The Power Dinghy

This dinghy style has a planing type hull and has been designed primarily for use with an outboard motor.

Since it is a round bilge hull though it will still exhibit excellent rowing and sailing characteristics. It is a Krausewider and larger hull design than the Classic Dinghy and has excellent load carrying capacity. Refer to the lines drawing and notice that the buttock lines are much flatter then the same lines in the drawing for the Classic Dinghy. Also notice the considerable difference in the shapes of the transom between the two styles. The transom is much wider and flatter along the bottom.

The Power Dinghy hull has a beam width of five feet and has considerable initial and ultimate stability. The hull has more freeboard and more flare in the bow sections to keep the boat dry when running through rough or choppy waters. This type of hull is ideal for use in rivers, lakes and protected ocean bays.

The cedar strip, round bottom construction method used for this boat allows for a much lighter and stronger hull than is possible with other types of construction for a boat of this size.  Consequently this dinghy style makes a very convenient car topper, easily handled by two      persons, possibly even one person when necessary.

The weight of the 12 foot model can be held to under 95 lbs. depending on the types of material and configuration used for the seats and other parts used in the hull. Construction is the cedar strip, wood epoxy saturation technique which is a very easy boat building method for amateurs. This method of construction requires little or no woodworking experience and a minimum amount of hand and power tools. Anyone can build a beautiful strip plank wooden boat using this technique.

This hull can be built in lengths of twelve or fifteen feet using the same station mold patterns. To change the length of the finished hull, simply change the length of the strongback and the station spacing. The displacement and load capacity will increase for the fifteen footer.

The design package contains full size patterns for the station molds, the stem and the transom. The full size patterns allow you to trace the lines directly on plywood or particle board to make the stations molds. The design package also contains a comprehensive instruction manual that completely describes and illustrates the construction process “step by step”, in both words and pictures. Using the information provided in the plans package with less than $500 in materials and approximately 200 hours of your spare time, you can create your own “Work of Art”.

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62 thoughts on “The Power Dinghy

    1. Hello Ben…I have changed my website to using WordPress. I am have some problems getting the PayPal buttons to work. Hopefully I will get the problem corrected soon…John

      1. Hi, I just completed the 15ft power dinghy, and am delighted with it. I’m pushing it with an 8hp motor. She’s not planing but she does clip along at a nice pace. We’re very happy.

        John I’d like to flick you an image or two.
        How do I go about getting a builders plate?

        1. Thanks Trevor…I would love to have a photo of your completed boat. To get the builders plate send a check for $40.00 to my address. Thanks…John

    1. Hello Marty…I’m sorry I haven’t brought that information to my new WordPress website yet. I plan to get it done but it will take awhile…John

  1. Your old website had boat specs, I.e. Length, beam, weight. I can’t seem to find it on the new one.

    1. Hello Mitchell…Since I changed to a new website I have not updated those pages for the new website. All the information for specifications are in the construction manual…John

  2. John,
    I am nearing turn over on the 15′ power dinghy and thinking about internal configurations. I think I would like to make a simple small center console so I can use a wheel for steering. Do you have any sketches or ideas about placement of seating with such a configuration or suggestions about this?

    1. No. We only show simple board seats in the hull. You will have to use your creativity. I would love to have a photo of your finished Power Dinghy. Thanks…John

      1. Thanks. As I think about it I will just start with simple seats with compartments and see how it goes before getting too complicated. Can you ask Trevor to contact me? I would like to share ideas with him since he has recently finished his. It is ok to share my email with him.

  3. Hi
    I was on the old site a while back and I fell in love with a boat built by -Pitoniak -now I am ready to take the next step I can’t find the picture
    What was the boat ? A classic ?

  4. John, have you an email address for some images? I logged in using mine, maybe you can see it and reply to me. I’ve done a very different interior layout to the images on your website, some builders may be interested in seeing it.

    Can i pay for a builders plate using Paypal?

    Does the plate specify how many people I can put in the boat? Here in NSW the default for a 15ft boat is 4 people or 350kg unless the builders plate says otherwise. I’d have thought the 15ft power dinghy should take 6, especially the way i have laid it out.


    1. Send your images to You will need to send a check to Compumarine for the ID plate. Our cost has gone way up to produce the plate and we are now charging $45. The ID plate shows a maximum of 4 persons in the boat.

  5. For those interested i kept a log of my power dinghy build on the wooden boat forum. The thread is called, “What are Sheets anyway”.
    Hope you don’t mind me plugging another forum on yours John.

  6. Any chance of a forum to go along with the new website?

    I hope to be able to start one of these in a few months (got to get a small shop built first – for this and other projects). A forum would be a great tool for builders to share ideas and solutions for any problems encountered.



    1. Hello Don…A forum is a good idea. Use the comments section at the bottom of each page for a forum. Pose a comment, I will answer and all my clients can answer also…John

    1. You will need to buy (15) 1″x 4″X 16′ boards to cut your strips for a 15′ Power Dinghy. The strips need to be made from a soft wood, preferably Western Red Cedar. Other soft woods like Redwood, the White Cedars, Spruce or Cypress will work. If you use a thin kerf saw blade you will get about 9 strips per board.

  7. Hi John,

    I am thinking of building one of your boats, and was comparing the Fisherman and the Power Dinghy. Just a couple questions. What would the depth of each boat be? Also, I had seen on the old site, that the Fisherman beam was 48″, if I remember correctly? Also, just wondered about weights. Can you give any insights to estimated weights of each hull if they were stretched to 15′?



    1. Hello Nigel
      The depth of the hull of the Fisherman at station 5, the center of the hull is 21-1/2″. The depth of the hull for the Power Dinghy is 29″. The Fisherman beam is 4′ and the Power Dinghy beam is 5′ Built as designed the weight of the hull for the Fisherman at 15′ is about 100 lbs. and the weight of the Power Dinghy at 15′ is about 140 lbs. The Fisherman is such a light weight hull it makes a great car-topper.

    1. Hello Frank…I have lots of photos of the Power Dinghy on my old website. Unfortunately, I have no way to retrieve them from the obsolete software. I am sorry but I can’t provide the photos any longer.

  8. John, on the 15′ PD you state the the stem needs to be lengthened 3″ at the top. I assume that this will change the angle of the stem so the dotted cut line at the top will need to be changed as well? How should I figure out the new cut line angle?

    1. Hello Bill…No, you will need about 20 strips that are 16′. After that you will need 14′ strips. I don’t recommend splicing any strips…John

  9. Hi John ~ I’m moving from UK to Edmonton AB in 2017. I have never built a boat like these before – so do you have any customers in the Edmonton area with whom I could ‘liaise’ for advice or cooperation on a build?

    1. Hello John…I would have to check back through my database files to see if there have been any clients from Edmonton. There probably is because I have sold plans all over Canada. If I can find one I will send you an email…John

      1. Hi John ~ Thanks for your prompt reply – appreciated. I hope you can locate someone in AB Canada.
        Kind regards.

  10. Hi John, Do you have a recommendation for an appropriate boat cover for the 15′ power dinghy? I built my boat some time ago and had been keeping it in the garage. I am going through a remodel project and the boat is now outside. It will be outside through a rainy California winter. I currently have a tarp over it, but was trying to find something that fits/looks better. Any suggestions? Thanks, Peter

  11. Hi John,

    I am thinking of ordering the plans for the power Dinghy, I live in Ireland and want to give the plans as a birthday present to my father. If i order could you guarantee delivery before November 9th please?


  12. G’day John,
    I flicked u a couple of photos of my 15 foot power dinghy with ribs and an inboard 3hp old school putt putt engine.
    Thanks mate Grant

  13. Hi John
    Just about to purchase the power dinghy plans but I’ve got one question … I have to make and store it in my back garden/shed and the only access is at the side of my house which has a 34″gate opening which leads onto a 37″ small alleyway … do you think it will fit through on its side ? I know the hull depth is 29″ is that the overall depth or does it get larger at the front..?
    This is my first boat build so I just want to be sure…

    1. Hello Jonathon…The hull should fit through he opening no problem. You will enjoy building the Classic Dinghy. I will look forward to receiving your order…John

      1. Thanks for the fast reply…
        It was the Power Dinghy I’m hoping to purchase not the classic dinghy …
        Just to be sure do you think the Power Dinghy will fit ?
        Thanks again !

        1. Hello Johnathon…I know you were asking about the Power Dinghy. I mentioned the Classic Dinghy by mistake. Yes the Power Dinghy will go through your opening alright. Enjoy building it.Thanks…John

  14. Hi John,
    I day dream about building a boat and after many month of web research I finally decided that your PD is a perfect choice for me.
    Unfortunately, since I live in Romania, cedar is almost impossible to find or is very expensive; I wonder if I can use spruce or pine instead…with all the inconvenients along.
    On the other hand, to inforce the strongness of the boat for the rough Black Sea coastal waters it will be wise to transform the templates in permanent boat ribs and adapt a not so heavy keelson on this construction
    Tell me please because I intend to order the plans asap.
    Thank You so much ,

    1. Hello Horia…You can use redwood or Spruce for your strips. I built one boat using Redwood and it turned out very nice. You will enjoy building the Power Dinghy hull…John

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