In June of 2009, I traveled to Manzanita, Oregon to build a skin-on-frame kayak with Brian Schulz, owner of Cape Falcon Kayak. Although he offers several modern kayaks of his own design, I decided to build a replica Greenland hunting kayak that he offers. The original boat was built by a Greenland seal hunter and was collected in 1931 in Disko Bay, Greenland. The week I spent with Brian in that class was fun, very hands-on and informative. Quoting Brian from his website, “I build replica kayaks because they are pretty, because every traditional kayak I build teaches me about modern ones, because the Greenland hunting kayak imparts a sense of history, even if it's not my history; and mostly, by simple virtue of proximity, the Greenland kayak conveys a powerful intimacy with the water.” Following is a series of photographs of the process of building this lovely little kayak. Photos with me in them were taken by Chuck Tucker of Bend, Oregon, who was also a participant in the class; they are used by permission.
Photo Essay on Building a Skin-On-Frame Kayak
Intro – marking and mortising kayak gunwales.
Kayak gunwales from clear red cedar boards
Using end forms and spreaders, we set the gunwale angles, the boat width and rocker.
Deck beams are measured, tenons made and installed with wood dowels.
All deck beams installed.
Ribs are made of bamboo plywood and are steam bent and installed.
The keelson is lashed onto the ribs and the stem is fitted and attached.
The stem is fitted and attached in the same manner. Photo shows the other frames in the class and several fellow classmates.
The stringers are lashed into place finishing the hull shape.
The cockpit is made from steam bent white oak and is used at this stage to ensure correct placement of rear deck stringers.
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