D5 - Study Plans
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This design is for a simple but very practical dinghy. It is based on a pram built some years ago in the Caribbean and that gave many years of reliable service. The requirements were typical of a dinghy for a long range cruising boat: must fit on deck, be easy to launch and retrieve, stable, must row well in a chop, have a capacity of 2 or 3 persons. It will also take a small outboard and a sail.

Builder threads on our forum:

John D Wiilimann

LOA: 7' 10" 2,40 m
Max. Beam: 3' 10" 1,15 m
Recommended HP: 2 HP outboard
Designed weight: 55 lbs. 25 kg
Sail area: 35 sq.ft. 3 m2
Material: Stitch & Glue .

Building method:
This boat is built from flat plywood panels assembled with epoxy-fiberglass tape. The construction method is called "stitch and glue". For a detailed description of the stitch and glue boat building method, see our "How To" section where you will find a complete illustrated tutorial as well as information about epoxy, fiberglass and plywood.
The spars (mast and sprit) are made from 1x3 boards (12x30 mm) epoxy glued together. No shrouds required: very simple.

Required Skills:
The D5 dinghy is very easy and fast to build, there are no butt joints. The sides are cut from one standard sheet of plywood.

No woodworking skills or special tools are required.

There are two sail options for the D5 dinghy: marconi (triangular) or sprit sail, as in the drawing on the main page. The sprit sail is our preferred one: low center of effort = more stability and the spars stow in the hull.

Bill Of Materials:
(Excerpts from our BOM)
The BOM list materials based on our standard layout and includes a 15% waste factor for resin and fiberglass. For plywood, we use standard sheets 4' x 8' (122 x 244 cm). Please read the building notes and see the plans for detailed specifications.
This boat can be built from inexpensive exterior plywood since it is completely coated with epoxy resin.

Plywood 4x8' (122x244cm)
1/4" (6mm) 2  
3/8" (9mm) 1.5  
Fiberglass (totals)
Woven tape 50 yards 45 m
Epoxy, total 1.5 gallons 6 liters


The wooden spars cost around $20.00 in materials. Some builders made their own sails: the dimensions are on the plans, but see our sail kit.

We offer an epoxy fiberglass kit with free shipping in the US. Our kit cost less than the same supplies bought locally. See the main page, top left panel.

The average construction time for the hull is 30 hours.

Visit our message board, help pages, tutorial pages and read our FAQ: most questions are answered there.

Plans Packing List:

  • Detailed drawings , large scale with all dimensions required to cut the sides, bottom and the bulkheads from flat plywood sheets: no lofting, no templates required.
  • Full size patterns for the transom and frames.
  • Sail plans with all dimensions for spars and sails, marconi and sprit sail
  • Building notes including a detailed description of the assembly sequence and building tips
  • A Bill Of Materials
  • Help files reference list and more.

Read more information about our plans packages here.

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7485 Commercial Circle,
Fort Pierce, Florida USA