Tips On How To Build A Row Boat

Building a rowboat, like any project would require planning and thank goodness, basic skills in woodworking. Though, there are certain things which you have to keep in mind to build a boat that is safe to use and very easy to maneuver through the water.

Some factors that plays a great deal are:

Ratio of Width to length

Wider boats offer more stability in its structure while allowing more space on board however, longer boats are easier to row and can hold a course well. Therefore, you have to determine the most efficient ratio for the boat to maintain a good balance of these factors. Generally, a 1:4 width-length ratio works most effectively.

Hull Shape

The hull shape would also play a great part for overall stability and design of the rowboat. To build a row boat, you need to determine the shape of the hull the suits you best.

A flatĀ  bottom hull proved to be very good in terms of stability especially initially when boarding the boat. It is also comparatively easier building a rowing boat with flat hull. The downside perhaps to this hull shape is it can get very noisy as the bow slaps into the water.

Another hull shape is the round bottom which is also quite stable especially when leaned to its side. Streamlined and more curved shape moves quietly through the waters.


Longer oars allows more efficient rowing adding more leverage and power to each stroke while short oars fit nicely. A good ratio would be approximately twice the boat’s beam.


Rowing, although can be pleasurable, has the tendency to become an ordeal. That is why the overall boat design plays a huge part in easy maneuvering of the row boat.

As discussed above, there are certain things which you have to consider that should go into the design of the boat.

Personally, I opted to work with a good and workable boat plan to build a rowing boat.And I strongly suggest you do the same. It has the definite dimension and measurement in place so I don’t need to worry about such things.

I’ve found this boat plan which I find very helpful with it step-by-step instruction coupled with some pictures which makes it even easier to follow.

You can check it out here and see if it benefits in your boat building project.

Geoff M.
About the Author:

I started out as a boating enthusiast who just wanted to build my own boat. After successfully building my first boat, I’ve never looked back, got hooked into the craft and built my second and third and looking forward to build many more…

To anyone who have the same passion as I do, you may want to check out boat plans of every kind which I find very helpful in building my own boat. You may check out that resource here:

Similarly, you may check out this resource I’ve compiled on tipsĀ  in building your own boat.

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