DIY Boat Plans Blog

DIY plans for kayaks, canoes and other small boats

Building Your Own Boat: A Beginner’s Guide to the Petrel Play SG

This Video introduces the viewers to the Guillemot Kayaks Workshop and outlines the process of building the Petrel Play SG, a kayak designed for both novices and experienced paddlers. The Petrel Play SG uses a beginner-friendly Stitch and Glue method, with pre-cut kits supplied by Chesapeake Light Craft. This design simplifies the building process and ensures precision. We discuss the boat’s robust construction, lightweight nature, and versatile handling, suitable for various water conditions. Nick also explores the rich design history, tracing its evolution from the Night Heron to the Petrel Play. Ultimately, the Petrel Play SG offers a customizable, high-performance paddling experience, designed to instill confidence and enhance the enjoyment of boat building and kayaking.

Wooden Petrel Kayak by Nick Schade - Guillemot Kayaks

Building a Strip-Built Petrel Kayak: Episode 1

Nick Schade embarks on a new project commissioned to build a Petrel strip. Unlike previous extensive documentation, he plans a more overview-style approach. He selects Western Red Cedar, avoiding book-matching to create random-colored strips. Experimenting with 3/16-inch Cove and bead sets, he meticulously checks strip thickness before adding the bead. His detailed explanations demonstrate a passion for craftsmanship and experimentation in boat building.

Wearing a life jacket

Why We Use Safety Equipment

Dive into any kayaking or canoeing corner of Facebook or Reddit, and you’re bound to stumble upon a lively debate about strapping on a life jacket (or PFD or BA, whatever floats your boat) at some point. It’s like clockwork—someone shares a pic from a recent paddle, and boom! The safety enthusiasts swoop in, deeming…
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What Makes a Sea Kayak?

Tradition The articles in the late great print magazine “Sea Kayaker” featured articles of people doing multi day expeditions to far exotic places. Today’s legendary kayaks became legendary because of the legendary expeditions to remote shores in which they were used. The way to verify that a sea kayak is worthy of the modifier “sea”…
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Canoe and Kayaks Plans from John Winters

Announcing Canoe Plans from John Winters and Green Valley Boat Works

There is a lot of mythology about what makes a good canoe. John Winters cut through the BS and actually studied canoe performance systematically and scientifically to learn what really made canoes and kayaks work. He spent a lifetime in, on and around boats of all types. His love of boats led to a career as a boat builder…
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Canoe and Kayak Plans from Bear Mountain Boats

​ I am excited and deeply honored to be able to announce that I am now offering plans from Bear Mountain Boats. For those who don’t know Bear Mountain Boats is the company started by Ted Moores and his wife Joan Barrett back in the 1970s to make and sell wood strip canoes. For those few where that…
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Comparing Petrel with the Petrel Play

Do You Really Need a Longer Kayak?

I often get questions to the effect of: “I have trouble keeping up with my friends, what kayak should I get?” Everyone knows that longer kayaks are faster, so obviously I should be recommending the longest kayaks I have to these folks. But is it really true? Are longer kayak truly faster? Well, like a…
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3-piece DIY kayak

A Ganymede in Three Sections

BY DAVID LARGE After making a canoe, in a stich and tape design, I decided that I needed something that was more seaworthy. The canoe is fine for closed waterways and calm rivers but not really suitable for the River Thames. After looking at many options and plans I established that I need something that…
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Launching microBootlegger Sport

Building the Strip Built microBootlegger Sport

Over the winter of 2018 I built a cedar strip microBootlegger Sport for a customer. I took video of the whole project and documented it on YouTube through an almost daily vlog. The project ended up comprising about 70 videos. You will find them all here. In this project I book matched the strip and…
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