Ant’s West Greenland Kayaks, Bristol, UK

Hello, this post is about a West Greenland kayak that I’m building. My name’s Ant and I’m a wooden boatbuilder based in Bristol (UK), who also loves kayaking.


I’m using Western Red Cedar for the gunwales, stringers and keel, and green english oak for the ribs and cockpit coamings. First I make the coamings – making the ocean-style cockpit for the West Greenland is a lot easier than the keyhole cockpit on the F1, as the bend at the front is gentler. Then I bevel the stringers and round the edges of the oak ribs.

Building the deck, bending the ribs, attaching the keel, stringers and stems

Bending the recurve into the gunwales, cutting the deck beam tenons and fitting them to the mortices is super straightforward using Brian’s method. Make sure you get the best bending stock you can – it makes for a fun bending session and reduces the frustrations of too many broken ribs (although you should expect a few!).

I love the lines of this boat!

The finished frame.

Sorry I didn’t get any images of the rest of the frame build – I got carried away with the woodwork.

However, it worth spending time on fitting the boat to the paddler. I wasn’t sure whether to fit it to myself or make it a bit bigger, as I was worried about it being too small for some (I use it as a demo boat for customers). In the end I think I might have made it a bit bigger than needed. I probably could have dropped the masik half an inch, which would have still made it usable for most people without being too roomy for smaller folk.

Skinning the boat.

I sewed my skins on using the ‘welting-cord’ method – mainly because I prefer the look of the seam that this method gives. And it’s the method I teach when I run classes.

Coating and Rigging the boat

I coated the boats with Corey’s Spirit-line Urethane. Applying it with a roller is best (I’ve also tried squeegeeing it on a larger guideboat that I previously built. The roller is much easier!). I rigged the boat with latigo straps that I buy from a very old tannery here in Bristol (Thomas Ware & Sons, Est. 1840).

So… what did we think?

The West Greenland is a fantastic boat – sleek and fast. I love paddling mine.

*Edit*. I’ve since loaned this boat out to someone who’s training for a Greenland rolling competition.

Thanks for reading and for more information about me visit or find me on Facebook

Ant Mace

View posts by Ant Mace
I'm a wooden boatbuilder, who also loves kayaking! I build kayaks and other craft from my workshop at Underfall Yard, Bristol (UK)


  1. Nick Gates
    November 27, 2018

    Hi, Did you finish the kayaks?

    1. Ant Mace
      February 13, 2019

      Yes I did – only just got around to updating the blog though!

  2. Justin
    March 12, 2019

    How did you managed to get corys urethan? On I only found delivery options to the us and Canada.

    1. Ant Mace
      March 12, 2019

      Hi there, I bulk order it for the skin-on-frame building classes I run. It is expensive to have it shipped to the UK, but I haven’t found a good enough alternative yet (easy to apply + friendly (non-toxic) for students to use + great strength/performance/longevity). Contact me if you’re interested in picking some up from me. Unfortunately I can’t give you a price here as my costs vary because the UK customs charge change for each shipment. If you want a whole kit (Skin + coating), it is worth getting this direct from Corey – just email or skype him.

      An alternative that is easy to get in the UK is Urecoat from Smooth-on. However, it’s slightly softer, has a much shorter pot life (8 mins) and your need to be more mindful of fumes and getting it on your skin than Corey’s goop. I suggest getting a trial pack before committing. I don’t use it for my classes or commissions.


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