Wooden Boat Building Brother-In-Law

This past Christmas Eve my brother-in-law Dave received a one pound, twenty seven inch cardboard cylinder, wrapped like a giant tootsie roll.

IMG_1427 (640x480)

The tube contained building plans for a wooden boat called the Runabout Rascal, designed by Ken Bassett. When finished, this boat will weigh almost eight hundred pounds (equipped) and be fourteen feet, ten inches in length. Dave will use plywood and mahogany woods over sawn frames to complete this masterpiece.



This is not Dave’s first rodeo with building wooden boats. He began constructing his dream canoe  in 2004 and has done refurbishing work on vintage Chris Craft boats since he was a young boy alongside his father, a now retired carpenter by trade.

In the past decade, Dave’s completed watercraft’s have been called everything from, absolutely amazing, breathtaking, a prayer in wood, and just plain freaking gorgeous as you will see in the pictures below.

Dave finished his Wabinaki Canoe in 2006. I wrote an article for a magazine called PH2 (at that time) titled, School, Canoe and a Dream Come True, telling the how’s and why’s Dave began this journey. By going to my website you can read the article and see more in-progress photos under published articles.

cedar strip canoe




Dave’s second and third wood creations were kayaks; one cedar-strip and the other made from mahogany.

After learning the skill of kayaking himself, Dave thought it such a soul soothing connection with nature, he built another for his wife.

Photo by Jill Mayville

Photo by Jill Mayville

I know you are saying awe!





Dave’s fourth wooden boat-building experience resulted in a full-size Dory, ready for the river in 2010. This craft is used with a motor and has proven to be an impressive fishing boat. This would be indicated by the many fabulous fish fry’s my brother-in-law has shared with me and my family.

Photo by M. M. S.

Dave only builds wooden boats as his passionate hobby in the winter(s). If all goes well, his hope is that the Rascal will be water-ready in the summer of 2015.

With several hours of diagram studying, wood and product purchases, hard work, and a couple of long winters, what was in that tube will transform into a extraordinary wooden boat similar to the one in the photo below.


wooden boat plans

Photo M.M.S.                           






Click on picture to see how to order your own plans.400100_RascalRun_fromAft (282x179)



Filed under Wood Boat Building

2 responses to “Wooden Boat Building Brother-In-Law

  1. CES

    Dave’s watercraft are literally works of art. He even wove the cane seats on his canoe. That these vessels are completely sea-worthy and functional brings them to a new level.


  2. Carol Simmons

    Hi – somehow I have lost my Facebook. Was surprised to find you in my email. When I can catch my grandson, I’ll ask him to get me back on Facebook. I guess what I enjoyed most about that was seeing pics of my family. I don’t seem to have occasions to take pictures as often as I used to. With all the digital cameras and such, I suppose that real live photo albums are soon going to be a thing of the past. Hasn’t this weather been fun. Municipal Services had had some serious problems with phone, internet and cable in my area. It has been going on for over a week. Right now, things seem to be okay. Karen wasn’t able to get on the internet, and my next door neighbor had trouble with his land line phone. Me too. And now and then couldn’t get anything on cable. It has been lots of fun. Somewhere in the library computer, I have a request in for a certain book. Nothing important and I’m sure it will come up one of these days. I haven’t been out of the house for days, am getting house-itis, but hope to get out tomorrow to go to my crochet group at Copeland. Keep safe, keep warm and keep in touch. Hugs, Carol


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