ArticlesFree Kayak and Canoe PlansKayaks

Sea Kayak Cockpit Plans

Cockpit on a kayak

Only a few of the kayak plans on PaddlingLight include specific cockpit designs, which leaves it open to you to decide which cockpit to use. I like a cockpit that runs around 32 inches by 17 inches. The plans for this cockpit run just slightly over 32 and just under 17. I find this length and width makes it easier for people over 5’10” to get in the kayak vs. 30-inch versions. The Iggy plans include a smaller cockpit

The plans come as a pdf that you can print off at a office supply store, such as Officemax or Staples, or any printing store that can print up to 36 inches. If you don’t have access to a large-format printer, I included dimensions for every 2 inches. Using the dimensions, you can draw the cockpit out yourself. To do it:

sea kayak cockpit plans

  1. Draw a 32-3/8-inch centerline on a 24 inch wide piece of paper. Tack the paper down to a piece of 3/4-inch plywood.
  2. Mark intervals on the centerline every 2 inches.
  3. Run a line perpendicularly to the centerline the specified distance at each 2-inch interval.
  4. Place a nail at the end of that line.
  5. Place a nail on each end of the centerline.
  6. Run a flexible batten around the nails.
  7. Draw a line around the batten to draw the cockpit outline.
  8. Mirror the outline for the starboard side.
  9. Add in the knee braces following the same procedure.

Note: To reduce the cockpit length to 30 inches, remove the sixth line from the left and make the spacing between the fifth and seventh line 2 inches.

[download box title=”Sea Kayak Cockpit Plans”]

[/download box]

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


  • Hi Brian:

    I’ve decided to correct the worst mistakes I made on my Siskiwit Bay – I made the cockpit cutout much too large, nonstandard, and too low to the water. I intend to cut off the cockpit deck and rebuild it. It will make it more seaworthy, and if I use a standard size I can make my skirt fit better.

    Would this cockpit diagram conform to one of the standard sizes, for buying a skirt?



    • Yes, you’ll just have to make sure to get the right size as skirts tend to be sized differently. Any skirt that will fit a Wilderness Systems sea kayak will fit this design.

  • Cool. Thanks Bryan. I’ll send you pics of the new cockpit when completed.

  • Bryan:

    I’ve got my new deck around the cockpit built and am laying out the opening. I assume these dimensions are of the opening, so that I’ll need to leave an allowance for the thickness of the vertical coaming strips?



    • You can if you like, but you don’t have to. If you use 1/4″ strips, it’ll only be 1/2″ narrower. It’s really up to you. I wouldn’t worry about it.

Comments are closed.