The Ultimate 5-Day DIY Plywood Boat Build – TotalBoat

The Ultimate 5-Day DIY Plywood Boat Build

When Jason Hibbs of Borbon Moth Woodworking and Michael Alm of Alm Fabrications asked TotalBoat for support during their 5-day, no-real-plan boat build, we knew we needed to send a lot of Thixo Fast and also that we might have our hands full. These two talented woodworkers could create intricate plans and pull off a complicated piece of furniture without issue – but the boat building provided an extra challenge – as we know.  Without square corners and nary a straight line, the duo set out to work their way through the build of the cocktail class racer and take it step-by-step, figuring out each challenge as they arose.

Jason’s previous boat-building victory was his drift boat that he’s enjoyed using in his native Oregon waters.  This could only mean that Jason was aware of some of the challenges that would come. But knowing Jason, we thought that the impossibility of the project and his can-do approach was worth the risk.

Part 1 of this build series is a fun glimpse into these woodworker’s brains as they tackle the tough parts of boat building like constructing the ribs with the correct angles and making progressive bevels.  They sort through each step and find solutions that might not be how Louis Sauzedde or Steve from Acorn to Arabella may do it, but we had confidence that they would succeed, albeit a bit differently. And that can be fun. Tune in for Part 1 and see how they fare with the toughest parts of building a wooden boat.

Now go over to Michael’s channel and check out his video of the same project. Give them both a “subscribe” while you’re there and you’ll be in on their awesome content and crazy builds!


17 responses to “The Ultimate 5-Day DIY Plywood Boat Build

  1. I disagree, there are a lot of talented amateur boat builders out there who could handle this task. Not to take anything away from the guys in the video, but a matter of taking your time and applying your skills.

    1. I always (I think) get notified of new posts, but never new comments.

      When I sign up it takes me to WordPress, which also manages notifications for other sites I follow. All of the others work for both posts and comments. I’m not sure why it doesn’t work with this site.

  2. This is just Awesome. I bought some Gelcoat from Jamestown Distributors recently and that put me on their email list so I got a copy of this. I watched it and it is fascinating as well as informative.

    My first boat was built from 2 sheets of marine plywood in 1967 when I was in the Air Force stationed at Homestead FL and wanted something I could afford to fish the canals and everglades. It lasted me 8 years and I sold her for more than it cost me to build. I powered it with a 1955 5HP and still have the motor.

    These guys are doing it right as I used a Popular Mechanics Magazine set of plans for my projects. Since I retired in 2008, I have bought, restored, repaired, and sold 339 small boats but mostly all small sailboats and mostly all fiberglass so this project caught my eye and I just didn’t delete Jamestown email this time 🙂

    Looking forward to part 2.

    See you on the water!

  3. I loved the video. Its very easy looking, but in reality its not that easy. If u are a wood worker + familiar with the different tool you should not any problem. I will say u do need 2 people to do the job in 2 days. Its a lot of angles,gluing + sanding to be done. All in all it may take a little longer but it w come out w a really nice finish boat. I liked the video very much and look forward to part 2. Great Job. Thanks. SG III

  4. Looks like a fun time for you guys. You could have saved a boatload of time working from the $25 set of plans from the Cocktail Class Wooden Boat Racing Association (CCWBRA), or just buying the kit from Chesapeake Light Craft. Either would get you a boat that would be permitted to race in one of our eight or so races each year. Check out for more fun.

  5. Jason and Michael welcome to the wonderful world of Cocktail Class Racing!! I am the current Commodore of the Cocktail Class Wooden Boat Racing Association (CCWBRA) and have been involved with these great little boats for more than 10 years. While your current build would not be allowed to race because it is not of regulation shape and dimensions, I encourage you to join us at an event and drive it for fun! We are always looking for new members and what be happy to let you racing in one of our “official ” boats. For your next build you should absolutely get a kit boat or contact us for some plans and join us! These boats are ABSOLUTELY designed to be build by just about ANYBODY! It would make really awesome content for your channel.
    My best,
    Captain Peter Urbani
    Commodore CCWBRA
    Driver #35 Stoli NFL &#350 Shrimp Cocktail

  6. I can’t believe that there were ONLY SIXTEEN COMMENTS!!

    You guys were off to a FANTASTIC START – to an AWSOME START!! I was LOVING EVERY SECOND of what I saw in part 1 of 2; I can barely hardly wait to see part 2 of 2!!

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