To build your own boat your going to need a decent stand. Before I built my stand I did a little research. I realized people were having difficulty with stands that weren’t mobile, floors being unlevel and stands that were hard to adjust. So I decided to make a stand that’s both mobile and easily to level with just the twist of a wrench.
Your stand must be flat and have no twist. A twist could be detrimental to the project. A stand that’s mobile makes it easy to position so you can work around the boat.
My stand held my 19 foot flats boat. With a few tweaks this stand will accommodate any number of boat lengths and widths. Here’s how I built it. I hope you find this helpful.
Step 1. Pick up all the materials and round up your tools.
If you’re like me, any excuse to go to the hardware store is a good one. Here’s what you need to get.
Casters – Six 3 Inch and One 2 Inch (keep in mind the weight of your hull)
Bolts – Thirty-two – 4 Inch Long – ⅜ Inch
Nuts – Thirty-two – ⅜ Inch Dia.
Washers – Sixty-four – ⅜ Inch Dia.
Threaded Shaft – Eleven Feet – ¾ Inch Dia.
Nuts – Twenty-one – ¾ Inch Dia.
Washers – Twenty-one – ¾ Inch Dia.
Electrical Conduit – Metal – Seven Feet – ¾ Inch Dia.
Wood Screws – One Hundred – 3 Inch Long
Dimensions may vary according to the length and width of your boat.
2x4x8 – Twelve
2x4x14 – Two
2x12x16 – Two
2x10x6 – One
Plywood – 1 Piece, ¾ Inch. (A 24″ by 48″ precut shelf works well.)
If you’re making a tool purchase, please consider using one of the following links. 10% of any profit goes towards charity and the rest will help me continue to support my family and build out this website. Each tool below is a link to the Amazon marketplace.
Circular Saw with Metal and Wood Blades
An Assortment of Wood Clamps
Two Large Crescent Wrenches
Drill Bits – ⅛ Inch and ⅜ Inch.
Spade Bit – ⅝ Inch
Router with ½ Inch Straight Shank Bit
Driver for the wood screws
Ratchet Straps – Two, a minimum of 10 feet long
2. Now that you have all of your stuff we’ll start with the subframe.
From a bird’s eye view the subframe is a figure eight. The top, middle and bottom lines are each made of two 2x4x8s screwed together. The reason we don’t just use 4×4 posts is because they have a tendency to warp.
Before you screw the 2x4s together cut them to your desired length. I cut my boards a little shorter than the beam of my boat. This allowed most of the bulkheads to span across the stand. If the boards are warped, screw them together where the warp pulls in opposite directions.
Route 8, ½ inch dadoes into each pair of boards for the bolts that hold the casters on. I have a picture of this at the end of the post. You’ll need to also make a backing plate for the top of the casters. Use your ⅜ inch bolts, nuts and washers to attach the 3 inch casters to the 4×4 posts at this time.
3. Lay the pieces of the subframe on the floor.
Resting on their side, space the 4×4 posts you built on the floor, in their respectable locations. Rest your 2x4x14s just to the outside of the posts. You can cut these 14 foot boards to the desired length of your subframe. I left mine at 14.
Now construct two 2x4x14 tees by screwing 2x4s to the bottom of the 14 foot boards. These 2x4s will need to be cut to length. See in the picture how I left room for the 4×4 post. The tees straddle all three 4×4 posts and can be held in place with wood clamps. At this point you should have the subframe resting on casters on the floor.
4. Install the micro-adjustable shafts. These shafts hold the boat stand together.
Take your carpenter’s square and make sure your 4×4 posts are square with the tees. Using a ¾ inch spade bit, drill through the top of the tees and into the 4×4 posts. You’ll need to drill six holes – one fore each 4×4 post perpendicular to the tees.
Using the circular saw with a metal blade, cut the ¾ inch threaded rod into seven 18 inch lengths. Also cut the ⅞ inch metal conduit into seven 12 inch lengths. Be careful not to damage the threads. If you do, clean them up with the saw or the file. Take six of these threaded rods and bolt the stand together using two washers and two nuts for each rod.
With the subframe constructed thread a nut all the way to the bottom of each threaded rod, on top of the other nut that’s already there. Toss a washer over this and slide the conduit over the threaded rod to where it rests on top of the washer. You’ve now created six miniature jacks, each micro-adjustable with the turn of a wrench.
At this point, your subframe, with the exception of the bow section, is complete.
5. Now start building the frame.
Collect some scrap 2x4s and screw up six blocks that are 4×4 thick and eight inches long. Drill a one inch hole half way through each block. Set the blocks on top of the six metal conduits that are resting on the washers.
Using wood clamps, attach the 2x12x16 foot boards to the outside of the blocks. Screw the 16-foot boards to the blocks. Using three 2x6s cut to the correct length, make a second figure eight, completing most of the frame.
You can pull the 16-foot boards tight against the 2x6s using the ratchet straps. Screw everything together. Your frame, with the exception of the bow, is now complete.
6. Finish the stand by building the bow section.
Building the bow section is easy, but you’ll need something to support the wood while you assemble it. I used jack stands because they were easy to adjust.
Cut the 2x10x6 into two three-foot lengths. Then cut each board to cantilever from 2×10 on one end, to 2×6 on the other. The cantilever makes it easier to slide under the stand to stitch the hull. Then cut your last 2×6 in two pieces and lay all four boards on the floor to determine your desired angle.
I did this with the 2x10s upside down so they would lay flat with the 2x6s. Now determine your desired length to extend out toward the tip of the bow. At this time you can also find what angle to bevel your 2×10 boards so they rest flush with the end of the frame.
Attach the 2 inch caster to the end of a 2×4, and install the last threaded shaft with nuts, washers and the metal conduit. Attach the 2×4 to the subframe. Attach the 2x10s that have now been lengthened by the 2x6s with screws to the frame. Add a block at the very tip between the 2x6s to receive the metal conduit. Using the last 2×6, strengthen this section of the stand, as seen in the above photo.
Take the last remaining 2x4x8 and screw it diagonally to the bottom of the frame spanning from one 2x12x16 to the other. This will help keep the frame stable and square.
Well done. You now have a micro-adjustable boat stand. Soon I’ll convert this same stand to hold the boat in an upright position for gluing in the bulkheads and stringers. I’ll publish this in a new post.
Here are four more pictures for detail.