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Building the Greenland Kayak

This volume offers complete plans and instructions for building a lashed-frame, fabric-covered Greenland kayak. The building method is derived from traditional Inuit methods but incorporates a number of techniques designed to ensure that a novice builder can produce a strong, properly shaped hull. Few kayaks can match the Greenland kayak for simplicity, elegance and performance. Its low profile keeps windage to a minimum, and its narrow beam makes it fast and well behaved in rough waters. The hard chines carve through turns at the tip of the paddler's hips. The kayak design set forth in this book is scalable to fit the builder, and there is also a low-volume version that is especially suited for Eskimo rolling. Building a Greenland kayak makes an excellent introduction to woodworking and boatbuilding and is an inexpensive way to get on the water in a high-performance kayak. Building it requires an investment of time so, as the author says: "the best kayak builder is one who believes the process of building a kayak is a goal in itself and not just a means to an end." The author first rebuilt a Greenland kayak in the early 1970s, and has built numerous Alaskan and Greenland kayaks since 1979. He taught Greenland kayak construction at the WoodenBoat school for three years, with a total of 21 students successfully building kayaks. Cunningham first wrote these instructions after finding that the only book devoted to the topic was inadequate for the do-it-yourselfer. He published the instructions in abbreviated form in 1993 - 4 in a two-part "Sea Kayaker" article that became the magazine's most requested reprint ever. This book also includes a chapter on building a child's kayak with outriggers for stability; chapters on equipment including paddles and rolling sticks; and a chapter on kayak paddling including strokes, braces and rolling techniques.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction 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 Safety Wood Dust Safety Glasses and Hearing Protection On the Water 3. Materials Wood Grain Orientation Bending Stock Fabric Deck Lines Deck Fittings 4. Fastenings Lashing Material Knots and Lashings The Eskimo Knot The Water Knot Lashings Trunnels 5. Milling Ripping Ripping Gunwales to Thickness Stationary Circular Saw Ripping Jig Ripping on a Table Saw Planing Wedge Bench Holdfast Machine Planing Scarfing 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 Chines Positioning the Chines Lashing the Chines 9. Finishing the Frame Stem Plates Masik 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 Floorboards 10. Skinning the Kayak Pulling Longitudinal Tension Pulling Transverse Tension Working Solo Working with a Partner The Decks Stretching the Decks Sewing Installing the Coaming Lacing the Coaming Coatings Aircraft Dope Two-Part Urethane 11. Deck Fittings Leather Beads Sliders 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 Sewing 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 Skegs Strap-On Skegs A Hybrid Skeg 15. Eskimo Rolling Capsizing in Comfort Wet Exit Hip Bracing Swimming with the Kayak Sculling 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 Landing The Forward Stroke The Sliding Stroke 17. Variations of the Greenland Kayak The Rolling Kayak The Folding Kayak Kid's Kayak Rockers Balance Stool Balance Sacks Appendix Materials List Metric Conversion Factors Sources of Supplies Bibliography Index

About the Author

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 documented in several videos, and he has lectured on and demonstrated those skills in North America and Europe.

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