traditional kayaks frames share basic construction techniques – that is,
shaping of gunwales, bending of ribs, lashing parts together. The amateur builder needs to be comfortable with techniques
of steam bending, scarfing, and lashing.
None of these is difficult to learn.
So your choice depends partly on your paddling ability and purpose.
A first time builder should have a good set of
plans to work from and reasonably detailed instructions.
(See below for sources).
Workshop size will help determine your choice
of style, but given enough space, the 22’ East Arctic kayak is a
straightforward construction project.
The end product is stable, easy to paddle and good to look at.
Detailed, fully illustrated instructions for building this kayak
will be available at this site in the fall.
Dozens of amateur boat builders are happily paddling sleek Aleut
reproductions. See Zimmerly,
David W. “Building the One-hole
Aleut Bidarka.” and Brinck, Wolfgang,
Brinck’s book is packed with construction tips.
good news is that the Canadian Museum of Civilization is now offering
plans for a wide variety of kayaks for $10.00 CND per sheet.
These plans were drafted from lines taken off during my research.
For descriptions see Kayak Types.
You can reach the museum at the following address.
Library, Archives and Documentation Services
Canadian Museum of Civilization
100 Laurier Street; P.O. Box 3100, Station B
Hull, Quebec, J8X 4H2 Canada
Tel: (819) 776-8431 Fax: (819) 776-7055