Dear Chuck @ Duckworks Magazine:

I am submitting some pictures from the construction of a Bateau D4 8’ Dinghy that is nearly complete. This is my second boat that I have constructed this year; the first was a Bateau 14’ canoe.

I wanted a small boat with an outboard motor to explore Lake Hopatcong in NJ. A unique feature about this boat is that the oars are made from wooden crutches! The oar handles can be attached from the blades. I used some dowels as handles and rope to make it fit into the oarlocks. I wasn’t sure of if I wanted to go with a sailing version or a rowing version – at the end I felt the rowing version would be fine. I bought a small 2.5HP motor from EBay that will get me around the lake. The boat looks dark because I stained the wood with Mahogany Minwax on the boat before I applied epoxy. This way I could leave the boat the way it is without painting it. I plan to varnish the boat this spring.

I wanted to keep costs down, and built the rowing version in order to save money on a sail, mast and additional marine hardware needed for sailing. I made the boat heavy – putting fiberglass on the bottom, 2 part flotation and old dirty wacky noodles under the seats for flotation.

I am happy the way the boat turned out! I already have plans for my next project - A Sevtec Vanguard Hovercraft - but for this summer, this little dinghy holds a lot of promise and potential.

Additional construction pictures can be found at



David Sunshine