Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Plywood Boat Kits

Most of our plywood boats are well suited to being built from kits and many boats have been built this way to our designs for years. Kits are available from suppliers in countries worldwide. See further down this post for a list of countries and the companies to contact.

We have recently changed our strategy for cutting kits in USA, for reasons that are beyond the scope of this blog. This has involved a change of company to cut the kits, resulting in a change in the way that they are sold.

The company that we have selected to cut our kits in future for USA is Chesapeake Light Craft, also known as CLC. This company has been cutting plywood kits for many years and is well experienced at cutting, packaging and shipping plywood kits, boatbuilding materials and accessories. They have shipped in excess of 20,000 kits to date, which must rank them among the top plywood kit companies worldwide.

Hunter Gall working on his DS15, built from a
plywood kit. This boat is not yet on our website.

CLC market their own kits and don't want to confuse the issue by marketing our kits among theirs. This means that we must market them ourselves and CLC will concentrate on the cutting and shipping. So, from here on, Dudley Dix Yacht Design will be the ones to speak to if you are in USA and want to ask questions about a kit for one of our plywood designs. We will answer your questions, sell plans and take your kit order and payment and provide all backup during construction to our normal level, as shown in our backup policy. We will pass on your order details to Chesapeake Light Craft and they will cut the kit, package and ship to your location. If you have any problems with damage in shipping or other issues, send them to us and we will arrange the remedy with CLC.

Please note that CLC will not sell you a kit for our designs, they will only cut on orders from us. Your order for one of our kits must be placed with us, not CLC.

Chesapeake Light Craft cut their kits from Joubert okoume marine plywood, so you are assured of a high quality kit as a good base from which to start building your new boat project. Starting with a kit will save you the time-consuming step of drawing out your components and cutting them from the plywood sheets. The time saving will vary between designs but you can expect it to be in the range of 10-20% of total building time, depending on the complexity of the boat.

At the moment we only have a few smaller designs shown for supply from CLC but this will increase to the full range as time permits or enquiries dictate. Also, CLC intends to expand their services to include epoxies, glass and solid timbers to those who want them and hope to also offer hardware kits.

Another view of Hunter Gall and his DS15. This
is a small sportboat that is based on our
Didi Mini Mk3 radius chine plywood design.

You can choose to buy a kit from any of the following suppliers, wherever you are in the world. None of them has sole rights to any country but it is likely that the supplier closest to you will be able to supply to you at the lowest price. Be sure to ask what is included in the kit that is being quoted because this may vary between suppliers.

Australia - Cape Boatworks
France - Pidgikit
Germany - Metz Boats
Italy - Nautikit
Norway - MBoats International
Russia - Chava & Boat Kits Russia
South Africa - CKD Boats
Turkey - Ertug
UK - Exocetus Yacht Kits & Jordan Boats
USA - Dudley Dix Yacht Design

Go to the Dudley Dix Yacht Design website to see the full range of our designs for all materials.


  1. I'm a happy customer of Chesapeake Light Craft and I'm excited to see that you have picked them as a partner. I hope all goes well.


  2. Any further updates on the DS15?


  3. Hi Josh, progress is slow. I hope that she will be ready for the Wooden Boat Show in June. I can understand Hunter's pace, he is a perfectionist and wants everything right. He intentionally selected finishing methods that are very pretty but demand painstaking work to get it right. If painted it would be very much quicker to build.

    I don't have the time available to help Hunter with the build. Our different styles of working would soon have us mortal enemies anyway.

    Are you far from Virginia Beach? If not, I can take you to see her.

  4. Hmm, I tried to reply earlier, but I guess it didn't post.

    I visit the Chesapeake area a couple times a year but not close to Virginia Beach. I live in Boston so the Wooden Boat Show will be the best chance I get. I'll put it on the calendar.

  5. OK Josh. You can send me an email closer to the time to check on progress, if I haven't posted anything else about it on this blog.

  6. So hard not to get a Mini MK3 but budget with my current budget preclude this, any idea what the DS15 kit will cost?

  7. Nick, thanks for your interest. I am gradually expanding the designs that we can have cut here in USA under my new agreement with CLC. It is a slow process because I have to prepare the files for the methods used by CLC. That has to fit into other work, hence the delay. I don't know yet what the cost will be but will add it to the USA kits page as soon as I have that info.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. Nice post. I could use some help in making a boat myself for travel as i am going to Singapore and I would like to row


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    1. Hi Ahmed,

      I understand from your post that you want to build a boat that you can row to Singapore but you have not said from where you will start this voyage.

      The fact that you have asked this question indicates to me that you have little rowing experience. The first step for you must be to get onto the water and do lots of rowing. That experience will show you if it is even feasible for you to consider undertaking such a voyage. Row a few boats of different types and you will learn what type of boat rows easily and what makes a bad rowing boat.

      If it is a coastal voyage then you can do it in any good rowing boat. A slim boat will give you best speed for the amount of effort that you put into rowing. For a coastal voyage it does not need to carry large loads because you can buy supplies along the way.

      If it will be an ocean crossing then you need a very specialised boat and you also need many months or even years of preparing your body to make such a voyage. It also needs a boat that can carry loads because you will have to carry all your food and water.