unloaded Aleutian

Submitted bybrillythekid onFri, 05/04/2018 - 07:56

Hi Everyone, 

Intending to build an Aleutian type - I'd like the kayak for expedition use, but would also like it for day fun at the beach.  I'm too skinny (~5'10'', 135lbs) - would that be a contraindication for unloaded use of an Aleutian type for me? If so, any suggestions on building modifications or other suggestions, or not necessary? 

Thank you! 



I've built Nick's Aleutesque, and it would be pretty good for your intended use: it is quite narrow and low, but still has a surprising amount of capacity, a week's equipment fits in easily.

It is also fast :)

Two caveats, though, it is quite hard to build, especially the ends, and it is not the most stable boat either, although with your weight it should be OK.

I've also built a Rob Macks  North Star - now that is one HUGE boat, a truly astonishing amount of gear fits in it, but it would be too big for you, try looking at one of his smaller designs if you want a more traditional baidarka. His designs are generally more stable and straighter-tracking than Nicks, and Rob's build guide is excellent, making the bow and stern build possible, though not easy.




Mon, 05/07/2018 - 12:36

Thank you Justin! Beautiful looking boats, both the Aleutesques and the North Star.  I'll look more into the Aleutesque maybe, though a SOF (foldable) is my goal at this point. 

I would think an aleutian would be great.  I'm 6'1" and was about 170 when I built a 17' baidarka, which is similar.  Great boats overall and fast even with a huge amount of capacity.  I think you'd find an Aleutian a very nice boat for your size, personally.  You can also just load some ballast in for when it's empty, if you have any real handling issues.



To correct myself, a baidarka is an Aleutian.  I thought they were slightly different but refreshing my memory, they are different names for the same thing.  I stand by my recommendation... great boats, lots of room, excellent handling, should be no problem for your size.  



Sun, 05/13/2018 - 09:08

Thank you Frank.  That they're good loaded (and that they're said to be fast and handle great in all kinds of conditions) is what attracted me to them in the first place.  What worried me is how it would be unloaded for a light person, so thanks for the reassurance.  And I like the idea of a ballast if needed.  I'll probably go for it.  

Was thinking of another thing recently, so  will ask it just to cover all bases... would it be possible to downsize an Aleutian just a touch - not the whole kayak, just the deck height, without really changing the kayak?  (Or, is there a kayak with good capacity, but not quite as good as the Aleutian, and that handles as well?) 


I wouldn't change a single dimension a whole lot but any boat can be modified.  It would probably be better to scale all of the dimensions slightly but a minor modification in height probably won't be too much of an impact.  I believe I scaled my baidarka down from a 19' design because the length of wood I could easily source wasn't long enough for a 19 and I didn't want to make a bunch of scarf joints.  Scaling was easy and worked out great.  And, like I said, the boat has a lot of volume for its size so you can carry a ton of stuff and it will support a large weight range while still handling well.  I was 170 and a friend was 240 and the boat would handle either of us with no problem, though he had a harder time getting into the cockpit because i used an 18" sewing hoop as my coaming.