How to Make a Rowboat Sandbox

Inspire your little pirate's imagination and add nautical flair to your backyard with a one-of-a-kind sandbox made from a wooden rowboat.
Child in Brown and White Sandbox Sailboat

Child in Brown and White Sandbox Sailboat

Add nautical flair (and adoring children fans) to your yard with a one-of-a-kind sandbox made from a wooden rowboat.

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Materials Needed:

  • rowboat
  • two pressure-treated 2x4 boards
  • 2 1/2" exterior-coated wood screws
  • pencil
  • saw
  • speed square
  • 1/8" drill bit
  • 1/2" drill bit
  • drill
  • hammer
  • Plasti Dip waterproof sealant
  • burlap fabric
  • sand
  • measuring tape
  • chop saw

Measure Boat for Framing

Turn rowboat upside down, and use measuring tape to determine measurements of the bottom of the boat. A frame will be placed here to secure the boat in place, keeping it from tipping over while in use.

Measuring Shaped Piece of Wood With Tape Measure

Measuring Shaped Piece of Wood With Tape Measure

Mark and Cut Frame

Measure and cut pressure-treated 2x4s to create a simple box frame that measures approximately 1-2 inches smaller than the bottom of the boat. First use measuring tape and a pencil to mark to proper dimensions, then cut to size with a chop saw.

Measuring and Marking Piece of Wood

Measuring and Marking Piece of Wood

Assemble Frame

Screw all four corners of the box together using a drill and 2 1/2-inch exterior-coated wood screws.

Rowboat Sandbox Step 3

Rowboat Sandbox Step 3

Trace Box to Bottom of Boat

With the boat facing bottom-side-up, lay the box frame on the center top of the boat, tracing the outside and inside of the box directly onto the boat exterior.

Trace Box to Bottom of Boat

Trace Box to Bottom of Boat

Drill Holes to Secure Frame

Remove the frame and drill holes through the bottom of the boat in the center of the outlined marks using a 1/8-inch drill bit.

Drill Holes for the Frame

Drill Holes for the Frame

Create Spikes for Base Support

Measure and mark a 45-degree angle 4 inches down a piece of 2x4 pressure-treated wood using measuring tape, a pencil and speed square (Image 1). Use a chop saw set to a 45-degree angle configuration to create proper shape needed for a spike (Image 2). Repeat three times for a total of four spikes.

Secure Base Into Ground

Secure one spike in each of the four corners of the box frame using 2 1/2-inch exterior-coated wood screws (Image 1). Turn the frame over so the spikes are facing downward, and hammer each of them into the ground (Image 2). Slide the boat on top of the frame, lining up the original trace marks (Image 3). Drill 2 1/2-inch exterior-coated wood screws into the holes inside the boat.

Waterproof Bottom of Boat

Drill holes through the bottom of the boat for water drainage using a 1/2-inch drill bit (Image 1). Spray the bottom of the boat with Plasti Dip sealant to prevent moisture-induced decay and deterioration (Image 2).

Add Finishing Touches

Cover the bottom of the boat with burlap fabric to prevent sand from washing out of the drainage holes (Image 1). Fill the boat with sand to desired height (Image 2).

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