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Offsite at Chesapeake Light Craft Shop, Annapolis, Maryland

Build Your Own Stitch-And-Glue Kayak

Versatile, durable, easy-to-build designs for both the recreational and serious kayaker.

Tuition: $900 (partner: $450)


  • Shearwater Sport: $1,463
  • Shearwater 16′: $1,463
  • Shearwater 17′: $1,463
  • Wood Duck 10′: $1,294
  • Wood Duck 12′: $1,294
  • Wood Duck 14′: $1,458
  • Wood Duck Double: $1,590

Note: This is a six-day course ending Saturday afternoon.


Is there a perfect kayak? You can’t have all in one kayak. For speed, you want a hull that is long and narrow. For comfort, you want broad beam and a big cockpit. For maneuverability and ease of handling, a short kayak is desirable. Artful compromise is the mark of good design, and Eric Schade has a number of beautiful kayaks that may just fit your bill. Students who register for this very popular course will be able to choose among the following designs: the 14’6” Shearwater Sport, the Shearwater 16 or 17, and the Wood Duck series.

The Shearwater Sport is Eric’s most versatile traditional kayak. It offers the perfect compromise of light weight, sharp West Greenland handling, effortless cruising speed, and an extra-large cockpit for comfort. And it’s more than fast enough to accelerate onto waves for surfing. The Shearwater 16 and 17 are great-looking, performance-oriented touring kayaks, perfectly suited to the experienced paddler. The Shearwater designs feature a cambered deck and a West Greenland–style hard-chined hull. The Wood Duck 10, 12, and 14 are all compact, easy-to-launch, recreational kayaks built for comfort and speed. With big cockpits and ample stability, they are ideal for exploring inland waterways, fishing, or just having fun with your kids.


All of these designs are built from a Chesapeake Light Craft kit using the most advanced wood-composite techniques. Stitch-and-glue plywood construction of computer-cut panels makes the assembly very user-friendly. The structure is carefully and neatly reinforced with epoxy and fiberglass for use on rocky beaches. During construction, Eric and Dillon will explain options for outfitting the boats with seats, backrests, foot braces, hatch covers, and deck rigging. At the end of the week each kayak will be ready for sanding and paint or varnish. On Saturday afternoon you’ll be taking home a beautiful, new boat along with plenty of new skills and shop tips you can use on many future wood-epoxy composite boatbuilding projects.