- Measuring, marking, and cutting accurately
- Identifying wood species
- Sewing Watertight Seams
- Mixing and Applying polyurethane
This kayak is sized to its paddler's body. The Inuit did not have tape measures. Its length, for example, is three fathoms (outstretched arms fingertip to fingertip) minus one cubit (elbow to fingertip).
The first day requires careful measurement and marking of the gunwales, the most important structural component of the boat. They are then mortised to create pockets to accept the steam-bent ribs. Meanwhile, another crew is laminating the masik, a special deck beam that creates room for your knees.
Building this boat requires a patient crew. Some of the process can be challenging, but the completed frame is truly an engineering marvel from an ancient culture. It reveals the ingenuity and resourcefulness of a people who thrived in a harsh environment. Our apprentices have built these kayaks and taken them on 80-mile trips down the Mississippi river. They were so fast that the paddlers frequently had to wait for everyone else to catch up.