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A Skene Walrus Hits the Water

walrus folding kayak

Another Walrus hits the water. This time it’s a folder. And it looks great. Norman L. Skene originally published the drawings in The Rudder Magazine. Later George Putz published the plans in his book Wood and Canvas Kayak Building. Skene based the Walrus on the 1921 Southwest Greenland Kayak, aka the Skinny Walrus. Markus Kosel, the builder, did a great job as you can see from the following pictures.

Here’s what Markus says:

I followed you advice and I built the Skene Walrus.

The boat is built as a traditional folding kayak, with a wooden frame and a skin made from PVC coated fabric underneath and a canvas deck. The dimensions are those of Skene’s original plans. I followed Mike Hanks’ advice and moved the rear end of the coaming 4 inches (10cm) backwards, which is in line which your rule of thumb, whereas the rear end of the coaming should be 15 inches stern of the center of buoyancy (or where I estimate the CoB to be) [Ed: See Building the Perfect Kayak Part 7] See . And I raised the front deck stringer 4cm (about 1 3/4 inches) above Skene’s dimensions.

I am very happy with the result: compared to my other folding kayaks this one is rather fast, it tracks nicely and it is at the same time easy to turn.

The Walrus is light (its weight is 18Kg), and I did not notice any tendency of weathercocking. The kayak has enough gear storage volume for multi day trips, more storage capacity than a Feathercraft Kahuna has.

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