Welcome to Shoestring Shipyard!

Shoestring Shipyard was born out of a need; catering to the niche market of boat plans specifically designed for the novice, first time, home boat builder. This was back in 1997 and was a subsidiary of my full-time vessel design office on Cape Cod. We went on-line in 1998 and the business thrived, with pre-cut boat building kits, materials kits, weekend boat building classes, and other services offered in addition to plans and book sales. It’s no longer a full-time occupation for me though. Shoestring Shipyard has been relegated to a part-time, hobby business, maintained simply out of personal interest by helping first-timers experience the joy of boat building with wood materials.

I’ve since retired from my profession as a marine engineer and naval architect. After moving to Maine, I heard a higher calling and aspired to a loftier goal – to become a farmer! If you are curious about what takes place around these parts, visit Downeast Thunder Creations or my wife’s blog, Downeast Thunder Farm. You’ll find several  free plans and drawings for numerous projects that you can download in pdf format from my Downeast Thunder Creations web site. You might also enjoy viewing some of my videos on my Youtube channel.

WOW!!!!! My Downeast Thunder Creations YouTube channel has finally reached the 100 subscriber milestone! There will be another random drawing giveaway when I reach the next milestone, at 500 subscribers.

Want free plans for building such things as work benches, shelves, storage racks, tool benches, and so forth? Check out my Youtube channel.

Of course, some of my original boat plans and books for the novice builder are still available right here. Thanks for visiting. – Paul B.

Visit Paull Bennett's Downeast Thunder Creations

(17 NOV 2017): Several folks contacted me regarding my “Build Your Own Dinghy” series of 26 videos, averaging 5 minutes each. They basically suggested I should have put out a “trailer” sort of the type Hollywood does when they promote a new movie, so folks could determine if they want to invest the time to watch the whole series of videos.

I thought it was a great idea and I wish I had thought of this myself. SO – I went back to my archives of video clips, and put together a heavily edited, highly condensed, and seriously sped up version of the full set of 26 videos – all stuffed into a “trailer” of just under 3 minutes. Here ya go!

(4 OCT 2017): I posted a series of videos titled “Build Your Own Dinghy,” featuring the construction of a Frugal Skiff. It starts from scratch and goes to finished boat. The videos have been divided by subject matter and into 26 segments averaging about 5 minutes or so each. The videos are in the same order as the building procedure. My Youtube channel (link above) has them all listed, and here is the 1st one of the 26 segments:

You’ll also find the story about how this project began, along with the full listing of videos on my other web site: Downeast Thunder Creations

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 2):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 3):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 4):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 5):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 6):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 7):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 8):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 9):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 10):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 11):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 12):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 13):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 14):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 15):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 16):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 17):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 18):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 19):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 20):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 21):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 22):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 23):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 24):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 25):

Build Your Own Dinghy (Part 26) – Epilogue:



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