ArticlesFree Kayak and Canoe PlansFree Kayak Plans

Free Kayak Plan: Southern Alaskan Baidarka Plans

Free baidarka plans

The Southern Alaskan Baidarka appears as figure 179 in Edwin Tapppan Adney and Howard I. Chapelle’s The Bark Canoes and Skin Boat of North America. This is the only tandem kayak in the book, and the only known style of kayak that was built with more than one seating position — sometimes baidarkas had three. Chapelle notes that this kayak has the stern like the Kodiak kayaks but the hull and bifid bow of the better known Aleutian boats. The original boat in the Washington State Historical Society and Museum is damaged. John Heath took the lines in 1962 and corrected for the damage in his plans.

This by far was the hardest kayak to draw for my free kayak and canoe plan project. The numerous chines, two cockpits, the bifid bow and the odd deck shape compounded the problems. I put in about 10 hours of drawing time between Delftship and my CAD program, which wore on my nerves. The work I’ve put into this project is starting to wear on me, and I’m not sure why I decided to draw the hardest boat at a time when I’m overwhelmed with projects. I just hope someone will find this project helpful and buy me a beer for my efforts. Perhaps, I should have picked the easiest boat in Bark and Skin for this week. Anyway, I stayed true to Heath’s drawings as much as possible, but varied a bit to fair a few lines. The baidarka’s bifid bow was a major modeling challenge. I’m not sure how a cedar strip kayak builder would approach it. Perhaps carving it from a solid piece of wood is the best way. If that’s the direction a builder took, he could carve the bow into any shape as long as the waterline section and the flare remained the same. I really want to build this kayak. I’d like to own a tandem kayak and this one looks fast, stable and like a major load hauler.


Length: 19 feet 7 inches
Width: 29 inches
Draft: 6 inches
Displacement: 575 lbs.

Free Baidarka linesplan

Kayak Building Books

To build a kayak from the free plans, you need info on how to do it. Buy one of these three books to get started.

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.


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


  • Yeah Bryan, I built a single skin baidarka several years back. Other than being a bit tippy for my abilities, the design is amazingly seaworthy. The bifid bow makes for a very sleek run in calm water but also a very dry ride in waves as the rapid increase in volume as the bow dips makes it hard to plunge into a wave (and the peaked deck sheds anything that does get on top). I built a 21 foot double – stitch and glue around that time, one of the chesapeake designs. It suffers badly in big waves or wakes. The narrow pointy bow with a 21 foot length means riding over one wave and diving through the next. It was always routine for the bow man to take the second wave in the chest. At under 20 ft and with the bifid bow, the double badairka should be much better behaved.

  • That’s cool, Scott. I did a Yost-style Nikumi a couple of years ago. It seemed fast and tracked straight, but I didn’t like it. I ended up selling it for cost-of-goods.

    I agree with you on this boat, I think it’d make a nice, fast double.

  • […] 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 […]

  • Could this Kayak be built skin on frame?

    • The original was skin-on-frame, so this one can be built that way also.

      • Your plan stations are for strip building though, aren’t they? Can you recommend a resource for helping a new builder tackle the translation to stations for SOF building?

        • They are for strip building. I’m not sure of any resource for turning these directly into SOF building, but you could cut the forms back the thickness of your desired ribs and stringers, then set up a strongback with the stations. Cut some insets for temporary stringers to bend the ribs around. Bend the ribs, tie on stringers and then remove the station and temp stringers.

          If it’s Yost-style you want, you just pick out which stations that you think would work well to support the frame and use those. It’s usually one near the stems, one at the front and back of the cockpit and a couple inbetween.

  • I’m in Huntington Beach. Looking for a retirement project. Need guidance from magazines, web sites, etc.

Comments are closed.