Humber River

Free Kayak and Canoe Plans

What is the difference between Free and Paid for Plans?

Often nothing! Proven Free Canoe and Kayak plans have been made available particularly the traditional shapes.

Designers sometimes offer their earlier designs for free. Usually these plans have been tested and the Designer decided to change or improve them.

Sometime backyard boat designers will make their experimental boat plans available for free. Some are good, some are not so good. There are some truly altruistic boat designers who offer plans for free AND will support you in your build.

Usually Free Boat Plans are less detailed than plans you purchase from established boat designers. Also a bought plans entitles you to some support from the designer, this is rarely the case for free plans. Bought plans will almost certainly offer material lists, supplier contacts, details on how to do specific steps, rig details.

Many free boat plans are plans that come from old magazines. Many Popular Mechanics plans, which have expired their copyright, are offered for free. In these cases the lines might be quite good but the building methods outdated.

One way of getting free plans is to buy a designer's book. Often to illustrate the book several plans will be included free. You should have a good building reference book, get one with a few usable designs. If you have a bit of experience you might check out Gardner's book. Building Classic Small Crafts. A bit advanced but an interesting read with lots of offsets.

Free Kayak Plans


Free Canoe Plans

I have included pirogues and other canoe like boats in this section of free plans.

Free Plans are always a bit of a mixed bag. Some really good plans, some pretty terrible plans and everything in between. If you are a beginner, take your time, study the plans, MAKE A MODEL, get a book. If you are not sure how to do the building buy a plan from a reliable designer. The plans will be much more detailed and you will have someone to turn to for answers.



I try to be accurate and check my information, but mistakes happen. Some free plans are good but others are worth exactly what you paid for them.

email me if you find mistakes, I'll fix them and we'll all benefit: Christine