References and links

Books: (Hyper-links take you to the relevant Amazon page)

Phil Bolger himself wrote a whole chapter about the Chebacco series of boat designs in “Boats with an open Mind”

Dynamite Payson’s book “Instant Boatbuilding with Dynamite Payson” has chapter 20 devoted to building the sheet ply Chebacco (#540) and includes small scale plans.

Ian Oughtred’s “Clinker Plywood Boatbuilding Manual” is a fantastic reference for lapstrake construction

John Brookes “How to build glued-lapstrake wooden boats” offers some alternative techniques to Oughtred and includes many boat building techniques common to all wooden boat construction


A wikipedia article about Phil Bolger can be found at Phil Bolger Wiki

Bruce Hallman has produced an index of Phil Bolger designs, including many computer generated isometrics (unfortunately this site seems to have been hijacked (late 2017) but we hope Bruce can get it back up again soon)

There is a Yahoo group of hundreds of people interested in Phil Bolger designs

Bill Jones has a build blog with pictures in it he gives advice about costs, materials and layouts for cutting the panels.

Ben Ho built a beautiful raised deck lapstrake “three rivers”

The dory man has a brief blog about chebacco

Randy has a nice blog about adventures in his chebacco and here he is sailing Bluster in a youtube video

Joey V has a youtube video of his build and sailing

Howard Sharp built the beautiful Lily Catchpole lapstrake Chebacco.  Here is a video of them circumnavigating Manhattan island and another of Lily Catchpole on the Hudson

Jeff C has some sailing videos and This is him building the hull

Here is Jamie’s Wayward Lass being capsized for fun

I found this boatbuilder in Venice, Italy who has a Chebacco on his website

A blog about a proposal for a raised deck modified chebacco

This is a great up-to-date blog website about a beautiful junk rigged glasshouse chebacco (the so-called motorsailer) with lots of photos 

Photos of a UK lapstrake chebacco by Connie Mense:

A 3d Google Sketch up model:

A 1:16 model chebacco – built to test a different full-size construction method

A tribute to Phil Bolger




Susanne Altenburger sells plans and building keys for each of the Chebacco designs and can be contacted at:

  • 66 Atlantic St (P.O. Box 1209), Gloucester, MA 01930 USA

Plans for the sheet ply (#540) can be obtained through but Susanne offers no support for plans bought through Instantboats.  Since the passing of Dynamite the plans are now sold here:


Watercraft Magazine

Wooden Boat Magazine


10 thoughts on “References and links

  1. is there a forum or online market place for Chebbaccos for those of us not as inclined( or talented) builders? I’ve been aboard a lovely little 20, but I’m really interested in the stretched 25 ( or a St, Pierre dory) We #3 and 2 dogs, but have managed to cruise the BC coast for 15 years now in craft as small as a Pelican. But finally conceding need for more comfort. Am Greatly enjoying all the lovely stories. Thx ken August 16 2016 Hay River NWT Canada

  2. Hello,
    My name is Dan Hildebrand. I’m considering a Chebacco build; even more so, now that I’ve read all the blog entries here. What a trove of information! I wonder if there are any Chebacco owners in the Minnesota area. I’m in St. Paul, but I’d be willing to travel a ways to sail in one before I commence with a build. I also wonder if there are any study plans available for the raised deck version commissioned by Ben Ho. I doubt I want to build that model, but I would still like to see the lines. I will likely build a lapstrake version very similar to Ben Ho’s–incorporating many of the same modifications he chose.
    Thanks for keeping the site alive! Dan

  3. Is there anyone out there with advice on how to find a good home for a 20′ chebacco built for the private use of a professional builder? The boat is in perfect condition.

  4. I am thinking of building the 25 foot version. I have written Susanne for plans, but I understand that the smaller versions recieved more attention while Phil was still with us. What sort of improvements did the community and Phil come up with on the design of the smaller boats?

    • Ben,
      I had similar concerns about the progress of the 25 versus the 19 over the years. Suzanne came up with a few suggestions of cabin modifications etc. but in the end I referred to the work done on the Chebacco RD (search the blog) mostly. On my 25 I took the RD balance rudder, designed my own trunk cabin on the lines of the original 19 and used the rig from the Martha Jane. The tabernacle mast is a combination of ideas from Bolger and from boats from the Broads. I also sealed the cockpit and installed a water tank under the sole. In retrospect I should have raised the sole 2″ to make it completely self draining rather than mostly self draining (it drains out the transom). By sealing the cockpit I ended up with two sleeping berths on the cabin sole under the lazarettes. This has meant that my cabin is less cluttered with sleeping bags and other bags when we go camping, as everything gets shoved under the cockpit seats from inside the cabin.
      The other inspired idea I had was to offset the companionway to port. That way you are not trying to straddle the centreboard case when you enter the cabin.
      There are a few details that I added that aren’t on the plans – optional lockers and cleats etc. As I built the hull these ideas just came to me.
      Good luck, if you do go ahead please keep us (the chebacco community) informed.

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