Can everybody build a boat?

I am often asked by website visitors if anybody can build the boats I have designed. The answer is quite simply; yes. Of course you have to take into consideration what previously experiences you have. So if you choose a design that fits your previous experiences that is a good way to start if you want to be sure to finish your new boat with success.

Then you might ask how I can be so sure anyone can build my boats. That question I will answer by telling you a small story about myself and my background.

I grew up in a provincial town in Denmark. And I can assure you there was no boating activity whatsoever in my family when I was a kid. My father has always been afraid around water and my mother is convinced that water is something you only use to have a shower. 

Therefore I can tell you there was no sign when I grew up that I should ever be interested in boats let alone be building them. However that was what happened. Being a young teenager I read every book I could find together with all the boating magazines I could lay my hands on. In those days nobody had even heard about the internet, but luckily the local library had a good supply of books and magazines.

So I started building model boats. All kinds of model boats some with small electric engines and some with a sail. They could all sail for real, but not all were equally or pretty. I guess it was a good way to learn, since the low expenses for materials didn’t mean much, improving was easy and cheap.

In the long run building models was nog enough. And the real challenge came when trying to move from models to real size boats. Back then the only plans to get were from some old books from the fifties and the instructions that came with them were really poor. So I’ll never forget how hard it was getting started. 

A trip to the local lumber yard selecting lumber for my first boat was a challenge. As I remember I bought too many materials but being on your own didn’t make it easier to plan everything. Back home I got started and luckily I had 3 weeks of vacation to spend on boat building else I might have never finhished. 

The first boat was not pretty. It was heavy and made entirely of of lumber and no fiber glass. But float it did and when there was wind it sailed all right. That summer was just fun, sailing, sailing and sailing. Today I wouldn’t have to dared to go that far out of my depth, but back then I didn’t have a care in the world. 

Later on I became a skilled boat builder and got my degree in naval architecture. But I won’t bore you with that part of the story.

So what is the point here you might ask. The point is that if I can do it, you can do it too. I started building my first boat with nothing, and as I wrote I will never forget how difficult and frustrating that was. That’s why I have made my boat plans as easy to follow as possible, using all my experience from those early days. That is also why I have made the free ‘Boat Building Master Course’ for extra explanation and support for you when building your own boat. And that is also why I will support you all the way till you launch your new boat, because being left alone with a problem can really be frustrating. I know because I have tried it. 

All the best,

Morten Olesen