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Lewis Boat Works: Custom Boat building and Plans




A 12 ft Flat-bottom Minimalist Overnight CabinCruiser.

Chugger is being built Here

Please read this Disclaimer before building any plans found on this site:


Plans are now available here:




This is the original design pic of Chugger. It is a 12 foot 2 person overnight cruiser for the minimalist. It is designed to use 4' X 8' sheets of ply and is built using minimal frames (one at the beginning of the bow curve and one at the rear of the cabin). The whole look of the boat is defined by the (false) Shear. Erase it and it looks like a tank. Using the false shear with a light topside and a darker bottom will give the illusion that the boat has side decks around the cabin. An additional 2 ' of boat is not shown (see below), but continues to the rear to a square transom, providing a 4' X 4' cockpit. Picture shows 10" wide at bows, but it is actually 18 ".   Picture was hand drawn, then scanned in and played with in Paint, but reducing to fit this page caused some loss of clarity. Chugger should draw about 5.25 inches with the boat, motor, people, gear of 1150 lbs. Boat should weigh in at about 200 lbs. That leaves 950 lbs to play with!




Here's the Revised drawing and link to Half sized drawing (4.25x5.5), as requested by visitors (Right click, save as .gif then change to 200% and print). This shows the whole boat, in profile. I envision a fold down tray/table for a Propane stove with PortaPotti underneath on one side and, on the other side, a waterjug with hose and clamp tap over a bar sink and bucket combo. These would be in the space between the bunks and the exterior of the cabin. The boat could be made into a 10' model by cutting 1 ' from the cabin and 1' from the cockpit, but it would be cramped and possibly top heavy. Conversly, it could be extended to 14' or 16' quite easily, if you kept the beam the same (add to cabin or cockpit or both). Please view the larger version of the drawing for limitations of the design.

This is a very customizeable design, able to go from 10' -15'6" or so. Cabin length and cockpit length to suit your needs. For anything over 12' I would recommend 1/2" ply for the bottom and the rest 3/8".




Here is the Top and Front views. This Pic gives 3 options for the width of the bows. 18", 36" and 48", although the design is infinately adjustable from 0 to 48". If, to you, it just isn't a boat unless the front is narrower than the rest, then narrow it. I personally like the additional cabin space of the square front. Building is also a little simpler, as no bevels are needed and curving the sides would require stretching the dimentions somewhat to achieve the 12' length. Alittle additional framing may be needed to stiffen the straight sides. Notice the floatation box in the stern. This provides just under 4 cu. ft. of flotation to support the motor and balance out some of the flotation provided by the bunks.




Here's the view from the stern. Transom has cutout for a short legged Motor. To continue to have 24" freeboard, a small well needs to be made behind the motor mount area or build a Motor bracket outboard of the transom to hang the motor on.

A person who has built a boat or two should be able to build Chugger from the drawings shown, using standard Instant Boat construction methods (Inside chine log, glue and screw, paint to waterproof) or with tack an tape. Panels are joined with butt blocks or your favorite scarfing method.


Vital Statistics

Length: 12 feet ± (10'-15'6")

Max Beam: 48 inches

Beam at chine: 48 inches.

Boat weight: 175-200 lbs. Approx. (12' boat)

Payload: 950 lbs or 2-3 adults + a lot of gear.(12' boat)

Freeboard: 24 inches (with motor well or motor bracket).

Maximum Motor Capacity: 10 hp-15hp (depending on length)



This will give you an idea of what the hull looks with the waterline at 1150 lbs load, in profile. With the slab sides and front, a couple of anchors would probably be needed to prevent the wind from moving the boat at anchor. Depending on the size of the waves, some trimming up of the bow may be needed at slow speeds, to prevent the flat bow from hitting the waves.


Larger scale drawings, tables of offsets, BOM, and construction guide will soon be available for a small fee (about $20).

Please contact me at   for more information regarding plans.