Penobscot 13

Length over all: 12’ 9” || Waterline length: 11’ 5” || Beam: 4’ 3”.
Draft, board up: 0’ 8”|| Draft, board down: 2’ 6”|| Weight: 155 pounds
Sail areas: Gunter rig: 79 sq. ft. || Lugsail rig: 69 sq. ft. || Sprit rig: 64 sq. ft.

Penobscot 14

I designed this little sister to the Penobscot 14 for a two-week course at the WoodenBoat School, in Brooklin, Maine. I needed a boat that could be built in two weeks by teams of 5 – 6 students. The Penobscot 14 might have been the obvious choice, but it would not have been realistic to expect to build two of them in the time available, so I decided to simplify and downsize for this design. It’s a little smaller, with only five, instead of six planks per side, with the seats configured differently, and with some other modifications that cut down on the building time.

I used some ideas which have proven successful in my 12 ft Peapod design. One is a simpler building jig, a T-section strongback, onto which you slide slotted station molds, for very quick and simple set-up. The planking method is basically the same as the P 14 – glued lapstrake construction over fore and aft stringers. This has proved to be very successful for the first time builder, allowing planks to be scribed to shape from the stringers for a perfect custom fit every time, and simplifying scarfing them to length. The seats are supported by a seat riser, integral with the top stringer, which makes fitting them much quicker and easier.

In the event, we had a great two weeks at the school, with two boats fully planked up, centerboard trunks and other interior work done, one with the seats going in, the other ready for the seats. Not quite as far along as I had hoped, but close. For 2014 I will try to streamline the beginning stages a little, so that we can try to have two boats ready for painting.

Overall, the Penobscot 13 has very much the same character and look as the 14, not a lot smaller, but significantly quicker to build. She is just as rewarding a project, and a delight to row and sail, performing very well under any of the three rigs shown in the plans. If you have been thinking about building a Penobscot, but feel that you need something a bit smaller and simpler, this may be just the boat for you.


Penobscot 13


The plans include 11 sheets of drawings, including scale construction drawings, full size details, and sail and spar plans. A large sheet of full size patterns shows the stem, transom, station molds, centerboard and centerboard trunk, rudder, and tiller. This is printed on CAD film, which avoids the inaccuracies that can result when paper patterns move with changes in humidity. It is also very robust, and stands up much better than paper to workshop use. A 77 page illustrated building manual takes you step by step through the building process. Three different sailing rigs are shown, with a daggerboard or a centerboard as options. The building manual includes a materials list, and sections on sharpening your tools, maintenance of the completed boat, and other matters.



Unfortunately I don’t have a DVD showing the Penobscot 13 under construction, but if you need extra guidance, one of my other DVDs should be very helpful. I suggest the DVD for the 12 ft Maine Peapod. It’s very similar in most details to the Penobscot 13, the main difference being that it doesn’t have a transom, of course.


You need five sheets of 6 mm (1/4 inch) marine plywood to build a Penobscot 13. I recommend okoume; it is readily available, affordable, attractive, and pleasant to work. Suitable lumber for other parts of the boat is available almost everywhere. I don't make recommendations because of regional variations in price and availability, but I am always glad to answer questions about the suitability of any wood.

Other materials include epoxy resin, and stainless steel screws. The epoxy can be obtained by mail order (or order the epoxy kit - see below); suitable screws are carried by most good hardware stores.

The cost of building a Penobscot 13 is similar to that of the 14. You should be able to put the boat in the water, without a sailing rig, for about $1,100.00. Sails and rigging will add up to $1,000.00 to that, depending on which rig you choose.

As always, building time is the hardest thing to predict. The first boat took me about 175 hours, not including the sailing rig. This is about half the time for a Penobscot 14. Again, as always, I think that it’s more important to take your time, and enjoy the process, than to hurry toward a predicted launching date. Keep at it, and you’ll get there, learn new skills on the way, and have something to be very proud of at the end!

WHAT YOU CAN ORDER: (Click on Boat Design and Prices Page and Order Form || Shipping costs are given on the Order Form)

    This includes covers all three Penobscot designs, 13, 14 and 17. There are 24" x 36" blueline drawings for each design, showing the lines of the boat, construction sections, interior layout, and sail plans, and a booklet containing detailed descriptions of the boats, their development and construction, and numerous photographs and drawings. $15.00 + P&H. Shipping costs are given on the Order Form

  • PLANS:
    Eleven sheets of drawings, full size patterns, and illustrated building manual. $165.00 + P&H. Shipping costs are given on the Order Form

    This includes the stem, beveled and marked for setting up, station molds, transom, and laminated stem facing - the parts that determine the shape of the boat. They are shipped ready for setting up on the strongback (not included). The kit also includes the plans and the DVD for the Maine Peapod. $550.00, including plans and DVD. Please call for shipping and handling.

    The epoxy kit comes from System Three Resins, and provides you with all the resin, hardener, additives, measuring pumps, brushes, gloves, and other items, that you will need. The System Three Epoxy Book, which gives detailed information on mixing and using epoxy, is included. (Epoxy solvent is not included, due to shipping restrictions. Hardware stores carry acetone or denatured alcohol, for use in cleaning up uncured epoxy). Please call for shipping and handling.

    Plywood packages include five sheets of 6 mm marine plywood listed in the building manual. They come from World Panel Products, Inc., Riviera Beach, Florida. I recommend okoume, a high quality, marine grade plywood that looks good under a clear finish, and is easy to work. Please call for details.

    Sails, rigging kits, masts, spars, and other items. Call for details.

To view detailed boat plans description and spec pages, select a link below
 Penobscot 13 | Penobscot 14 | Penobscot 17 | 12 Foot Main Peapod | Sand Dollar | Laughing Gull | Ace 14
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