Building a wooden jon boat.. pt.2 Setting up shop

Since this boat is 16ft. in length, you don’t need much building space. This boat has been built in single car garages all over the country. Many people build their boats outside in the backyard. I recommend buying a full set of plans from DuckWorks boat building supply. They have the plans both in instant download PDF format or traditional blueline paper copies.

Once you have your set of plans in your hands, take some time to study them and take note of the details. Jon boats are simple shapes, yet there is a lot of unseen detail that Jim works out nicely in his version.

My particular boat is both wider and deep than Jim’s design as this will suit my needs a little better. Also I am using 1/2″ plywood for both the hull bottom and sides to handle the loads of a wider boat. I started out construction by laying out the frames full size on a sheet of plywood. After carefully measuring, I drew the frame section on the plywood itself using a dark carpenter’s pencil. This will serve as my full size pattern during the construction of the actual frames. Once that was completed, I cut out my frame pieces and assembled then on top of the pattern to make sure everything fits correctly.

Here you can see me checking the fit of one of the frame joints.

After the parts were cut, It was time to glue them together. I am using epoxy glue for the construction. To keep the parts from sticking to the pattern, I have slipped a sheet of clear builder’s plastic in between the frame and the pattern. I can see through the plastic and line up everything before clamping.

Here is the finished frame ready for installation! Stay tuned for more articles as the boat progresses!