Sunday, June 28, 2009

Another Skinboat Authority

Contrary to what I said at the end of my last post, this one isn't about dhows. Because since my recent post about a couple of useful skinboat sources, I learned of another that deserves mention.

Wolfgang Brinck is the author of The Aleutian Kayak: Origins, Construction,and Use of the Traditional Seagoing Baidarka. This is a fine, nicely detailed how-to-build-it book with an unusual focus on ergonomics. Rather than including detailed dimensions of the boat that he shows you how to build, the author explains how to use the dimensions of your own body to proportion the boat to fit you perfectly. This approach is conceptually similar to that used by Indonesian canoe builders, as described here, and it was widely used throughout the world of indigenous boat building. Another nice feature of the book is its economical approach to the project: when published in 1995, the author presumed that most work would be done with hand tools rather than power tools, and he estimated building costs at under $200.

Wolfgang blogs with intelligence and humor at Skinboat Journal, and teaches skinboat and paddle building, as described on his website.

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