1931 Disko Bay Greenland replica kayak

20 inches wide, 6 1/2 inches deep, 16'4" long

Oh how I love the 1931!  As a designer I like the lightly aft trim, flat tail rocker, progressive bow rocker.   As an artist the perfect proportions and subtle recurving gunwales pull my eyes into the shape.  As a paddler I appreciate the functional decklines, protective keel strips and bow knob, and snug but not crushing Greenland fit.    It's swift, manuverable, and balanced in the wind.  Surfing in heavy chop it spears into a following wave, you have to keep two steps ahead on the steering or it will broach and hunt, but that's every greenland kayak and this one seems to do better than most.   I build replica kayaks because they are pretty, because every traditional kayak I build teaches me about modern ones,  because the the Greenland hunting kayak imparts a sense of history, even if it's not my history; and mostly,  by simple virtue of proximity, the Greenland kayak conveys a powerful intimacy with the water.  This kayak scales up beautifully, below is the same kayak, increased 7% in all dimensions, paddled by Gary 6'2" 200lbs ex Marines Special Forces.  Guys this big don't usually fit into Greenland replicas, so the scaled version gives him a way to enjoy these traditional kayaks.

Brian: The boat is outstanding! You are one heck of a craftsman. 
It fits me perfectly. It is quite watertight,showed excellent speed,
manuverability, and rolled very well. You and the inuit designer have my admiration.
 I can see why you loved the boat.

With admiration,
Robbins Tien

The kayak in the following pictures is destined for Wendy Michnay, resident of Orcas Island, WA.  Somehow I couldn't just shove it in a truck and send it away.  Instead I drove it up the mainland and then paddled the last 19 miles to her house on the island.   December 20th, in the teeth of a storm, sick and sneezing, this is my bizzare idea of a mini-vacation.  A paddle through the San Juans is a Christmas present to myself.

I set the kayak up the same way always, pump underneath leather lines (not bungees), spare paddle, paddlefloat (clipped on, not just shoved under the lines), map and compass, seat pad and full size custom made float bags fore and aft.   Four energy bars and 2 quarts of water.  Cell phone in a waterproof case.

Paddling into Rosario Strait, a five mile crossing through confused seas and heavy shipping traffic.  It's almost noon when I leave,  I take a gamble on a fast passage with the weather and currents,  knowing there are places to get out if the plan doesn't work.

I finish the crossing just as the current slacks and the wind hits,  a dead astern following sea makes for a fun and quick passage as the wind howls between Lopez and Blakely island.   I link waves on streaking surf runs and occasionally submerge the kayak up to my waist.  (pic taken by Jackie on the ferry)

Three and a half hours later the sun comes out briefly as I reach my destination, low pink rays in the cold winter sky.  I paddled hard to stay warm, but following seas and winds the whole way helped alot.

Now it's Wendys turn to try the boat.

Wendy likes it!

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