Frequently Asked Questions

Is shipping included?

Sorry no it it’s not. Because we sell and ship boat plans world wide we can’t calculate your shipping cost until know where in the world you are.


When you fill out your address along with your other details on the check out page the shipping cost will be added to total before you make the payment, that way it’s clear what you are being charged for.

What are study packs?

Outline drawings, accommodation layouts and sail plans with a bulk listing of materials. Mainly of use to help decision making when considering building the larger boats.

How do you send the plans and books to me?

All goods are sent by NZ POST International Courier.

Do I need the Hartley's Guide To Boatbuilding book ?

All our plan sets have enough details in them to construct the boat, the books however are a great help with in-depth description and techniques as well as a general coverage of boat building for the amateur.

What do I get in my Hartley plan set?

Scaled plans and details of construction. Full-size patterns for frames, stem & rim, deck & cabin beams. Main materials list. Full back-up advice service based on over 50 years in the business.

Do the Samson plan sets have Full Size Frame Patterns?

No, the Samson plans have lines-drawings and offset-tables. Some designers do not provide full size frame patterns because of the high cost of producing them.

Do I need to know how to ``loft out``?

No lofting is required with Hartley plans, whether a large or small boat. Full size patterns are provided for almost every design.

How accurate are the full size frame patterns?

It’s the most accurate way of laying up a boat. We have proved the point… and after nearly 60 years of providing them for over 100,000 boat builts.


Even on a large 50ft boat, patterns of the frames in an unstable humid atmosphere have a rate of expansion of less than one eighth of an inch. There are no mistakes to discover later when you use full size frame patterns.

What full size patterns are provided?

Full size patterns are provided for the frames, stem, rim, deck and cabin beams.

Which designs are Samson and which are Hartley?

All Samson designs have a C- in front of the name. ‘C-Deuce’ is an example of a Samson design. All others are Hartley.

Do you provide the same back-up service for the Samson designs?

Yes, we provide a full back-up service for all the Samson designs even though they were not designed originally in house.

How do I order and what type of payment do you accept?

Please see our Ordering and Shipping page for details.

Are the plans available with metric measurements?

All materials are listed in both Metric and Imperial measurements. Detailed conversion lists are also given.

Can I build more than one boat from the plans I bought from you?

You can build one boat from the plans. If you wish to build more, a royalty of 1/3rd the current retail cost of the plans must be paid to the designer for each extra boat. The royalty is payable at the moment construction starts on each extra boat. Full details can be found on our Copyrights page.

I have never built a boat before....?

That is not a problem with Hartley Boat Plans. This been proved by the fact that more than 95 percent of our customers have been first-time builders.

I really want a larger boat, should I build a smaller one first to practice?

No, it is an unnecessary expense and time waste. You will learn as you go along the same regardless of size. The bigger boats are not harder to build, they only take longer to build than the smaller ones.

The boat I like has a different cabin top or accommodation layout to what I want, can it be altered?

Yes, we show the easiest type of cabin-top to construct on the drawings but variations in taste are endless. We are happy to offer advice on any alterations you may consider. Accommodation needs vary so ask our advice if you want to make alterations.

How do I decide what material to build my boat out of?

You can read about construction methods and their advantages on our Construction Methods page.

Where can I buy the materials or do I have to purchase a kit?

All our boats are designed to be built from easily obtained materials in almost any country. Our boats have been built in almost every country in the world from Peru to Iceland.

I have heard that some plywood boats are built with the stitch & glue method, do you recommend it?

The Stitch & Glue method was introduced around 30 years ago as a possible quicker way of putting together a plywood boat instead of using the traditional Screw & Glue. Time has shown it to be only moderately successful in very small craft. With the now widespread proven easy use of epoxy-glues, longer lasting boats built in the traditional manner are able to be achieved by almost any first time amateur. Any of the smaller Hartley boats can be built by the Stitch & Glue method if the builder wishes.

How long will a plywood boat last, and do I have to add a fibreglass sheath?

If you use a good marine grade plywood and look after it properly there is no need to go to the added weight and expense of glassfibre sheathing. There are many amateur-built Hartley plywood boats still in use after 30 years. Read more on our Construction Methods page.

What is GRP and FRP?

They are acronyms for Glass Reinforced Plastic and Fibre Reinforced Plastic. The common term used is Fibreglass.

Why are most production boats built in fibreglass?

Once the original mould has been made (requiring considerable expertise and high cost), multiple hulls can be made on a production basis by relatively cheap unskilled labour. The contrary is of course the case for the amateur one-off. Read more on our Construction Methods page.

It seems fairly easy to build a boat in steel, why don't many amateurs use this method?

Mainly because steel has a very short life when mixed with water. It also requires considerable skill to achieve a finished product of any pleasing shape. It does however (as do all materials), have it’s advantages especially in working craft. Read more on our Construction Methods page.

What is a ferroboat?

A boat constructed from Ferro-Cement. An in-depth description and history of designs and achievements can be found at the website. The World Of Ferroboats at

Why do I hear bad stories about ferroboats yet see that hundreds of ocean voyages and world circumnavigations have been made by amateurs in them for almost half a century?

Because ferroboats are labour intensive there are few businesses that have managed to build them successfully at a profit. Boatyards and commercial builders have therefore every reason to promote the demise of the ferroboat.

I have never built a boat before, would I still be able to build a large ferroboat as a first-time build?

A ferroboat is the easiest and cheapest way an amateur can build a large boat.

Do I need to buy the book ferro-cement Boats?

Although the plans are very comprehensive, the book will be a great advantage and a worthy addition to the project.

Please feel free to contact us if you still have any questions.