Build Your Own Greenland Skin-on-Frame Kayak
A busy week that results in a wonderfully simple and affordable boatbuilding project, ideal to do with a partner.
- Mark Kaufman—June 25–July 1
Tuition: $900 (partner: $425)
- 16′6″ West Greenland Kayak: $1,361
- 17′10″ West Greenland Kayak: $1,414
During this rewarding seven-day course, students will have the opportunity to build an elegant replica of a traditional West Greenland-style skin-on-frame kayak based on museum surveys. Participants will have a choice of building one of two different Greenland kayaks.
These kayaks have a flat, low aft deck with gracefully upsweeping ends, a pronounced V-bottom, and hard chines. Participants will have a choice of building a reproduction of the Fram Museum #176 kayak from 1888 which measures 17’10” in length by 20½″ in width, or a replica of the Ken Taylor Illorsuit kayak from 1959 which is 16′6″ long x 20¾″ wide. Both of these kayaks can be fitted with the standard egg-shaped cockpit rim (16″ x 23″) or the longer egg-shaped cockpit (16″ x 31″).
Minor sizing adjustments will allow the builder to custom-fit both of these kayaks. Traditional construction techniques will be blended with modern materials to create a kayak that is fast and light. The finished kayaks, constructed from Western red cedar with steam-bent white ash ribs and a stitched-on nylon skin, will weigh between 25 and 28 lbs.
Instructor Mark Kaufman will create a materials/kit package that includes pre-machined and mortised Western red cedar gunwales, stringers, deckbeams, stems, white ash rib stock, laminated white ash masik deckbeams, finished cockpit rim, seat slats, latigo leather deck lines, nylon skin, urethane coating, and a partially pre-shaped Western red cedar paddle blank.
Skills Mark will teach include procedures for accurately replicating the original profile of the kayak from line drawings, layout procedures, mortise-and-tenon construction, steam-bending, hull shaping, sewing on a skin, and carving a Greenland paddle.