Belcher Island Kayak Plans

Belcher Island kayak plans

The Belcher Island Kayak was collected in 1958 from Great Whale River where it was built by “Adlaykok” or Allaiquq. It appears as figure 46 in E.Y. Arima’s Inuit Kayaks in Canada: A Review of Historical Records and Construction, Based Mainly on the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s Collection. Arima notes that it was likely built for demonstration, and that its 22-foot length and 29.5-inch beam would make for a good trade kayak between the Belcher Islands and mainland. He also notes that it’s likely as much as a single paddler could handle by himself.

The condition of the kayak was rather poor when the lines were taken. The bottom was collapsed and the stern warped upward. Arima notes that this collapse and warping was corrected in the drawings. I further corrected what looked like warping to my eye in his drawings.


The Belcher Island kayak is definitely different looking that many modern kayaks. Here’s the linesplans.

belcher island kayak

Belcher Island Kayak Plans Specifications

Design length 22.750 ft
Design beam 29.5 in
Design draught 0.400 ft
Length on waterline 19.397 ft
Beam on waterline 2.376 ft
Displacement 1000 lbs
Block coefficient 0.6885
Prismatic coefficient 0.5650
Waterplane coefficient 0.6549
Vert. prismatic coefficient 0.6509

Kayak and Canoe Building Books

I drew the plans for cedar strip building. If you plan on doing that, you’ll need a book that will help you. These are the three to consider.

For more, check out my canoe and kayak building books review.

Study Plans

The free kayak plans for the Belcher Island kayak are yours to examine for free. If you want to build a kayak from these free kayak plans, you can enlarge it and attempt a build. Other options are available as well.

Stem and Station Plans Example

This is what the stem and station plans looks like.
belcher island kayak study plans

Purchase Drawings

You can purchase electronic drawings of this kayak different formats. The first is a full-sized stem and station drawing, which is the same as the study plans, but full-sized. If you build a kayak from the study plans or the full-sized stem and station drawing, then you can pay a $30 donation license fee (the donation fee includes full-sized stem and station drawings for free), or you can buy Stem and Station Nestings, which includes the full-sized stem and station drawing and each station drawn individually and setback lines from 3/16-inch strips.

Belcher Island Kayak Plans

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  1. Robert Terry
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Great work, and an intriguiging design! What is your assessment of the handling characteristics of this kayak, and modern use? Would it be suitable for the larger paddler for extended cruising? I’m 6’4″ tall and 275.

    • Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      It would fit you for sure, but it’s pretty wide — as wide as many solo canoes. I didn’t run resistance calculations, but I’d guess you’d have to have a ton of power to drive this thing. I don’t know that I’d want to use it for cruising.

  2. Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Very interesting design! Funny thing was didn’t me and you talk recently about my barn being long enough for a certain double kayak?? One foot too short to build this monster!!

    Looks like a fast and very wet ride.

    • Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      We did talk about that tandem. I don’t think that we’ll see any of these done as a reproduction anytime soon.