To make the boats, you will need scrap lumber, dowel rods, small finials, wood glue, and canvas, and while some power tools and a sewing machine were used to make these boats, they can be created without them. I wasn't there for the making of the boats [just the decorating and floating], but I'll do my best to provide how-to instructions.
The first step is to take a 10" piece of 1x4" lumber and cut the corners off one end as to create the triangular bow of the boat. If you don't have a saw, some home improvement stores will cut the lumber for you. You can even nix the corner cutting and have a rectangular shaped boat.
The next step is to drill a hole that is the same size as your dowel centered 4" from the tip of your bow. This is where you will place the mast. Drill two more holes off center towards the end of the boat [as pictured]. These will be your "passengers." [Ignore the three small holes on the front...this is scrap lumber.]
If you don't have a drill, you can use a small mound of self drying clay to secure the mast into place.
The next step is to insert the dowels into the holes and add a bit of wood glue to secure them.
The dowel for the mast should be about 10" long, while the ones for the passengers should be cut to the size of your finial insert. Again, if you don't have the proper tools, ask someone at a home improvement store to make the cuts for you.
Next, glue your finials on the small dowels with a dab of wood glue.
For the sail, cut a piece of canvas in a right triangle with the straight edges measuring approximately 10.5" x 8", leaving a half inch extra on the diagonal piece as well.
Begin hemming up the edges a half an inch on the diagonal and bottom of the sail.
As for the long edge, make sure you leave a pocket large enough to slip over the mast, like so...
Then, assemble your boat and admire it for a little while...
Next disassemble your boat and let the kids decorate it...
Finally, tie a string to the mast and float the boat...