Greenland Kayak “Skin On Frame” Building Week 11

Second session of Greenland Kayak Building week 11, was used to make coamings, and finish Masiks. The steamer cranked up to bend the coamings around forms made to fit the individual Kayaks.  I added a new aluminum strip to an existing fixture and drilled some more holes for clamps.

Coaming Fixture

Greenland Kayak Coaming Fixture

I was able to use a fixture from last year’s Greenland Kayak Building as the dimensions were so close to one I would make. The size is 24 inches by 19 inches one eighth, I might have made it 23.5 inches by 19 inches and a quarter, so no need to spend the time building a new form.

Coaming In Fixture

Coaming In Fixture

The 1.5 inch coming strip is planned down at each end from a point starting 10 inches from the end. This is bent to the shape of the form, left overnight. Then a square strip 7 eights by 7 eights which will be the coaming flange is prepared to to fit at the top of the coaming for the spray skirt. This will also be steamed and bent in the form. Holes are drilled and lashed to the coaming.

A Completed Coaming By Steffan

A Completed Greenland Coaming By Steffan

We are waiting for some new Greenland Kayak skin to arrive (850 Jr Ballistic Nylon) from the Skin Boats Site, the skin we had was not going to work, so this delayed some of us from starting the skin process. Three people are planning to dye their boats a copper color.

View without Skin

Naked View Without Skin

Any Questions?  Please comment on Start Kayaking.

Greenland Kayak Building Week 11


Greenland Kayak Frame Complete

We are pretty much on schedule for Greenland Kayak Building, many of the boats the frame is done and has a sealing finish on it, for several others they are only a couple days behind.  Unfortunately days jobs and travel has kept some people away from build days.  The facility is only rented though April, an extension is under discussion for those who are behind plan.

Had a set back this week, the “skin” we were going to use has been determined unsuitable and new material may need to be ordered.  This will delay the sewing that could have started this next Saturday.  Dyes also need to be ordered for those not wanting a translucent boat.

Frame View

Completed Greenland Kayak Frame View - Bob Jack's Boat

Completed Frame

Completed Frame Teak Color Finish

Inside View

Inside View, Laminated Greenland Masik

Frame Wood art

Greenland Wood Art

constructed Coaming Form

Freshly Constructed Coaming Form

My Frame

My Greenland Kayak Frame After Linseed Oil finish

Kit Boat

Kit Boat Status

Kit Boat Deck

Kit Boat Ready for Deck Strips

Kit Boat coming along

Kit Build Getting Deck

Getting warmer ready to start kayaking?  What about you?


Hot April 10th Sea Kayak Paddle – Start Kayaking

Southeast Michigan gave us over 80 degrees and sunny which made for a great day to paddle Sea Kayaks from Little Portage to Zukey Lake Tavern and back. This was the opening day to start kayaking.  The forecast was originally for thunder showers, then mostly cloudy so the sunny skies was a nice surprise.  The paddle was ten miles one way against the current and ten miles back with the current but a 20 MPH head wind making the return trip slower.  Over eating and drinking pitchers of Oberon beer had nothing to do with it.

During the trip we saw an eagle, multiple turtles, and one bikini with very white skin. Since I did not use sun screen, now I look like a tomato.

This was the first trip with Bill’s new hand made wood boat shown in the video (link below). The boat is shorter and more maneuverable than his last wood boat.

Zukey41011 002

Greenland Kaya “Skin On Frame” Building Session 10

Finishing up the Greenland kayak top decks this week, floor boards being added, finish sanding the frame. Putting on a coating of linseed oil to protect the wood. The “skin” was cut for each boat. Next is to make the coaming and on to the sewing.

Greenland Kayak Building Week 9 – Start Kayaking

This week all the remaining Greenland boats were doing ribs, others were working on the end plates, Steffen was fixturing and bending/gluing his Masik (pronounced Maasheek). The Masik is the last major beam to add and is top side just in front of the paddler.

The Masik can be made many ways; from laminated and bending to a curved piece of wood, to cutting it out of a thick piece of hardwood. Our leader left early to kayak on Kent Lake, we took his boat apart when he was gone – April Fools you know. It snowed and rained on Saturday so hope he missed that. It always snows in Michigan in April.

The boats are getting very close to skinning, just a few boards to add top side and the coaming, then the sewing begins. A long operation for the unskilled – 8 to 12 hours of using a needle and “thread”. There is likely two to three sessions required to finish the Masik, bend the coaming, and add the extra deck boards. Won’t be long now till the boats are in the water. There is water now the ice is gone.

Video Link

Unique Bow

Unique Greenland Bow

Unique Stern

Unique Greenland Stern

All the boats are different, this one has some flair when it comes to the bow and stern shapes. Click on the picture to see the full view. It will be interesting to see this on in the water after the skin is added.

Bow Plate

Bow Plate

The end plates were added to three Greenland boats this last week. Again, click on the picture to see the full view.

Bow Plate Before Trimming

Bow Plate Before Trimming

Finished Stern Plate

Finished Stern Plate

Frame Status

Greenland Kayak Frame Status week 9

The first Masik under construction for SEKB 2011 also known as “Skirts and Skins”

Laminated Masik

Laminated Greenland Masik

Greenland “Skin On Frame” Building Week 8 – End of March

The Greenland kayak “skin on frame” building is getting exciting as the ribs are being added to 5 boats, stems being worked on (front and back part).  For two of the boats the ribs, the stems,  keelson, and chimes are completed.  These two boat the bottom side is complete, turned over and top side being finished.

The steamer was again fired up on Saturday, we had an expert visit us for the day (Chuck).  He helped many of us with the activities we were working on, he also had a cockpit part to work on using the steamer.

Lots of lashing is involved in attaching the keelson and chimes.  This is done by drilling holes in the middle of the keelson and chimes (our technique) and using artificial sinew (waxed nylon twine simulating original Greenland material), the sinew is lashed around the rib and through the hole with a large needle.  I stuck myself several times with the needle in this process.  I was the last to leave as I had to try and catch up for the fact that I’m going to miss next Thursday’s kayak build due to company travel (San Antonio Texas).  Will be checking out the River Walk there and the 89 degrees.

Utility bill came in for the leased facility $700 was the worst case estimate, came in at $300 so we are doing OK on the costs, rib wood was expensive this year but better wood. I did not break a single rib during bending. Normal estimate for breakage are 3 to 5 ribs causing re-dos back to the steamer. Week 8 Video

Kayak Bow Stem

Stem and Keelson Being Added To My Greenland Boat

Kayak Bow Stem and Keelson

Chime Ends Being shaped to the Stem

Kayak Keelson Shaping

Chime Marking For Stem Match - Two Pencil Technique

Steffen was the first to complete the Greenland Kayak boat bottom working to Midnight the previous Thursday (he’s young, still able to get up early for work). The pictures do not do the woodwork justice. This is a work of art, fine German craftsmanship.


Kayak Frame Bottom Complete

Kayak Frame Bottom Complete - Steffen's

Kayak Frame Art

Kayak Frame Artwork by Steffen

This is one of the decisions to make, what angle to make the bow and stern stems, high for good tracking, narrow for quick turning and maneuverability.  Following the ribs means quick turning, making the bow and stern higher for tracking means the need to add blocks to span the space.  I choose the better tracking.  Will not know the benefit until the boat is done and in the water.


Adding Blocks to Keelson

An Example of adding Blocks To The Ribs and Keelson

Stem Plate added to bow on Steffen’s Greenland boat, some fine wood working, this will not be a visual part after the skin is put on, however the skin will show the shape of the stem plate.

Kayak Stem Plate

Greenland Stem Plate

Crossroads Group Huron River Winter Paddle 2011

The Crossroads Group held their annual winter paddle down the Huron River in SE Michigan. The Group just got it in under the wire just a short 6 hours before the official start of spring. Normally held in February, truth be told, this year there might have been frozen sections of the river.

The 10 mile estimated paddle led by Dr. Paul (no need for his services on this trip – nobody pregnant on the trip) was from the Kent Lake Dam to Placeway take-out in Island Lake State Park.  We saw a little wild life on the trip, blue hereon, unidentified brownish red fur bearing water creature (not a muskrat, not a beaver, what was it?). Everyone enjoyed the peaceful Huron River, current was good, water level high, not cold (40ish).

Snow and ice gone after the unusual warm (for mid March) previous week. Bikers were out in the park both road and mountain bikes.

Greenland Kayak “Skin On Frame” Building Update March 19 – Start Kayaking

For this week’s Greenland Kayak building we were cranking up the steamer and bending green white oak ribs, sanding them smooth for entry and exit, then pinning them to the gunwale.  Next the bow and stern plates were cut from a pine three foot board nine inches wide.

Adding Ribs

Adding Greenland Boat Ribs

Boat ribs

Ribs Steamed and Bent Into Place

The Greenland kayak wood steaming equipment, normally a turkey roaster, worked quite well. There are two chambers, only one has been used so far. Four boats to date have had the ribs bent and pinned into place.

The Steamer

The Greenland Wood Steamer

Mid March SOF Kayak Build – Start Kayaking

This week about half the people were finishing up the deck beam tenons and lashing the beams to the gunwales. The bottom boat ribs are getting cut and one person got the steamer going Saturday to bent all his ribs. I think he only lost two to cracking and had to re-do them.

Wood this year I’m told is much better, more expensive as well, out leader has not told us this impact yet. I’m happy with how the wood looks, very few knots. The wood was cut to the correct widths and was put into the soaking trays to get them good and wet prior to steaming.

I followed the lead of Ben working next to me and planned down the ribs after cutting so they would fit into the mortise. Others are using the full width and narrowing down just the ends to fit in. We will compare these techniques later to see which one works best. This is all about lessons learned and passing on the experience to the next year. Bill gave me his photos from Friday to post as well.  Our leader is in the “haz mat” suit in the below photos and is the “steamer meister”.

Canoe View

Photo By Bill of The Canoe In Process

Assembly Area View Photo by Bill

Assembly Area View Photo by Bill

A lot of the boats are at basically the same stage, those a little behind benefit form the experience of others to assist in the next step.

Photo by Bill Another View

Photo by Bill Another View

Kattie came late and missed the group shot Saturday.

SOF Builders Group Shot by Bill

SOF Builders Group Shot by Bill

Another Group Shot

Another Group Shot

Group Shot Again Changing Photographers

Group Shot Again Changing Photographers

Overhead View of Assembly Area - Photo by Bill

Overhead View of Assembly Area - Photo by Bill

Overhead View #2 of Assembly Area - Photo by Bill

Overhead View #2 of Assembly Area - Photo by Bill

Photo Of Katie

SOF Builder Late Arrival, Photo by Bill

Getting Ready to Pin Beams

Getting Ready to Pin Beams

My Kayak By March 11

My Kayak By March 11

Lashing The Beams After Pinning

Lashing The Beams After Pinning

Lashing the Bow and Stern

Lashing the Bow and Stern

Measuring the distance between mortises and the width outside to outside at mortise locating to caclulate the length of each rib (were engineers used a spreadsheet)

My Kayak Getting Ready for Ribs

My Kayak Getting Ready for Ribs

Electrical wire cut to rib lengths used to checkout how the fibs will look, allows changes prior to cutting wood.

Rib Tryout

Rib Tryout

Ribs cut but not planed yet.

Ribs Cut

Ribs Cut

Ribs Cut Planned and Fitted to Mortises

Ribs Cut Planned and Fitted to Mortises (My Boat)

The steamer was tried out and successfully used to bend the ribs for one boat on Saturday. Slow process doing a few at time. Two boxes will be fired up for the next session.

The Steamer

The Steam Up and Running

Ribs In Place

Ribs In Place

Just a photo from Monday showing the Huron River flowing into Strawberry Lake, Zukey Lake frozen, won’t be long to start kayaking again up and down the river. Can you name the lakes shown?

Huron River by Air

Huron River by Air

March 3-5 Skin On Frame Kayak Build – Start Kayaking

This week making the deck beam tenons continued and the curved beams were cut. Three people got to the stage where the beams could be pegged in place, I will be at that stage for the next session. Several people are different stages having work or family conflicts keep them from staying on schedule. There are three people finishing last year’s boat build.

One person is making a canoe, the forms are complete and the wood is starting to be laid on the forms for gluing. For this many thin strips of wood was cut with groves to be glued together. You can see the canoe form is the pictures below.

Kayak Build First Week Of March Video Link

2010 Boat Build

2010 Boat Build - Custom Construction

Baidarka Start

Baidarka Kayak Start

This is the Skirts And Skins Group Leaders boat, he is building a Baidarka type Skin On Frame kayak as opposed to the Greenland style. He was at the Quite Water Kayak Symposium Saturday in Lansing Michigan rather than building his boat.  I also wanted to go but was getting behind in my boat build so I spent 8 hours working on it instead of going to the symposium.  His progress is behind since he has been doing everything to get everyone else going and offering lots of build advise, answering our constant questions. The book can be hard to understand until you actually do the steps.

Baidarka Kayak Start - First Boards

Baidarka Kayak Start

Canoe Forms Shown

Canoe Forms

The wood kayak boat building masters working together on the canoe.  Wood strips are stapled on and glued in layers to make the sides, fiberglass added over the wood.

Canoe Forms

Canoe Forms Front View

Assembly Area View

Builders Busy At Work

My Boat

My Boat March 5th - Beams Installed

I found out how sharp the Japanese Saw blade is this Saturday, cutting myself twice working on the oak beam tenons. Now there is blood on my boat, I can honestly say I put my sweat and blood into it. The gentleman working next to me did the same thing last Saturday. The oak just is hard to cut and the wood waste just breaks off unexpectedly. The bad part is one cut is on the end of my thumb making it hard to do anything with your hands.

Wood Frame

View Of The Beams - The NC Craftsman's Boat

Wood Frame Another View

Another Fine Craftsman's Boat

Curved Ribs Close-up

Curved Ribs Close-up

My Boat closeup

My Boat - Beams Done Another View

Kit Boat View

Kit Boat Build Status

What do you think so far? Please leave a comment.