Fifteen-year-old Mack Lane built his own 4.5m open top fishing boat from plywood sheathed in fibreglass, with some guidance from his father, Scott Lane of Scott Lane Boatbuilders fame. Mack tells his story…

The vision was simple: as a keen lure fisherman, I dreamed of a clean, simple and effective boat to cater for this style of fishing. During the design process with Rikki McGuire, we took this into consideration and worked on some key attributes, such as the casting deck, a completely open layout, easy access, ample storage, and a self-draining floor to make the boat extremely practical and functional.

We strived to design the most seaworthy fishing vessel possible for its size that would also keep its occupants as dry and comfortable as possible.

To achieve this, we included several design features like the plumb bow, wide belting, forward ballast tank and high sides, with the hope that together they would allow us to conquer a nasty head-on chop.

We decided to build the boat out of plywood over male MDF frames. We started the construction in late November 2022, with almost every second of spare time dedicated to the boat build.


It has been a surreal experience seeing a pile of plywood slowly transform, day by day, into a beautiful boat. During this build, I have undoubtedly gained an immense amount of valuable experience, not only in the construction side of things, but also around the logistics that go along with building a boat from start to finish. I have been extremely fortunate to have had access to my father Scott’s workshop and knowledge.

Construction well underway, showing a high standard of workmanship.

The build was initially a father-son project to allow me to gain some skills and help me think about what I might want to do as a career. The plan was to fit the boat with a secondhand outboard motor and other used gear. This changed when we hit on the idea to seek sponsorship from many people in the marine industry my parents have worked with over the years. I was blown away by the enthusiasm and generosity of these people and their companies.

Thank you to all my sponsors, who have turned my dreams into reality. Your support and belief in my project have enabled me to craft a cool boat! I am extremely proud to have my sponsors’ logos displayed along the sides of my boat, to be shown off wherever we venture.

An object lesson in sportfishing boat layout.

I also asked my Granddad, Milton, to build a new trailer for the boat – many thanks to him as well.

Launch day was August 12, 2023, eleven months and 18 days after the idea was born. What an unreal feeling it was seeing the boat on the trailer, on the beach and ready to go in the water – that moment was so worth all the hard work!

I named the boat Bruiser. It was a proud feeling seeing Bruiser floating perfectly on the water that day and I was delighted with how the boat performed – exactly how it was intended to.


This build has really opened my eyes to what it is like to be in the workforce and what is possible for my future. Thanks again to everyone who has made this journey possible for me.

Here’s to some awesome trips! BNZ