Tools to Build a Wooden Dinghy

Construction of a wooden dinghy only requires a few tools, some are rather specialized but the rest are general tools that any competent craftsman would have.

In the most basic sense, the tools needed are a drill, saw, wood planer, screw driver, hammer, and clamps.

These very basic tools will let you build a boat with a very basic layout and design. Any intricate cuts or features would be rather difficult to carry out. If you want to build a more sophisticated design, you will need some more sophisticated tools.

The tools I am using to build the dinghy are rather limited, as space and funds are equally limited. I am using:

  • Drill Press
  • Cordless Drill
  • Handsaw
  • Circular Saw
  • Bandsaw
  • Jointer
  • Sledge Hammer
  • Claw Hammer
  • Ball Peen Hammer
  • C Clamps
  • Screw Driver
  • No 4 Plane
  • Rabbet Plane
  • Jack Plane
  • Low Angle Block Plane
  • Block Plane
  • Wood Chisels
  • Rasp File
  • Coarse File
  • Bastard File
  • Fine File
  • Squares

This might seem like a rather long list, but with these tools you will be able to build a wooden dinghy with relative ease. The list provided is by no means a complete list, as there are tools I wish I had but am working without. 

A table saw would be a wonderful addition which would make partial thickness cuts easy to complete. A thickness planer would also help make the boards uniform in thickness across their length. A router would also be very useful for removing wood and reducing weight of the components in the dinghy. Lastly a bevel gauge would make it much easier to transfer angles from one area to another.

While these tools would make construction easier, they are by no means mandatory. Knowing how to use the tools you have well is more valuable than having many tools. A lot of the work can be carried out and completed with a limited armamentarium if proper experience is available to fill in the voids in missing tools.

I have seen carpenters resaw planks perfectly with a handsaw and no guides! I need a bandsaw to complete the same cut. It all depends on your skill and comfort level while working with the materials at hand.