The Outer-Island was a personal obsession of mine. The availability of plans came after numerous inquiries were made by paddlers who paddled the kayak and loved its looks and easy handling characteristics. The length can be modified by bringing in the forms a bit to achieve a shorter kayak if that's a desire. Like all strip-build designs, the deck can also be brought up a bit to accommodate a larger foot size. It's easy to do and one builder has done it. I'm 6'2" with a 11 shoe size and fit in comfortably. Ironically, some builders have lowered it a bit too! Usually these are people who want a dedicated rolling kayak with some good touring charastics as well. The standard plans that you will receive, creates a kayak that rolls extremely easy.
Flush or VCP Hatches?
Plans include installation of VCP and Flush Wood Hatches ...both 100% water tight. The flush hatch design maintains the sleek deck lines but has a unique clamp down design for 100% water tight seal - designed for the wood purist.The VCP rubber hatches are the standard in England and have advantages of quick release and also a perfect seal.
Low back deck?
West Greenland kayaks always had the low back deck, simply because it was all that was needed. Greenlanders didn't carry things in the kayak. It was also necessary for low windage and ease of the Greenland lay-back style of rolling.
Weather cocking - skeg/rudder?
Why have a skeg or rudder if you don't need it! A well designed kayak really shouldn't need a device to correct it's handling. The Outer-Island has stronger tracking characteristics and does not weathercock. (turn into the wind) It won't fish-tail in a following sea and will hold course without making you labor to turn it. Only one person has ever put a rudder on the kayak and he did it before paddling it. There's has never been a complaint about the OI's handling.
The Outer-Island is a fast kayak and it's a low volume design with the low back deck similar to the Greenland skin boats. However, people can easily carry a weekend trip in it. If you want an expedition boat, you could raise the deck, but then you would not love it like other Outer-Island owners do and... you would also compromise it's easy rolling ability.
Outside of the plans, the epoxy will cost about $120. , wood $150. glass cloth $45. and $40 in miscellaneous (glue, plywood, etc) Most people choose it as a winter project, however it's also nice to work outside. People normally finish them in 3 - 5 months working occasionally on evenings and weekends. Major consideration were always made to make the building process as easy as possible with no unnecessary, ornate building methodology
This kayak is a copy of the W. Greenland lines. The small cockpit makes the installation of thigh braces very easy, looks good and gives you a secure position for rolling. About 90% of builders keep the small cockpit and end up liking it very much. One woman with no woodworking experience built one in the winter and was apprehensive about the small cockpit, now loves it and is happy she didn't change it. However you can certainly build a larger one if you desire. (you can always make a small one larger) The Large Cockpit Outer-Island below was built by John Calderia.
Other Questions: Contact Jay Babina