Boats I’ve Bought Plans For

Over the years I’ve bought plans for three different boats I was thinking of building. None, so far, have been built.

The first set I bought came from Glen-L, one of the biggest outlet for boat plans around:

I shelled out the money for the 32′ Mark Twain pontoon boat. The plans had full-sized patterns for building the frames and detailed plans for construction of the house and interior.

Mark twain


The project was abandoned when I bought my shantyboat. I kept the plans for years, but they disappeared somewhere in the two decade saga that followed which included a three year stint living on the French Riviera.

When I decided to retire to Panama and was interested in the possibility of settling in the Bocas del Toro archepeligo on a boat I bought another set. This came from: I opted for something a bit smaller at 27 feet and a mono-hull rather than a pontoon model. I chose the GT Cruiser 27 which looks like a pram on steroids. It is 27-1/2 feet long with an 8’9″ beam. Only slightly bigger than my Nancy Dawson. The GT Cruiser 27 has a six inch draft which means it can tuck into really skinny water. You could easily beach her and step ashore with dry feet. Nancy, on the other hand needed at least an additional 4 feet of water.




Not only do I like the looks of this boat, it is built with stitch-and-glue methods. Having done a lot of expoy work in my years of repairing boats I feel confident that I could easily put this together.

While this boat is still a possibility, I am strongly drawn to the barge-hulled shantyboat. I also purchased the plans for the Brandy Bar

Brandy Bar

This is probably be the direction I take in the end. The reasons are rather simple. Building the barge is essentially nothing more than building a big box. Simple as that. The house, though, probably won’t look anything like that above. My windows probably won’t be glazed. More likely they will be something like this:


On Nancy Dawson I had screens that could be rolled up and were attached to the open frames of the hatches with Velcro. Screens will be essential down in Panama.

No matter what gets build it will be One More Good Adventure.

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