Lightweight, Stable, Outboard
Boat for Fishing and Exploring
- Length - 11'6" (3.11m)
- Beam - 4' 2" (1.62m)
- Weight - 100lbs (46kg) - Gaboon
- Power - 6 to 15hp
Simple to Build
Built in Buoyancy tanks
Excellent Utility Boat for Caravanning.
Comprehensive Plan Pack with step by step instructions
and many illustrations
The Handy Punt was my third design. It was derived largely
from the 8ft (2.4m) Phil Bolger designed "Skimmer"
- yet another example of Bolger's Genius. (Skimmer is
in Dynamite Payson's book "Build the New Instant
The advantage of the "Handy Punt" is purely
in terms of load carrying capacity. She will carry a family
of four quite happily.
With all that built-in buoyancy there is quite a good
margin of safety, but it is important to remember that
punts really are suited to lake, river and estuary waters.
The Punt comes out of 4 sheets of ply. One of the fun
aspects was the amazing lack of ply wastage. Probably
less than 5% of the ply is not used in the boat. An interesting
corollary of this is that it is difficult to stretch her
in length or beam without increasing the amount of ply
When I drew the plans up I made the transom strong enough
to handle a 15hp outboard. The first few launched used
modest powerplants of 6 to 8hp which she handles very
nicely. Lower power (5hp) is OK if there is only one person
and a light payload - maybe a child and some fishing gear
and the intention is to chug along.
Given 8 hp the punt moves along quickly with two people
and gear and still moves well with three . 10hp is better.
The report I have heard of the 15hp is that one or two
up it is a very fast ride - lots of speed - lots of spray.
Performance and handling:
The punt is one of the most common utility boats. They
are fast under moderate power in reasonably smooth water,
have a huge initial stability and good weight carrying
The usual problem with punts is weight of the bottom
construction. The Handy punt avoids this by having large
external bottom runners which distributes the loads into
the seat faces. The epoxy technology allows this approach
as the boat is effectively glued into one piece. Not my
idea but stolen from the original boat
The Handy Punt will lift up onto the bottom runners when
lightly laden at higher speeds, this reduces the wetted
area for a reduction in drag, and more speed.
Weight has a huge affect on speed and general performance.
The weight of 110 lbs would be acheivable using Gaboon
Plywood which is 30% lighter than most other plywoods.
Building is instant style with all components prefabricated
out on the flat. The sides are then set up with the bulkheads
and transom between.
The boat is now turned over and the seat tops and gunwale
framing fitted. Finally the boat is inverted again and
the bottom and bottom runners are now fitted. They work
in conjunction with the frames inside the boat to provide
a very stiff structure.
Here are pictures of the building process
here to download a PDF materials list (metric)
here to download a PDF timber list (imperial)