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Boat build(free online Dinghy plans turned to Gcode)

Had my Maslow for a couple weeks now and tinkered with it and got it pretty dialed in. I already have cut some things from other files I found, including a paddle board frame. Today I was able to turn paper plans(free online) into proper Gcode and cut out all the pieces and was pleasantly surprised that everything actually fit! The dinghy is an Apple Pie dinghy and the plans are free online so I think it’s ok to convert them to digital files. I’m not an expert on the legality of what I did but I’d be happy to share the files. Attached are some pictures of the cuts and loosely stitched together to verify sizes


Pretty cool, are you using marine grade ply?

I didn’t use marine ply. I didn’t know if my paper to sketchup to gcode would work so I used cheap stuff. I’m going to cover it in epoxy and fiberglass so I’m thinking it should be OK anyway. For as much as it will actually be in the water I think it might be OK.


This is so neat!

I’m working on getting a “project of the month” contest going again and you’ve got my vote so far for sure! I can’t wait to see the finished version

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I will be interested to see how it goes, I have been toying with the idea of doing some boat building for fun for years, but the cost of marine ply stopped me in my tracks. I have thought many times that a person should be able to make regular ply work fine, especially in cases where it is not left in the water all the time. So I wish you success and will be watching with interest, please let us know how it goes.

can you link to the original plans?
I’m curious as to which design software that they used to model the curved surfaces and then “lay them flat”.
I can’t figure out how to get Fusion360 to do that kind of thing.

Its the “apple pie” dinghy. I printed out the paper plans and used sketchup to make each panel. I don’t know how to do anything other than that.

Marine plywood has better glue, and “guarantees” that all voids are filled. I believe exterior-grade plywood uses the same glue (or very similar), but voids aren’t filled. Interior-grade plywood will delaminate on its own after a season in the elements.

I guess it comes down to the expected lifetime of the thing you’re building. If you’re building boats just for fun, and your fun is actually in building them, a boat made from cheapo plywood would definitely work for at least a season, probably longer if you protect it really well (fiberglass + good paint). If your goal is just having a boat, investing in quality materials would be worth it.

One thing to note here, is that epoxy & fiberglass is not cheap, so “wasting” it on cheap plywood could be a nonsense.

I’ve also wanted to get into boat building for a long time (it was the original reason for my interest in the Maslow), but I think I’ll practice on a few cheap plywood boards before going in on the good stuff.

You’re not wrong. But I can build 2 boats for the cost of 1 sheet of bs1088 okoume shipped to my house(since I can’t get it locally). Covered in epoxy they seem to last pretty long. They get worn out from abuse before the plywood delaminates on me.

Unless you’ve built 5 boats. I’d build the first several with super cheap wood because you’ll build each one better than the last. I don’t think it’s a waste to use epoxy on cheap wood. It’s still a learned skill that you’ll be better at when you’re ready to build your heirloom Whitehall rowboat.


That’s a very good data-point, thank you.

I agree, it also doesn’t make sense to do prototyping or experimenting with the expensive stuff.