OK, I’ll admit that once in a while I fight a strong urge to go shopping for a fiberglass production boat. After all, who would not be attracted to the idea of having spacious dry compartments, a comfortable molded seat and drop down skeg? I’ve even gone so far as to call dealers and demo a few. But something always stops me -- my inability to decide on a color scheme, lack of storage space in my garage, the thought that I would only really use it for a week or two touring in the summer (not to mention the price)! Ultimately though it’s probably the thought that, given a little work and a year or two, I could make that elusive "perfect kayak" myself out of wood! (Well, maybe once I finish that last project that's been sitting neglected in the shop.)
There have been exciting developments recently in the qajaq building world, just in time for the New Year. If you were thinking of finally building that kayak in 2008, you have a couple more options to look into.
First of all, Lodro Dawa of Monkcraft kayaks now has a custom Greenland kayak kit for sale. Without having to equip your own woodshop, you too can make a skin-on-frame kayak. According to the Monk:
"The kit comes with everything you need, including a fully illustrated and very detailed assembly manual and technical support if you get stuck. To complete the kayak little woodworking is required. The gunwales are milled to shape, mortised, marked and pre-drilled for the deck beams and ready to go. The deck beams are cut and ready to install, as are the pre-bent ribs. The stems, coaming and all others parts are ready for assembly. Once you have completed the frame, you’ll skin it, dye and shrink the skin, apply the polyurethane and fit out the kayak. This kit is designed so that you can built it in your living room if necessary and will take only 30 to 40 hours to complete. Only simple ordinary tools are required."
Price is $985. Just like the custom-built kayaks, each kit is customized according to the paddler's dimensions and skill level.
Secondly, if you are still insist on building your own kayak from scratch, Wolfgang Brinck has published instructions for building a Greenland Kayak on the Instructables website. By the way, if you like building, Instructables is a cool site to surf on. You can find instructions on how to make a little matchstick rocket or bathroom slippers with LED lights on the tips, for instance. Brinck’s method of building is a modification of the HC Petersen and Svend Ulstrup methods. The instructions are long and quite detailed, so I haven’t had a chance to read through it completely. Looks like a nice boat though.