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West Greenland Skin-on-Frame Kayak: Build Your Own

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Course Overview

This course is for individuals with a strong interest in creating a seaworthy craft with their own hands. The Inuit kayak from Greenland is a fast and responsive vessel designed for hunting but just as suitable for today’s more common recreational purposes. Students will design their craft to fit their own body size. Begin by laying out and cutting mortises. Kerf together the compound miter at the gunwale ends, and lash the deck beams into place. Steam bend ribs and cockpit coaming, then lash the longitudinals into place. Sew a watertight seam along the entire length of the deck. Kayaks will be constructed of Eastern white pine, white cedar, white oak, and white ash, and covered with 9 oz. urethane-coated nylon for a bomb-proof skin. Kayak length may vary from 14' to 18' depending on your preference. Students are encouraged to bring a partner to assist them, for no additional tuition, as this course can be a great family project.

Phil and Brian have many years of experience teaching youth to build a variety of skin-on-frame boats for Urban Boatbuilders. They are excited to bring their considerable knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm for beginning and advanced boat builders to the North House workshop.

The instructors will consult with each student four weeks prior to the start of the course to discuss materials for the length of the intended boat to be built. Material costs may vary given market prices and will be determined four weeks out. In addition to the tuition fee, each student will be expected to reimburse an additional $700 (approximately) for materials directly to the instructor at the beginning of the course. Separate tuition payment and cancellation policies apply to this course.


Mon, Jun 24th, 2019  –  Sun, Jun 30th, 2019

Course Details

Length: 7 Days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: 9am-5pm
Intergenerational age: 14+ w/o parent
Tuition: $735.00
Additional materials fee paid to instructor when class starts: Varies ($700-$800)


You will need the following tools for this class:

  • low angle block plane (available @ North House School Store)
  • cross cut saw/Japanese or folding saw preferable
  • cordless drill
  • assorted bits (1/4” – 1/16”)
  • combination square
  • 16’ tape measure
  • 8 – 3” “C” clamps
  • 6 – 2” spring clamps
  • pair of leather gloves for hand protection when lashing
  • several pencils
  • life vest or PFD

Optional Tools

  • Feel free to bring your favorite tools and whatever materials you might feel appropriate for this course.
  • spoke shave
  • sliding T bevel
  • eye and ear protection as desired (available @ North House School Store)
  • 1/4" and 3/4" chisels
  • half round file or rasp
  • mallet or hammer
  • countersink for a drill
  • carving knife (available for purchase @ North House School Store 888-387-9762)

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.

Meet the Instructor

North House Folk School photo of instructor, Phil Winger
Phil Winger

Meet the Instructor

North House Folk School photo of instructor, Brian Thorkildson
Brian Thorkildson
St. Paul, MN

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West Greenland Skin-on-Frame Kayak: Build Your Own - 6/24/2019