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Free Kayak Plan: Peabody Essex Museum Labrador Kayak 1867

Free kayak plans for the Peabody Essex Museum kayak.

In Building a Greenland Kayak, Mark Starr writes that this kayak, collected in 1867, is the most beautiful kayak that he’s drawn. He believes that it represents a kayak in its purist form; just five sweeping curves define its shape. Although noted as a Labrador kayak, it’s actually a Greenland-style boat.

While drawing the kayak for these free plans, I didn’t encounter any real problems. The simple curves essentially faired themselves with only a little help from the computer. It’s a pretty simple kayak. I drew the fore-deck to the original drawings, so even in cedar strip, the boat will look like a replica. Near the cockpit, I attempted to approximate what the skin would look like when pulled and sewn to the cockpit coaming. The boat shouldn’t present any difficulties during a cedar strip build.


Length: 18 feet 4-1/2 inches
Width: 19 5/8 inches

Peabody Essex Museum kayak linesplan

Kayak and Canoe Building Books

To build this kayak, consider one of these books. These three books are the best.

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

Get the Drawing Package or 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. 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.


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  • I like what you are doing with these drawings; they look great! I also like that you are doing it as “shareware” offering. I tried to download the free plans and got one page… end view of the kayak but no table of offsets or lines drawing. What did I do wrong?



  • I’m glad you like it. You didn’t do anything wrong. The plans include the station and stems in a 1:1 scale as a pdf. You can print it off at a copyshop and use the print for stations and stems. The linesplan is the clickable image below the “Specifications” section. I’m not including a table of offsets.

  • Brian,
    I am thinking about building this kayak in SOF for its sheer beauty. I am 6’2″ tall and 170lbs will the kayak be ok for my size??
    I am also concerned about stability where I am a novis. Could the beam be pushed out an inch or so? I am a boatbuilder so I don’t have any concerns with fairing lines. Or should I just plan on getting used to a tippy Kayak.

    Any advise would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Simon.

    • I love the look of this kayak also. At 4 inches of draft the displacement is 188 lbs, and the sheerline is 7 inches, so I suspect with the current width, it’d only work well as a rolling kayak for you. The low deck might also be a problem depending on your shoe size.

      Taking the width out to 22 inches gets you 208 lbs of displacement at 4 inches. As for stability, with the width increase, it goes from KM=0.79 to KM=0.91. That’s more stable than the NDK Explorer and other British-style kayaks. Personally, I’d call that really stable.

      I’d also change the deck on this one to an elliptical or a simple radius deck tall enough for your shoe size and maybe 11 to 12 inches at the cockpit coaming. I’d also build it with a keyhole cockpit.

  • Brian,

    Thanks for all the information, I think it is worth trying the modifications. I haven’t seen anything else with such clean and simple lines, of course the flat deck lends to this, which I may have to change as you suggest.

    If I go ahead with the build I will send some photos along.

    One last question, do you think these modifications would have a negative affect on the kayak? Should I go with one of you other designs?

    Thanks again,


    Thanks, Simon.

Comments are closed.