legged women"

  5. #5
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    This one comes up occasionally so Im sorta wondering Aussie have you been to THE MOTHER yet?

    This if you havent GO THERE!! John has just links to just about everything a person could desire about anything marine... well worth a stickybeak but be warned you could be there for awhile!!

    Then theres these...

    foa fishing boat plans

    Then there is
    Mr Matkins page

    and also a skiff page

    A Guillemot Kayak
    by Nick Schade is here

    Theres also " the Escargot" a minimalist river boat and in the same vein is the shanty boats page just peel down the page and click a link or two

    Theres others out there as in Bateau canoe and Im sure someone else will pipe up with more

    Svensons is a good site taken a bit of time to collect them altogether and get them ready to download... oh a thing when you download and decide to print them you may find as I did the aged look in the pages prints out and you have to fiddle with the greyscale to get it to an easily readable level... but what the heck?! free is free!

    Take it easy
    Shane

    [ 12-05-2002, 07:51 AM: Message edited by: Wild Dingo ]
    .................................................. ...................
    Nil illegitimi carborundum = Never let the bastards wear you down

  6. #6
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    One real treasure in that collection of plans is Weston Farmer's "Dolly Varden" design; a really lovely little strip-planked outboard fishing boat. She's designed for strip planking in the old style, edge-nailed with steamed frames and no f*******ss anywhere. If I had finished insulating the garage and putting in a heater as planned, I'd be seriously considering getting a pile of cedar 1x6s and a set of bead-and-cove router bits - but alas, it was 11 degrees in the boatshop this morning.

    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  7. #7
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    William Jackson cranked out more plans in the "Mechanics" magazines than everybody else together. In the 1950's I used to dream about building his latest plan in one or the other monthly magazines (usually "Science and Mechanics") and along would come the next month's offering and I'd have to start over. He was very prolific, inovative and practical at the same time. I'd bet there were more boats built to his plans than anyone else's, before or since.

    Good stuff. Thanks for reminding us.
    Tom L

  8. #8
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    --
    William Jackson
    --

    Mmm.

    Wm. Atkin.
    : Sinepuxent Ancestors & Boats
    :: The Proa FAQ
    :::: Canoe Sailing Resources
    :::::: Ebooks Online
    :::::::: &c., &c. www.thecheappages.com

  9. #9
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    Why can't someone do this for the old Rudder how to pieces done by LFH and others? There are loads of designs in those rags and though they have been compiled into an index, doesn't seem to be any source for the articles themselves.

    If I had a source for the articles, I'd make them available to anyone who'd want them for the fee of photocopies and mail. Better yet, make them available on line in as good a format as can be reasonably downloaded.

  10. #10
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    Glad you guys liked it. For Wild Dingo (btw, where were you in about '81? Not near Ayers Rock by any chance? hmmm? ) No I haven't seen those sites, I am the noob after all. But I'll be checking them out, Ta.

    I have heard a lot about this Rudder magazine. Is it still in print, or maybe available on CD? Does anyone know? I guess the originals (****, someone let off one huge mother of a firework..) are now a collectors item with prices to match.

    I would definitely be interested in a web site in the vain of Svensons that illustrated Rudder. Anyone out there got all of them and a scanner (and no life )

  11. #11
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    So many boats and so little time. I think my wife would kill me if I started another boat right now. Although there are some designs there that I like.

    Chad
    There are three ways to do things: The right way, the wrong way and my way.

    Three Little Birds Love is My Religion

  12. #12
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    Check out the Svensons.com site but do yourself a favor and order the CD.... It is well worth it due to the time factor (they scanned the pages of the old magazines so you can have some slow downloads). Besides, I like to support efforts to preserve these old plans.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Free Boat plans... and lots of 'em! BUMPUP the thread

    Quote Originally Posted by imported_Conrad View Post
    Man- I love these! My first boat, the "Minimax", what a wild ride that was. And my dream yacht, the 16' Petrel sailboat.

    The world would be a better place if more families built silly little boats together.

    My dad built a "Petrel" )open cockpit version) in the 1950s in Trinidad and it was the first boat I was personally allowed to skipper.

    She was heavy for a dinghy and the rig was very unbalanced (although we bought the sails specifically for the boat) and developed a heavy weather helm in stronger wind conditions. For that we always finished the races we entered, even when half the fleet had capsized underway.
    I was even caught with all sail set in one of those horrible rain squalls that sweep the Gulf of Paria in the rainy season. Had to keep going upwind to avoid being driven ashore, with the sail slides popping off the luff. We made it without any major mishaps, however. In that sense she was a very seaworthy boat.
    In the rainy season we often took out the mast and resorted to motoring only with a 7 hp Elgin (identical to the West Bend) as my dad's main interest in boating was messing around and fishing rather than sailing (he had done his apprenticeship on Baltic coasting schooners and said normally he'd have to be paid to go sailing!)

    Gernot H.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Free Boat plans... and lots of 'em!

    Many more of these old plans are available at http://www.dngoodchild.com/ not free but VERY cheap
    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

    - Dwight D. Eisenhower

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Free Boat plans... and lots of 'em!

    I built a MiniMax this summer, but I'm still a bit too chicken-**** to throw a motor on it and go for a spin. (only 4-6" of freeboard)


    Btw, the plans are not completely accurate.To get it right, you need to measure as you go. In fact, you should remember that you only get what you pay for - most of these designs were developed very quickly and were published without having a prototype design built. I'd be reticient about wasting $100 sheets of mahogany on them.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Free Boat plans... and lots of 'em!

    Many years ago... MANY! (50+ years) I built a dingy from plans in the Boat Builder's Handbook. I bought a used 1955 Johnson Seahorse 10hp outboard from a neighbor and had a ball zipping around western Long Island Sound for a couple of years. I sold the boat when I was getting ready to go to college... needed the money.
    Now, all these years later, I have a 40' sailboat that is poorly served by a miserable rubber inflatable tender. How I miss my old dingy; I want to build another copy!
    I have halfheartedly Googled about searching for the plans but I have been handicaped by not remembering which issue or which exact plan it was. The Svensons.com site doesn't seem to have it. I saw a link to the plans for Chum ( http://www.sfu.ca/~jst4/plans/docs/boats/chum.pdf). Those plans had a list of 'other boats you can build'. My memory was jogged slightly when I saw "#219 Topper - 9 1/2' Car top runabout" on the list. That might be my dingy!
    So now, the question is: where might I find these plans, or at least an illustration of the dingy that is Topper?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Free Boat plans... and lots of 'em!

    Quote Originally Posted by kitkit View Post
    Many years ago... MANY! (50+ years) I built a dingy from plans in the Boat Builder's Handbook. I bought a used 1955 Johnson Seahorse 10hp outboard from a neighbor and had a ball zipping around western Long Island Sound for a couple of years. I sold the boat when I was getting ready to go to college... needed the money.
    Now, all these years later, I have a 40' sailboat that is poorly served by a miserable rubber inflatable tender. How I miss my old dingy; I want to build another copy!
    I have halfheartedly Googled about searching for the plans but I have been handicaped by not remembering which issue or which exact plan it was. The Svensons.com site doesn't seem to have it. I saw a link to the plans for Chum ( http://www.sfu.ca/~jst4/plans/docs/boats/chum.pdf). Those plans had a list of 'other boats you can build'. My memory was jogged slightly when I saw "#219 Topper - 9 1/2' Car top runabout" on the list. That might be my dingy!
    So now, the question is: where might I find these plans, or at least an illustration of the dingy that is Topper?
    Try dngoodchild.
    http://www.dngoodchild.com/front_pg_7-06.htm
    They sell bound reprints of a lot of the old DIY magazines boat plans and seem to have all of what svenson shows plus a lot more.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Free Boat plans... and lots of 'em!

    It's a good site, but it doesn't seem to have the plans for my dingy, unfortunately.
    Any other ideas??

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Free Boat plans... and lots of 'em!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie View Post
    Glad you guys liked it. For Wild Dingo (btw, where were you in about '81? Not near Ayers Rock by any chance? hmmm? ) No I haven't seen those sites, I am the noob after all. But I'll be checking them out, Ta.

    I have heard a lot about this Rudder magazine. Is it still in print, or maybe available on CD? Does anyone know? I guess the originals (****, someone let off one huge mother of a firework..) are now a collectors item with prices to match.

    I would definitely be interested in a web site in the vain of Svensons that illustrated Rudder. Anyone out there got all of them and a scanner (and no life )
    David Goodchild's republications are an invaluable resource. David was one of the "plank owners" of the WBF, although he hasn't posted up of late. (Maybe the "no sales" rule chased him off.) Early in the forum's history while building his cruising boat "Toad Hall," David saw a need and filled it. He has access to a "one off" printing operation which allows quick and economical reprinting of scanned books. He went looking for out of print/public domain maritime titles and started selling them at very reasonable prices compared to the highly collectable original copies that cost hundreds of dollars. His stuff is "finestkind" and very reasonably priced. Definitely worth checking out. You won't be disappointed at all.

    Rudder isn't in print, but the complete set of copies is in the possession of Mystic Seaport, which is in the process of digitizing and putting them on line. http://mysticseaportcollections.blog...ne-online.html (Support your local maritime museum!) A few early years have been digitized and are available on Google Books. http://books.google.com/books?q=edit...1&sa=N&start=0

    The old Atkin "how to build" series can be found republished and hardbound in old copies of MoTorBoaTing Magazine's "Ideal Series." http://www.boat-links.com/Ideal/ These are much more detailed than anything in "Rudder," save LFH's articles. These are hard to come by and very valuable but sometimes appear on ebay and Alibris. (A complete set went for over $800 on fleaBay recently.) Years ago, I approached Hearst Publishing, which owned the rights to these, about publishing a new volume containing these plans but they had no interest in doing so.

    L. Francis Herreshoff's "how to build" articles for Rudder have long been republished in his book, "Sensible Cruising Designs," which is in print and available from the WB Magazine bookstore. His long out of print (and very expensive) "Commonsense of Yacht Design," which is full of reprints of LFH"s "Rudder" articles, while it has no "how to build" articles, is an essential companion volume if you are building anything Herreshoff and does contain many detail drawings. It is also now reprinted in a quality paperback format. The rest of the LFH designs are available through Mystic Seaport. N.G. Herreshoff plans are available from the Hart Nautical Museum Collections at MIT. http://web.mit.edu/museum/collection...l_list.html#hh

    All of John and William Atkin's designs are available from Akin and Co., which continues under the auspices of their heirs. http://www.atkinboatplans.com/

    Not all of these plans are free, but you get what you pay for. The old "Popular Mechanics" and "Mechanix Illustrated" boat plans are a mixed bag, quality-wise. I would not rely on them at all unless one simply wanted to waste time knocking together a "floating plywood box." (Many of these designs were subsidized by the then budding plywood industry.) You have to know what you are looking at to pick the good ones. There are a few gems in there, but just a few. Good designs tend to be those which have resulted in multiple builds. Popular designs are popular for a reason. Stick with those which have stood the test of time and you won't go far wrong. Steer clear of those boasting how easy they are to build. There are no shortcuts to a good boat and no free lunches!

    From the Mystic Seaport "Rudder" magazine digital archive... 1890:

    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 01-05-2012 at 03:08 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Free Boat plans... and lots of 'em!

    That waterline looks low for a plank-on-edge cutter (at least to me--I thought they were all low, wet beasts)

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Free Boat plans... and lots of 'em!

    I had a "Jet Joe" Hydro. Put a 30 horse Merc on it with some homemade mods for more horsepower (probably lost a few,) and scared myself silly. As well as as almost killing myself when I launch over a swell and rolled at about 50 MPH! Lucky I landed on the side and was just a little stiff for awhile. Fire that MinMax and "have at her". just don't stop too fast as those things like to swamp at the transom.

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