The only reason (other than your own, personal comfort) to work in a climate-controlled area is the use of epoxy, which can only be used in temperatures of 41F (5C) and above. Therefore if you are not able to heat your workshop, make sure you build during seasons where the lowest temperatures don’t fall below 41F (5C).
For those working in spaces that are not climate controlled, you can start building during wintertime when the temperatures are low. This will give you time to loft, cut and assemble the pieces from your boat plans. Then, once the weather gets warmer, you can move on with using glue, fiberglass tape and epoxy.
In optimal conditions, your workshop will have electrical power for power tools, lights, etc. Drop cords run to the worksite will do nicely. However, most boat plans can be built using only hand tools if necessary.
If you’re using power tools, either a circular saw or saber saw will be needed, otherwise, you’ll need a handsaw. In addition, you’ll want to equip your workshop with pencils, a measuring tape, a lumber fillet (you can use plastic spoons for this!), a carpenter’s square and sandpaper. That’s it!
Be sure your workshop is well ventilated when working with paints and stains. It’s no fun building a boat when you feel queasy! Also, you’ll want to wear gloves when working with epoxy, as it is highly dangerous if it gets on your skin.
As you can see, it’s easy to create a makeshift boat building workshop. With a little space, some sort of cover and a few simple tools, you’ll be crafting your dream boat sooner than you think!
Happy boat building,
Morten Olesen, Naval Architect