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Other Bibliographies



Zimmerly - David Zimmerly's kayak bibliographies - no pictures but extensive and annotated.


This section of the bibliography contains books that aren't specifically concerned with canoes or kayaks or are about both canoes and kayaks.

African Nomadic Architecture: Space, Place and Gender,
Labelle Prussin.
Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, 1995.

This book has nothing to do with boats, but I thought I'd throw it in because its subject is tents which are made of sticks lashed together and covered with cloth mats. Lots of intriguing pictures of a technology that is so much like that used to build traditional skin on frame boats.

American Small Sailing Craft: Their Design, Development and Construction,
Howard I. Chapelle.
W.W. Norton and Company, New York, 1951.

Although its title leads us to believe that this book is all about sailboats, it does in fact cover a few small boats that weren't traditionally used with sail and that might profitably be built with skin on frame construction.

The Bark Canoes and Skin Craft of North America,
E.T. Adney and Howard I. Chapelle.
Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, 1983.

One of the first and still one of the most definitive books on the topic. Adney contributed the material on canoes and Chapelle contributed the material on skin boats. The book covers both kayaks and umiaks. John Heath has contributed an appendix on rolling. In addition all drawings of boats and photgraphs of boats in the book may be ordered from the Smithsonian, an invaluable service to builders. 242 pages.

Building Skin-on-Frame Boats,
Robert Morris.
Hartley & Marks Publishers, Vancouver, 2001.

The first half of this book gives detailed instructions for the building of a Greenland kayak. The second half tells you how to build eight other small boats in lesser detail. A section in the center of the book has 8 pages of foldouts with plans for the Greenland kayak as well as the other boats, a baidarka, a Netsilik kayak as well as prams and canoes. If you had to get just one boat book, this would be a pretty good one. Detail in the second half is slim so if you want to build one of the boats from the second half of the book, you will have to read construction details from the Greenland kayak and apply them to what you've chosen to build. 271 pages. Black and white illustrations.

Canoe Paddles: A Complete Guide to Making Your Own,
Graham Warren and David Gidmark.
Firefly Books, Willowdale, Ontario, 2001

David Gidmark has contributed a chapter on traditional canoe paddle designs to this book. The remainder of the book was written by Warren and details techniques for laying up, glueing and shaping paddles. 160 pages. Black and white illustrations.

Fine Woodworking on Bending Wood,
John Kelsey, Ed.
Taunton Press, 1985

This book is a collection of articles that first appeared in the pages of Fine Woodworking Magazine. Articles cover everything from how to make a bucket to how to make a lapstrake boat. There isn't anything in this book about bending kayak ribs, but once you've figured out how to do that and have gotten good at bending wood, you might look in this book to see what else you can make out of bent wood besides boats.

Looking Both Ways; Heritage and Identity of the Alutiiq People
Aaron L. Crowell, Amy F. Steffian, Gordon L. Pullar, Editors.
University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks, 2001

This book is about the history and current culture of the Alutiiq people who inhabit the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak Island. The book contains some material on Alutiiq boats, both kayaks and Umiaks. 265 pages.

Qayaqs and Canoes,
Jan Steinbright, Clark James Mishler, photographer.
Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage, 2001

A nice book on the survival and revival of traditional Alaskan native boatbuilding. The book features boats and builders from nine different regions. This is not a how-to book but should be of interest to builders. 125 pages.

The Skin Boats of St. Lawrence Island, Alaska,
Stephen R. Braund.
University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1988

This book is about the Umiaks of St. Lawrence Island. There is some coverage on the older flat bottomed version of these boats, though most of the book is devoted to contemporary round bottomed versions influenced by whaleboats. 141 pages.

Umiak: An Illustrated Guide
Skip Snaith.
Walrose and Hyde, Eastsound, Washington, 1997

This is a how-to book and covers design principles and construction methods in detail. The book does not include any plans of umiaks. However, these can be purchased separately from the author. 186 pages.

All content copyright © 2004 Wolfgang Brinck. Personal non-commercial use permitted.