Penobscot 14

Length over all: 14 0 || Waterline length: 12 8 || Beam: 4 6 .
Draft, board up: 0 7|| Draft, board down: 2 6|| Weight: 155 175 pounds
Sail areas || Gunter rig: 95 sq. ft. || Lugsail rig: 77 sq. ft. || Sprit rig: 73 sq. ft.

Penobscot 14

This design was featured in a series of three articles in WoodenBoat magazine, in the September/October and November/December,1997 issues, and the January/February 1998 issue. I intended the boat to be a suitable project for any builder with modest woodworking skills (although some have been successfully completed by absolute beginners with no prior woodworking experience). I took great care in drawing the lines, making a model to help me arrive at the prettiest, and most sea-kindly, hull form. I chose glued lapstrake construction. It is light, strong, and easy to care for. It also makes the best use of the inherent properties of the materials, so that the resulting structure itself is good to look at.

A simple adaptation of glued lapstrake allowed me to make it much more approachable for the less experienced builder. This was to attach the planking to fore and aft stringers. Instead of a large array of clamps being needed to glue each plank to its neighbor, the planks are simply glued and screwed to the stringers. This benefits the builder in several ways, and makes cutting and hanging the planking very straightforward. The stringers also stiffen the hull, avoiding the need for any transverse framing, which can make the boat difficult to clean inside.

The sweet lines, and the logic of the construction method make the Penobscot 14 a very rewarding boat to build. It's difficult to exaggerate the excitement and satisfaction of watching such a lovely craft come to life under your hands. The attention she draws wherever you take her, and her excellent performance under sail or oars, will give you great enjoyment for years to come.

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Penobscot 14 built by Jeffrey Jacobson, Thornton, Colorado


The plans include 12 sheets of drawings, and a large sheet of full size patterns, showing the stem, transom, bulkheads, and temporary frames. This is printed on Mylar, which avoids the inaccuracies that can result when paper patterns move with changes in humidity. The Mylar is also very robust, and stands up much better than paper to workshop use. There is also a 74 page, illustrated building manual, which takes you step by step through the building process. Three different sailing rigs are shown. A daggerboard and a centerboard are also shown as options. The building manual includes a materials list, and sections on sharpening your tools, maintenance of the completed boat, fitting a small outboard motor, and other matters.



A two hour video/DVD showing each stage of building the boat is available for those who want extra guidance. Close-ups show you how to get the best from your tools, how to make strong, tight joints, and how to handle the details that give a professional look to your boat. With sections on setting up, fairing, planing bevels, scarfing, scribing irregular shapes, and much else, the video/DVD does more than show you how this particular boat is built. It is an excellent introduction to the fundamentals of boatbuilding. Almost nothing tells of craftsmanship better than a sweet fair line. The video/DVD teaches an approach to fairing as a state of mind - it shows you how to look at a curve, and how to make it right.

The video/DVD finishes with some great shots of the boat on the water.


The Penobscot 14 requires five sheets of 6 mm (1/4 inch) marine plywood for the planking, bulkheads, transom, etc. I recommend okoume or meranti; 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.

How much does it cost to build the Penobscot 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.

The building time is the biggest imponderable. Everything depends on you, how much time you put in, how quick you are, how many coats of varnish you apply, and so on. A few builders finish their boats in three months. Six months is probably a realistic average, but some builders will take longer. Remember - the point is not arriving quickly, but to enjoy the journey!

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:
    Full size patterns, construction drawings, and building manual. $165.00 + P&H. Shipping costs are given on the Order Form

  • DVD:
    Two hour video/DVD shows each stage of construction and the boat under sail and oar. $35.00 + P&H. Shipping costs are given on the Order Form

    This includes the stem, beveled and marked for setting up, bulkheads, temporary building frames, transom frame, and laminated stem facing - the parts that determine the shape of the boat. They are shipped ready for setting up on a simple jig (not included). The kit also includes the plans and video/DVD. $875.00, 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 all the plywood listed in the building manual. They come from World Panel Products, Inc., Riviera Beach, Florida. Three types of plywood are available; meranti, okoume, and sapele. All are high quality, marine grade plywood. 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
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