Kevin H W. Greenland Kayak, Green Bay, WI

Tippy. Found the w. greenland to be a little more sporty than I would like. Traditional w. greenland designs may have been designed for shorter paddlers with a lower center of gravity. But, my rib bending could have been less round in the cockpit area, too. Maybe the pronounced V shape at the bow doesn’t help. Perhaps the capture forms could be kept more towards the ends for a wider bow/stern, rather than creating a sleek, faster hull shape. Or, could make one 30″ wide.

Experimenting with trimaran system. Sail to come later.

Feb, 2020

Planning on making a couple W. Greenlands over the next few months using a variety of materials. I like customizing my boats so I’ll be using the plans as a guide.

Jig day took much longer than expected. Good way to sharpen the skills. Made 48″ steam box for kayaks and a 66 canoe after canoe updates are published this year.Part making day took time, too. Using a circular saw, jig saw and hand saw to cut out the puzzle parts to put these kayaks together. Scarfing the joints will be next.

Why didn’t I buy the 16ft. boards? – because scarfing is fun. (Not really.) By adding a large “B” and “S” on the gunnels at the bow/stern with appropriate arrow orientation for forward/up helped me a few times from mixing up the ends. Made a couple snake knot paracord handles for kayak ends. May or may not use. Will be using the drill and chisel method for the upcoming mortises.

Doing the rib mortises by hand took over an hour, but relatively easy. Used a Forstner 1/4 bit and depth stop collar to even out the bottom of the mortises flat, which helped. The results look like a pocket knife was used to do the job. Maybe I’ll use a small ax to finish building the kayaks to complete the look.

Just finished the gunnel deck beam mortises w/o a router – not fun. Should have used a router. My mortises look like a group of hungry mice started gnawing on the gunnels looking for delicious Wisconsin cheese and when they didn’t find any, they continued gnawing on the wood as payback. The entire thing looks this way.

Laying out the deck beams…decided to avoid a common mistake and shaded in the deck beam pieces to be removed on all 5-sides. Marking that “T”  for the Tenon quadrant/location and adding a directional arrow pointing forward towards the bow on each deck beam is a must, too. Video/plan combo teaching method is a great idea.

Time to rib it…

Favorite new tool is the Slick Plane. It took a few tries to set it up but it works so well for rounding sharp edges.

Made second W. Greenland 2″ wider than the original. Using some old, larger keyhole coamings for the build. Not looking for a performance boat. Bracing with the foot pegs and back band should be fine.

Added a little stain color to the gunnels. These kayaks are turning more and more into a Mad Max/MacGyver beastly kind of things by the day

Rib bending went ok. Chose not to go to store for wallpaper steamer during this time period and used the PVC pipe rib boiling method. Used an oil funnel to fill water to top. Didn’t take much. Boiled mine for around 10 min. Used a clamp to keep the pre-soaked ribs from sinking down pipe. Had to whip out the heat gun for a few ribs that dried a little out of shape. Worked great.

Added stringers and stems. Really liked the power planer for doing the ends of those stringers. Slick.

Finished the frame of one w. greenland. Super fun but wow did that take a long time! Every time I went to do something rather simple on the boat, it turned into a big production of shavings and tools all over the place. Nothing better than the smell of freshly cut cedar, though. Except maybe Starbucks mocha caffe’ coffee, or mocha and cedar combined. Cedar Mocha Caffe coffee with a hint of pine? Mmmmmm.

Removed the 6th rib for heel clearance and opted for the x-rib instead. Installed the free foot brace piece of wood greenland style. Nice.

Enlarged keyhole coaming makes entry super easy and should be comfy for legs on the lake. Finally, a chisel works well for cutting Wisconsin cheese. Cedar flavored sharp cheddar with subtle notes of leather deck lines. Mmmmm.

Another W. Greenland…v2

Deck is complete on 2″ wider 23.5″ beam of w. greenland, ready to bend ribs and get started. Again. This kayak should be easier. Boats are skinned and ready for waterproofing…

Done.  2 kayaks took around 1.5 months to build of very part-time work. Highly recommend this course!

*Update, July 2020. Had the chance to paddle both kayaks this summer and really wish I would have made the center ribs in cockpit much more flat. Mine are a bit round and the kayaks are super responsive, which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. They are fast, silent and can be turned on a dime. Always an adventure paddling these. 🙂 Hope to build an F1 down the road which should have much better stability.

Experimenting with mini pontoons next to coaming for stability/training wheels. Pool noodles seem to help. Made another set from 2″ pvc pipes with sealed end caps. Tied to bungees for and aft of coaming. Not pictured, yet. It might be nice to build an outrigger to turn these into trimarans or similar to racing canoes.

Just finished some trimaran floats. Used cam straps to attach floats to laminated gullwing cross beams. Cam straps attach crossbeams to hull wrapped underneath. Should be interesting. If it works, will add a sail to top deck later on, probably fastened to crossbeams. 

If cam straps don’t work, will switch to bike inner tubes, sliced into strips.

Definitely won’t make skin on frame floats again, too time consuming. Will do the surf board foam/fiberglass approach. Plywood sandwiched between foam blocks then shaped and glassed.


  1. yuji asano
    February 27, 2020

    I’m building my first kayak an F1. I was excited to see that you’re from Green Bay, so am I. I’d like to meet you. It seems that you have much more experience than most.
    Please respond to this comment to set up a meet.

  2. Lisa Wiese
    March 29, 2020

    Looks Great!!


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