The Greenland kayak is one of dozens of different Arctic kayak designs that uses skin on frame technology. In skin on frame technology you build a lightweight frame by pegging and lashing together pieces of wood and then covering the frame with a skin. The result is a boat that is light and yet strong.
Total time to build a Greenland boat the first time around is about 100 hours. That doesn't count time spent buying or collecting materials.
This instructible is fairly long so I've broken it up into a number of sections.Besides this intro, there will be the following sections.
Preparing the gunwales
Building the deck
Adding the keelson, stem and stern
Adding the ribs
Adding the hull and deck stringers
Sewing on & painting the skin
Skin on frame building is fairly easy and does not require either fancy tools or great wood-working skills. Skin on frame boat builders in the Arctic were hunters first and boatbuilders second. Everybody built their own boat. There were no professional boat builders and so the technology was at a level that was accessible to everyone.
And for pictures of more Greenland kayaks in action go to the qajaqusa website.
Step 1: Skin on frame technology is adaptable
But you aren't limited to original skin on frame designs for the boats you build. Pretty much any small boat design can be adapted to skin on frame construction. For instance, I built the canoe shown below using skin on frame construction. The originals of this type was an Ojibway birch bark canoe.
Or you can go small and ultralight and make yourself a 20 pound boat that you can hold up with one hand.