Build a Greenland Kayak

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This instructible will teach you how to build a 17 foot long Greenland kayak that will weigh between 30 and 40 pounds and cost less than $300 in materials. Compare that with the 45 to 60 pound weight and $1000 to $3000 of a commercial plastic kayak.

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.

Paso 1: Skin on frame technology is adaptable

Once you have built a Greenland kayak using skin on frame technology, you will have picked up enough knowledge to build other styles of skin on frame kayaks using only drawings as a resource. One place to get these drawings is David Zimmerly's web site.

http://www.arctickayaks.com/plans.htm

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.
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douglas.francis.16
douglas.francis.16 dice: Sep 23, 2014. 2:23 PM

I am 6'4" and weigh 210#. Is this style of kayak ok for my size.

wayman29
wayman29 dice: Sep 8, 2013. 6:53 AM
for those asking about canvas, I picked up a Blue Hawk 10oz 15 X 4ft drop cloth at my local hardware store for about $20.00. I am currently constructing a 10ft stretch kayak out of PVC pipe using the ideas of the Greenland frame. So far the cost has been about 100.00 including beer. We used zip ties for lashing and found it easier to make corrections in the framing by simply snipping them. We also used a candle to warm the plastic to bend the 3/4 in. PVC ribs. Testing it out later with some plastic wrapped around it. If this works I may go longer and try a 14 ft. Thanks for these directions and comments! They were most helpful. When I learn how to cut a straight line I'll try a wood one some day.
wintergreens
wintergreens dice: Feb 25, 2013. 5:23 AM
Last year I bought all the wood I need to build this kayak. It's quite hard to find the right wood in my area (The Netherlands) and especiallly the better quality. Nevertheless I found some reasonable good pieces and the guys from the lumber yard helped me out great by doing much of the sawing. So I was pretty much all set to start building... until I found out that both two pieces of wood for the gunwales broke in half on one big *ss knot. Now I could go to the whole proces again and search for some better pieces of wood. Or I could try to solve this with some high-tech fixing... I was thinking like a proven connection method for wood combined with some epoxy/glass. What do you guys think, any chance of working out OK?
nativewater
nativewater dice: Feb 26, 2013. 7:40 AM
The accepted way to fix or to simply make longer pieces of wood out of shorter ones is to scarf them. Search for scarf joints on the internet. Here is a typical link.
http://www.glen-l.com/supplies/pxman-apscarf.html
Be sure you have at least an 8 to 1 ratio of overlap to the thickness of your wood for a secure structural joint. This is for a face to face scarf. If you have deep gunwales, say 3-1/2 inches deep, you can also do edge to edge scarfs which require no glue. You can see one of these here.
http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-building/scarf-strength-question-40707.html
The only problem with scarfing is that you lose some length due to the overlap.
I would not attempt to do a butt joint and glass over that because it will most likely break again. I would also avoid doing a butt joint and glue a facing piece of wood over the joint because that would change the stiffness of the piece in that region.
uglycitrus
uglycitrus dice: Ago 15, 2012. 9:56 AM
I finished building a kayak according to your instructables, and it's awesome. Thanks again for the diligence you put into this instructable. Unfortunately this is now my first time kayaking, and I can't figure out how to eskimo roll. Any advice on learning how? I feel like maybe my legs and hips might have too much room so snapping my hips isn't working. Any suggestions on what to use for padding? I was thinking about cutting up some noodles and putting those on the back rest, knee rest, and some where down by my hips.
nativewater
nativewater dice: Ago 15, 2012. 10:46 AM
check youtube or http://qajaqusa.org/Movies/movies.html for some rolling videos. Yes, foam noodles can be used to pad out your boat.
uglycitrus
uglycitrus dice: Ago 17, 2012. 12:16 PM
Thanks!
OruKun
OruKun dice: Jun 16, 2012. 1:40 AM
Its a sad day to have to tell you... but they no longer offer any woodshop, or garage/workshop of tha nature in most public schools anymore.... Well the ones in the cities that are drastically cutting budgets. But Id renttools from Ace hardware... But Im in the proccess of making one out of pvc to check if its similarly as strong as wood, Im concluding it wont, but im doing it just to have a kayak without having to deal with more than 4 tools... And to explore options, gotta love options on materials to use.
wayman29
wayman29 dice: Sep 8, 2013. 7 AM
I am currently doing this also. Let me know how yours turned out. Testing one today. See above comment.
toddchristensen
toddchristensen dice: May 15, 2012. 9:23 PM
What Kayak would you recommend building for The lower American river in Ca. The river is mainly class 1 and 2 with occasional class 3. This Kayak would be for my 11 y/o son. We would like to make it together.
nativewater
nativewater dice: May 16, 2012. 6:48 AM
I would recommend something like this boat, a ten footer.
http://wolfgangbrinck.com/boats/tales/playboat.html
toddchristensen
toddchristensen dice: May 17, 2012. 6:53 AM
Thank you for the recommendation. How do you compare the skin kayak to the stitch and glue type. Is there any advantage or disadvantage to either method?
nativewater
nativewater dice: May 17, 2012. 7:38 AM
plywood might be more resistant to beating on rocks. Aside from that, stitch and glue requires plans or a pattern or some experience in developing patterns for cutting out the plywood. After that it's a bunch of fiberglassing, sanding and varnishing. That might be enjoyable but I don't know since I've never tried it.
Skin on frame designs can be modified on the fly since you fit each new piece to what is already there. Very little detailed design work is required. Also very little epoxy and sanding.
wintergreens
wintergreens dice: Dic 10, 2011. 3:22 PM
Thanks a lot man! Being in the process of thinking ahead it seems usefull to me to create some kind of mounting point, something like a tripod mount. This to mount several things on as I do on my bike (e.g. bottle, light, map, gps, compass etc.) I wonder what other peoples thoughts are and how this can be accomplished and/or already has been done.
nativewater
nativewater dice: Dic 15, 2011. 7:42 AM
The kind of mount you use depends on where you paddle. Check with what other people in your area are doing if there are any doing kayaking. In surf or rough water, stuff on deck becomes a liability and can easily get washed off. But in more benign conditions mounting stuff on deck is doable. Since the skin is flexible, any kind of deck mount should be supported by some kind of framework under the skin.
wintergreens
wintergreens dice: Nov 25, 2011. 1:29 PM
Thanks a lot for this wonderful guide! What are your thoughts on using 'balistic nylon' as skin material?
nativewater
nativewater dice: Nov 26, 2011. 5:14 AM
yes, nylon works. I've used it. 8oz is a good weight. Nylon expands when wet and cold and contracts when warm. So it loosens up when in the water. This works against it. Corey Freedman and George Dyson both sell nylon. You can search for them on the internet.
Polyester is more stable but harder to work with because it has no stretch. So you have to sew some darts in the skin to get it to cover the kayak without wrinkles. You can shrink polyester with heat before you paint it. Once in place, the polyester does not expand and contract as much as the nylon, so that's good.
wintergreens
wintergreens dice: Nov 30, 2011. 12:12 AM
I'm very impressed by the durability of BALLISTIC nylon (8 oz):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYyvIExWkqU
The skin is sealed with a two-part polyurethane.

Are other skin types (regular nylon / polyester) as durable as ballistic nylon? What kind of coating is used for polyester? Thanks.
nativewater
nativewater dice: Nov 30, 2011. 7:40 AM
durability is more or less a function of weight. Ballistic nylon is called that because they used to use it for flack jackets. They now use kevlar. The two part urethane will work on polyester as well. Polyester has less stretch than nylon so will not move out of the way of impact as readily as nylon. But you can go with heavier weights of polyester without worrying about shrinking skin warping the frame. You need to be careful with nylon in excess of 8 oz.
landsharkxx
landsharkxx dice: Jul 8, 2011. 2:54 PM
Can I fish in it? Also would aligators be a problem?
nativewater
nativewater dice: Jul 12, 2011. 11:41 PM
you can probably fish from any kayak although you would probably want a fairly wide and stable kayak for fishing.
I have no experience with aligators and cannot tell you whether they would be a problem.
anyusername
anyusername dice: Mar 21, 2011. 8:43 PM
Thanks, a lot for your articles. i'll start this project very soon. Just wonder something: does the model include any kind of seat or at least backrest?
Greetings from Chile
nativewater
nativewater dice: Mar 22, 2011. 7:10 AM
I use a foam rubber mat as a seat. My back is supported by the back of the coaming. But some people install back bands for extra support.
search for kayak back band and you will see lots of samples like this:

http://www.coloradochaps.com/kayak_accessories.html
franztek73
franztek73 dice: Mar 8, 2011. 10:33 AM
Thanks for posting. I used your technique for shaping the gunwales on my kayak and it worked beautifully. Total cost for my Kayak was around $60 thanks to some freecycling.
nativewater
nativewater dice: Mar 22, 2011. 7:12 AM
Great price. $60 is probably close to a record low cost.
AlbinoMoose308
AlbinoMoose308 dice: Mar 22, 2012. 7:06 PM
actually i'm making a similar one for about $5 with a plastic bag skin and some scrap wood
armored+bore
armored+bore dice: Dic 1, 2010. 3:20 PM
After about three months and ~400$, mine is done!

http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n461/julieandcandy/76986_1609303625744_1030826900_31648388_2363298_n.jpg

I have to say this project is within reach of anyone who knows which end to hold a handsaw by. I can't wait to make another one!
nativewater
nativewater dice: Dic 2, 2010. 5:54 AM
Nice job. and it floats.have fun.
nativewater
nativewater dice: Sep 7, 2010. 9:26 AM
I don't have time to do a canoe instructable right now, but it's a good suggestion. You might also want to search on the name Tim Anderson. He has an instructable on a skin on frame outrigger canoe.
jweirs
jweirs dice: Sep 4, 2010. 9:40 PM
Would you mind making an instructable for that canoe? I'd love to make one but I can't quite figure out how to skin it.
nativewater
nativewater dice: Sep 7, 2010. 9:24 AM
The skin on open boats was usually stretched over the gunwales. A seam was necessary only at the bow and stern. The edges of the skin were laced to a batten attached to the ribs on the inside of the boat. Leather laces were run through holes in the edge of the skin.
Fabric works a little differently. You could tack it to the outside of the gunwale and trim it flush at the top, then screw or nail a batten to cover the tacks. This is how wood and canvas canoes were covered.
In the canoe pictured, I attached the skin by putting grommets to the edge of it and lacing it to the batten on the inside of the hull. See here for some pictures:
http://wolfgangbrinck.com/boats/tales/ojibwaycanoe.html
armored+bore
armored+bore dice: Ago 25, 2010. 2:08 PM
Aside from the bending portions for the gunwales and ribs, this looks very doable even for an amateur like me! How hard do you suppose it would be to add a mount for a canopy? I'd love to make one for my wife, and that would be a great addition to protect her from the wrath of the Flame Orb (or "Sun" as it's popularly called)
nativewater
nativewater dice: Ago 30, 2010. 10:58 AM
adding a canopy mount wouldn't be that hard. But if you added a canopy to the boat, you would have to make the boat wider, probably thirty inches plus so the wind doesn't knock the boat over. or you might want to add an outrigger to the kayak or inside ballast. The Greenland kayak in its original configuration is relatively unstable so adding a canopy without modifying the basic design would be an invitation for disaster. Keep in mind that a skin on frame kayak is very light and narrow compared to traditional wooden boats so adding any superstructure would raise the center of gravity to unstable heights.
starrydynamo
starrydynamo dice: May 25, 2010. 11:42 PM
My dad built one of these canoes; held up great until we scraped on a rock in a reservoir--thank god for duct tape! We've been talking about making a pair of kayaks, I will definitely keep this ible in mind! Thanks!
nativewater
nativewater dice: May 29, 2010. 11:59 AM
modern materials are pretty tough.  And duct  tape is always a fallback. Skin on frame has its limitations, but overall, very good technology.

Scott+Hadley
Scott+Hadley dice: Abr 13, 2009. 5:03 PM
Thank you for the Instructable. I recently built a plywood skin on frame kayak and it is verrrrry heavy. I would guess close to 100# It's 19 ft long and about 26 " wide. The shape is similar to a baidarka without the lip on the bottom. For its weight and size I'm very happy with the way it handles. Wayyyy better than my sons store bought kayak which is half the weight .Until I built this beast I had never been in a kayak and wanted something stable ,durable and lots of storage space for extended camping trips. Well this fits the bill perfectly but now I need a second one that is also lighter so I can bring friends and/or family. I decided to go with a real skin on frame and you guys have helped tremendously. I am wondering what would be the best way to make a cargo hatch on the front and back? Should the floor framing be reinforced? Thanks again!
Scott+Hadley
Scott+Hadley dice: Abr 23, 2009. 4:30 PM
I guess nobody ever looks at this page.
nativewater
nativewater dice: Abr 25, 2009. 2:57 PM
some people have. more comments on other pages. This thing comes in 7 parts.
Kayakguy
Kayakguy dice: Ene 7, 2009. 7:36 PM
Excellent guide on building such a beautiful Kayak. I am an avid kayak builder and put together my own site with information on different types of kayaks and how to build them. Kayaking is so much fun and its something I am really passionate about. Build Beautiful KayaksBuild Beautiful Kayaks
camperken
camperken dice: Dic 10, 2008. 5:47 PM
I built one of these about 10 years ago. Great experience and it was so quiet paddling in the lake I lived on at the time. Don't be afraid to try making one. Its just one step at a time
skuthorp
skuthorp dice: Jul 21, 2008. 4:13 PM
I'm looking at the lack of leg space forward and the small cockpit. I've already decided to adjust both and dome the deck somewhat forward to make life a little more comfortable. I'll build a boat with a flatter midships section for SWMBO as she's a novice at this but only 43 Kilos. I'll probably start her with sponsons till she get's used to it. I'm 75K but I'm used to a K1 and paddling a decked canoe in a seaway so the narrowness shouldn't worry me too much.
nativewater
nativewater dice: May 5, 2008. 7:55 AM
Robert Morris has some details in his book called Skin-On-Frame Boatbuilding. See Amazon dot com
http://www.amazon.com/Building-Skin-Frame-Robert-Morris/dp/0881791911/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209999278&sr=8-1
cico0815
cico0815 dice: May 5, 2008. 1:34 AM
Hi! I'm going to build the "Guillemot Stitch and Glue Version" from Nick Schade as a Skin on Frame version but I really like your "HowTo"! Thanks a lot for it! What I also like to ask you is where to find a plan for that quite nice looking playboat shown in the picture! I think that would be nice for my son! :-) Best regards, Heiko
Chil
Chil dice: May 3, 2008. 10:14 AM
Wolfgang, Great Instructable! I have been following your superb instructions and will soon be the proud owner of a complete skin over frame Kayak ( I started a week ago and am now ready for step 6!). I shortened my frame by two feet and eliminated 2 deck beams (I have 9) but otherwise have followed your instructions closely. I had been researching this type of Kayak for a couple of months but still had some unanswered questions. You answered them ALL! Thanks for all your hard work. Jon
teamcoltra
teamcoltra dice: Abr 17, 2008. 4:15 PM
I don't want to "nit pick" but i just wanted to inform you there are 15 "names to know" you didn't give "risers" a number (its the second word) under nominclature. otherwise GREAT instructable... I hope to be able to do this one soon.
nativewater
nativewater dice: May 5, 2008. 8:09 AM
Thanks for pointing that out. I made it 1a. Too lazy to renumber everything.
Charlie1138
Charlie1138 dice: Abr 4, 2008. 5:29 AM
This is incredible! Thank you so much for sharing this!
Quiksilver2693
Quiksilver2693 dice: Mar 27, 2008. 6:15 PM
I don't like the idea of taking this through rapids.
nativewater
nativewater dice: Mar 28, 2008. 7:38 AM
It's a sea kayak. It's too long for rivers. You want a short plastic boat for rapids, one that turns easily. But before there were plastic boats, people used to take fiberglass boats on rivers. Skin on frame is at least as strong as that construction. So theoretically, you could build a skin on frame river kayak. But nobody bothers because plastic can take more abuse.
Quiksilver2693
Quiksilver2693 dice: Mar 28, 2008. 2:14 PM
That makes sense now. What type would be best for Lake Superior, rivers, and exploring small caves?
nativewater
nativewater dice: Mar 30, 2008. 8:09 AM
There isn't a single boat to do all things well. Generally, you would want a sea kayak for lake Superior and a whitewater kayak for rivers. But if the rivers are class I or class II, you can handle them with a sea kayak. Conversely, people use white water kayaks for surfing big water. As for caves, I'm not sure what kind you mean. I've been in the Sea caves around Pictured Rocks on Lake Superior in a sea kayak. You just don't want to go in them when there are waves.
Quiksilver2693
Quiksilver2693 dice: Mar 30, 2008. 10:08 AM
Okay. Thanks. =]
graeme.t.cooper
graeme.t.cooper dice: Sep 6, 2009. 5:30 AM
Robert Morris also has some whitewater skin on frame kayaks. One of which, the alaskan retrieval, I'm currently in the process of "skinning" using a thick canvas, instead the suggested 15 oz nylon.
nativewater
nativewater dice: Sep 6, 2009. 12:41 PM
Yeah, that's a nice little boat. I built one for my wife but she doesn't like that it turns on a dime and takes effort to keep going straight. Soon as I get a chance, I'm going to add a skeg to it so it tracks better. You can make one of these at about 20 pounds. Very easy to carry and accelerates quickly. Has no glide but will go up to 4.5 mph. 15 oz nylon seems like overkill. Does Morris really recommend that? I've been using 8 oz more recently since the heavier stuff tends to warp frames when it shrinks in hot weather. But if you do river boating, heavier fabric might be good for beating the boat into rocks.
graeme.t.cooper
graeme.t.cooper dice: Sep 7, 2009. 3:54 PM
ya, for the "canadian" canoe and the recovery/retrieval kayaks, he recommends the heavier nylon for rocks and branches and what-not. I have canvas kickin around, so I'm gonna be cheap and use that instead.
sean13
sean13 dice: Sep 22, 2009. 1:20 PM
Hi there. Last year I built a retrieval kayak from the Morris book; I covered it in canvas, which makes for an abrasion-resistant skin after a few layers of polyurethane. I think you will find it very satisfactory. However, I've used 10oz nylon on a subsequent boat - and will likely continue with it as it is much easier to stretch and sew! It is not that much more expensive either.
osun
osun dice: Mar 20, 2008. 7:25 AM
This is fantastic and has made the process quite clear. Even though I have all the books on SOF building your pictures and words bring the process alive.

My question is this:

You size the boat for you:
(6ft, 220lbs, size 12 feet) => so 21 to 22 wide

How do you know that you will get enough "freeboard" and not a submarine? I am looking for around 2-2.5 inches of freeboard. Thanks for any help.
nativewater
nativewater dice: Mar 20, 2008. 8:49 AM
If you make the boat six inches wider than your hips and the depth described in the instructable, you will not get a submarine. Go to my website http://www.wolfgangbrinck.com/boats/ and check out the picture of three guys in kayaks. The guy in the middle weighs 300 pounds. Adequate freeboard. I think the beam on his boat was 23 inches.
sardines454
sardines454 dice: Ene 9, 2008. 1:34 PM
this is incredible. did you come up with this idea on your own or did some one teach you?
nativewater
nativewater dice: Ene 9, 2008. 5:39 PM
I built my first Greenland kayak following sketchy instructions in a book I ordered from Denmark. Lots of details were missing so I had to do a lot of improvisation. Later I met some other people who built these kinds of boats and learned some additional tricks in addition to what I had figured out on my own and gotten out of the book.
sleahcim
sleahcim dice: Ene 7, 2008. 10:26 AM
I would like to also add my appreciation for such a comprehensive guide on building the Greenland Kayak. You've ignited a fire (I understand this is a common occurrence for other builders as well) that will become a new passion of mine. I've already begun to assemble my materials and hope to have my first kayak built by spring. I've spent the last few days (countless hours) searching out other resources for building similar kayaks and found yours to be the most detailed, well explained and illustrated. And best of all it's free. I really appreciate all of the hard work you've done to put this together. Thanks a million.
DELETED_AndrewTheImpaler
DELETED_AndrewTheImpaler dice: Jun 5, 2008. 11:31 PM
i would write my own comment, but the above poster summarized my thoughts COMPLETELY. thank you so much for this. buying kayaks is for chumps lol
trooperrick
trooperrick dice: Sep 8, 2008. 3:29 PM
I second that.
dsetzer
dsetzer dice: Ene 1, 2008. 1:56 PM
I just read through the set of Instructables... pretty much killed my last few hours (whoops). The only thing I'd really ask is for a comprehensive list of materials and tools collected into 1 place. Great job - I'm sure this took a tremendous amount of time to put together!
nativewater
nativewater dice: Ene 2, 2008. 9:03 AM
Good suggestion re the comprehensive materials and tools list. I'll work on that.
Vidar_76
Vidar_76 dice: Dic 25, 2007. 1:20 PM
And by the way, its fun to see our swedish morakniv being used in America! :-) Now they make many other models but that one is the most usable knife.
nativewater
nativewater dice: Dic 27, 2007. 6:33 AM
I bought that knife in the 70's and it's still going strong. I think there might be a moral in there. I think the moral is that if you buy good hand tools they last a lifetime. Actually, they will outlast you. Your relatives will be selling them at a garage sale when you die unless you teach someone else in your family how to use them.
Vidar_76
Vidar_76 dice: Dic 25, 2007. 1:17 PM
Really nice instructable! I build one two years ago, used cotton canvas and coloured lineseed oil. Spent about 120 hours and $150, im quite good at finding free or cheap stuff :-) Looking forward to se the rest of your instructable.
kadris3
kadris3 dice: Dic 21, 2007. 3:16 PM
wow. excellent job. i've also heard of using aircraft dacron and canvas to make them. canvas took 10 coats of latex paint. it gave a rubberized fabric which was almost industructable. the hull has the traditional sea kayak curves. beautiful in my mind. X
jodybaker
jodybaker dice: Dic 21, 2007. 4:56 AM
I built one of these using Bob Boucher's video "Build Your Own Sea Kayak." Beautiful boats, great to paddle and you should go out and build one. This looks like a great instructable. 100 hours and $300 seems a little optimistic, though. I spent way more time and a lot more money getting quality lumber, good canvas and I spent about 2 full weeks on it.
nativewater
nativewater dice: Dic 21, 2007. 9:43 AM
optimistic on the time, yeah, maybe. The first kayak I made was a Greenland type and I had very little guidance for how to do it. Took a total of 6 months for me to finish the boat. But they go faster now. It's a matter of coming to an understanding of wood and the building process and once you have that, the boats go together more or less effortlessly and time ceases to be an issue. As for expense, it depends on where you buy your supplies. I suppose you could pay more than $300, though I usually pay less.
ledzep567
ledzep567 dice: Dic 22, 2007. 7:50 AM
really? how much did you spend on the canvas?? art stores carry it in rolls for around $40 USD
callmeshane
callmeshane dice: Dic 20, 2007. 12:56 PM
Hi I understand that there are "benefits and drawbacks" or "Pro's and Con's" to everything, - be it material and design. This is why aircraft fly high and fast - and fall apart easily, and tanks are slow, don't fly but are fairly robust. The first kayak I ever bought was a plastic hulled step in design cockpit, made for touring lakes and all that, with easy access and exciting. 2 weeks later I did a solo 750Km trip down the river Murray in Australia..... (brilliant) Since I am quite adverse to the idea of skinned hulls tearing and sinking, wayyyyyyy out in the middle of the ocean... and bobbing around until I bob no more... The bonus of having a VERY light and strong boat appeals to me greatly. But having done much leather work and all - the ease of putting major rips in the hull on snags - ummmm well I do I like some swimming, but not alot of swimming. I am quite interested in building said craft... but I'd like to go for a "skin" that is quite tear resistant - I'd like to use something like thin kevlar sail off cuts from a sail makers...... Do you know or can recomend any rip or tear resistant alternatives to skin? Cheers Shane Brilliant boats tho...
bryanhansel
bryanhansel dice: Dic 20, 2007. 5:04 PM
Most of these modern SOF kayaks use ballistic nylon, which if very durable. This is a fun and easy project. When I built one, I used Jr. Ballistic and never managed to put a hole in it.
nativewater
nativewater dice: Dic 20, 2007. 5:26 PM
Correct, as Bryan points out, the nylon is quite strong. 10 oz nylon is strong enough that you can't drive a screwdriver through it. And if you're really worried, you can get higher weights, up to 23 oz. But with heavier nylon you would have to build a heavier frame because nylon shrinks out in the sun and will warp a light weight wooden frame. I haven't worked with kevlar, though I suspect that it has no stretch which is what makes it suitable for sails, but hard to get a tight fit on to a convex hull like a kayak. You would probably have to sew a lot of darts into the skin. Nylon is nice because it stretches and you can get a good tight fit on the boat.
RabidAlien
RabidAlien dice: Dic 19, 2007. 6:46 PM
Wicked lookin craft!!! Wife and I both enjoy kayaking, this would kick the butt of every plastic kayak on the lake! You wouldn't happen to have this saved in a PDF for off-line browsing, would you?
Kiteman
Kiteman dice: Dic 19, 2007. 1:52 PM
An extremely promising start.
DELETED_outdoorsman2014
DELETED_outdoorsman2014 dice: Dic 19, 2007. 5:05 AM
Beautiful instructable. I like it. I'm gonna make one as soon as I get the materials and I turn 15 so I can use the jig saw and rotor saw. We live out in the country and have quiet a few ponds. I'm eleven
nativewater
nativewater dice: Dic 19, 2007. 2:02 PM
If you can get someone to help with the powertools, maybe you won't have to wait till you're 15. A lot of the steps can be done with hand tools.
Ferrite
Ferrite dice: Dic 18, 2007. 5:36 PM
Looks like this will be a good series of Instructables. I was thinking about buying a book about building this type of kayak after seeing the kayak in your Instructable on drift wood collecting, but I guess I won't have to now:)
nagutron
nagutron dice: Dic 18, 2007. 3:37 PM
These boats are beautiful to look at. I love how the skeleton is visible through the skin. Can't wait to see the rest of the series.
GorillazMiko
GorillazMiko dice: Dic 18, 2007. 3 PM
amazing! my dad likes to kayak, and so do I and friends.
joren
joren dice: Dic 18, 2007. 3 PM
Cool into. I'd be interested to see more on your experience with building these (i.e. step by step or problems encountered)

For those interested in DIY kayaking, be sure to check out http://www.yostwerks.com/ . Non-traditional greenlands, folding and inflatables. Really cool stuff.
nativewater
nativewater dice: Dic 19, 2007. 2 PM
The step by step is coming.