Greenland Kayak 2011 Building Schedule – Skirts & Skins Group To Start Kayaking

Continuing from an earlier Greenland kayak building post on February 16, 2011, here is the remaining schedule to complete the Skin On Frame Greenland Style Kayak.

Masik finished (first arched top beam in below picture) and added to boat.  I obtained my Masik wood from Recycle Ann Arbor Urban Wood Project

Masik now on boat

Greenland Masik completed and added by April 7th

Now all the remaining framing is completed, getting ready for the kayak covering.  Should be at this stage by April 16th.

Frame completed

Frame Completed by 4/16/11

The ballistic nylon covering is now added to the boat, for those dying their boat a color, some will pre-dye the material by boiling the nylon in the coloring.  Dye may come off the finished boat if steps are not taken to make the coloring more permanent. the ribs can be oiled or have a finish put on them for looks and to preserve them.

Covering Stage

Kayak Skin Stage - start cutting to fit by April 21, 2011

The covering is going to be a long process other tasks are also being worked on such as the cockpit hoop (or coaming) which involves bending some wood again to get the desired shape. A form is needed, fortunately for this build the form was made last year and will be used for this build saving some time. Lots of clamps are required.

The Cockpit Hoop

The Cockpit Hoop Around April 23, 2011

While the Greenland cockpit hoop coaming is taking form, the skin can be sewn, there are several techniques. This one uses hemostats and twists the material for tension and sewing the bead. This takes 8 to 12 hours to complete and some patience.

Kayak Skin Sewing Operation April 27, 2011

Kayak Skin Sewing Operation by April 27, 2011

The coaming is now complete, this one used a rope epoxied on, the majority of the people will likely make this lip out of wood. The spray skirt will go around this hoop. Unlike modern kayaks, the coaming’s of traditional Greenland Kayaks did not have flanges to hold the spray skirt.

Completed Cockpit Hoop

Completed Cockpit Hoop Around April 27, 2011

Normally this Greenland coaming shown above is smaller more oval shape. This one made to allow the same spray skirt to fit as his current kayak.

Pinning the Coaming

Pinning The Cockpit Coaming to the skin

A pair of sticks and a clamp anchors the coaming while it is attached to the skin. Drywall nails stretch the skin into the coaming and hold it there until the lashing is installed.

The Finished Boat Ready To Start Kayaking

The Finished Greenland Boat Ready To Start Kayaking May 8th 2011

The skin has polyurethane applied to seal the covering. Many types of sealants can be used, even varnish. The budget for the sealants can vary as well from $15-$20 to $450 for high end coatings.

Next comes fine tuning and setting up the kayak for proper weight distribution in the water.  Then we start kayaking and getting used to our new kayak.  There can be a little learning curve to paddle the new boat.  It may feel a little more unstable than the kayak you were used to.  This is a high performance boat that has great acceleration and fun to paddle.  Purest will tell you it works best with a Greenland style paddle.

Accessory hardware can be added once the set-up is complete.  Now that the process is complete, doe it look easy?  Let me know your comments.

Leave A Comment


  1. Billy Ensign

     /  March 3, 2011


    No it does not easy but I just recieved Building The Greenland Kayak and will finish by mid July. We have short summers in Connecticut also. Nice job on the skin, many that I see on the net are wrinkled, any hints?

    Thanks for posting this.


  2. The skin can be done well if you are patient. The book instructs the seam to be at the edge of the gunwale, our group chose to go down the middle to prevent a rough edge at the side. The method used was hemostats twisting the material and sewing the bead one inch at a time. This take 8 to 12 hours of sewing. When I get to the sewing stage with the present boat, I will add more detail on the blog, this should be ahead of your boat for this stage. Thanks for the interest in the blog.


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