It wasn’t long ago that a small boat built at home from a kit looked more like a floating sandbox than a boat. But this is rapidly changing. John Harris, owner of Chesapeake Light Craft, points to advanced panel-expansion software and accessible CNC machines as key factors. Harris says there’s been more innovation in small boat building in the last five years than in the prior 13. Today’s boat kits are easier to build, more sophisticated, and bet- ter performing. CNC machines also enable CLC to offer a broad selection of boat designs (over 84). When a customer orders a design, they effectively cut, pack, and ship a custom kit.
CLC’s primary focus is helping first-time boat builders over- come the natural trepidation of building a kit boat. And Harris takes pride in their documentation, support, and online forums. “I think an open forum builds confidence with your customers — and they need confidence before they drop a grand on a boat kit and set aside weeks or months of their time.”