A mini boat you can build yourself with zip ties and epoxy

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/29/a-mini-boat-you-can-build-your.html


Mods are asleep, post sea shanties


Looks cute. But - zip ties?

A box of stainless steel nails will set you back $20 at the Home Despot.

Nails edgewise into plywood, matey? They’ll pull out afore long, and then it’s one-way to Davey Jones for ye. Cable ties will flex and stretch and still hold. You will be glad you used cable ties when you are going round the Horn.


Or, you could go with a folding design like this one: http://www.seahopperfoldingboats.com/

1 Like

You are in big trouble if you hook into a big fish in that thing.


Oh, hell, you can go a lot cheaper than that. Click here, and fast forward to 4:20.


I can confirm that the zip-tie and epoxy method works just fine for boat construction, but why use a kit when you can buy some cheap materials and do it yourself from plans online?

(Soon I will be posting updates on this project showing the rather unconventional propulsion system we built for this boat)


I prefer concrete myself.


Epoxy is an awesome adhesive. For a beginner’s project using considerable amounts of the stuff, though, I would consider it responsible to include a few health & safety hints. Two or three sentences will suffice.

Uncured epoxy is health adverse, in particular, highly allergy inducing. Always use gloves when handling it; if you get it on your skin, rinse immediately and thoroughly with cold water. There are boat builders, carpenters, etcetera, who could no longer work in their profession, after developing an allergy.

sources: - S. Devlin: Devlin’s Boatbuilding: How to Build Any Boat the Stitch-and-Glue Way (1995) ; the son of someone I know personally, who had to quit his career as a carpenter when only 21.


Well I was thinking you can build with ONLY zip ties and epoxy rather than use them to hold the precut wood together for you.
Neat but more $$$ than I have for a hobby right now.


According to the website the total weight with motor and batteries is 130 lbs. A bit large to strap onto a car’s roof, so you’d either need a truck or a small trailer (not included!) to actually get it to the water.

If you want to go cheap, look for a 4’x8’ coroplast election sign that’s past its take-down date.


I recommend buying a kayak and paddle for a couple hundred on Craigslist, or at least build your own. More seaworthy, get out there the same, get some exercise. This is silly and “cutesy” same as tiny houses.

1 Like

Stitch and tape” is a pretty old technology these days - I built a dinghy 30 years ago - back then you drilled holes and stitched the joins with hi-tensile monofiliment, then plastering both sides with fiberglass tape and epoxy to make a waterproof join, then painted the whole craft with epoxy paint.

Doing the stitching with cable ties makes sense I guess, certainly it would be far easier than wrangling those long lengths of monofiliment


Oh good, it’s not just me that brought the snark to the party.

My first thought was that these were really cute, but WHAT THE F!!! THEY COST HOW MUCH!!!

You can get a pretty decent small fishing boat for under $2k as well. And I get the “I want to craft something myself” approach, but then as others have noted, just use plans off teh webz (or do the research yourself).


Here’s yet another option from a neat company:

Nice! I was thinking about building a little pirogue.

It looks like you made the bow by just attaching the hull flanks to each other. Any particular reason you didn’t cut a bow stem?

Mostly because the plans I was following didn’t call for one. I ended up fiberglassing over the joints anyway, so it’s plenty strong.

1 Like

here ya go!