I’m a boat builder. Inveterate might be one adjective that applies. Obsessed, my wife claims, might be another. You can find out more about the kayak business I run here.

baidarka interiorPrimarily I’ve built skin-on-frame kayaks in the Greenland or Aleutian style. These are what the term implies — a painted or varnished skin of fabric that covers a frame made of scraps of cedar or oak and sometimes a few willow twigs. Looking at the pile of materials, you wouldn’t think they could be turned into a boat. That it should be a light, responsive and fast craft is all the more remarkable. Another one for the wit-of-the-native peoples file.

I’ve built 20 of these boats over the years. I’ve also built a stitch-and-glue kayak (fiberglass-covered panels of plywood cut and bent into a boat), repaired time-worn skin-on-frame boats, rebuilt a damaged cedar-and-canvas canoe, and rebuilt a neglected stripper canoe.

black kayak

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