KAYAK & CANOE BUILDING COURSES

Build your own beautiful, lightweight boat. Then paddle it away!

Skin-on-frame boats are extremely strong and comfortable; your boat will be completely bespoke to you and combine traditional frame construction with the best modern materials.

I teach skin-on-frame kayak- & canoe-building courses from my workshop at the historic Underfall Boatyard in Bristol, and various locations around the UK.

Choose from different type of boat

Kayaks: Choose to build a traditional West Greenland, Baidarka or the modern Cape Falcon F1.

Open canoes: Build one to fit your size and intended use (from a super-light 11ft single-seater, to a larger 16-foot expedition canoe, able to take 2 adults and kids/camping gear). All canoes can be modified to take a sail. 

Course dates:

View the latest list of upcoming course dates.

About the courses

Courses are about a week (slightly less for a canoe) and can be tailored to suit you.

Group-size is usually 1:3 max, but you can build a boat on a 1:1 basis if you prefer. I cater to families or couples who want to build a single boat together (this works particularly well for canoes).

 

One of the best things about these courses is the methods and materials are very friendly - we don't use any harmful epoxies and you won't spend hours laboriously sanding!

All materials are included, and at the end of the course you'll take away your own custom-built boat, knowing you made it yourself!

How the courses work

Roughly, kayak-making courses follow this plan (canoe courses are slightly shorter):
 

  • Day 1: Spread the gunwales and build the deck beams (using pegged mortice and tenon joints)

  • Day 2: Steam-bend in the ribs and tie on the stems and stringers

  • Day 3: Add the deck stringers, sand and oil the frames

  • Day 4&5: Sew the skin on the boat and prep the deck toggles and decklines

  • Day 6: Apply colour and coating to boats (+ rough shape paddles if desired)

  • Day 7: Add seats, backbands, rub strips, footbraces, and deck lines. Finish shaping the paddles (if included). Go paddling!

Cost

Kayak-making courses start at £1750 and include all materials (western red cedar and english oak for the frame, 9oz ballistic nylon and 2-part urethane for the skin) and fit-out (leather deck-lines, airbag, backrest and footrests.

Get in touch for canoe-making course costs

 "I have just finished a course with Ant making an F1 kayak. The making was fantastic, as is the result. I can't wait to get out paddling!"

JOEL A. KAYAK MAKING COURSE 2018

FIND US:

Underfall Yard,

Cumberland Road,

Bristol,

BS1 6XG
 

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