Making a Lysander

Plans for construction can be purchased from the Association (see foot of page for details).

The Lysander hull is double chine, which we believe gives a much more sea-kindly hull than the more common single hard-chine section. A double-chine section allows the use of plywood to get a nearer approximation to the desirable rounded shape. Although there is a little more work in making a double-chine hull, better results are generally obtained than when making a single-chine plywood hull.

The hull is built upside-down on frames which are fixed to the floor. The overall size of the floor layout is about 17ft 6in. x 6ft 9in. The prototype hull was built in a garage with a working area of 18ft. x 8ft., but this made the work at the sides very difficult and obviously more elbow-room is desirable. During building, the boat cannot be moved until the last of the skin has been fitted. From setting up the frames to turning over the hull is liable to account for about a fortnight of fairly busy spare time for a man and wife team.

Once the hull has been turned over it need not be fixed down and it can be moved although, because of its weight, moving will have to be kept to a minimum. At the turning-over stage two men can lift the hull, but it soon acquires more weight and four is a more likely minimum number for moving the partly-built boat.

The skin must be marine grade plywood, in Britain this is marked “B.S.S.1O88”. The number of absolutely essential tools is not great. Obviously, the owner of a large selection of hand tools and some power ones will find they help do a quicker and easier job, but nearly all the work can be done with the basic woodworking tools which most handymen possess – saw chisel, hammer, drills. The prototype was almost completely nailed, using annular ring nails, but screws can, of course, be used instead. Drills to suit nails or screws will be needed, and for quick assembly a pump-action screwdriver is a great help. With machine-planed wood, a steel smoothing plane will do all the necessary planing, otherwise a jack plane is needed as well.

In double-chine construction the plywood edges have to be made to butt accurately, and the only satisfactory tool for this is a rebate plane. It need not be expensive or large – the important thing is that the blade cuts to the full width of the sole. Surform tools with flat or curved blades are a help and as many G-cramps as you can accumulate will be useful – the minimum is four, preferably between 4in. and 8in. size. An electric drill and if you have a sanding disc for it, this will help in fairing off, particularly in places where nails or screws would damage the blade of a plane. A portable circular saw will reduce the labour in cutting pieces from plywood sheets. A electric jigsaw will also be helpful.


Plans for construction can be purchased from the Association. For the frames and stem, the drawings are full size; the remainder of the drawings give dimensions.

The cost of a set of plans is £40

For more information please contact:-

Mike Chignell
Lower Budleigh, East Budleigh,
EX9 7DL.

01395 445702