12ft James Boat Plans PDF

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This is the last of the “bevel bottom” hulls that I will design. There are four of them now, and that should be enough. With the Green River, Cedar River, Naselle River, and now the James Boat designs. Each of the hulls in the “fleet” can be extended out to longer lengths; with 14 and 16 feet lengths very easy to do. Probably the 14 and 16 foot James Boats will be the first off the computer.

This was going to be the “Jane Boat” for my naming of this Jon boat style, but I changed it to the James Boat for my nephew in the Coast Guard. He followed in my “shallow water sailor” foot steps and this felt like the right thing to do.

I was looking at the new Cedar River design I had hanging above the kitchen counter and thought that the design could be widened out to make a Jon boat style, and I did a pencil drawing on a scrape of paper and took it to may computer to see what I could do with one of the previous bevel bottomed hulls. I took the Naselle River and “readjusted” the lines to get the first model to put together. It took a few more models to get to the final design. I was finished at model 7, but I forgot to adjust one of the lower panel “curve handles” and when I built the model, I thought I had messed up. But I turned the model to look at the other side (I always study the models from all angles) and saw that it was fine. So model #8 became the build shape, and this is the outcome.

The hull can be made completely with ¼” (6mm) plywood, but will require some bottom strips for reinforcement. Or for a tougher hull, the bottom can be ½” (12mm) and the sides in 3/8” (9mm). The hull can be all made in 3/8” too; but you would have to make sure you didn’t pound the bottom of rocks and such. If I made the hull, I would use all ¼” plywood and reinforce the bottom. There will be some strips of full length 8ft ply leftover to do this, and the hull will be at it’s lightest.

When I did the tank tests with the model and used my scale people, I saw that it could hold a lot of weight. But it is a mostly flat bottomed hull, with a lot of displacement volume. I hate totally flat bottomed hulls, as there is no safety when you get them over on their edges, and they turn turtle. With his hull, the lower beveled panels act as a safety zone to give you a bit of insurance. I put 5 scale weights directly on the lower bevel panel, and the rail was still above the water. So there is a bit of safety if things so south on you. Also the Coast Guard limits the OB sizes on flat bottomed hulls, because at speed, it’s possible for the hard edge to grab in a turn and flip the boat. With the bevel, the hull can slide a bit through the turns at speed.

I hope you find this hull to your liking and get a set of plans to make your own James Boat. It should be good for very shallow waters and doing the swamp thing. During the model tank testing, I was surprised at how little water it draws; even with several people on board. BUT I have listed in the plans that this is a 3 person Maximum boat. At 12 feet, it would be good for a couple adults and a dog. The build and study plans show the water levels at various weights in the hull.

I like this hull so much that it will hang in my kitchen until it fills with dust. I hope that you will make the model and come to the same conclusion. Thanks again to everyone who have downloaded a model and bought a set of my plans.

Click HERE for free Study Plans
Click HERE for a printable model

Warren Messer
Red Barn Boats
Stitch and Glue and Stylish Too

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