Harvey's Book, Kayaks of Greenland
Detailed drawings from KoG
Harvey's "living room" showing where he stores all these replicas
My favorite, the Netsilik
Saint Davids Straits kayak frame, Nunavaat, and the hut Harvey lived in while making it.
The finished kayak
Two hole Badairka frame
1819 Aleut replica
Harvey in an East Greenland replica
The deck accoutrement of East Greenland kayak
Thamaku, a proa replica
All photos courtesy Harvey Golden
Harvey Golden is the guru of kayak replica making. He's as much historian as builder, and all of this is avocation. He has built well over 60 replicas since the first in 1994 and has documented and surveyed innumerable museum boats, over 200. His travels in search of source material have taken him to the arctic, Greenland and Europe.This is truly a beautiful obsession. His book , an eight year research project, Kayaks of Greenland, is over 580 pages and contains more than 400 figures, photos and drawings of kayaks and paddles. It is an inestimable resource. He does all this while working and raising a family. Harvey is very generous, answering my numerous email queries, and also responding to questions posted on the Qajaq USA Greenland forum with enthusiasm and insight. He's also posting photos and commentary on his latest builds on the same site. Harvey has not limited himself to the Greenland kayak. The one I want to copy is a Central Canadian kayak, the Netsilik above, and he's replicated kayaks from all the Arctic regions producing kayak, including Siberia. Harvey has ventured further abroad, replicating Thamaku proa, and a canoe yawl among others. You can find his latest Greenland build here and his most recent Aluet here. Anyone with the slightest interest in traditional kayaks MUST visit his website. It's a treasure chest of information, skill and guidance and contains information, especially on the lifting of offsets from scale drawings, applicable to any kind of boat drawings, which I challenge you to find elsewhere.
I'll leave you with these words from Harvey on building kayak replicas:
"Other very helpful things to have on hand when building and using a kayak replica are trust, patience, and an open mind. I've built kayaks I couldn't keep upright and kayaks I couldn't steer. Are they bad kayaks? I could've easily thought so and chopped 'em up for firewood, but I knew that someone had once used the same design, for hunting no less-- and in the Arctic. I trusted their sensibilities as designer, builder, and paddler-hunter, and I ought to at least stick with it long enough to master its nuances-- to gain comfort and capability in the same design. (Sure as I didn't throw my first bicycle out after the first try!) Familiarity with the original kayak's context is also key. . . . as in don't take a lake hunting kayak out in the surf and expect to enjoy it. "
Other very helpful things to have on hand when building and using a kayak replica are trust, patience, and an open mind. I've built kayaks I couldn't keep upright and kayaks I couldn't steer. Are they bad kayaks? I could've easily thought so and chopped 'em up for firewood, but I knew that someone had oncee as I didn't throw my first bic