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The WoodenBoat School

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.

Greenland Kayak.

Tuition: $900 (partner: $450)


  • 16′6″ West Greenland Kayak: $1,440

Note: This is a special seven-day course that begins Sunday morning and ends the following Saturday afternoon.

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.

These kayaks have a flat, low aft deck with gracefully upsweeping ends, a pronounced V-bottom, and hard chines. Participants will be building a replica of the Ken Taylor Illorsuit kayak from 1959 which is 16’6” long x 20¾ ” wide. The kayak 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 their own kayak. 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.

Greenland Kayak.

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.

Mark promises a fun, fast-paced, intensive week as each kayak takes shape. Students can expect some long, very productive days so that each day’s goals can be met, and by the end of the week each participant will have a stunning kayak that is ready for the water.


WoodenBoat School, 41 WoodenBoat Lane, PO Box 78, Brooklin, Maine 04616 USA
Tel: 207-359-4651, Fax: 207-359-8920

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