M.B. Marsh Design offers a steadily growing range of plans for small watercraft. Our services include custom design, refit planning, condition surveys, failure analysis, systems integration and more.

Our designs hit what we think is an ideal balance between performance, capabilities, cost and ease of construction. Most of them are suitable for amateur or advanced amateur construction. These are boats that you can build in your garage, needing only patience, common tools, basic carpentry and fibreglass skills, and a willingness to learn. The resulting vessels are stylish, capable boats that will serve you well for many years.


From The Drawing Board

New designs from our drawing board, and assorted thoughts on boat design in general.

Lithium Charlatanism

It's great to see electrification taking off, as was definitely evident at a recent boat show. It's a little less great to see how much charlatanism and huckstership have tainted the nascent field of marine lithium batteries and the equipment that uses them.
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This 1100 W electric outboard is equivalent to a 3 hp gas engine!
1100 W is 1.475 hp, by the literal definition of horsepower which is 1 hp = 745.7 W. Stop lying.
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VMG to windward

I've come across a few boats recently that, while they had tempting layouts and nice equipment lists, seemed to be sorely lacking in their ability to make real progress to windward.

Here on the Great Lakes, that's a deal breaker.

What's up with the Starwind?

Welcome back, folks. I hope you've had a merry Christmas. Or a merry last few Christmases, for that matter.
So, whatever happened to that weird, radical power trimaran we were working on? The one that filled these pages, oh, seven or eight years ago?

Well, life happened.

Why I over-design electrical systems

"Why", I'm sometimes asked, "do you specify electrical stuff that's bigger and more powerful than I had expected?"

It's a justifiable question. Batteries are expensive, heavy and bulky; why would you want any more of them than necessary? And what's with the multiple shutoff switches, subpanels, and other non-typical features of my electrical designs?

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In The Shop

Dispatches from the shop: Progress reports on our boat building projects, plus some useful information for those of you who are building, restoring or repairing your own boats.

What's up with the Starwind?

Welcome back, folks. I hope you've had a merry Christmas. Or a merry last few Christmases, for that matter.
So, whatever happened to that weird, radical power trimaran we were working on? The one that filled these pages, oh, seven or eight years ago?

Well, life happened.

Epoxy & Fibreglass in Winter

It's still winter up here in the great frozen wilds of Ontario. That doesn't mean that boatbuilding has to come to a complete stop. We can, with a few tricks, turn ice-cold epoxy into something usable.

And Then There Were Two (Hulls)

141214-200007-8151s.jpgThere's still a long way to go, but now it *looks* like two-thirds of a trimaran!

Compound curvature in plywood

Conventional wisdom says that plywood can't take compound curvature. That it can only be bent into conically developable sections.

That's not entirely true. The Starwind 860's amas have a bit of compound curvature, particularly in the forefoot. Here's how we create it.

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