Free Canoe and Kayak Plan Project

Siskiwit Bay sea kayak built from free kayak plans.

If you’re a loyal reader of PaddlingLight, you know that I’ve been modeling old canoes and kayaks from sources like The Bark Canoes and Skin Boat of North America and turning them into free plans. I’m almost three months into the project, which started on October 8th. So far, I’ve modeled 12 free plans during the project and with the holiday crunch I need a week off — that’s why you’re seeing this post instead of a new plan this week.

The process for modeling one of these boats is lengthy. I put in a couple of hours on each boat with some taking longer than others — surprisingly, because the canoes are symmetrical, they take more work. After I’m finished with the project on April 1st, I’ll have around 200 hours into it. I hope that the plans result in some of the boats getting built. For more, check out my canoe and kayak building books review.

I also hope that if you find these plans useful, you send me cash to compensate my time. By releasing the plans for free and asking for a donation, I’m running a little experiment. When these boats get built if you like how it paddles, I ask for $30. Prior to the Free Canoe and Kayak Plan Project, I offered seven plans on the website. Four styles got built. The Siskiwit Bay and Iggy being the most popular. For the most part, builders sent me cash. I hope that trend keeps up, because these plans do have value. It will help decide if I continue to release my personal designs for free or if I have to set up some type of optional payment system upfront before I release the plans. That’ll mean changing from a donation after getting the plans to a pay-what-you-want before you get the plans system. Other Indie designers have had success with the later system.

Here’s the info on the free canoe and kayak plans released so far:

Free Kayak Plans

Canoes Plans

Receive PaddlingLight updates straight to your inbox every time I publish a new article. Your email address will never be shared

Here are other free plans that aren’t part of the project:

Free Kayak Plans

  • Siskiwit Bay — Length: 17 feet Width: 21 inches — Great modern British-style sea kayak. Built many times.
  • The Iggy — Length: 16.543 ft Design beam: 1.745 ft — Greenland-style sea kayak with a modern deck. Built many times.
  • Goodnow Kayak — Length: 16.679 ft Beam: 1.478 ft — Built a couple of times.
  • Siskiwit Bay Multi-Chined Kayak — Length: 17 ft Beam: 1.757 ft

Free Canoe Plans

Happy New Year! I hope your paddling dreams come true this year.