Replica West Greenland Kayak
from the 1600s
The original kayak is in the Greenland National Museum (KNK 1161), and was transferred there from the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde in Leiden, the Netherlands in the 1980s. It measures 17'9-5/8" long and 15" wide, with a depth to sheer of 6-1/2". While this is the narrowest kayak I have made, it is manageably stable, and really only took an hour or so to feel comfortable in. It feels very fast-- as if there is no boat holding you back; it is as if you are flying through the water. In waves, however, you are flying through the water quite literally-- it is a very damp ride, and the kayak seems to not feel like climbing waves-- just punching through them. A scale drawing of this kayak appears in Kayaks of Greenland.
Brian Schultz paddling the KNK 1161 replica in 2004 at the Depoe Bay Wooden Boat Show. He did very fine in this challenging craft, such that he thought to take it through the 'hole'-- offshore. He quickly found himself quite swept over by waves and not entirely sure he'd made the right decision....
Forward interior view of the KNK 1161 replica.