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.