Course description

Picking up where our FREE Skin-on-Frame Kayak Prep Course leaves off, this course contains over 17 hours of extremely detailed information covering all aspects of the skin-on-frame building process. Follow along as we build five different skin-on-frame kayaks. You'll learn how to make easy mortise and tenon deck beams, steam bend ribs, tie the frame together, skin and coat the kayak, and add all the rigging and accessories needed to make your kayak safe and seaworthy. 

This course can be used as a standalone product to learn about skin-on-frame building in general or with a set of Cape Falcon Kayak plans to build any of our seven different kayak designs.


LICENSING AGREEMENT:

This online video course is intended for use by one builder only. Multiple persons may not work from a single course, with the exception of children under 18 working with an adult. Commercial use is allowed with written permission and a licensing fee, contact for details.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Course introduction

  • 2

    Things to consider before you build

    • NEW planning for brass bow protection

    • Color options for skinboats, Part 1: Using acid dye on the fabric (video also on YouTube)

    • Color options for skinboats, Part 2: Mixing rare earth pigments into the coating --- (don't skip these color videos because they affect your materials purchasing choices)

    • Frame modifications for adding a kayak sail

  • 3

    Day 1, Building the deck

    • Setting up the gunwales

    • Kerfing the ends

    • Lashing the ends together

    • Checking for symmetry

    • Pegging the ends together

    • Setting up the deck beams

    • Mortise and tenon deck beams overview

    • Mortise and tenon deck beams: Step 1

    • Mortise and tenon deck beams: Step 2

    • Mortise and tenon deck beams: Step 3

    • Mortise and tenon deck beams: Step 4

    • Mortise and tenon deck beams: Step 5

    • Mortise and tenon deck beams: Step 6

    • Fitting the deck beams

    • Pegging the deck beams

    • Trimming the dowels and planing the ends

    • Flattening the gunwales (Greenland)

    • Marking the stems (F1, F2, and LPB)

    • Marking the stems (Greenland)

    • Adding a drain plug (optional)

    • Understanding the kayak rib measuring system

    • Measuring and cutting ribs

    • Measuring and cutting the West Greenland ribs (use with VERSION 2.0 plan set only)

    • Prepping the rib stock

  • 4

    Day 2 Morning, Steam Bending the Ribs

    • Using the rib HEIGHT measuring stick (currently only available for Version 2.0 of the West Greenland Kayak)

    • Setting up for steam bending the ribs (borrowed from the Canoe Building Course)

    • Loading the steam box

    • Tips for steam bending (watch this video!)

    • Fixing rib mistakes (F1 shown but useful for all kayak models!) I put this before bending so you'll know how to fix any issues before you start bending.

    • Steam bending the ribs - F1 kayak

    • F1 rib shaping overview

    • Steam bending the ribs - LPB kayak

    • LPB rib shaping overview

    • Steam bending the ribs - West Greenland Kayak

    • West Greenland rib shaping overview

    • NEW Steam bending the ribs West Greenland Kayak, use with VERSION 2.0 plan set

    • NEW West Greenland shaping review: Use with VERSION 2.0 plan set

    • Steam bending the ribs - East Greenland Kayak

    • East Greenland rib shaping overview

  • 5

    Day 2 Afternoon, Keel, Stems, and Stringers

    • Setting the keel heights (F1, F2, and LPB)

    • Setting keel heights (Greenland)

    • Pegging the ribs

    • Centering the keel

    • Making winders for lashing

    • Lashing on the keel

    • Fixing a broken lashing

    • Fitting the stems to keel (F1, F2, and LPB)

    • Fitting the stems to the keel (Greenland)

    • Marking, drilling, and lashing on the stems

    • Pegging the stems to the keel

    • Setting the stringers ( F1, F2, and LPB )

    • Setting the stringers (Greenland)

    • Lashing the stringers to the ribs

      FREE PREVIEW
    • Shaping and tying the stringer ends to the stems

    • Installing temporary stanchions

    • Gluing on end blocks (F1, F2, and LPB)

  • 6

    Day 3, Finishing the frame, Greenland kayaks

    • Flattening and marking for greenland end plates

    • Kerfing and chiseling for greenland end plates

    • Cutting and pegging the greenland end plates

    • Making the Greenland backrest

    • Laying out the masik

    • Shaping the masik

    • Fitting the Masik

    • Installing the masik

    • Cutting out the heel rib on a Greenland kayak and reinforcing the keel

    • Setting up for making the footbrace

    • Making and fitting the footbrace

    • Cutting and pegging the footbrace

    • Installing foredeck stringers on the West Greenland kayak

    • Building/fitting foredeck stringers on the East Greenland kayak

    • Installing the foredeck stringers on an East Greenland kayak

  • 7

    Day 3 Finishing the frame F1, F2, LPB

    • Adding the secondary stringer (F1, F2, and LPB)

    • Cutting the pocket mortise for the deck ridge (F1, F2, and LPB)

    • Installing foot brace tracks (F1, F2, LPB)

    • Fitting the forward deck stringer and shaping the stern (F1, F2 and LPB)

    • Lashing the forward deck stringer (F1, F2, and LPB)

    • Adding the center deck ridge on the F2

    • Reinforcing the keel

    • Shaping the bow for the optional brass rub strip (only applies if you are adding one)

  • 8

    Day 3, Finishing the frame, all

    • Adding aft deck stringers

    • F1 and LPB deck line location UPDATE

    • Drilling deck line holes

    • Aft deck beam modification (Greenland, optional)

    • Cleaning up the frame (F1, F2 and LPB)

    • Cleaning up the frame (Greenland)

    • Adjusting the Greenland stem angles

    • Oiling the frame

    • Final cleanup thoughts and installing float bag pull lines (optional)

  • 9

    Day 4, Skinning the kayak

    • Tools and supplies for skinning the kayak

    • Important note on the center cockpit of an F2

    • Checking for symmetry

    • Draping the skin and sewing up the ends (Greenland)

    • Draping the cloth and pinning and cutting the stern, F1, F2, LPB

    • NEW sewing up the stern (F1, F2, and LPB)

    • Alternate F1, F2, LPB bow stitching method (for use with bow rub strip)

    • Pinning and cutting the bow (F1, F2, and LPB)

    • Sewing up the bow (F1, F2, and LPB)

    • Stretching the skin and pinning the keel

    • Cutting the center seam (watch the entire video!)

    • Lacing and tightening the skin

    • Trimming excess fabric

    • Sewing up the skin

    • Setting the coaming (F1, F2 and LPB)

    • Setting the coaming (Greenland)

    • Cutting the coaming circle

    • Stitching the coaming on

    • Adding the West Greenland bow toggle loops

    • Tools and materials for dyeing the skin

    • Dyeing the skin

  • 10

    Day 5, Coating the kayak

    • Tools and supplies for coating the kayak

    • Re-checking keel symmetry and masking off the deck

    • Sewing a dart

    • Mixing the 2 part polyurethane

    • NEW IMPROVED polyurethane mixing methods (this is borrowed from my canoe building course, please consider these methods, but disregard all information related to batch size, or number of coats)

    • Coating the hull

    • Fixing imperfections between coats

    • Finishing the hull

    • Balancing the kayak on screws and pulling the tape

    • Coating the deck and coaming

    • Finishing the deck

  • 11

    Day 6, Rigging the kayak

  • 12

    After your build

    • NEW Skin on Frame Kayak General Care Instructions

5 star rating

Natural -born teacher

Michael Wilson

Great course. Easy to use and very comprehensive. Brian not only knows how to build kayaks,he also knows how to teach building kayaks. I am delighted that I...

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Great course. Easy to use and very comprehensive. Brian not only knows how to build kayaks,he also knows how to teach building kayaks. I am delighted that I purchased the course. Thanks Brian.

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5 star rating

Skin on Frame Kayak Building Course

Ralph Sutter

This is a well-conceived, carefully executed video series that shows in detail the numerous steps involved in building a skin on frame kayak. Schulz is extre...

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This is a well-conceived, carefully executed video series that shows in detail the numerous steps involved in building a skin on frame kayak. Schulz is extremely methodical in his instruction, often offering helpful segments on how to fix builder errors.

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5 star rating

Cape Falcon F1

Jay Knight

I am building a F1, jokingly called a F1xl, because I weigh 275 which is substantially over what the traditional paddler weighs. Brian has assisted in scali...

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I am building a F1, jokingly called a F1xl, because I weigh 275 which is substantially over what the traditional paddler weighs. Brian has assisted in scaling his F1 to a size appropriate to me. I have built 5 boats, from a folding kayak to a 20 sailboat and the full range of boats between, so I am accustomed to various degrees of builders support from the plans provider. Brian’s method of plans with video is excellent! Only think that could improve his videos would have him in my shop full time! He has the experience as a instructor and seems to knows the questions asked during each phase of the building process. If you follow his video instructions exactly you will have a great experience and a wonderful kayak in the end.

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5 star rating

Excellent, inspiring, successful...

jordi alamany

As far as the course is concerned, i could'nt be happier and satisfied to have done it. I simply find it inspiring, very enjoyable and motivating as you pro...

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As far as the course is concerned, i could'nt be happier and satisfied to have done it. I simply find it inspiring, very enjoyable and motivating as you progress through the project. Also, i think that anyone is able to follow it, since hundreds of advices and details of how to perform every single little step are explained, and more importantly, (at least in my case) what you should'nt do! I would add that i enjoyed a lot the beauty of building skin on frame kayaks, but also i really admire the simplicity of the technique that Brian has developed in the construction of his boats as well as his facility to share and teach it.

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5 star rating

Review of deck building

Dan Silvernail

Excellent! Clear, concise instruction. He also includes tips and scenarios on how mistakes can be made. If you carefully follow these instructions the proces...

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Excellent! Clear, concise instruction. He also includes tips and scenarios on how mistakes can be made. If you carefully follow these instructions the process will go smoothly. I watched each video twice to make sure I caught everything. Well worth the money I spent.

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5 star rating

Great videos!

Kirk Dunn

Really enjoyed this video course. There are a lot of gems of knowledge here. The process is thoughtfully laid out and the techniques carefully and logically ...

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Really enjoyed this video course. There are a lot of gems of knowledge here. The process is thoughtfully laid out and the techniques carefully and logically explained. I'll be back for the plans for the F1 :) k

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FAQ

  • Are plans available in metric measurements?

    Because the accompanying video courses call out imperial measurements, and we are constantly making updates to both the plans and videos, we’ve found that metric plans leave a lot of room for potential confusion or error. For builders outside the US, we recommend purchasing a metric to imperial tape measure to make your build easier.

  • Why can’t I buy the plans without the video course?

    Unlike nearly all other forms of boatbuilding, skin-on-frame building has never seen the sort of commercial application that leads to good standardized building practices. Instead, what we have is a small handful of books written by experienced hobbyists. Using the techniques in these books, skin-on-frame building is slower, less efficient, heavier, and less durable than it needs to be.

    This is where I started out 20 years ago. Using these books in combination with open access to kayak historian Harvey Golden's research library, I quickly surpassed the existing knowledge, building 15 kayaks my first year and almost twice that my second. From there I taught in-person skin-on-frame kayak building classes, producing between 50–80 kayaks per year for the next 12 years. To put it simply, in 14 years of building over 1000 skin on frame kayaks I developed better kayak designs, and much faster, easier, and more durable ways to build them. Many of these techniques just make the overall building process much simpler and more enjoyable, but some of these techniques are unique to my kayaks. My modern designs are often built with extreme tensions and unfair lines that, while barely visible in the finished product, are critical to performance.

    “Ok, but I’ve built skin on frame boats before.” I get this a lot, so if that’s you, let’s dig a bit deeper here. Let’s say you’re going to clamp a stringer on my F1 design, all you’ve got to do is just measure the heights and clamp right? So you go and try to do that in the logical sequence, but every time you go to push the stringer up for that last clamp in the stern the whole thing snaps flat or blasts sideways off the boat. After about six frustrating tries you make the logical assumption that my measurement must be wrong, so you clamp it on ½ inch lower down, and it works fine and gives better skin to rib clearance which makes sense. Later on you get the boat out on the water and kick it up on edge to see this magic F1 edge-turn for yourself….and nothing happens. Why? It’s because of what you did with that chine. What you were supposed to do is clamp the stringer on with 2 inch metal spring clamps at a downward diagonal angle, starting at rib 11, then 1, then 5, then 15, and THEN you can get that last rib to chine connection to stay put in the stern. It’s simple and not hard, but also not at all intuitive, and not described in any book.

    Take what I just wrote and apply it to a hundred other things about the kayak, and you can see right away why the video course makes a huge amount of sense. You get to skip the 15 year learning curve and have more fun building a better kayak faster.

  • How much should I budget for the build?

    In addition to the cost of the course and plans, you should budget $550–$750 for your build. Materials costs vary based on local availability, shipping costs, and how many items you choose to build yourself as opposed to purchasing from us.

  • Do the videos expire? Can I watch on multiple devices?

    You can login and view the course on any device. Enrolling in a course gives you lifetime access to the course material, including any updates or additions we make to the material in the future. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons we created these video courses instead of writing a book, because our designs and techniques are constantly evolving and we want you to always have access to the best and most up-to-date information.

  • I don’t have internet in my shop, can I download the videos to watch later?

    You can download individual videos to your device, but be aware that file sizes can be quite large.