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Call or email to set a date for any of the listed classes.

Paddle Making

Greenland Kayak Construction

Aleutian Kayak Construction

Playboat Construction

Canoe Construction

Additional Info

All about skin on frame construction

The Building Process Illustrated

Paddle Making Classes

Check out the paddle making classes page for your choice of Greenland or Aleut style paddles.

Boat Building Classes

Class options
You can build any number of different types of boats in a skin on frame manner. The following table summarizes boats, cost of building, class duration and approximate finished weight of the boat. All boats can be car-topped. Click on the boat name to get more details.

Boat type Class length (days) Class cost Boat weight (pounds)
Greenland kayak 14-17 ft 9 $1400 32-40
Baidarka (Aleutian kayak) 14-17 ft 9 $1400 32-40
Baidarka double 20-22 ft 9 $1800 40-50
Canoe 16 ft 9 $1600 50-60
Play boat 10 ft 9 $1400 20-25

Build a boat with a friend or a relative
Class prices are based on the boat you are building. If you want to build your boat with a friend, we still only charge the single student price. This is also an ideal way to build a boat with a younger relative, daughter, son, niece, nephew, grandson, granddaughter. Enjoy your time together and come away with a finished boat. This is a good way to build a boat with a young person who would enjoy taking part in the building process but still needs your help to finish a boat.
Build a boat or paddle with your scout troop
If your troop is involved with on the water activities, building the playboat would be an ideal way to both learn building skills and end up with a boat that you can use to learn paddling skills.

Skinboat FAQ

A list of frequently asked questions along with their answers.

What will I learn to build?
You will learn how to build traditional style kayaks using traditional building techniques. Your boats will have a wooden frame which will be held together with wooden pegs and nylon twine lashings and covered with a nylon skin. The skin will be waterproofed with a two part varnish. Your boat will be fitted to your body and sized to your needs. You get to choose whether you want a boat that is comfortable and roomy or tight and fast or slim and lightweight.

Classes are offered at my shop in Alameda, overlooking San Francisco Bay.

How Long?
Boat building classes require a nine day commitment. Classes are either scheduled for successive three day weekends or can be done in 9 consecutive days.

How Much?
See the table above for prices. This includes all materials. Tools are provided as well. You end up with a boat that you will take home with you. Prices are per boat. Build a boat with a friend for the same price.

What Do I Get?
Besides the knowledge of how to build your own boat, you will also have a first class kayak or canoe by the end of the class, yours to keep and enjoy.

What skills do I need?
No prior woodworking or boatbuilding skills are required. You will learn everything you need to know in this class. All you need is a desire to learn.

What tools will I be using?
The main tools you will be using will be a hand saw, a hammer, an electric drill, a hand plane, a knife and a needle to sew up the skin.

What kind of boat should I build?
To help you make up your mind which boat to build, see the table above. A variety of boat classes are offered so you can match your boat to your budget, time and needs.

How strong are these boats?
Traditionally built skin on frame boats are remarkably strong and with proper care and storage will last the life of the builder. But should your boat get damaged, you will have learned all the skills needed to repair it yourself and have it back on the water in no time.

Your Teacher
Your teacher will be Wolfgang Brinck, builder of traditional skin on frame kayaks since 1987 and author of the book, The Aleutian Kayak.

The Building Process

To get an idea of what you will be doing in the class, check out The Building Process

All content copyright © 2005-2016 Wolfgang Brinck.