Build It YourselfCanoesFree Kayak and Canoe PlansKayaks

Canoe and Kayak Building Resources began as a place to distribute my wilderness philosophy, show off my kayak and canoe building logs, provide boat information, and get my free canoe and kayak plans online. Since it’s inception, grew far bigger than I expected, and the most popular articles on the site have consistently been about boat building. For new visitors there are a daunting number of articles on canoe and kayak building, so this post is written with you in mind. Builders and paddlers who’ve visited before may find many of these resources new and interesting as well.

If you have an idea, tip, or article about kayak or canoe building, please, consider submitting.

Free Canoe and Kayak Plans

There are a number of free canoe and kayak plans on the website. Some have been built and prototyped and some are just drawings. A number of them were designed using Hulls, and you’ll need a copy of Hulls to view them. I designed the new boats with Delftship, so you’ll need a copy of Delftship or Free!ship to view the plans. The more popular boats include pdf and dxf files for people who don’t want to learn a new boat design program.

Cedar Strip Kayaks

  • Siskiwit Bay Kayak: A 17-foot British-style touring kayak with great looks. I prototyped this kayak, fell in love with it, but ended up selling my prototype to a friend who loved it even more. A number of builders who I only know through the Internet have labored away building their versions of it.
  • The Iggy: A 16+ foot Greenland-style kayak. Based off of the boat that the Valley Anas Acuta was based off. I kept the hull the same as the original and included a modern deck. I think this kayak is good for paddlers up to 160 pounds.

Plywood or Skin Kayaks

I’ve drawn up only a few plywood kayaks, but only built one of them. If you enjoy working in marine plywood, these drawings may offer just the kayak you’re looking for.

  • Goodnow Kayak: A very low volume Greenland kayak. It’s been built in skin-on-frame and plywood. Search the archives at Qajaq USA for more info.
  • Siskiwit Bay Multi-chine: A plywood version of my cedar strip kayak. As far as I know, it’s never been built.
  • Aleutian Baidarka Kayak: MAE593-76. It was originally collected by I.G. Voznesenskii in 1845 on Akun Island in the Aleutian Islands.

Old and Unsupported Drawings

You can find drawings of a few old kayaks and canoes on the page showing the boats I built back in the day. Some of these have been built, but most haven’t. The Viking boat was built in a reduced form by someone from the Viking Boat mailing list. I don’t like most of these old drawings, so I don’t really support them anymore. A new drawing of the Viking ship is in the works.

Required Programs

Download these to view the drawings.

hansel_bryan_070808 053How to Build and Do It Yourself Articles published many how to build articles in the Do It Yourself catagory. Some of these articles were written by me, but most were written by guest authors. I’ve really enjoyed having guest bloggers/authors post their articles on this website, and I think you’ll find these articles informative.

hansel_bryan_080831-014Builder’s Logs

I wrote builder’s logs for three of my kayak builds. You’ll find interesting techniques, like how to use rubber hatches, how to build recessed carbon fittings, and how to build a skeg among these articles.

Siskiwit Bay


A clear vinyl skinned skin-on-frame designed by Tom Yost.

The Iggy

On this build I incorporate all the builder tricks that I’ve accumulated through the years. With the dyed wood, it is beautiful. I’ll never go back to kayaks without stains again.

Recommended Books to Buy Before Building

Subscribe! Get PaddlingLight in your inbox. Enter your email address:


Comments are closed.