Building the Greenland Kayak: A Manual for Its Contruction and Use by Christopher CunninghamBuilding the Greenland Kayak: A Manual for Its Contruction and Use by Christopher Cunningham

Building the Greenland Kayak: A Manual for Its Contruction and Use

byChristopher Cunningham

Paperback | December 17, 2002

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This step-by-step guide to building a lashed-frame, fabriccovered sea kayak is both a means to a sleek, fast, universally admired boat and an excellent introduction to woodworking and boatbuilding for hobbyists. The Inuit design scales up or down to fit the paddler and can be built using $150 worth of hardware-store materials, a few basic tools, and a minimal investment of time. Also included: plans for a low-volume version designed for Eskimo rolling; an especially stable version for children; and discussions of kayaking equipment, paddling, and rolling techniques.

Christopher Cunningham has been the editor of Sea Kayaker magazine since 1989 and has been building kayaks since 1979. He has taught Greenland kayak construction at the WoodenBoat School and has built scale models of traditional kayaks for the Alaska State Museum. His Greenland kayak construction and paddling skills have been documente...
Title:Building the Greenland Kayak: A Manual for Its Contruction and UseFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:9.2 × 7.3 × 0.5 inShipping dimensions:9.2 × 7.3 × 0.5 inPublished:December 17, 2002Publisher:McGraw-Hill EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0071392378

ISBN - 13:9780071392372


Table of Contents



1. The Design

The Greenland Design as a Recreational Kayak

Anthropometric Measurement

2. Tools

Circular Saw Blades

Drill Bits

Keeping Your Tools Sharp

The Art of the Jig

The Steam Box


Wood Dust
Safety Glasses and Hearing Protection
On the Water

3. Materials


Grain Orientation
Bending Stock


Deck Lines

Deck Fittings

4. Fastenings

Lashing Material

Knots and Lashings

The Eskimo Knot
The Water Knot


5. Milling


Ripping Gunwales to Thickness
Stationary Circular Saw Ripping Jig
Ripping on a Table Saw


Wedge Bench Holdfast
Machine Planing


Glue Scarfs
Traditional Scarf Joints
Hooked Scarfs for Chines and Keelson

6. Getting Started

Laying Out the Gunwales

Building Forms

7. The Framework

Orienting the Gunwales

Marking the Gunwales

Cutting Rib Mortises

Mortising by Hand
Mortise Machine
Router Mortising

Shaping the Gunwales

Cutting the Deck Beam Mortises

Mortising by Hand
Mortise Machine

Beveling the Gunwales

The Building Forms

Beveling the Gunwale Tips

Hollowing the Sheer

Preparing for Deck Beams

Straight Deck Beams

Cutting the Straight Deck Beams to Length
Marking the Tenons

Arched Deck Beams

Cutting Tenons

Cutting Tenons on Arched Deck Beams
Cutting Tenons on Straight Deck Beams

Test Fitting

An Alternative to Mortise-and-Tenon Joints for the Deck Beams

Assembling the Gunwales

Locking the Gunwales and Deck Beams

Trunnels to Join the Ends of the Gunwales

Pegging the Tenons

Deck Beam Lashings

8. The Hull

The Rib Gauge

Cutting Ribs to Size

Thinning the Ends of the Ribs

The Jointer
The Router Table
The Table Saw
Hand Tools

The Bending Jig

Steaming and Bending

Pinning the Ribs

Bow and Stern Blocks

Attaching the Keelson

Adjusting the Sheer and Rocker
Pegging the Keelson
Trimming the Ends of the Keelson
Centering the Keelson
Fairing Blocks
The Running Lashing
Running Lashings Through Holes


Positioning the Chines

Lashing the Chines

9. Finishing the Frame

Stem Plates


The Masik Pattern
Naturally Curved Stock
A Laminated Masik
Straight-Grained Stock
A 3-D Template for the Masik Notches
Installing the Masik

Deck Ridges

Trial Run

Oiling the Frame

The Cockpit Hoop

The Coaming Flange


10. Skinning the Kayak

Pulling Longitudinal Tension

Pulling Transverse Tension

Working Solo
Working with a Partner

The Decks

Stretching the Decks


Installing the Coaming

Lacing the Coaming


Aircraft Dope
Two-Part Urethane

11. Deck Fittings




Deck-Line Placement

12. The Paddle

Laminating a Paddle Blank

Shaping the Paddle

Paddle Armor

Tapering the Blades

Rounding the Shaft

Trimming the Blade Edges

Oiling the Paddle

My Paddle Modifications

Storm Paddles

13. Clothing

The Tuilik

The Pattern
Cutting the Pieces

Spray Skirt

The Spray Skirt Pattern

14. Float Bags, Hunting Equipment, and Skegs

Float Bags

Heat-Sealable Fabric

Traditional Floats

Towing Float
Hunting Float

The Rolling Stick


Strap-On Skegs
A Hybrid Skeg

15. Eskimo Rolling

Capsizing in Comfort

Wet Exit

Hip Bracing

Swimming with the Kayak


Sculling Back Brace
Sculling Chest Brace
Deep Sculling

Balance Brace

Forward Extended Roll

Backward Sweep Roll

Saving Rolls

Window-Shade Roll

Float Rolls

Hunting-Float Roll
Towing Float Roll

Throwing-Board Roll

16. Getting In and Paddling

Getting Aboard

Entry from a Steep or Rocky Beach
Entry from a Dock
Rough-Water Launching


The Forward Stroke

The Sliding Stroke

17. Variations of the Greenland Kayak

The Rolling Kayak

The Folding Kayak

Kid's Kayak


Balance Stool

Balance Sacks


Materials List

Metric Conversion Factors

Sources of Supplies