All posts by Kristian Gronhaug

Boat Designs by Bolger and Atkins (updated)

I have selected five boat designs that I feel are interesting or note worthy, either due to simplicity and the ease with which they can be constructed, or simply because I found them fascinating.  The first is the Dogsbody, an Atkins designed workboat built with simplicity and safety in mind.  The second is a Bolger design, a miniature steel tug meant for work in areas such a the sounds of the American Northwest.  The third boat is the Micromouse by Atkins, a boat that is so simple that it could be mass produced by a single person.  The fourth is another Bolger design, the Microtrawler, designed for work, leisure, and maybe brightening someone’s day with its appearance.  The final boat is a unique Bolger design called the Iceboat, which, as the name would suggest, is meant for sailing over the ice. Continue reading Boat Designs by Bolger and Atkins (updated)

The Dogsbody

The Dogsbody


  • The dogs body is a small, fairly simple boat that was designed to be built by people who have little experience with boat building
  • The boat is fairly lightweight and should be easy to construct with the same methods we used to build the Gypsy
  • Clearly designed as a utilitarian boat, the Dogsbody was designed to be able to mount a small outboard motor and has storage compartments built in to its buoyancy chambers, which could be used to store any tools that would be needed in an emergency.
  • The compartment on the bow of the vessel is intended for storing the fuel tank, a design choice made presumably to balance out the weight of the boat’s operator.
  • The Dogsbody is a very stable, difficult to sink vessel thanks to the presence of two large buoyancy tanks located on the sides of the boat
  • These tanks can also be used as benches, and as stated before have two storage compartments locate amidship
  • The boat uses an eggbox construction, with the bulkheads located inside the buoyancy chambers, presumably for aesthetic reasons, as well as to reinforce the tanks’ structure and prevent catastrophic hull failures
  • The design places safety and utility over performance, so this is not a boat in which one would go blasting around the lakes, but is rather a leisure cruiser, and perhaps a serviceable fishing boat


4 Sheets plywood- $90 approx

1 quart epoxy- $60

50 ft of 2 inch Fiberglass Tape- $30

Zip ties- $2

1 gallon marine paint- $40

Total- $222 approx




  • Lightweight
  • Difficult to sink
  • Very stable
  • Can mount an engine



-Heavier than other similarly small vessels

-Egg carton construction can be quite complex for beginners

  • Can’t hold more than two or three people safely
  • No option for a sail
  • Design isn’t well suited for oars

Source: Ultrasimple Boat Building by Gavin Atkins