Visit our secure online boat builder supplies shops:

For more boat plans visit:

Visit our secure online boat builder supplies shops:

Free tutorials,
and tech support*:


What is the difference between the free plans and stock plans for amateurs?

Design and plans quality:

Today, most boats are designed on the computer. This is much more accurate than old plans drafted on paper.
The best new designs are all modeled in 3D with extreme precision. Modern plans do not require lofting or scaling since they are designed at full scale on the computer.
Another advantage of computer designed boat plans is that the software will calculate the exact shape of every part including the plywood panels that form the hull. Those dimensions are never available in older plans and the boat builder must use patterns to take hull panel dimensions from an assembled jig.

See our web site to understand the techniques used to build a modern plywood boat. Some of that information is applicable to the free plans listed here.

Building on a jig etc.

Download a free plan from like the NC14 canoe plan to see the difference.

There also technical differences between the older plans and today's plans.

At, you will find some stock plans based on or very similar to some of the free plans. For example, the home page of this web site shows 3 pictures of such boats.
The one at the top is a free plan named Victory: a small runabout in 12, 14 and 16' long version.
That plan was completely redesigned, a 3D model was generated from the free plans, lines faired and recalculated. It is now available at as the RB12, RB14 and RB16.
The houseboat and the Sailfish type boat shown on the first page are also modern versions of free plans available here.
A 12' kayak listed here as the Plyak is available at under the name PY12.

All those boats have hull shapes similar to what the free plans show but are redesigned for modern materials. The new plans are more accurate, much easier to use and pay for themself in materials savings.


Today, all production boats are designed to comply with safety and industry standards (ABYC, USCG, ISO etc.).
Some of the best plans for amateurs ( are also designed in compliance with those standards.
This is not the case of the free plans.
While it is perfectly legal to build those boats as an amateur, you must take some points in account:



There are more differences but those are the main ones you must consider when building from the free plans.

The best technical support: we will help you succeed!
Ask questions on our support web site
Designers and fellow boat builders will respond immediately. At the same site, you will find hundreds of pages of tutorials, a forum to share tips and thousands of pictures.