5 Reasons to Make Boat Building Your New Hobby

What hobby floats your boat?

Written by James Gilbert

Some prefer enjoying tea time on the golf course. Others love outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, or camping. Others prefer staying at home playing video games.

However, the truth is that if you are living close to a large body of water and you are not enjoying the water; you are really missing out – and with so many bodies of water in Australia there’s no end to your potential playground.

You never know, it might be an entirely new hobby experience for you.

If you have never reflected on boating as an interest, we would like to introduce you to it.

Below are the top 5 reasons to include boating in your hobby list: 

#1 – Boating Is For Everyone

Boating is an activity that is available to everyone.

Because of the different options available when it comes to yacht and boat sizes, different entertaining water activities, and price options are all available.

A majority of people do not own a boat simply because they do not know how to operate or care for one. However, with the availability of different learning resources available, even beginners can learn. 

On top of this, many states do not require a boat license to operate a boat under 4-6.5 horsepower (this varies state to state).

This makes it easy to own a small boat, get it in the water, and hit the open waves!

Best of all, the boat doesn’t need to be registered.

At CNC Marine there are a range of boats that suit these requirements, including the popular Car Topper range with sizes ranging from 2.8 metres to 3.7 metres.


Are you looking to build your own boat? Find out how here!


After learning how to drive a boat or yacht, the option to buy (or build) a used or new vessel is limitless. As such, there is no reason not to enjoy boating because boats can be found in different price ranges.

That means anyone can enjoy this activity at any budget level.

#2 – Boating is Good For The Soul

Boating is an activity known to tap to all five senses as well as rejuvenate all of them.

As such, it is a hobby that cannot be compared to any other. Boating offers a soul-stirring experience, with potential solitude, calming waters, and a breath-taking view.

In other words, it gives you an escape from all the stresses found at work and at home. Furthermore, it allows you to change your view from concrete and highways to open water and sunsets. Depression specialist Verona Chadwick notes “hobbies come with a range of physical and mental health benefits, and boating can help those with anxiety or depression. Being in nature can boost self-esteem, mood and motivation. So the benefits are many.”

With boat ownership, you will enjoy this stress-relieving hobby anytime you need it.

#3 – Great Family Experience And Bonding

We live in an era where everybody is busy all the time, which makes family bonding a challenge.

This is one of the reasons it is wise to consider family bonding adventures on a boat. Furthermore, you get an opportunity to plan and enjoy romantic weekends with loved-one or partner anytime you feel like doing so.

Let’s not forget the benefit of introducing your kids to fishing or studying stars from a boat’s deck. You can also use your boat to give your parents the anniversary of their life.

All in all, boating can offer memorable family bonding experiences that anyone can enjoy.

BONUS TIP: Boats can offer safety for kids and your family.

Safety features include:

  • High sides so there is no chance of someone falling over the side
  • Soft ride with a sharp hull entry point
  • Enclosed cabin to protect from weather
  • Reverse chines to dissipate spray and keep people dry

CNC Walkabout options also allow your little ones to move around the boat freely, plus a cabin for privacy and a bunk cabin to rest in when boating life wears them out!

#4 – Make New Friends And Join A Community

Aside from helping in family bonding, boats help boat owners meet new people as well as join communities with similar interests (like fellow boating enthusiasts).

Jump on Facebook and you’ll see countless groups of boat-lovers just like you!

This can help you find the right boat (at the right price), as well as boat building help and things to do on your next weekend adventure.

Remember, surrounding yourself with likeminded people is beneficial in many ways, such as relationship building, new environment exploration, and learning experience.

#5 – Learning New Skill Set

Boating is a skill by itself.

In other words, it allows people to learn an entirely new set of skills. It is highly beneficial to learn a new skill set, and it might be the extra-curricular activity you deserve. You apply for boating safety and operation classes.

For this reason, why not learn from professionals and later own your own vessel?

The best thing about all this is that you do not have to learn everything to own a boat; you can learn more along the way no matter your boating skill and safety level. Mastering this new hobby can be a huge sense of pride, especially if you own a boat.

Fashion boutique Tierra Alma adds another perspective, noting “adding a boating lifestyle can also help you introduce new items of clothing. For many people this is an added bonus with the need for a new wardrobe and fun and fresh way to hit the water in style.”

Are you ready to hit the water?

If adding boating to your list of hobbies hasn’t won you over yet, here’s one more massive benefit. Aside from all the above points, boating can be an investment as well.

Buy a boat and rent it out, or sell it later. No matter what you do with your boat, if you experience the beautify, glamour, and relaxation that comes with boating, you’ll wonder why you did not pick the adventure sooner.

To receive help with the next step, which is deciding on a boat, or simply looking to know more about boating, reach out to the team at CNC Marine for help and advice.

4500BA Build – Part 3 – Sides and Gunwales

Build Instructions for the 4500BA – Assembly Part 2 – Sides and Gunwales

CNC Marine we are here to help

Find your aft stringer brackets, they are the small triangle guys, generally with a curve on the top.

Note:- You may notice that we try and put curves instead of straight angles where we can. Adding a curve into something like the aft stringer brackets significantly reduces cracking caused by stresses acting on a single point. The curve acts to dissipate those stresses over a larger area.

These brackets are different sizes, so careful here. The idea though is that once aligned on each stringer you should be able to put a straight edge over the top of them to connect them all.


Finally, the hull Sides, this is the part where you really start to see a boat appearing.

Note:- two people required for this task. More on bigger boats. The side sheets are always made from a single piece, so no ugly butt welds up the side of your boat. This means they are heavy, try holding them up yourself let alone hold them up from one end and welding at the same time.

Invite a mate over because you need an apprentice for this one. Start by finding the correct hull side plate, the etched lines need to be on the inside.

Once you have tacked on both side plates you are in a good position to weld the foredeck on, you may need to use a strap or come-alongs to pull the sides together at the bow so that you can line this up.

When the foredeck is tacked in place you now have a good position to start attaching your gunwales. Using the aft edge of your foredeck and the edge of your side sheet to locate. Tack, and then move aft tacking as you go, bringing the top of the side sheet into line. Stitch weld underneath gunwales but leave the top edges for when you’re adding your fender. Then do the same with the gunwale sides.

Note:- To avoid show through the frames do not meet the side plates. When building this can seem like a mistake, but you haven’t done anything wrong there is a 10mm gap.


Start at the bow, align the forward most corner inside edge of side plate to top edge of chine plate. Put a tack. Then get your apprentice to work his way back, as you do, using the length of the side plate to lever it into position. Put another tack 5cm along from the first one and continue right the way aft.

The sides should line up everywhere, which is the beauty of using very powerful software, loads of experience, and finally, CNC cut parts. As with the gunwale and chine though the plates should run past the transom plate slightly. Allowing for a good fillet weld on the outside.


Tip:- Take a step and really have a look at what you have achieved so far, you can finally start seeing your boat take shape. Walk around, get on one knee and look at the curves and angles, make sure the frames are all level, and that your happy with how everything is sitting.

Time to fit the transom stiffeners, we do show cut lengths for all these but there are some things you need to think about. What is your leg length of your engine for instance? With the 4500BA we cut the transom to suit a 25inch leg length, we also etch a line which is to suit a 20inch leg length. It’s time to decide, so speak with your engine dealer.

Note:- Many of our designs have fixed leg length, this information should be on the General Arrangement that you receive right at the start of the journey. If you’ve already got your engine then you need to make sure that either the design already matches your leg length, or that we know about it and we modify the design to suit your leg length. (please be aware that modifications can come with extra costs)

Tip:- When welding on the transom stiffeners the transom plate can buckle and move all over the place. To minimise this, use lengths of flat bar tacked to the outside of the transom to keep the transom straight.

At this stage it’s a good idea to attach your brace/s. It is important that you stick to the correct measurements for where the brace is to be placed, and make sure that it is equal distance from the transom at either side. This allows you to check square of the vessel.

Tip:- We provide extra flat bar in each kit for extra bracing, putting a bit of flat bar on the provided brace is a good idea to stiffen it up further.

Generally, at this stage your sides will be sitting slightly wider, so you may need to get a ratchet strap and pull the whole boat in until you can fit your brace on. Now throw a tack on to keep the brace in place.

Note:- The brace across the midships gunwales remains on until you have done all the major welding. Otherwise there would be too much movement with the amount of heat you’re putting into the sheets. Also be mindful that the brace will be removed, depending on how your planning on finishing your gunwales you might want to be mindful of the marks your putting into it.

A welding diagram is part of every drawing set, now is the time to have another good look at that. Using the weld diagram fully weld the stringers and frames to the bottom plate, stringers to frames, chine/bottom, chine/side and keel seems.

Tip:- Once again let’s re-iterate that you really need to avoid heat distortion. You need to move around and not weld big sections in the one place. This will put too much heat into the plates which will be to the detriment of the final product.

After all that welding there’s a couple of small items that can be done. The first one is the foredeck surround. This is one of those areas that can be fairly customised. Here we stuck with the standard of bending up some 40x5FL to go around the anchor locker. There is a lot you can do here so have a plan of what your final anchor arrangement will be and start to execute at this stage.

Note:- One of the beautiful things about building your own plate boat is the option to highly customise the build. You get to make decisions about each and every bit of the build. It’s your boat, that you’ve built, we’re sure you’ll put a lot of yourself into it.

Depending on how you’ve setup your new boat you may need install a plug below the deck line. You can easily buy these off the shelf. You need to drill a hole in the lowest part of the transom and insert the aluminium outer. With this it’s easy enough to completely weld and seal it up.

Finally, it’s come time to turn your boat over. Often the hardest thing you’ll do with your new build. Space is an issue and having enough strength to pull it over. In regard to the 4500BA and other smaller models. Getting a couple of mates together to lift up and roll over is a very easy task. As long as you have the space on the other side that is. If you don’t think you have enough space, there are ways around it.

Note:- On a lot of our builds we specify the use of turn over lugs to assist with this step. In regards to the 4500BA welding lugs onto frame 2 and frame 4 is suggested. Then we also give a weight at current stage(180kg for the 4500BA).

Tip:- Drag a build out of your single garage or like space out to the road or yard and turn it over there. Then drag it back. You could build a simple trolley to drag out, or even just some coppers logs.

Fairly straight forward what comes next. Weld all the seams. And make this thing water tight!

The keel on this boat is cut from 50×25 channel, cut 150mm triangles out of the sides on each end and then bend the top down. Weld up seams and before you know it, it’s time to roll her back over.

The underside now with fully welded seams it’s time to go right through and do a bit of a tidy up of anything you think you may have missed from the previous steps.

You’re not going to see anything dodgy here but when you’re in your shed welding on a Friday night with a few beers in you. Well you may have missed something.

4500BA Build – Part 2 – Plates and Frames

Build Instructions for the 4500BA – Assembly Part 1- Plates and Frames

CNC Marine we are here to help

Finally, the time has come. Make sure you have those welding skills ready, don’t make this your first aluminium welding experience. Practice on some of the scrap that you get in the kit.

Lay those hull plates down edge to edge lining up the etched markings. Use some blocks of timber/ tyres or anything really to prop them up. As long as it’s the same on either side and will hold the plates steady. The blocks we used are about 130mm high. Meaning we get the desired angle at the aft, you could also try place a frame in to get the angle correct.


Note:- At CNC Marine most of our vessels use a variable deadrise. It starts at about 15 degrees at the transom but aggressively increases towards the bow. We’ve spent a lot of time and leading edge naval architecture software to come up with a hull that meets our requirements. This is to achieve a fine waterline entry but retain stability at rest and efficiency while on the move.

 Start at the aft end, and work your way forward putting a tack inside the fwd edge of one of the weld marks along the keel seam.

TIP:– When tacking up, put welds at the end of were you plan on finishing your final weld. That way you neatly cover the tack on your final run.

Go ahead and place that back frame in, in this case it’s called ‘F1’. Line it up with the etched markings shown on the hull plates.

NOTE:- The front edge of the frame lines up with the center of the etch or pen line marketed on the hull plates.

It’s generally good to put a tack on either side of where the stringer will go through. And then one close to the edge.

The cutouts vary depending on the kit, but most look like this. Stringers sit hard against the smaller face. There are extra cutouts blowing out the top and bottom. These cutouts make you able to get good access to weld the stringers to the frames.

Once you have completed the first three frames it’s time to insert the stringers. Making sure they are inserted curve up and slide easily through the cutouts in the frames. You can then go ahead and tack these every 200mm or so up until frame 3.


Note:- You can see in the previous picture that more than the first three frames had been put in by our boat builder. He had missed the part in the instructions to only put the first three frames in before inserting the stringers. This was not a problem but outlines the fact that it’s a good idea to pay close attention to the instructions.

The stringers align to markings on the bottom plate, these also show where you need to weld along the stringer. 

At the start you can put a tack at the end of these markings, and then when you go back and fully weld this tack should get covered.

It’s now time to start fitting the remaining frames. Start with frame 4 and pull together the hull as you go. You may have to use a pair of come-along’s at this stage to make it easier for you to pull the hull plates together.

Attach the transom. It sits slightly on top of the bottom plates. Here we have used a couple of offcuts tacked to hold it in place and give it a bit more support for the next couple of steps, at least until we have the sides tacked on.

Starting from the bow fit the chines, tacking every 100mm or where necessary to help pull the hull plates further into shape.


Tip:- In cases like this where the front of the chine is not quite lining up. We can employ a simple method to align the two. We grab an F-clamp and place it over the chine as in the below image. Close the clamp up lightly and then pull up on the end of it. This will cause a lever action and pulls the plate back in line. Use offcuts of timber to protect the ally.

We suggest using a bow lug cut from 100x10mm flat which we supply in each kit. In the kit you will find a template used to cut this out. Supplying this as a cut part wouldn’t work as we find it gets customised a lot and it is such a simple part for you to be able to make yourself.

CNC Marine gives you a measurement for positioning your bow lug, this is based on the ideal position for pulling your boat up onto a trailer. Though this can also be modified depending on the trailer setup that you go for. That is why we don’t provide a cut out in the bottom plates for positioning your bow lug.


Once you have figured out where you want your bow lug to go you will need to cut out a small slice between the bottom plates. Allowing you to fit your bow lug through. Once inserted through you are able to fully weld inside and out for support.

So, the bow lug is attached. Therfore it is time to fully weld the keel seam from the bow through to the third frame in, in regard to the 4500BA this is frame 5.


Tip:- Take your time to avoid putting too much heat into the bottom plates. Weld a section of about 15cm, then move and weld a spot at least a meter away. After the original section is cool, you can go back and continue this seam.

Welding this section of the seam takes you to cutting the stem bar. The stem bar should easily bend enough to be slotted through the cutouts at the keel seem. Tack this at intervals on each side and finish flush with the chine.


Note:- We provide an itemised cut list for all the parts that come as full length extrusions. Some people decide to go through and cut all these parts at the start, which means you have them all on hand when you need them. This is up to you.

4500BA Build Getting Started

Build Instructions for the 4500BA – Getting Started

CNC Marine we are here to help

You’ve Ordered Your Kit

You’ve ordered your plate boat kit and its going to be a couple of weeks before it gets delivered. So its time to prepare! Start by preparing your work space, clean up that shed. Measure it up so that you know you can easily lay out your parts, depending on the size of your build you may need up to 9 meters in length. Think about access and movement while you build, and space to roll over your boat when it comes time. If you’re working with a small shed you may have to drag the boat out so that you can roll it over.

Tools Required; (More detail in Tools you need post)

  • Welder, Pulse Mig
  • Grinder, plus cutting disks
  • Array of clamps including come alongs
  • Drop saw
  • Drill
  • Orbital Sander
  • PPE Safety equipment



If you’ve decided to go the route of getting your kit delivered by crane truck than all you really need is to be a guide. 

What we will need: – Solid, ideally sealed area that we can pull a truck into and then at least 3 meters of space to the side of the truck for the sheets to be unloaded.

All kits 5m and below come in packs roughly 6.5m x 1.85m x .35m. While all vessels over 5m come in packs roughly 9m x 2.2m x .35m. Bare this in mind when ordering your kit. 

Now I know you just want to get welding and start seeing some progress, but you have a few things to do before you can. Starting with reading through the instructions.


Lets just start with a bit of organisation. The documents we sent you will have a material summary, parts list and extrusion list. Start by just going through and making sure you have everything, familiariseing yourself with the kit.

Soak it all in, have a cup of coffee and look over your plans once more.

Your parts are all held together in the sheet by small tabs that are not cut out when the sheet is on the cnc bed, grab your grinder and start cutting your parts out, they don’t take much as these tabs are fairly small.

Tip: – Your sheets are going to be pretty cumbersome to move around. Have some blocks of wood handy, pry up a corner of the first sheet and throw some blocks underneath to separate it from the sheet underneath. Now start cutting some of the tabs to release some of your parts.

Assembly Instructions

Assembly Instructions

Assembly Instructions

Assembly Instructions

Assembly Instructions

kit arrives

Laying out parts

The tabs leave a bump on the edge of all the parts, your going to need to grab your grinder and run along the edge to grind away all these tabs leaving a nice clean edge.

– You may want to go through this process for each part one at a time or complete each step on all your parts and then move on to the next step.

Tip: – Handle your parts as little as possible, try and stack them in the reverse order that you’ll need them so you don’t have to remove 50 parts to get to that frame you need right at the start.

Tip:  When you receive your material from us, it often has a fairly greasy coating left over from the cnc cutting operations. Take a rag soaked in methylated spirits and give each part a good wipe before putting it aside, this will remove any oil and debris and will mean next time you pull your part out its ready to go.

Craig’s 5000CC Build Log

Building a 5000CC

CNC Marine we are here to help

This is a great place to start if you’ve nver built a boat before. Craig will take you right through the process he took to build his own CNC Marine fishing boat. Starting from what to expect when your kit is arriving and what to have prepared. Then what tools are required, right through to installing electronics. Finally he has some really great shots of the finished product in all its glory.

Don’t be worried about building your own plate alloy fishing boat in your shed. Craig shows you how its done.

Remember that when purchasing a kit through CNC Marine you become part of our family, we will endeavor to guide you through whenever you are stuck.

Variable Deadrise

Our Planing Boats – Deadrise Explained

CNC Marine we are here to help

Deadrise Explained

A boats deadrise is defined by the angle formed between between the horizontal plane and the vessels hull. This is usually given by most manufacturers as an angle at the transom. To give you an example of this is shown in the transom section in the images below.

The angle is seen as essentially how much of a vee shape the hull makes. It is a shape that is most carefully engineered to achieve a certain result. Therefore this should be important to you, if you are after a vessel that can handle rough water, or shallow water. Whether you’re looking for overall smooth ride or high performance.

At CNC Marine

At CNC Marine most of our vessels use a variable deadrise which starts at about 15 degrees at the transom but aggressively increases towards the bow. We’ve spent a large amount of time and used leading edge naval architecture software to come up with a hull that meets our stringent requirements. We aimed to achieve a fine waterline entry while retaining stability and efficiency. We did this while also creating a structure that is easy to put together and does not require any jigs.

Our Answer to ‘What Deadrise do Your Vessels Have?’

It’s often hard to give an accurate answer when somebody asks us what deadrise each vessel has. Our answers are much like what is illustrated in the images below. These images show the varying deadrise of our 7500CC. As you can see at the transom it is 16 degrees and slowly changes through to the midships, this allows for a stable boat at rest. Continuing towards the bow the deadrise increases drastically. When we get to the entry point of this vessel you can see this increases to 52 degrees, allowing for a sharp crisp entry into swell.