Beginner Wooden Boat Build with Hess Woodworking

In the world of woodworking, there are few challenges as daunting and exhilarating as building a boat from scratch, especially when you've never attempted such a feat before. Meet Jason Hess, from Hess Woodworking, a passionate woodworker whose journey from carpentry to full-time woodworking led him to embark on a remarkable project: building a boat without any plans, guided solely by his craftsmanship and determination.

Jason's venture into boat building was inspired by the mesmerizing creations of renowned craftsmen like Jimmy Diresta, whose boat builds captivated audiences worldwide. Encouraged further by our own Boat Building Make Off Event, Jason took the plunge into uncharted waters, quite literally, to craft his own vessel.

With a background in carpentry and a burgeoning woodworking business, Jason already possessed the skills and drive necessary for such a task. Armed with Mahogany plywood and Walnut wood, alongside TotalBoat epoxies, he set out to bring his vision to life. Documented in a captivating YouTube series, the journey unveils Jason's meticulous process, absent of dialogue but abundant in craftsmanship.

The video unfolds with Jason deftly cutting Mahogany plywood sheets, fashioning joints, and meticulously bonding each piece together using High Performance Epoxy and Thixo Epoxy Adhesive. As the boat gradually takes shape, viewers are capivated by the rhythmic process of its creation, seeing Jason’s vision come to life!

But Jason's craftsmanship doesn't stop there. To ensure the boat's durability and seaworthiness, he fills the screw holes with TotalFair Fairing Compound before embarking on the fiberglassing process. Layer by layer, he applies 6oz fiberglass cloth and High Performance Epoxy, reinforcing the structure and sealing its fate as a seaworthy vessel.

As the project nears completion, with the seats and removable decks in place and every detail meticulously attended to, Jason adds the final touches with multiple coats of Gleam Marine Spar Varnish. The glossy finish not only enhances the boat's aesthetics but also serves as a protective shield against the elements, preserving its beauty for years to come.

At the end of this video, we get to witness the culmination of Jason's labor of love as he launches the boat into the water, its buoyancy a testament to his skill and dedication. With eager anticipation, Jason and his family await warmer weather, eagerly anticipating the adventures that await them on the open seas aboard their handcrafted vessel.

Jason's journey from novice boat builder to accomplished craftsman serves as a testament to the transformative power of passion and perseverance. Through sheer determination and unwavering dedication, he has turned a simple wooden boat into a symbol of possibility and achievement, inspiring countless others to embark on their own creative odysseys. Incredibly, Jason achieved this feat in just four months, demonstrating that with the right tools, knowledge, and unwavering determination, dreams can become reality quicker than one might imagine. As the sun sets on Jason's maiden voyage, we're reminded that the true joy lies not only in reaching our destination but in the journey itself – a journey fueled by passion, creativity, and the unyielding belief that with the right tools and determination, anything is possible.


enjoyed watching the scarfing of the plywood panels. Now that you’re an expert with epoxy, I suggest you start looking at ‘stitch and glue’ boat construction. The sky’s the limit!




I enjoyed watching this vide: agreat craftsman and great project. I also learned a few techniques.

Warren F Peluso

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