Build Your Own Fishing Boat

wooden centre console fishing boat

Build Your Own Wooden fishing boat.

Are you interested in at least attempting to build yourself a Wooden Centre Console V-Hull Fishing Boat?

Building your own wooden centre console fishing boat can be a rewarding and fulfilling project. Not only will you have a boat tailored to your needs, but you’ll also have the satisfaction of crafting it with your own hands. In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of building a wooden centre console fishing boat, from sourcing the correct wood to sealing the finished boat with marine-grade stain and vanish.

Building your Wooden Centre Console Fishing Boat with the very beautiful and Marine effectiveTasmanian Huon Pine.  

If you are a fishing enthusiast and looking to build your own wooden centre console fishing boat, then I will try to help with this article.  I’ll do my best to provide you with the steps you might need to design and build a wooden centre console boat.  

I’ll be suggesting you use the exquisite Tasmanian Huon Pine but you could also use:

a)   Teak: This is a classic external boat building and marine timber that is also used internally for its attractive grain.

b)  Sitka Spruce and Oregon: Both are specially imported for masts and spars, lengths around 6 meters.

c)   Spotted Gum: One of the world’s toughest timbers. Excellent for making keels and structural use where strength is critical.

d)  White Beech: A lovely non-splintering timber for boat decking and also planking.

e)   Douglas Fir: A traditional boat building timber as it comes in long lengths and sometimes can be virtually knot-free. It is very strong for its weight and is therefore used for both heavy constructional purposes as well as being suitable for masts and spars.

f)   Larch: A specialist boat timber that is very strong and durable. It is often used for planking and framing.

g)   Oak from your local area: A hardwood that is strong and durable. It is often used for framing and planking.

Designing your wooden centre console fishing boat.

Before you start building your dream fishing boat, it is essential to have a well-thought-out design plan. Here are the key steps to designing a wooden centre console boat:

Note:  As I’m suggesting you build a V-Hull, there won’t be a need for a keel.   If a V-Hull is not what you want then you may need one.  The need for a keel in a fishing boat design depends on the intended use of the boat. The shape of the hull should match its weight and you will want the hull to ride at the right attitude so it handles and tracks better. Additionally, what is going to be the impact zone? In other words, where will your boat be hitting the water? If a V-Hull is not going to be used, then you’ll need to do some research on the keel and get that part right.

Determine the Boat Size.

Consider the number of people you want the boat to accommodate and the intended use. This will help you determine the appropriate size for your boat.  Give the internet a good look, you might even find a site that is giving away free boat designs.

Sketch the Boat Design.

Using graph paper or boat design software that you might be able to download, sketch the outline of your boat. Pay attention to the dimensions, including length, width, and height. Take into account the desired features such as storage compartments, seating arrangements, and the console location.

Select the right Marine Grade Materials.

For a beautiful and durable wooden boat, Tasmanian Huon Pine is an excellent choice. Its natural oils make it resistant to decay and insect damage. Research the availability and cost of Huon Pine in your area. You may need to purchase some marine grade plywood too.

Start Building the Boat

Now that you have a well-defined boat design, it’s time to start building the ribs and frame.

Gather the Materials and Tools.

Before you begin, ensure you have all the necessary materials and tools. You will need Tasmanian Huon Pine planks, stainless steel screws, clamps, a circular saw, a jigsaw, and a sander.   Depending on how you wish to seal the boat, you could do so with fibreglass, in which case you will need epoxy resin and fibreglass cloth or you will need clear marine-grade varnish or a clear epoxy coating to  protect the wood , stop if from sinking and show off the beautiful Tasmanian Huon Pine wood grain.

Create the centre rib and transom: The centre rib and transom are the backbone of the boat and provide support for the rest of the boats framework.

The ribs of a boat are lateral structural members and are called ribs because they resemble the human rib. The ship’s outer planking and inner sheathing are attached to the ribs.

Frame the Hull.

The boat frame is made up of the ribs, chines, and gunwales, which are attached to the centre rib and transom.

Using your Tasmanian Huon Pine planks cut and then assemble the framework according to your boat design.

When building a wooden boat, there are several methods to secure the wooden frame together. One of the simplest methods is the butt joint, which involves joining the ends or edges of two pieces of wood to form a right angle. Common methods of reinforcement include the use of glue, screws, nails, dowels or pocket holes. You can use stainless steel screws to secure the wooden frame together, as they are resistant to corrosion and rust.   Another method is the dowel joint, which is a method of aligning and securing a junction between two pieces of wood by drilling corresponding holes in both parts and inserting dowels. This method offers good alignment and joint strength and is relatively simple and cost-effective to create with basic tools.

Add the seat rails.

The seat rails are added to the frame to provide additional support and stability.

Shape the Hull.

When shaping the hull of a boat, there are several factors to consider, such as the type of boat, the intended use, and the desired performance characteristics. The shape of the hull can affect the boat’s speed, stability, manoeuvrability, and fuel efficiency.

There are several methods for shaping the hull of a boat, including cold moulding, strip planking, and plywood construction. Cold moulding involves laminating thin layers of wood veneer over a mould to create a strong and lightweight hull.

Strip planking involves gluing narrow strips of wood together over a mould to create a smooth and fair hull. Plywood construction involves cutting plywood panels to shape and then stitching them together to create a hull.

Once the hull is constructed, it can be shaped further using a variety of tools, such as planes, spokeshaves, and sandpaper1. These tools can be used to shape the hull to the desired profile and to create a smooth and fair surface for painting or varnishing.

Seal and Protect the Boat.

Reinforce with Fiberglass: To enhance the boat’s strength and durability, apply a layer of epoxy resin and fiberglass cloth to the exterior of the hull. This will provide added protection against water damage and wear.

Coating with marine epoxy: Use a quality clear marine high glass epoxy or urethane products, sand it and then give it another coat to protect the wood and enhance its natural beauty.   Consider using TotalBoat Traditional 5:1 Epoxy or West System 105 Epoxy.

Construct the Centre Console.

The centre console is an essential part of your fishing boat, as it houses the steering wheel, controls, and other equipment. Build the centre console using marine-grade plywood, following the design and dimensions you prefer. Ensure it is securely attached to the hull using epoxy resin and stainless steel screws.

Finishing Touches.

Once the main structure of the boat is complete, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Sand down any rough edges and surfaces, ensuring a smooth finish. Apply marine-grade stain and vanish to protect the wood from water damage and UV rays and you may just want to keep using marine epoxy over the top. This will also enhance the natural beauty of the wood and lower the risk of water damage.


a.   Marine-grade stain

b.   Marine-grade vanish

c.   Sandpaper

d.   Paintbrush

e.   Marine Epoxy

Powering Your Boat with a Yamaha F115 Outboard Engine.

Consider powering your wooden centre console fishing boat with a Yamaha F115 outboard engine. This 4-cylinder, 4-stroke engine produces around 115hp at 5,800 RPM, providing ample power for your fishing adventures. However, connecting the engine controls to the centre console may require professional assistance. Consult a marine mechanic or boat builder to ensure a safe and reliable connection.

Important Note.

It’s important to follow all safety guidelines and regulations when building and operating your wooden centre console fishing boat. Familiarize yourself with local boating laws and ensure your boat meets all necessary requirements before taking it out on the water.


Building a wooden centre console fishing boat is a challenging but rewarding endeavour. By doing plenty of research, creating a plan and then sticking to it you can hopefully create a boat that is not only functional but also a reflection of your own craftsmanship.

Remember to source the correct materials, take your time during construction, and seek professional assistance when necessary. With dedication and attention to detail, you’ll soon be cruising the waters in your very own wooden centre console fishing boat.

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