Ninteenth Century West Greenland kayak replica
Catalog #176 Fram Museum, Oslo, Norway
17'10"L  20 7/16"W  7 1/4"D   25lbs

Every winter I invite a few brave souls to the cold dark shop to prototype the kayaks for the new year.  This year Zach from Savannah, Georgia, made the trek to build a copy of this traditional Greenland hunting kayak.   This Type V (see Kayaks of Greenland, Harvey Golden) Greenland kayak has appealing lines and is a bit larger than many Greenland kayaks.   We needed that to accomodate Zach at 6'2" 200lbs with size 13 feet.   On the water he trims the boat quite nicely.    On a cold, windy day I enjoyed the maiden paddle, manuverability is what you'd expect for the type, stability is good, weathercocking was managable but I would want a skeg for long crosswind trips, rolling was good.  It was a bit windy when we paddled so I couldn't get a sense of the senastion of speed, or paddling ease.   The build was fun, we built one for Zach and one on commision.  I'm looking forward to building a shorter one for myself.  The original kayak is still in very good condition and my copy is very accurate, something Zach an I are both proud of.

Interestingly, this kayak was probably used by members of Nansen's cross-Greenland expedition (1888-1889).  During an extended stay in Nuuk, some expedition members learned to use and hunt from these kayaks.


...and some more shots of the 176 from a more recent class, (below) Scott is 230 lbs.  Bigger guys often have trouble with traditional boats, I like this one because at 6'2" he still fits into the nearly original dimentions.

Teaching Jim to roll.  It's thrilling to see someone 'getting it'.  Jim is 6'5"  He's thrilled to be able to get into it! He's leaning toward the camera, this kayak actually has some freeboard when level.

Hey Brian,

the paddling is awesome. The boat flies on my commute from the
Hawthorne Bridge and the 4 miles to my work on Swan Island, it takes
me less than an hour either direction. I feel like I am getting the
hang of the Greenland paddle stroke.  I don't have a lot of
reference points to compare to other sea kayaks but I enjoy the light
weight and closeness to the water. I was able to practice the roll
some more and am getting better.

Greetings, Axel


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