To start with, I bought the following book. I ordered it via but you can also order it directly from the author.

The Strip Built Sea Kayak

Author: Nick Schade
Publisher: Ragged Mountain Press / McGraw-Hill
ISBN: 0-07-057989-X

The authors Home Page, which is very worthwhile visiting,  can be found at

I highly recommend this book.  It covers all aspects of  building a strip kayak in sufficient detail for a novice to understand and follow and also contains the offsets for three kayaks (below) so it is great value !   With this book and the materials you can build a sea-going kayak.

  • A simple-to-build single -  The Great Auk
  • A slightly more difficult to build single -  The Guillemot
  • A kayak for two  - The Guillemot Double
The author has an amiable writing style, easy to warm to, and even if you have other such books, this one would be a worthwhile addition to your library.  The author also runs an extremely useful, and busy, bulletin board and the people there are very responsive and friendly.  Any questions I asked were answered eagerly and promptly and  it was comforting to have access to people willing to share their knowledge. I have to warn you though, some of the kayaks pictured there are so beautiful they set a very high standard to aim for !

I chose to build the Guillemot single as although it is more challenging for a beginner, I liked the look of it, and that's very important.  As it started to appear on the building forms, my expectations proved well founded.  In fact, it looks even better in real life than on paper.   I was a total novice to kayaks but this probably stood in my favour as I was not confident enough to meddle around with the design and so followed the book more or less to the letter.  This was probably a good thing as at least I ended up with the boat which the designer intended.  I had no project plan and no timetable.  I worked when I felt like it and stopped when I didn't.  This made the project very enjoyable. I had never used cedar before as it's not a commonly used wood in Ireland, but it was a delight to make its acquaintance.  It is a lovely wood. Extremely light, with soft splinters and a very heady aroma when worked.  It also bends easily. What more could you ask for !!