The Unalaska baidarka appears as Figure 178 in the Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America. Howard I. Chapelle, the author, writes that it represents the standard design used throughout the Aleutian Islands and on the mainland as far east as Prince William Sound. The Aleuts also used this style in the Pribilof Islands and at St. Matthew as a sealing kayak. Chapelle notes that the bow varied from the style used in this free plan, but he says that the body style remained the same. The Aleuts also built this kayak in two-cockpit and three-cockpit versions.
I had a hard long battle modeling this one. Like the last baidarka that I modeled for a set of plans, it took a ton of time. It didn’t help that Chapelle’s drawings don’t exactly match, so I fudged a little and went with what my eye and the computer program told me was fair. I’m extremely pleased with how I drew the bow and stern. It took time, but it really looks like the baidarka that I built. I think this bow looks really cool and I’d love to paddle this kayak. I bet it’s fast.
Length: 17 feet 8.5 inches
Width: 20 inches
Draft: 4.8 inches
Displacement: 275 lbs.
Capacity: 140 to 325 lbs.
1894 Unalaska Baidarka Kayak Lines Plans
The lines plans show different station intervals than the pdf. Click on it to see a big version.
Kayak Building Books
To build a kayak from the free plans, you’ll need instructions. These books are a good start.
- The Strip-Built Sea Kayak: Three Rugged, Beautiful Boats You Can Build: If you only buy one book, then buy this one.
- Building Strip-Planked Boats: Contains updates to lots of the techniques found in The Strip-Built Sea Kayak.
- Kayakcraft: Fine Woodstrip Kayak Construction: Some really good ideas.
- Consider buying The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America for more info about this kayak.
For a more in-depth list, check out my canoe and kayak building books review.
Get the Drawing Package
The drawing package includes the full-sized study plan and each station and stem drawn separately on a PDF that prints full sized on ARCH D size paper (nestings). You can cut these out and glue them to plywood to cut full-sized forms. A pdf of the electronic drawing package. is available for this kayak. You can print the file on 24- by 36-inch paper on your own.
Free Kayak Plans Downloads
The free kayak plans come as a pdf (free Adobe Reader required to view) that you can print off at photocopy stores.
- Free Kayak Plan: Unalaska Aleutian Baidarka Kayak Plans