Category Archives: Assignments

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)

More on the P5 Proa

The P5 proa is a small outrigger sailboat. It is 17 feet long overall, measured along its longest hull. It is nine feet in width overall, but each hull itself is only a foot and a quarter wide. This boat is approximately 160 pounds without passengers or cargo. It is steered by bodyweight and a steering oar, which can also be used to scull in light air. Because there is no leeboard or daggerboard the P5 can be sailed in very shallow waters.

Continue reading More on the P5 Proa

SMARGO Original Design by Jason Thornton

Jason Thornton
NCF Boatbuilding & Design ISP
Mr. Matthew Reynolds
January 22, 2014

 Original Boat Design Proposal: SMARGO TM

WHAT? A multifunctional, glass-bottomed main hull trimaran, floating classroom, and lab.

WHY? DESIGN RATIONALE: A simple thought emerged for me: why not build a multi-tasking boat that serves many of us? Smart phones are the Swiss Army knife of telecomm; thus, a Smart Argo, or Smargo? A glass bottom, smallish trimaran can act as an observation and teaching platform, a literal low-or-no-carbon, nature-synergized, mobile LAB on the water. Continue reading SMARGO Original Design by Jason Thornton

The Teal

Phil Bolger’s design for the Teal is a rethinking of Harold Payson’s 7’9” Elegant Punt, which Bolger includes with Payson’s permission in his book, The Folding Schooner. His intention is to use the same two sheets of plywood that could be used to build the Punt to create a nicer looking product. His result is a boat that measures over four feet longer than the Punt and sacrifices only an inch of beam, and that can use the same rig as Payson’s design, or a lateen rig of a Sunfish, which is only a little bigger than the Teal in length, beam, and hull weight. Additionally, the design can be easily modified to meet specific needs and preferences that builders have, including the possibility of adding acrylic panels to the bottom as viewing ports and the inclusion of a modified deck that allows for adjustable rowing seats to accommodate one, two, or even three people in the boat as it is being rowed. Considering the spartan use of materials in the design and the possibility of making modifications easily to the Teal, it makes for an inexpensive, lightweight, and versatile boat for beginners to build.  Continue reading The Teal

Pontoon boat

12’ long x 5’ wide

Picture of completed boat
Picture of completed boat

Boats come in all sorts of shapes and sizes for many different purposes. In this case, the requirements for the needed boat are mainly to be small, lightweight, and simple to build. It is also necessary that this boat be able to carry multiple people around in shallow water, be pulled up on a beach, and work well in the Sarasota Bay weather. JEM Watercraft’s Pontoon boat design fulfills all of these requirements and works best for the main requirements. Continue reading Pontoon boat

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

Teal with Modified Deck and Adjustable Rowing Seats

Essentially this is the Teal from Phil Bolger’s The Folding Schooner with the deck and seats added how Tagen had suggested. It means we’ll need 1 more sheet of plywood than the 2 it calls for, but for the added utility that it brings (and the originality factor) I think it’s worth it.

IMG_0310[1] IMG_0311[1]

3 sheets 1/4″ 4×8 plywood — $75
30′ mahogany 1×2 for gunwales — $60
50’x3″ fiberglass tape — $35
1 quart epoxy resin — $60
1 or 2 pairs of oarlocks — $15 each
10′ 1/2″ diameter round rod — $5
18″ 1/2″ diameter threaded rod — $4
2 1/2″ nuts and washers –$1
4 1/4″ eye bolts with nuts — $2
3″x3/8″ carriage bolt, nut, and washer — $1
1 gallon paint — $35

Total: $293

We should be able to rig the Teal with a Sunfish sail and avoid custom ordering or going through the hassle of making our own (though it would be a nice learning experience), and we could include 1 or 2 fairly sizable glass panels to the bottom if we want to go that route. It would be easy to stitch and glue it, just like our model, and its plans are laid out so that they are easy to figure out. For about $300, I think we’d be getting a lot of boat with a lot of versatility, and it would come in at only about 100 pounds, I think.

Keelboat- Bolger


Boat was constructed by Bolger as a historical representation of an original model designed for the upper-Missouri River, which was built primarily for carrying cargo and passengers (trade, settlers) and thus did not travel fast. Older versions that carried cargo equipped to handle 20-30 crew members to propel it downstream, though this version is used primarily as a historical piece.

Constructed to navigate shallow waters. It is fitted with a square sail, but also comes equipped with oars and poles, the poles used to propel the boat along shallow rivers using human force. Small cabin in the enter, with walkways fitted on the sides for crew to stand on and maneuver the boat. Given favorable conditions, at times oars would be used, as well as the sail, though that was only occasional.

When built out of plywood it is much lighter than most other old boats, but its total displacement is mostly dependent on its cargo. Its dimensions are approximately 38’9” x 8’0”, and has a ten person capacity with accommodations (serves less of a cargo purpose and more for tourists).


  • Relatively lightweight given its size
  • Can hold plenty of cargo and people
  • Sturdy
  • Contains multiple means of power, both human force and occasionally wind.
  • Built to navigate through shallow water.
  • Cool-looking


  • Very large, and less portable on land.
  • Doesn’t travel fast at all.
  • Lot of human-intensive labor required because it can be navigated through shallow water
  • Definitely not something that can be built in two weeks by the NCF Viking Club. But it is pretty interesting.

(Very Rough) Materials List: 

  • Plywood (pricing: on average about $5 per sq ft)
    • Estimated price of hull: $1560
    • Estimated price of cabin:  n/a
  • Epoxy (and corresponding materials)
    • Glass Tape
    • fabric strips to cover resin solution/glass tape
    • West System Epoxy Resin 105
    • West System Epoxy Hardener 205
    • Wood flour (material that will harden epoxy)
  • Paint (gallon covers about 300 sq ft.)
    • Paint for hull: 2.08 gallons, or aprox. $50
    • Paint for cabin: n/a
  • Oars (15-20 oars needed?)
  • Square sail
  • Poles
  • Possible rudder


Though a keelboat would not be a suitable design for our boat, there could be some merit in having some extra space or platforms on the sides that people could stand or sit on as benches, which would leave the floor space empty for a larger glass panel. This could also increase the carrying capacity of the boat.

(Boat can be found on page 191 ((number 38)) of Boats With an Open Mind)