Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kayak 2.4, Historian/Builders: Wolfgang Brinck

Wolfgang Brinck's treatise on constructing an Aluet Baidarka

Wolfgang in his famous cedar Aluet paddling hat

First boat, to a plan by H. C. Petersen

Inspecting a frame at the Phoebe Hearst Museum

Wolfgang's second build was this Atka from the Phoebe Hearst Museum in Berkeley

Here receiving an overhaul after 17 years of service.

King Island replica,

showing it's potential for a sleep aboard

The king island's frame

The Aluktan gym with frames building

Don Jon Tcheripanoff, one of the students, inspecting his frame

Karen Vincler lashing frames to ribs

Karen with her finished frame

all photos courtesy Wolfgang Brinck

Wolfgang Brinck has been building traditional skin on frame kayaks since 1987. His first one was a Greenland Qajaq from a design found in HC Peterson's book. He soon turned his attention to aluetian baidarka, building replicas, doing research, and finding plans but scant information on construction . He decided to write a book on the boats and how to make them, and it was published in 1993. He also began testing his builds, paddling boats year round on Lake Michigan. He along with Martin Honel and Dan Joyce co-founded the NativeWatercraft Society, in 1991, which sadly is no longer with us. As his reputation grew, Wolfgang gradually moved into a didactic role and began teaching others to build the boats he was so enamoured with, in addition to building them himself, sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm. Teaching gradually became a major focus, and after a decade of helping others build boats he was invited to the Aluetians in 2004, specifically by Akutan high school, to help lead a group of high school students in building several replica Baidarka. By the time Wolfgang left, the first Baidarka launched in the area since 1930 was on the water!
Wolfgang maintains both a website and a weblog dedicated to skin boats and his activities, and they are both very worth your time and full on information on building and paddling traditional skin boats. Please visit.

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