Kayak building workshops

Unicorn Kayaks offers three levels of kayak building workshops tailored to your needs. Kayak building workshops can be completed in as little as two days with a little preparation, or three days with ease. Starting with a set of frames and a pile of fragrant red cedar stringers, the first day sees the frame emerge like the skeleton of some beautiful sea creature. Our construction is a hybrid of traditional and modern methods, melding the best of the new and old worlds. On the second day we sew the skin onto the kayak and install the cockpit coaming the old way, needle and sinew, substituting stainless steel for bone needles, artificial sinew for caribou sinew and heavy duty Dacron cloth for sealskin. On completion of the course, take your new kayak home like a new bride. Its going to be the start of a lifelong relationship.

On Site Workshop: This is usually a two day course held in my workshop. We prepare the stringers and frames in advance and the course begins first thing in the morning of the first day. Through the day we erect the frames, lash the stringers and install the floorboards and foot-braces. Through the day you will learn some of the traditional skills required of the Arctic kayak builders,drink as much tea or coffee as you can handle, swap tales and Aleut folklore, get sore hands and discover that the only power tool essential to boat building is an MP3 player. The second day is spent skinning the kayak. One can almost feel the connection through the miles and years to the Aleuts on some windswept Alaskan island as the kayak is covered and takes shape under your hands. On completion there is always that shy moment of wonder as you realize this beautiful boat is yours and is actually coming home with you. The real adventure is just beginning.

Off Site Workshop: This is a custom course held at your own home or workshop. This option is best for those for who live further from my workshop. The added cost of an off site workshop is more than offset by the savings in travel, accommodation and shipping the kayak back to your own home. All tools and supplies are shipped to your home so no special equipment is needed.

Group : This workshop can be done in my workshop or at your facility. We can build up to four kayaks (up to eight participants) in my workshop or up to five kayaks ( ten participants) at your facility.

Supplementary Information:  There are several chain hotels within ten miles from where I live as well as a number of restaurants and diners. Philadelphia is 80 miles away and New York 100 miles and pick up can be arranged. Shipping a kayak across the country costs about $200.

An Off Site workshop adds $600 to the basic cost of a kayak but when one considers this extra is offset by the savings in airfares, accommodation and shipping it becomes very feasible way to build your own kayak in the comfort of your own home , well garage at least. A minimum of two participants are required for an Off Site Workshop.

A Group Workshop can be an ideal fundraising event for an organization. A special rate is available for a five kayak workshop.

Contact me to discuss any of the above options.

Finishing touches to a custom built skin on frame kayak.