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Greenland Kayaks and Kayak Building

Overview   Books   Links

Reskinning your Skin-on-Frame Kayak by Brian Schulz

This video, by Brian Schulz of Cape Falcon Kayak, shows you how to remove an existing nylon covering and replace it. This video was posted to the Greenland Kayak Forum and was very well received.

Free plans (Non-Profit) for a Stitch and Glue Disko Bay style kayak from Christopher and Nick Crowhurst.
Shrike is a lightweight kayak whose design can be varied to suit the size and weight of the paddler, and the preferred style of cockpit, hatches and bulkheads. The specialist rolling variant weighs 23 pounds. Shrike is a non-profit project, for the free plans download, a Build Manual and a Builders' Gallery, see and

In the first seven months of the project, over seven hundred copies of the plans have been distributed.

Build a Greenland Kayak (Online "Instructables") by Wolfgang Brinck
Online instructions. This method of building a Greenland Kayak is a blend of the HC Petersen and Svend methods with adaptations by the author. The link above is to the introduction page. The actual instructions are spread across 7 separate Instructables.

Greenland Kayaking Audio Glossary
A cooperative effort between Qajaq USA members and Maligiaq Padilla, the audio glossary contains a number of audio WAV files of terms related to Greenland kayaks and kayaking. Recorded in Sisimiut Greenland, July 2002.

Traditional Kayaks: Appreciating and Understanding Arctic Kayak Designs Through Research, Replication, and Use by Harvey Golden
Harvey has built such an incredible number of replica kayaks that he has opened a museum for the public. Harvey's site is a "must see" and contains many photos, replicas, adventures and travels, comprehensive resources, and more.

Kayak Building Links from the Masik Newsletter

Materials, Tools, Tips
Tools for Paddle/Kayaking Building by Dave Niles
Building Tips; Schmitz, Strand, Schulz, Golden, Nystrom
To Soak or Not to Soak; A Steam Bending Test By Brian Nystrom and Jay Babina
Building an Adjustable Rib Bending Jig by Brian Nystrom
Lightweight Fabric Tests by Larry Rehd Brown
Kayak Design DVD Review by Pete Strand
Skinning without a Needle by Robert Morris

Non-Greenlandic, Stitch and Glue and other Kayak Types
An Eastern Arctic Kayak by Duane “Arko” Bronaugh
Trial and Error The Evolution of a Folding Kayak By Tom Yost
Designing a Stitch-and-Glue Qajariaq Using anthropometric dimensioning By Dave Murphy
My First Stitch and Glue Qajariaq By Matt Johnson
Building the Sea Spirt by Wes Ostertag
My Strip-built Disco Bay by Richard Kohlström
A Qajaq for Cheri by Mark Starr
Designing Ginnyak; Building a coastal explorer by Brian Schulz
Building A Hooper Bay Kayak By Jack Gilman
My Iqyaq An Aleutian Kayak by Aaron Cunningham
An Alaskan Kayak by Bill Samsom

Building Narratives
Making a Greenland Kayak - Molly Ostertag Comics
Deconstructing Greenland Kayaks by Ralph Colwell Young
Deconstructing Greenland Kayaks Part II The Mighty Keelson by Ralph Colwell Young
SAQQIT Narrative of an East Greenland Kayak by Sandy Noyes
Where to now for SOF kayaks? by Bill Samson
Qajaq Build Story Part 1 by Simon Wall
Its a Qajaq Part 1 Basics by Mike Bielski
Its a Qajaq Part 2 Materials by Mike Bielski
Misterie and the Necromancer - Qajaq for Father Qajaq for Son by Andrew Elizaga
My First Kayak by Richard Best
My Highly Rockered Greenland Kayaks by Bryan Hansel
An East Greenland Kayak; My first boat building experience by Rich Weise
Building My First Qajaq Is it becoming an obsession? by Jon Marien
“Sea Pup” SOF Kid Kayaks; Building Four Kid Kayaks, With Kids! by Steve Phillips
Number Three by Jennifer Torres
Self-Built Traditional Style Boats
My Ningeq; West Greenland SOF by John Petersen 

Kayak "Plans"

A Greenland kayak is not built per a set of plans but by a building method that strives to fit the kayak to your body dimensions. The information by (Greenlander) H.C. Petersen is closest to the methods used in Greenland. Many of the other sources provide alternative or "modernized" building solutions which are quite satisfactory in their own right. Unless you are a beginner, avoid making your skin-on-frame kayak too large. Even the Greenlanders have to really wriggle to get inside of them. Although the Greenlanders do not practice wet-exit techniques, you can add a great measure of safety to your kayaking by using adequate floatation and a sea-sock.

Team Qajaq USA

Qajaq USA is the American Chapter of Qaannat Kattuffiat - the Greenland Kayak Association. We have members world-wide. Qajaq USA is one of only three affiliated "Qajaq" clubs outside of Greenland. Most "Qajaq" clubs are scattered among the small villages of Greenland and are a major impetus in keeping the local kayaking traditions alive.
Meet the team »

Our Mission:

  • Qajaq USA is a nonprofit membership organization that is officially recognized by Qaannat Kattuffiat (The Greenland Kayaking Association).
  • Qajaq USA is committed to supporting Qaannat Kattuffiat and their efforts to preserve, study and promote the traditions and techniques of Greenland kayaking while seeking to further the appreciation and development of Greenland-style kayaking in the United States.