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Build Your Own Sea Kayak


S&G / S&T, Strip – Plans and Kits

NZ Kayak Builders ~ discussion group.

Pygmy Kayak Kits USA. Freight would be about $400 US

SeaLand Kayaks NZ ~ Mac50 sea kayak, a New Zealand design.

Shrike – “I’ve long had a dream to produce an elegant lightweight sea kayak that combined a traditional hard-chined hull with modern developments of bulkheads, hatches, and a lifting skeg: a simple design that was suited for home construction; a design that could be easily adapted to the needs and physique of individual paddlers.”
The plans can be found on cnckayaks, and there is a cnckayaks Facebook page.
The free plans download includes CNC files and anyone is free to make money from kits or completed kayaks.


Arctic Kayaks ~ David Zimmerly

Greenland kayaks & paddling in NZ ~ discussion group.

Greenland kayak construction ~ Wolfgang Brinck

Qajaq, USA

Traditional kayaks ~ Harvey Golden

The MASIK ~ Newsletter of Qajaq, USA

West Greenland Skin on Frame kayak – Bruce Anderson

Construction Methods

Wooden Sea Kayaks

These are Strip-build and S&G/S&T (Stitch & Glue / Stitch & Tape).


Built from strips of wood, glued and laid over a former. The hull and deck are built separately and then joined after removing from the formers. They are generally built with light timber and glassed inside and out.


These are built from plywood, usually on a simple former, the keel glued, bulkheads fitted and then the sides, followed by the deck. American builders generally glass inside and out, adding greatly to the weight and cost. New Zealand builders more often only use glass on the seams and epoxy the ply followed by varnish or paint. With New Zealand’s high UV, paint is preferable.

Not glassing the hull saves a great deal of weight and money. They are just as strong and any repairs are much simpler to do. How long they last is unknown as there are some nearly 40 years old still used and plywood dinghys (same basic construction) nearly 60 years old.


KASK's aims are to:

1. Promote and encourage the sport of sea kayaking
2. Promote safety standards
3. Develop techniques and equipment
4. Deal with issues of coastal access and protection
5. Organise sea kayak forums around the country
6. Publish the Sea Canoeist Newsletter and the KASK Handbook