plans?/feedback on Yoswerks kayaks?

Submitted bybrillythekid onSun, 04/29/2018 - 11:43

Hi everyone,

I'm intending to build my first folder (SOF), probably an Aleutian type for expedition use. The Aleutian kayak on page 17 from David Zimmerly's book "Qayaq - kayaks from Alaska and Siberia" looks very nice. This is my first time attempting to build a kayak from plans, and I don't understand how to interpret the offsets to "stations" - in other words, the offsets seem somewhat random (every 50cm) and not where the main stations are. Especially important is that the offsets seem not to be in sync with the cockpit. Any advice?

Or - Does anyone have good plans and is willing to share?/Where can I find good plans?

Other possibilities that seem reasonable to me are from the Yostwerks site - the Sea Tour EXP (17) and the Nikumi (17). Does anyone have experience with either?

Thank you!

I'm not familiar with the kayaks, or the building process, in the book you mention. But I have built several Yost designs (Sea Rider, Sea Tour 13, 15, & 17 EXP). The Yost designs are not built the traditional way with ribs but rather uses a fuselage frame construction method. The plans, offsets, and instruction found on the Yost website are easy to follow and the boats are easy to build. My kayaks don't see a lot of 'serious' use but rather are used mainly for day paddling on quiet lakes or slow rivers. For that they are great kayaks and usually the favorite of most visitors that need to borrow a kayak. Except for the lack of bulk heads I think they should be suitable for more challenging conditions and uses as well. I was able to easily modify the designs to give me a little more room under the front deck for my big feet. I have sold all except the '15' - it is several years old, still gets a lot of use, and is holding up very well. My wife is still not happy that I sold the '13'. 

The Sea Tour 17 was modified slightly to narrow the beam to 22".  It did have a tendency to weathercock in winds or with a following current on a slow river but it was manageable. 


That book contains measurements of traditional boats. One way to build a skinboat like that from plans is to cut the stations out of plywood and use them as benchmarks for bent wood ribs much like strip building. Attach gunwhales and keelson to temporary frames and bend ribs inside. Then lash and remove frames. At least it works great for canoes.

Cunningham's book mentions a wood folder with lashed scarf joints but reassembly will take hours.


John VanBuren

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:00


    I have built three of the Yost designs. The one I use the most is a Modified Sea Tour Multi chine 17. I like the boat a lot for casual kayaking. I did change the bow and stern to baidarka like configurations.

    I also built a Sonnet 16, but I should have widened it about 1.5 inches as suggested as an option. It is too low volume for my 6',  220 pound body. One day I will widen it by cutting and adding more material in the bottom. 

I hope this is useful,

John VB




Mon, 04/30/2018 - 16:48

Thank you Rich and John for your experiences and insights with the Yostwerks boats.  No weathercocking tendencies with the non modified boats? 

Thank you dholth for your suggestion - I think I understand what you mean: basically build the stations according to the existing offsets, attach the stringers, and then just make new stations where I want them (and remove any of the originals I decide not to use). Something like that? 

Came across another nice looking kayak (I think) last night. Plans by Renzo Beltrame (through a site by Christine DeMerchant).  Pretty nice and detailed plans.  Does anyone by any chance have experience with that kayak?