Steve’s Boat Building An amateur’s attempt to build a strip plank dinghy

Choosing a design

I had several parameters in mind when I started searching the internet for a suitable design. I live by the sea, so I wanted a dinghy with a wide beam and a deep bow to ensure seaworthiness. I still have a set of fittings and sails from the Fireball that I built in 1972, so I wanted a boat of similar length – about 5 metres. I originally thought I would build a hard chine hull, but in my research, I discovered strip plank hull construction, and the rounded hull shapes that can be achieved using this method appealed to me. My internet search led me to Paul Fisher’s site, (See “Plans” on the “Suppliers” page.) Paul’s range of designs is truly amazing, covering everything from canoes to ocean-going yachts and even steam and electric powered motor launches. His Stornoway 16 dinghy almost exactly fitted my requirements, so I ordered the plans. The original design was for hard chines, but Paul has added mould plans for strip plank construction.He has also written a book “Strip Plank Boat Construction”, which is rapidly becoming my “bible”!

The line drawing to the left is taken from the Selway Fisher Design website (with the kind permission of Paul Fisher), and shows a Stornoway 16. This is what I hope my boat will finally look like.