I confess that designing and building small boats has become something of an addiction. A couple of years and a trailerable trimaran later (another story), I thought it would be great fun to build a 12-foot version of my cat skiff just for rowing. It would have a sliding seat and some nice long oars, basically a stretched version of the 8-footer cat with lighter weight construction. I sketched the design, tackled the project, and am thrilled with the result.
The 12-foot rowing cat is built of 1/8-inch luan plywood with stringers and frames, and 1/4-inch luan plywood for the bottom and the seat. All the plywood came from the local building supply. In my opinion, a project like this doesn’t require marine plywood if you don’t have the extra money to spend. Most household quality plywood has exterior glue and should last a long time if epoxy coated and varnished. (I store all of my boats inside when not being used.)
Just for fun, I veneered the outside of this boat with ribbon grain mahogany, since even expensive marine plywood still looks like plywood, with nice color but wild swirling grain patterns. I was able to get large sheets of veneer, 22 inches wide and more than 11 feet long. It’s beautiful stuff and not too expensive, and about $1 a square foot. I vacuum bagged the veneer onto the 1/8-inch luan plywood with epoxy resin. Aerospace Composites sells nylon bagging tubes with special clips for making bags of any length, in this case, 13 feet long.
click images below to enlarge
Plans for Glider consist of a 21 page document with all the instructions, detailed drawings and photographs needed to build this lovely, stable rowboat.