The Tools You Need to Make a Boat

Surprisingly if you are about to undertake building your own boat, there are only a small selection of tools that you will need. In this blog we set out to list the most important tools you need for boat building which include:

  • Measuring and Layout
  • Cutting and Shaping
  • Clamps
  • Safety Gear

Measuring and Layout Tools

Firstly, check your tools all measure the same basic information, for example that your measuring tape is the same length as your ruler. And that you square markers are actually square. When building a boat these tiny fractions of measurement are really important. If however, you are not working from plans and from a kit, then drafting squares will probably not be needed. You will definitely need a set square to check the above, a level is also required to check your frame or building square is level. Next comes a carpenter’s bevel as this tool will let you measure angles. Perhaps the final measuring tool would be a compass, to quickly gauge distance, and is also good for drawing circles.

Cutting and Shaping Tools

There is a myriad of different type of cutting tools, and a lot of them depend on personal preference. A crosscut saw is essential, either Western or Japanese. The saw has to be sharp, so ensure that it is regularly sharpened otherwise your workload will be too heavy. The Japanese saw is becoming really popular with boat builders as it is light and very easy to use, and they come with replacement blades so you can be sure that they are sharp. Really useful too is a jig saw, and you will find that this piece of equipment is an absolute essential, in the right hands it can also cut straight lines.

You will also need some kind of sander to smooth the wood, when it comes to buying one go for quality as the cheap ones burn out quickly. Chisels are also essential cutting tools, they often come in a set of different types and sizes which will suit the job perfectly.

A good block plane is also required, these tools can round an edge very quickly and are a must for your boat building tool kit. Obviously, your cutting tools need to be sharpened and there are many products on the market that can do the job. Just select one that you are happy with and continue with it. Other useful cutting and shaping tools include sharp scissors, a wood rasp, utility knives, claw hammer, pliers, and a drill and bits.


When building a boat, you cannot have enough clamps, they come in all shapes and sizes and all do different jobs. As the clamps will be holding areas together whilst you glue then perhaps it is a good idea to lightly oil them as it is much easier to remove any excess epoxy after they are used.

Safety Gear

When building a boat is essential that you use all recommended safety gear for the equipment you are using. It goes to say never take your protective goggles off in your workshop, and make sure the gloves you are using can withstand the glues and epoxies that you will be working with. That pretty much concludes the equipment that you will need to build your first boat, all you need now is a good set of drawings and you can begin.