Since Nick posted E5 of the (most excellent) Petrel Play build videos I've been somewhat obsessed with side rabbet planes. I'm hoping to build a Petrel Play sometime this summer and have been following along, building in my head, and trying to get everything in order before hand. When I built a Wee Lassie canoe (almost) 20 years ago the bottom strips were interlaced so I didn't face the job of cutting and planing the keel line (instead I got to bevel fit the ends of a whole lot more strips :) ).
In the video Nick uses a Stanley #79, and I noticed later a rabbet block plane in the end shot. I went looking at his other videos, and flickr photos and noticed in the past he's also used a standard rabbet plane, the block rabbet plane, and a Veritas side rabbet plane. From this I deduce that they all will do the job. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewmoizer/galleries/72157681692209281/).
I also found a few pointers to making side and rabbet planes. The geometry of the side rabbet planes had my brain twisted for a while and eventually I made up a prototype using the milling machine to ease my worried mind. This proved a fun interlude and attached is a picture of where I'm at, using a chunk of parting tool as a blade. I still need to refine the blade angle to get it to cut evenly, and refine the mouth, but I think it will work. I think I could make left and right handed versions now. I'm not sure whether this is the best form factor yet, I was just using some scrap ends of oak I had lying around.
I also found this video showing cutting the side out of a regular plane to make a single sided rabbet plane. Having one of the cheap block planes he uses that I never use, and a couple of spare jack planes, I'm thinking of giving this a try too. (https://youtu.be/DiTwEeFgAIg?t=4m12s).
I'd welcome insight into other people's experience. Especially as to which of a left or right handed block rabbet plane would be most useful. I'm completely right hand dominant.
It also looks like a side rabbet plane comes in handy for bevelling the strips at the chine if you want it clamped to the forms to help visualize the diagonal bevel (which was the tie-breaker for having a go at making one). There's a lot of joy in having the right tool for the job so I think this will be fun.