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For many paddlers, building a kayak gives a great sense of accomplishment along with a lightweight boat for the price of rotomolded plastic.  You have the choice of a very traditional skin-on-frame construction, the more common stitch and glue plywood method, and the very versatile cedar strip construction method.  I have not had the opportunity yet to build a complete kayak, but I did have the chance to refurbish and repair an older wooden stitch and glue kayak.  I have worked with fiberglass cloth and the epoxy resins, so I may be able to answer some of your questions on building a kayak.  For those of you who are interested in pursuing the “do-it-yourself” option, I have links to several companies that offer plans, kits, and classes and a list of books and other resources. Finally, I wish you all the luck in the world and hope I will have the opportunity to meet you and your new kayak or canoe on the water some day!


Companies that offer plans, kits, and classes:

(This list is not intended to endorse any companies, only to provide help in your research.)


Books About Building Canoes/Kayaks:

  • “Building a Greenland Kayak” by Mark Starr
  • “Building and Repairing Canoes and Kayaks” by Jack Brosius
  • “Building the Greenland Kayak” by Christopher Cunningham
  • “Building Strip-Planked Boats” by Nick Schade
  • “Canoe and Kayak Building the Light and Easy Way: How to Build Tough Super-Safe Boats in Kevlar, Carbon, or Fiberglass” by Sam Rizzetta
  • “Canoe Paddles – A Complete Guide to Making Your Own” by Graham Warren & David Gidmark
  • “Canoecraft” by Ted Moores and Merilyn Mohr
  • “Canoes and Kayaks for the Backyard Builder” by Skip Snaith
  • “Featherweight Boatbuilding” by Mac McCarthy
  • “Fuselage Frame Boats: A Guide to Building Skin Kayaks and Canoes” by S. Jeff Horton
  • “Hooper Bay Kayak Construction” by David W. Zimmerly
  • “Kayakcraft: Fine Woodstrip Kayak Construction” by Ted Moores and Jennifer Moores
  • “Kayaks You Can Build” by Ted Moores and Greg Rossel
  • “Practical Boat Building for Amateurs” by Adrian Neison & Dixon Kemp
  • “Stitch-and-Glue Boatbuilding: How to Build Kayaks and Other Small Boats” by Chris Kulczycki
  • “The Aleutian Kayak” by Wolfgang Brinck
  • “The New Canoe Shop” by Chris Kulczycki
  • “The New Kayak Shop” by Chris Kulczycki
  • “The Strip-Built Sea Kayak” by Nick Schade
  • “The Stripper’s Guide to Canoe-building” by David Hazen
  • “Wood and Canvas Kayak Building” by George Putz


Other Websites and Resources for Building/Repairing Canoes & Kayaks

There is more information on boat and gear repair on the “Paddling Equipment” page of this website.


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