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The "Backyard Renegade"

The "Elegant Punt" as found in the book, "Instant Boats" by "Dynamite Payson" is a great first boat for anyone to build in my opinion. It is very inexpensive and will always find a place to be used. It does not require any fiberglass taping either. The best place to get this book is straight from Dynamite Payson at his website, "".

Building your first boat?

The Elegant Punt

This is my recommendation
for the first time boat builder

The"Elegant Punt" is 7'9"x3'9". It has a 600 lb. level water load capacity**, 90 Lbs. of floatation**, and a hull weight of just under 60 lbs. It can be powered by oar, sail, or small motor. It is made of 1/4" Luan (exterior grade Mahogany) and the framing is Douglas Fir. The structure is in the Bending of the Plywood and the Bronze Boat Nails. The Epoxy basically seals it up. When completed I paint the interior of my boats with a flat finish "Bamboo".

Elegant Punt by Bolger and Payson.The underside of the Bolger Elegant Punt

I took this vessel out on the river with my 4-year-old on board. First let us address the longitudinal seat, it looks funny at first. When I was at the stage pictured above I had to call the builder, "Dynamite" Payson, and ask him about it. I had read two of his books and was pretty sure what he would say, I was right. Most folks I have spoken with in my research into boat building up to this point, "Dynamite" included, feel that at no time is it a good idea to change or alter an existing vessel or a tried and true plan. "Dynamite" told me that I should try it with the seat as drawn and judge for myself, I LIKED IT. The longitudinal seat was great, it not only kept my passenger in the middle of the boat, but it made rowing much easier. I was able to easily adjust for a shifting load in comparison to the fixed oarlocks. This "Punt" rowed very nicely in the slack tide,. With its generous rocker in the bottom it is very maneuverable and would make a great pond boat, drift boat or tender. However it tends to turn away from a strong current when the oars come out of the water. After speaking with "Dynamite" I will be adding a small skeg to future models. And just so I don't get any e-mail saying, "you said you would not change...." I spoke with Payson and he thought it would be OK to make this change.

New March, 2000.
I have added a skeg similar to the one on Payson's "Nymph" and indeed it makes the boat handle much better in the moving water when rowing. I took photos of a Punt I built with the skeg but I blew the shots so until next time, you get the drawings...
A Phil Bolger Design

** This is according to the original book, if I am figuring correctly with the new standards over the last couple of decades, it does not hold 600 Lbs. anymore!?....of course wood doesn't float anymore either %$?&#!!!
Don't get me started on the "regulations" issue.


This document maintained by The Backyard Renegade.
Do not copy this stuff for other than personal use. If you would like to use any of the photos, graphics, or text information for any other purpose, please contact me first. I can at times be pretty reasonable... / IDesigns, LLC
55 Westbrook Road - P.O. Box 303 - Centerbrook, CT 06409