Kayak Building Bibliography

Here is a list of books and other texts related to kayaks, kayaking, kayak design, boat design, woodworking and boat building that may be of interest to anyone interested in building their own kayak.

Across Arctic America :Narrative of the Fifth Thule Expedition
by Knud Rasmussen
Univ of Alaska Press; (February 1999)
(A fascinating account of a journey across the top of the American continent in the early 1900s. Knud Rasmussen was half Inuit, half Danish and he records the life style of the Inuit people before much interaction with Europeans)
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The Aleutian Kayak : Origins, Construction, and Use of the Traditional Seagoing Baidarka
by Wolfgang Brinck
Ragged Mountain Press, Camden, ME
(A good how-to for making a skin-on-frame kayak in the traditional Aleut way.)
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by George Dyson
Alaska Northwest Books, Seattle, WA, 98107
(A richly illustrated book covering the history of Aleut kayak development, George Dyson's adventures and philosophy and his method of building kayaks using aluminum tubing and nylon.)
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Building the Adirondack Guideboat: Wood Strip Reproductions of the Virginia
By Michael J. Olivette and John D. Michne
Nicholas K. Burns Publishing
ISBN 0971306990
(A complete explanation of the process of building a guideboat using the strip-built method. The authors specifically desired to reproduce the look of the original boats so use so use fasteners to hold the strips to permanent ribs.)
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Building the Greenland Kayak
By Mark Starr
Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT
ISBN 091337296X
(A well written book devoted exclusively to building a Greenland style skin-on-frame kayak. Mark uses his experience teaching people how to build these boats to give explicit instruction yet provide advice for reasonable modifications.)
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Boatbuilder's Manual
Edited by Charles Walbridge
Menasha Ridge Press, 3169 Cahaba Heights Road, Birmingham, Al 35243
(This book was written for builders of fiberglass white-water kayaks, but it contains a lot of good information about fiberglassing, materials, and resins that is applicable to strip-built kayaks.)
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Build-A-Boat: A Beginner's Guide to Simple Boat Construction
(Article: Building Bob's Special by Ted Moores)
WoodenBoat Books, Box 78, Naskeag Rd. Brooklin, ME 04616
(Short article with pictures of building a canoe. A very consise description of building a cedar strip/epoxy canoe.)
This article is included with all Bear Mountain Boats Canoe Plans, Purchase form Amazon

Building Strip Planked Boats
By Nick Schade
McGraw Hill
(A comprehensive how-to book on building sea kayaks by the "cedar-strip/epoxy" or "strip-built" method. Designs by the author for three different sea kayaks.)
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Building a Strip Canoe
by Gil Gilpatrick
DeLorme Publishing Co, Freeport, ME, 04032
(ISBN: 0-89933-026-6)
(This is the book I learned about strip-building from. A good no-nonsense introduction to strip-building.)
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Building Skin-on-Frame Boats
By Robert Morris
Hartley & Marks; ISBN: 0881791911
(A good discussion of building a variety of skin-on-frame kayaks as well as some other boats.)
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Building Your Kevlar Canoe
by James Moran
McGraw-Hill, Inc., Customer Service Dept., Box 547, Blacklick, OH 43004
(ISBN: 0-07-043036-5)
(A good resource for building a canoe with Kevlar (or fiberglass) without any wood in the final product)
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Building the Greenland Kayak - A manual for its construction and use.
by Christopher Cunningham
Ragged Mountain Press, Camden, ME
(ISBN: 0071392378)
(A clearly written instruction for building a skin-on-frame kayak based on the style of the Greenland Inuits.)
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by Ted Moores and Merilyn Mohr
Camden House Publishing, North York, Ontario, Canada, M2N 6S7
(ISBN: 0-920656-24-2)
(A book about strip building canoes. Provides a different perspective on the building process.)
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Canoe Paddles - A complete guide to making your own
by Graham Warren and David Gidmark
Firefly Books, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
(ISBN: 1-55209-525-8)
(A comprehensive instruction for making a wide variety of wooden canoe paddles with a short chapter about kayak paddles)
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Contributions to Kayak Studies
by E. Y. Arima
Canadian Museum of Civilization, National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, Canada, K1A 0M8
(An assortment of information investigating the construction and performance of traditional kayaks.)
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Eastern Arctic Kayaks - History, Design, Technique
by John Heath and E. Arima
University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks
(ISBN: 1-889963-25-9)
( Probably the most comprehensive work on the technology and techniques of the traditional kayaks of Greenland and eastern Canada you will ever find.)
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Featherweight Boatbuilding
by Mac McCarthy
WoodenBoat Books, Box 78, Naskeag Rd., Brooklin, ME 04616
(ISBN: 0-937822-39-6)
(Mac McCarthy, of Feather Canoes, builds Rushton-style double paddle canoe using the strip-built method)
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Hand Tools - Their Ways and Workings
by Aldren A. Watson
Lyons & Burford, Publishers, New York, NY 10010
(A good reference for how to use and care for hand tools.)
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Illustrated Guide to Wood Strip Canoe Building
by Susan Van Leuven
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd
(ISBN: 0764305379)
(Illustrated with a large number of color pictures. Quite comprehensive depiction of the building process.)
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Inuit Kayaks in Canada - A Review of Historical Records and Construction
by E. Y. Arima
Canadian Museum of Civilization, National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, Canada, K1A 0M8
(A review of historical records with much information about Inuit kayaks, their design and construction.)
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Introduction to Naval Architecture
By Thomas C. Gillmer and Bruce Johnson
Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD
(A beginners text book with all the detail most people will need.)
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KayakCraft: Fine Woodstrip Kayak Construction
by Ted Moores
WoodenBoat Books, Brooklin, ME 04616
(ISBN: 0-937822-56-6)
(A good book describing the process of building a kayak using wood strips. Ted is the author of CanoeCraft which is the best book about building canoes using the same method. A good compliment to my book "The Strip Built Sea Kayak")
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Kayaks of Greenland : The History and Development of the Greenlandic Hunting Kayak, 1600-2000
by Harvey Golden
White Horse Grocery Press, Portland, OR 97215
(ISBN: 0978722108)
(This tour-de-force is the definitive guide to the historic kayaks of Greenland. Harvey has traveled around the world measuring and documenting skin on frame kayaks built in Greenland, built replica's of many of them and presents what he learned in this book. While it is expensive, if you are interested in kayak design, this is a valuable reference work.)
Available directly from Harvey Golden
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Kayaks of Alaska  
by Harvey Golden
White Horse Grocery Press, Portland, OR 97215
(ISBN: 978-0-9787221-2-8)
(Harvey continues documenting the original kayaks of the Arctic. He is creating the definitive resource for anyone with serious interest in the history of kayaks,.)
Available directly from Harvey Golden

Kayaks You Can Build - An illustrated guide to plywood construction
By Ted Moores and Greg Rössel
Firefly Books, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
(ISBN 1-55297-861-3)
(Journals and recommendations for building several different kayaks using the stitch and glue method. This book does not include any plans for boats, but shows a variety of different ways to build plywood boats. A good resource for anyone interesting in Stitch and Glue construction.)
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Qajaq - Kayaks of Siberia and Alaska
by David W. Zimmerly
Alaska State Museums, Div. of State Museums, Dept. of Education, 395 Whittier Street, Juneau, AK 99801
(The book written to accompany an exhibition of traditional kayaks. Provides a good background about Alaskan and Siberian kayaks.)
Available directly from David Zimmerly
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Rip, Strip, and Row: A Builder's Guide to the Cosine Wherry
by J. D. Brown and John Hartsock
Tamal Vista Publications 222 Madrone Ave., Larkspur, CA 94939
(ISBN: 0-917436-02-4)
(Describes building a row boat using the strip built method)
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Sea Canoeing
by Derek Hutchinson
A & C Black, London, UK
("Canoeing" in English means "kayaking" in American. I have an old copy and I know they have updated it, maybe the translated the name. This is a good reference for learning how to handle a kayak after you've built it.)

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Seaworthiness: The Forgotten Factor
By C A Marchaj
Tiller, St Michaels, MD
(This book is aimed at sailors, but if you ever wondered why a kayak stays upright of flips over, this book will will tell you. While being very detailed about an esoteric subject, it is still easy to read. )
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Ships and Boats of the North, Volume 1, Skinboats of Greenland
by H. C. Petersen
The National Museum of Denmark, The Greenland Provincial Museum, The Viking Museum of Roskilde
ISBN 8785180084
(An indepth exploration of the kayak culture of Greenland. Includes detail of traditional kayak construction as well as kayak related tools and clothing. Also information about umiaks.)
Available online from Atuagkat and Neriusaaq Bookstore.

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Strip-Built Boats: How to Build Any Canoe "Stripper Style"
by Lew Miller
(Available from Canoe & Kayak Magazine)
Canoe America Associates, Box 3146 Kirkland, WA 98083
(Pamphlet-style booklet that outlines strip building method.)

The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America
by Edwin T Adney & Howard I. Chappell
Smithsonian Institution Press, 470 L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C. 20560
(Primarily about birchbark canoes, but some good info about traditional kayaks. This is the bible for information about Native American boats.)

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The Bombproof Roll and Beyond
By Pul Dutky
Menasha Ridge Press, 3169 Cahaba Heights Road, Birmingham, Al 35243
(A well illustrated manual for learning to do the Eskimo roll. Not a required skill for sea kayaking but a damned useful one.)
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The Canoe Building Book
by Minnesota Canoe Association
Minnesota Canoe Association, Box 13567, Dinkytown Station, Minneapolis, MN 55414
(Strip building manual for canoes)

The Encyclopedia of Wood (Revised Edition)
by The Forest Products Laboratory
Sterling Publishing Co. Inc, New York
(The name just about says it all. This book contains all the technical information you will ever want about wood.)
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The Epoxy Book
by System Three Resins, Inc., P.O. Box 70436, Seattle, WA, 98107
(Written by System Three with their resins in mind, but still a very good source for general epoxy knowledge. If you have not used epoxy or fiberglass before, this book is worthwhile.)

The Family Handyman (magazine) - May, June, July/August 1991
(Article in 3 parts: Cedar Strip Canoe by Bruce Kieffer)
Handyman Back Issues, Box 1917 Marion, OH 43305
(Building 18' tandem canoe using polyester resin for strip construction)

The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction - Wood & West Systems Materials
by Gougeon Bros, Inc. Box X908, Bay City, Michigan 48707
(Written by the makers of West Systems epoxy, again with their products in mind. This a large reference with a lot of information about building boats of wood with epoxy.)
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The Kayak Shop
by Chris Kulczyki
Ragged Mountain Press, Camden, ME
(Instructions on how to build a stitch-and-glue plywood kayak. Some information here may be transferable to a stripper.)
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The Modern Canoe: A Practical Guide to Woodstrip/Resin Construction
by Stephen Pellerin and Ted Blissland
Doubleday Canada, Ltd., 105 Bond St. Toronto, Ontario M5B 1Y3
(ISBN: 0-385-25463-6)
(A guide for strip building a canoe with polyester resins.)
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The Principles of Naval Architecture, (Three Volumes)
Edited by Edward V. Lewis
The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Jersey City.
(A comprehensive text of naval architecture for boats of all sizes.)
Purchase from Amazon:Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3

The Shape of the Canoe
By John Winter
Redwing Design, Box 283, Burk's Falls, Ont, P0A 1C0, Canada
(A well written technical discussion of the canoe and kayak design.)
Articles by John are available on Green Valley Boat Works.

The Strip-Built Sea Kayak:Three Rugged Beautiful Boats You Can Build
By Nick Schade
Ragged Mountain Press, Camden, ME
(A comprehensive how-to book on building sea kayaks by the "cedar-strip/epoxy" or "strip-built" method. Designs by the author for three different sea kayaks.)
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The Strippers Guide to Canoe Building
by David Hazen
Tamal Vista Publications, Larkspur, CA 94939
(ISBN: 0-917436-00-8)
(An older strip-built instruction book with some information about building kayaks. Good for a second or third opinion.)
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Objects for Use: Handmade by Design
Edited by Paul Smith
(Museum exhibition catalog book from the American Craft Museum. Includes pictures of my Night Heron as well as other beautiful handmade items.)
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Qaanniornermut ilitsersuut - Instruction in Kayak Building
by H. C. Petersen
Nunatta Katersugaasivia Allagaateqarfialu - Greenland national Museum & Archives
(A simple description of building a tradional Greenland style skin-on-frame kayak. Written in Greenlandic, Danish and English.)
Available online from Atuagkat and Neriusaaq Bookstore.

WoodenBoat Magazine - Issue #100 (June 1991)
(Article: Strip-Building a Double Paddle Canoe by Mac McCarthy)
Reprinted in:, The WoodenBoat Series - 10 Wooden Boats You Can Build - For Sail,
Power, Oar, and Paddle
WoodenBoat Books, Box 78, Naskeag Rd., Brooklin, ME 04616
(A pictorial description of strip-building a double-paddle canoe.)