Edit:12 août 2020, Cre:06 janv. 2008

My small boat - the 'Monobo'

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We can find on the Internet, as ‘style exercises’ more or less successful, a few boats designed with one ply sheet (2500 x 1220mm or 2440 x 1220 mm).

I’ve built one one the most succesful design of these one sheet boat, a Mouse..

So, it have given me some idea, why not to made a motor boat out of one plywood sheet ?

So, after some work on the computer, i’ve done five paper models, improving the design one model after the other.

Here is presented the final result, the Monobo, for ‘Monosheet Boat’ or the like…

I’ve no time this summer to realise it, so that will be next summer, or never… Anyway, if you are interested in building it, take your risks, i will not be responsible for anything… And please report me !

Paper model

You can download all photos (660 k)


Plan, format PDF, unités SI. © Pierre ROUZEAU - Free for non-commercial use

And to cut directly in the paper, the sheet cut

And if you wish to scale it up, down or translate in any barbarian units here is :


It is a motor boat, so there can be big loads, vibrations and shocks. So, it must be builded much more strongly than a paddling boat.

To be strong enough, a full epoxy building is required. Stitch and glue is appropriate.

Compared to the mouse, thicker ply will be used, 8 mm instead of 5 mm (1/3 inch instead of 1/5 inch)
This, plus general reinforcment will seriously increase the weight, which may go up to 19~20 kg (44 lb). That remains a reasonable weight which may allow good performance.

Except that, the building method is the same as the one exposed in the Mouse page, but here, internal covering of the angles with glass cloth is compulsory. You will find detailed building method in the mouse page.

Biaxial tape will be a little heavier, 400g/m2 (1.3 oz/ft2)

Covering the full bottom of the boat with a light glass cloth of 160g/m2 may be a good idea to protect it against agressions.

With a 4hp outboard, which i feel being the ultimate maximum for such a boat, you may get good performance out of this thin hull.

To ease the transportation, you may install a large wheel at the aft, in the tunnel, as can be seen on commercial dinghys.

Being a motorised boat, a kayak PFD of 5 kg (11 lb) floatability is not sufficient, you will have to wear these big 10 kg (22 lb) floatability PFD. A CO2 PFD is costly, but much more comfortable.
There is no choice, in case of ejection, you may faint, and a kayak PFD will not save you.

Having an outboard, you boat will no longer float, So, installing two fenders alongside the aft tunnel is compulsory to have your boat (and engine !) survive any trouble.

A scoop is part of the required equipment.

If you wish to install a seat, it must be installed on dampers, because at full speed, such a boat will hit waves.

(c) Pierre ROUZEAU
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