Ever thought of building a small fishing boat or canoe yourself?
There are lots of free plans for this project online. You don't have to be a master carpenter or shipwright; all you need is some plywood, basic framings and fixings, glue, paint and confidence. A method that creates a strong and lightweight boat is the stitch and glue type of construction, using epoxy resin and fibre glass tape to seal the joins and strengthen the hull.
It takes a few days to build your small fishing boat and soon you will be rowing on calm waters, enjoying out of the way waterways and small creeks with the sense of satisfaction of knowing you built this small fishing boat yourself. Your self- built boat is usually light enough to pop onto your car roof rack, so no spending out on a boat trailer.
Used small fishing boats
An alternative to building small fishing boats is to buy a used one. Here you must be careful, timber softens and rots over time and even aluminium boats will leak around the rivets as they age. Fibreglass is an option, but that can be prone to a form of chemical rot known as osmosis. Moulded plastic boats can split, especially if they have been scraped along the ground, causing serious scratches that become weak spots. There are some good deals out there, just take all claims of 'perfection' with a pinch of salt. Ask to fill the boat with water to check for leaks. Prod the hull, joints and rivets with a screwdriver, test for weaknesses.
Small fishing boats for sale on eBay
Another source of used small fishing boats is E bay or boat auction sites. Your biggest problem here is that you cannot check a picture for seaworthiness! Be sure that you only bid on boats that you can see and physically check out, before committing yourself to a deal. Be wary of shiny new paint on a used boat, it can hide a load of faults!
However you choose to get your boat, building a small fishing boat for yourself, or buying one, they open up a whole new world. You won't be going on the high seas with your small boat but you are still on water and must take care. Make sure you have a lifejacket and are aware of any local restrictions on sailing or rowing. Stay safe and enjoy your small boat experience.