Strip Planked Boat Material and Weight Calculator

Anyone building a strip-built boat from scratch eventually has to decide how much wood they need. At the same time they may be curious as to how much the boat is going to weigh. While it is not immediately obvious that these two questions are related, they both depend on the surface are of the boat. Every square foot of the surface needs to be covered with wood and every bit of wood weighs something.

You can use the calculator below to get a handle on how many strips your boat will need and what the final boat will weight. For a really quick estimate of the weight, you can just multiply the surface area of the boat by 0.7. This gives a good approximation for a boat built with 1/4 inch thick strips covered with 6 ounce cloth.

You can also download a materials spreadsheet that calculates more details.


Estimate Wood Strip Requirements:

  Enter nominal values in a decimal format. example: 1/2 inch = 0.5
Strip Width (inches): This is also the thickness of the board from which you cut your strips. Note: 1 mm equals about 0.04 inches.
Strip Thickness:
Kerf Thickness (inches): Your saw blade will waste some wood. The thickness of your blade defines the kerf.
Board Width (inches): Narrower boards may generate more waste. Note that a typical "12 inch" wide board is actually 11.5 inches
Boat Surface Area (Sq ft): The "Measurements" information for each design can provide you with this information.

Note: This calculation adds 20% to the actual estimate to give you some extra to allow for mistakes and waste. This also assumes Square Edge Strips, i.e. strips without a cove and bead milled on the edges which makes the strips effectively narrower. You can adjust for this by adjusting the strip width field above.


Estimate Strip-built Boat Weight

Wood Species:
Cloth Weight (ounces/yard2): 6 ounce cloth is the typical cloth used by most people.
  Set strip thickness and boat surface area above.

Bare boat weight is the weight of the boat before any hatches, seats, decklines, footpegs, rudders, gunwales, breast hooks, etc. are added. It is the weight of just the strip-planked portions of the boat and no more. Note: also that this estimate includes one layer of fiberglass inside and out. Additional layers will increase the weight. The most common reason boats weigh more than this estimate is too liberal use of epoxy. The epoxy volume calculation provided assumes some waste from spillage and sanding, but your mileage may vary.