Skin on Frame Greenland kayak


A traditional Greenland kayak, built to your specifications. Cost is £1900 (Deposit of £500 payable when ordering)


Greenland style skin-on-frame (SOF) kayaks are low volume, low windage, light, responsive, sea worthy craft. We build the kayak using your measurements and will discuss this in detail with you before building your kayak. Our build is based on the method used by HC Petersen in his classic book, ‘Instruction in Kayak Building’. HC Petersen was born in West Greenland in 1925 ans was instrumental in preserving the local knowledge and traditions surrounding kayak building. His book is written in English, Danish and Greenlandic. I have a well thumbed copy in my workshop!
– overall length is three times your arm span (approx three times your height),
– the beam is the width your hips plus two closed fists,
– the height of the deck aft of the cockpit is the length of your fist in the ‘thumbs up’ position
This is the starting point, if you want a rolling kayak, it will be narrower, with lower freeboard.

It is built using a variety of timbers, notably Western Red Cedar, Ash, Pine and Larch. No glue or metal fixings are used, apart from the construction of the laminated cockpit rim. All joints are made using artificial sinew. This ensures that the boat remains light and flexible.

The skin of the kayak is a material known as ‘ballistic nylon’. Canvas can also be used but it doesnt last as long, is more difficult to work with and soaks up water if not treated correctly.

Length, beam and weight will depend on your size and your requirements – we build the kayak using
Length – approx 5 – 5.75 metres
Beam – approx 51 – 55cm
Weigh – approx 17 – 21 kg

Cost of a completed SOF Greenland style kayak is £1900. When you order, you will be charged a deposit of £500. The balance of £1400 is payable prior to delivery.


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