West Greenland Kayak 2.0 Plans
1931 DISKO BAY IV-A-375, CANADIAN MUSEUM OF CIVILIZATION
16 feet 8 inches long, 20.4 inches wide, 29lbs
NOTE: Plans are designed to be used in conjunction with our Skin-on-Frame Kayak Building Course. Important details in the design cannot be replicated using the plans alone. To comply with our licensing agreement you must first purchase the kayak building video before you purchase plans. See license details below, and check out the FAQ below if you're curious why we don't offer standalone plans.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This kayak can be sized for users from child size up to 240lbs and modified in a variety of ways to emphasize different performance features. We have a growing library of readymade scaled plans available for download. Please read the sizing information in the sample plans and feel free to reach out for a custom plan set based on your body size or needs at no additional cost!
Based on the CMC-IV-375 hunting kayak stored at the Canadian Museum of History, this early 20th century West Greenland hunting kayak is one of the most versatile of any true traditional Greenland kayaks I've paddled.
The moderate length makes it a playful, controllable kayak that is noticeably quicker than longer boats due to the reduced wetted surface. It sits low enough in the water to tackle advanced greenland rolls, but still high enough to be useful as a day-trip sea kayak. Additionally, the deeper than normal foot area combined with my own framing adjustments make this a kayak that is significantly more comfortable than most true Greenland hunting kayaks while still remaining true to the dimensions and classic lines of the historic kayaks.
Complete drawings, photos, details, and historical information can be found in Kayaks of Greenland by Harvey Golden, available for purchase at traditionalkayaks.com
FIND MORE INFO ON OUR WEBSITE // CHECK OUT SOME STUDENT-BUILT WEST GREENLAND KAYAKS
LICENSING AGREEMENT, PLEASE READ:
These plans are designed to be used in conjunction with our kayak building video course. There are important details in the video that you need to accurately reproduce the kayak. Purchase of a plan set allows you to build one kayak for yourself, and another as a gift for a friend who is not building a kayak. Two builders must buy two videos and two plan sets. Children under age 18 may build for free in an at-home setting. Commercial use is allowed with written permission and a plan set purchase for each boat built, contact for details. Violating the licensing agreement is bad karma!
Timeline of Plan Updates
West Greenland Kayak: Standard version (Ideal paddler weight 160 lbs)
West Greenland Kayak: 2% Scale UP (Ideal paddler weight 180 lbs)
West Greenland Kayak: 3% Scale UP (Ideal paddler weight 190 lbs)
West Greenland Kayak: 4% Scale UP (Ideal paddler weight 200lbs)
West Greenland Kayak: 5% Scale UP (Ideal paddler weight 210 lbs)
West Greenland Kayak: 2% Scale DOWN (Ideal paddler weight 140 lbs)
West Greenland Kayak: 3% Scale DOWN (Ideal paddler weight 130 lbs)
West Greenland Kayak: 4% Scale DOWN (Ideal paddler weight 120 lbs)
West Greenland Kayak: 5% Scale DOWN (Ideal paddler weight 110 lbs)
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.
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.
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.
The plan set is a digital PDF file that you'll be able to access through the website after purchasing. You can download and print the file, and will always have access to it and any future updates we may make to the plans through your account on the site.
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.
You can download individual videos to your device, but be aware that file sizes can be quite large.
All Courses, Videos, Kayak Building
All Courses, Plans, Kayak Building
All Courses, Videos, Kayak Building