Boating And Woodworking: Two Hobbies That Go Hand-in-Hand

Boating And Woodworking: Two Hobbies That Go Hand-in-Hand

Hobbies are always important, as they give us a way to relax in between work and the rigors of day-to-day life. Since everyone has different interests, it is safe to say that there are no two people on earth who have the exact same interests down to the most minute detail, and we all have our quirks.

Some of us, however, are lucky enough to enjoy two hobbies that work well together, and they can often make for interesting combinations. When it comes to boating, there are a few other activities that you can perform to accompany it, including swimming, knot-tying (if you sail), and so much more.

Inside of a wooden boat.

Perhaps one of the oldest hobbies that have complimented boating has been woodworking, and that comes as little surprise when you consider it. The first boats were often fashioned out of reeds and other materials that were tied together, but beyond that point, wood was used as the primary material in vessels for thousands of years.

Boat Woodworking Projects

Over the course of this guide, we are going to cover woodworking and boats with an emphasis on DIY boat woodworking. We’ll give you some boat woodworking ideas and some tips on ensuring that they all go smoothly. We have tried to present a variety of options for carpenters of different skill levels.

Making Your Own Boat

The most obvious option at your disposal is building a boat entirely from scratch, but this is going to take time and effort.

If you don’t have much experience as a carpenter, you will not want to take on this project as it can end up being dangerous if you make the boat inadequately and it sinks.

Of course, the first thing that you will need when you are making your boat is a plan or a schematic.

If you are familiar with ship and boat design, you may even want to draw up your own schematics from scratch, but there isn’t much else you can do with wooden boats beside what has already been done.

You will also want to make sure that you have all of your tools ready as you will need a variety of saws, drills, screws, ventilators, knives, measuring tape, and so much more.

A boat builder making a boat.

The exact tools that you will need will obviously depend on the boat that you are building, but you can make it as advanced or as low-tech as you want.

A Wooden Cover For Your Boat

If you already have a small wooden boat like a launch, you may want to accessorize it, and if that is the case, you have a range of options. While most people would prefer to use a tarp to prevent their boat from pooling rainwater, dust, and other elements that will inevitably become a grey sludge, a wooden cover can add class.

The first thing you will need to do is measure out the exact length and the angles formed by the gunwales of your boat when you are looking at it from the top. If you have the boat’s schematics, this should be much easier for you as they will already be provided.

Once you have that measurement, you will want to take a large piece of lumber that you can cut down to a size that will fit your boat perfectly. This project has the advantage of being relatively simple, requiring little more than a precision saw, breathing protection, and perhaps some extra lumber for reinforcement.

Steps Or A Ladder

If you have a larger boat, you may have some difficulty getting into it, even from the dock. There is nothing graceful about clambering over the gunwale of your boat to get into it, so why don’t you fix that issue with a DIY ladder or some simple portable steps?

Even a single step that can help boost you into your boat can make for an excellent beginner woodworking project. The best thing you can do when getting started as a carpenter is to start off small and work your way up to the bigger projects, even if you’re not building the most exciting things.

Plans such as these won’t require too many materials, and the basics will often be more than enough. A drill, screws, a saw, and enough treated lumber should be more than enough to build yourself a ladder or some steps, and the required skill level for this project is not very high.

Benches, Chairs, Or Other Seating

If you have a more substantial boat and you would like to create some intermediate-level accessories for it, then you may wish to consider fashioning your own seating out of wood. The best part about this project is that it is one that can be accomplished by most carpenters, regardless of skill.

The only thing that will vary between advanced carpenters and beginners is the quality of the chair, and there’s nothing wrong with being proud of your work, in any case. Of course, the kind of aesthetic that you get from wooden chairs and benches is best reserved for yachts sailboats.

Wooden bench for a boat.

In the end, however, as long as you think that your carpentry looks good in your boat, then it belongs there. When it comes to making chairs, the choice of tools is yours, and you can either opt for a manual saw with a hammer and nails, or you can do it with a rotary saw coupled with a drill and screws.


There are many reasons why wood has been used as a material in nautical construction for so long. From its buoyancy to its flexibility, wood is still one of the best options for anyone looking to build a boat or accessories to go on a boat.

We hope that this guide has given you all of the info that you needed about DIY boat woodworking projects. If you have any woodworking or boating comments, feel free to leave them down below and we’ll try to get right back to you.