Lisa’s F1 and West Greenland Build, Hannibal, Missouri

Hi, my name is Lisa. I am a potter, artist and high school art teacher, originally from St. Louis, MO.

While I have some wood working skills, I am still very much a novice. Brian’s excellent instructions have made the process possible, even for a novice.

My builds have tended to stretch over months due to the fact that I have only been able to snatch snippets of time to work.

Finding good quality red cedar has been difficult. For these kayaks, I did manage to find enough from a home improvement store and a lumbar carrier in St. Louis.

I am loving the building process. The sights, sounds, textures, smells, and tactile experiences are part of the enjoyment of the build. For me, it is a meditation and a vehicle for intimacy with kayaking, the river and the natural world. In the fall of 2018 I had the opportunity to attend a wedding in Bellingham, Washington and enjoyed meeting my wood source…live Western Red Ceder trees. Their photo hangs in my work space.

I am grateful that Brian has shared his knowledge and experience in videos, which has provided an enrichment to my life that I would have otherwise not been able to access.

Update 6/16/2018

This week I have set up for and cut my mortises. For me, setting up is what takes 75% of my time. My second kayak should definitely go faster.

Rib Mortises

Update 6/28/2018

Before a trip out of town I laminated the deck beams. It’s easy to get into production mode. I had the second deck beam glued and in place on the jug when I remembered that I only own 12 clamps. After a very quick trip to the store I got the second beam clamped.

Laminated deck beams are finished, except for sanding.

Update 7/2/2018

After borrowing table saws from friends, I finally bought one off of Craigslist. The seller was super nice and very fair. This good old crafsman will help me cut the rest of my materials at my leisure.

Update 7/9/2018

Finished 25 degree router jig, finished my deck mortises, formed the gunwales, and have begun my deck beam tenons.

deck beam #1 tenon. Brian’s system for cutting tenons is very user friendly. I have never done tenons before, but this first one doesn’t look too bad.

Update 7/10/2018

5 of 6 deck beams. I cut on the wrong side of deck beam #2 and cut the tenon off on one side. Have to laminate another beam.

Update 7/14/2018

Bow stem fitted but not lashed

Update 7/15/2018

Bow and Stern stems are stitched on. Very pleased and amazed how well the kayak is progressing. I have 2 weeks of other commitments, so this is my stopping place for a while.

Update 8/11/2018

The frame is completed. I had to retie the some of the lashing on the bow and stern stems, but I just oiled the frame today. The only thing left is to skin the boat and add the rigging. I have my skinning kit, but will have to wait a month or so, due to the start of school and several weekend commitments.

Update: 9/24/18

Skinning the kayak

Kayak is still wet from being sprayed and ironed. As the kayak dried the remaining wrinkles disappeared.

Update 9/30/2018

I coated the kayak today. This process was not difficult…intense, but not difficult. My problem is that you don’t get a “do over”. Now that I have a feel for the process the next kayak should look better. I do have some heavy application cloudiness along the seam of the deck. Fortunately I left the kayak white, so it isn’t a glaring visual issue.

Update 10/6/18

All but a few pieces of rigging are completed.  Took her out today for the first paddle on a small local lake.  I didn’t experience any leaks, and she paddled beautifully. The quietest kayak I own.

Can’t wait to start the West Greenland next. My goal is to complete that one by spring and warmer waters.

I want to thank Brian Schulz for making his knowledge accessible across the miles. I chose his kayak system in part because I didn’t have to drive for days from Hannibal, MO to a coastal location for a class, AND I was impressed with his ability to teach. I was not disappointed!  I’m a fan of Cape Falcon for life!

Now, on to the next kayak and back to the intoxicating aroma of cedar in my garage.

Update 11/11/18

Began the West Greenland build this week with the first snow of the season and a 14 degree low.

Update: 11/26/18

Finished the building the deck of the W Greenland. Blizzard warnings yesterday created a snow day from school today, so I spent some time working.

Update 12/31/18

Christmas break gave me a bit of time to work on the West Greenland. Left to finish are the end plates, masik, foot board, and the deck stringers.

Update 1/23/19

checking the slight curve of the stem plate against a straight edge.

I wanted to angle the masik forward a bit, but then got nervous about my ability to get in and out, so I lifted it back up again with a wedge of wood. I think it’s just right now.

Update 1/26/19

Notched the masik for the deck stringers.  All that’s left is installing the foot brace and pegging the foredeck stringers.

Update 3/30/19

Dye day

quick pic of the bow before I dye.
Decided to dye the coaming and steel wool it for a bit of “aging”.

Update 4/23/19

Couldn’t wait to try out the kayak even though the deck rigging isn’t in place yet.

Update 9/1/19

Finally got the Greenland on the Mississippi river. New pics of the finished deck rigging. For the toggles, I used some deer antler pieces my dog found in the woods…a nice remembrance of her.


  1. Kevin
    February 24, 2020

    Hi Lisa,

    Nice W. Greenland kayak you made. 🙂

    I’m getting ready to build one. How tippy does it feel on the water? Coaming long enough for entry?

    Thinking about widening my kayak. Not sure about the 21.5″ beam…



    1. Lisa Wiese
      February 27, 2020

      Hi Kevin,

      Not as tippy as you would think. Feels tippy for about 5 minutes then feels natural. The masik position really determines how tight the fit is…at least that’s what I focused on. The boat fit my hips fine.

      I’d check with Brian before altering. I made my gunwales 1/4 inch shorter as well as my ribs. I wanted a tight fit…kayaks are always too big on me…I almost went too small. I definitely have good contact with the kayak for rolling.

      The coaming is big enough for entry, it’s the masik that you will need to set for your height. I did have to learn how to get in by sitting on the back deck and balance with the paddle.

      I love my West Greenland kayak. It’s my preferred kayak to paddle.

      Good luck!


  2. Aymeric
    January 4, 2022

    That’s a really nice pair a F1 and a W-Greenlander… I am on my side hesitating between the two options… Any comment on the respective facility of building of the two models, and the compared behavior on the water ?
    (I already have a “stable” 23.6′ wide plastic kayak, and am looking for a light-weight complement…)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top