1/ Free Paddle Plans (single and double bladed)
2/ FREE info on modifying a Bolger Nymph to carry a Centreboard
3/ FREE PLANS for 9+ft oars – suitable for most boats with beam of 4’6″ (1.37m) to 5′ (1.52m)
Free Paddle Plans to Download – Were $45
Classic single bladed paddle
Classic double bladed paddle
Bent single bladed paddle
- Step by Step Instructions
- Clear Diagrams
- Simple assembly
- Correctly proportioned for Touring Use
- Match them to your body dimensions
These Free Plans
The paddle plans demonstrate Michael Storer Boat Design’s clear instructions and layout – just like our boat plans.
The paddles themselves are excellent performers with easy construction.
The only difference between these and the rest of our plans is that some of the drawings have been shrunk down, so some detail is lost.
The download link is at the bottom of this page.
What Free Plans Cost YOU.
In the world of boat plans, in general, you get exactly what you pay for. By far the bulk of free plans are worth exactly nothing. The boats won’t meet the designer’s inflated expectations in terms of cost, ease of building, and then performance in use.
A good design should EXCEED your expectations. It should be easier to build than you think and should work better on the water than you imagined
There are some exceptions where free plans are very good indeed, but generally I would strongly recommend buying plans from popular designers who are making some sort of living out of designing boats. They are popular for good reason.
To get some idea of the work that an experienced designer has to go through to produce a plan see the Rowboat page.
These paddles plans are drawn from extensive research into what people were actually using as reported in magazines. The main difference with commercial fibreglass bladed paddles is that the paddle blades are laminated out of two layers of plywood, providing a light but very robust blade that will deal with some degree of mistreatment.
The other area where these paddles shine is in the proportion of the paddle shafts. They are designed to flex to reduce shock loadings on wrists and elbows – an important consideration where real distance is being covered.
There is a slight thrust compromise in having a ply blade in that it can only be concave in one direction. However this also gives it a predictable behavior when moved laterally in the water, such as in some recovery strokes, some draws and the J and travelling C strokes. Heavily cupped blades can produce unpredictable forces in similar circumstances and are tricky to make in comparison..
Why these plans are free – Three Good Reasons
1/ As a marketing ploy, to show just how good a well put together plan can be compared to the free offerings that are around. ie maybe someone will like my paddles so decide to order a boat plan in future.
2/ I have always felt a little embarrassed when selling a canoe plan to charge extra for the paddles. It feels a bit like “push” marketing . . .
Q: “Do you want fries with that?”
A: “If I wanted them I would have asked for them!”
3/ Because I want people to know just how good correctly proportioned touring paddles can be. Most of the paddles sold commercially are based heavily on racing models, which are fine if you are in training and only want to go 500 metres at the highest possible speed. For the rest of us there is a better balance when we might be paddling for several hours, where the boat may be loaded, when there is wind from strange directions, or where me may need to do some maneuvering.
Click here for the Paddle PDF File (300Kb)
The instructions should print up OK on letter writing sheets (they were originally on A4). The drawings were originally on A3 but I have divided them up into smaller images and put them within the plan. The PDF format will resize itself to whatever you have available.
(9ft Oar and Bolger Nymph Centerboard Info Below)
|Clck Here to find out about the amazing Balsa Canoe. 11ft x 12lbs||Click Here to find out about the Eureka distance touring canoes.|
Easy build, Easy Paddling
|Click Here to find about BETH the traditional Sailing Canoe with modern|
|Click Here to read about Turn your Existing Canoe into an instant sailboat. (or Kayak!)|
Centerboard Modification for Bolger Nymph.
Bolger’s Nymph is a little gem of a boat. 7ft 9inches long it will hold 3 people, sails well, motors well, rows well. Its plan is included in Dynamite Payson’s “Build the New Instant Boats”.
One of the great advantages of the boat is that it uses a single leeboard to give it windward performance under sail. The leeboard can be left ashore when in motoring or rowing modes. You can simply leave it behind when you don’t need it.
However, over the years we have been approached by people who wanted to build the boat from the book, but wanted to have a conventional centrecase and centreboard. So we drew one up. Originally we were charging a few dollars for the original drawing – but we have provided it here for direct download.
Note that the foil shapes on either side of the page can be used to make a pair of templates as above for shaping the Nymph foil. Simply reduce or enlarge them on a photocopier so the thickness matches the three layers of ply that make up the centreboard itself.
The shape of the two templates as above. The one on the left is for the back edge and bottom edge. The one on right is for the front edge.
Oar Plans – 9ft – Free Download
I drew these oars up to suit the Goat Island Skiff, for a particular person.
They are suitable for most boats with beam of 4’6″ (1.37m) to 5′ (1.52m) – email me if you are in doubt. Some people have built them for shorter boats and they will be too long or out of balance if shortened.
As they were for a particular person I haven’t created an integrated plan pack for them. However, the FREE PADDLE PLANS use exactly the same methods and sequence of assembly – so use the drawing for the oars and the paddle method and all will be well. . Links for both are below.
IMPORTANT – One thing to remember though is that the SPAR GAUGE that suits the oars will be larger than the one for the paddles. There is information for making any size spar gauge in the paddle plans – choose the right one!
IMPORTANT 2 – It is recommended that the Oars be epoxy sealed and varnished – they will look great – but the handle should be left natural for good grip. It could be oiled to protect it from the environment
I have two types of plywood Canoe Plans available … click here to go to my Plywood Canoe Plan comparison page to help you choose the best boat for you.