Copyright 2021 - Woods Designs, 16 King St, Torpint, Cornwall, PL11 2AT UK
  • home built Flica 37

  • plywood Romany 34

  • lightweight 14ft Zeta mainhull

  • Strike 15 trimaran at speed

  • 28ft Skoota in British Columbia

  • 10ft 2 sheet ply Duo dinghy

  • 24ft Strider sailing fast

  • 36ft Mirage open deck catamaran

Many people ask me if they can use a CNC to help build their boat

My early designs were drawn by hand on paper and predate CNC by many years. My newer designs, from 2005, were drawn using CAD so DXF files are available for the bulkheads. 

Having said that it really isn't that difficult to draw out even round bilge frames or bulkheads. No lofting needed, just "join the dots". Probably 10 hours to draw them all? And obviously a hard chine boat is even quicker as you join the points with straight lines.

CNC panels are only useful for true "stitch and glue" boats, like my under 20ft designs. That is because no one can build a large boat to within 1mm accuracy. Which is what would be needed if all the panels were cut to shape initially. Even a 1mm gap will leak! Thus once the bulkheads have been set up you will build to what you have already made, rather than slavishly following the drawings. 

Furthermore home builders tend to build alone and manhandling anything over about 20kgs and 3m x 1.5m is very difficult. So fitting one sheet of ply at a time instead of a complete side is a lot easier

The stitch and glue boats avoid these problems as the glass joints can cover a gap of 6mm or so. And of course the smaller boats use thinner ply and smaller panels