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I was immensely anxious to take it on her first trip. I thought I done good, but there certainly was a sliver of doubt. But that completely washed away when I got my Black Pearl water born. What a fantastic boat. I've been nothing but excited to go paddling again. It's fast, light and rolls like a dream. The lines are just stunning. You designed a truly wonderful boat.

Jeg er kjempe fornøyd. Synes det er en utrolig leken og morsom kajakk.Den er meget lettrullet, håndrullen satt på første forsøket også for meg. Stabiliteten er bedre enn jeg ventet. Gleder meg til å teste i mer bølger og vind.
Pål Gustad

The WP [White Pearl] is lovely to look at, beautifully made, fits perfectly, rolls effortlessly, and paddles, well, like you’d expect a boat that does exactly what the paddler wants, something like a European car or, put differently, it does take a bit of attention. At 30 pounds and quite fast, it’s the perfect boat for our Wednesday evening group paddles and who knows how much more.
John March

Som sagt är det en fantastisk kajak att paddla. Lite som att köra Ferrari...
Nils Gustavsson

Hej Björn

...nyss hemkommen från en tur i skärgårdarna mellan Arkö och Kråkelund med BP’n så har jag dragit följande lärdomar.
- Packning: tält, kök, kläder mm samt mat för fyra övernattningar ryms med lite noggrant packande.
- Ett stopp för vattenpåfyllning går det dock åt.
- Smidigt med lätt kajak trots full packning, bara att grabba tag i sittbrunnssargen och lyfta upp på klippa eller brygga.
-Totalt deplacement 125,5 kg varav paddelviftare på 83 kg.
Således kan BP’n nyttjas till rollning, motion och turer. Detta gäller naturligtvis även andra kajaker men BP’n är snyggast -;)

Markus Loberg

Black Pearl

Images | Particulars | More about | Background and history

Plans, Black Pearl - 190 EUR Purchase

Like the original, the kayak is built to fit the owner. When you order the plans I will ask for your length, weight, arm span, hip width and shoe size to produce a custom set of plans perfectly suited to you. That is why Black Pearl is a little more expensive than my other designs.

Black Pearl is designed on the Hunter hull – but smaller. Where Hunter is a compromise - some touring, some play – Black Pearl is a 100% play and roll kayak.

Visual qualities are important – I spend a lot of time tweaking lines and surfaces into a harmonious blend. Jay Babina, American artist and designer (Outer Island Kayaks), wrote on the Qajaqusa forum after having seen and tried the Black Pearl

"There's a lot of nice looking kayaks out there and there's some nice paddling kayaks, but this boat is truly a real beautiful kayak in many ways. What make a kayak really outstanding is the subtilities that add up to an overall effect or visual statement. The overhang of the bow and gentle curve of the stern and even the way the skeg is molded is truly a nice piece of art work and has an overall sensability of design and proportions. This is truly a great looking design which includes the craftsmanship on Scott's particular boat as well. It's my first time seeing it live and I was quite impressed. How it paddles – that's up to you."

Jay Babina

And from John March:

"One of these days, I'll get around to putting up a review, but as the paddler of the second BP Dan built, I just want to say that it not only looks beautiful, it paddles beautifully. Until the BP, I paddled a Pintail in surf, so that is my reference point. I have never been in a more reassuring boat than the BP in lumpy water. Way more fun than the Pintail. Whatever I wanted it to do, the BP did with grace and relatively little effort. It isn't stability but responsiveness that is remarkable. Even after I blew off the aft Beckson hatch when dumped on by a six foot wave and had some water sloshing around back there, it still paddled reasonably well. And did I mention all the compliments – "looks like it belongs in MOMA" etc...."

John March

*Update: John´s review!

Jan Sörfeldt is building a light Black Pearl in Paulownia – photos and text (in Swedish).

facebookThere is also a Facebook group: Black Pearl, started by Annie Juhl in Denmark a couple of years ago – lots of nice photos, reviews, discussions, building tips and more...

The Pearl is generally easy to build, with flat panels between chines, flat aft deck and gently curved foredeck, simple deck plates instead of elaborate wooden hatches and a limited amount of deck hardware – and most builders finish under 100 hours. Black Pearl plans have also been used as a starting point for at least two traditional SOF:s, one Tom Yost-folder and one S&G kayak – conversions that are easy to do, though not described on the plans.

Link to a youtube-videoThe Pearl is the kayak that has triggered the most interesting experiments in coloring schemes and decoration, as seen in the builder photos below – or in Dan Perry's video.

Here is a video where Swedish Björn Welin paddle and roll his BP on a windy day.

Graham Wintersgill performs a couple of handrolls.


Torbjörn Andersson, FuruvikBlack Pearl, byggd av Christophe Meyer i FrankrikeBlack Pearl – Lars JohanssonBlack Pearl för Denise – byggare Henrik PetterssonJohan och Louise Wild med nya kajaker byggda hos Petrus i TranåsPål Gustads Black PearlPål Gustads Black PearlPål Gustads Black Pearl - balance braceBalance brace (orörlig paddel) på Stockenträffen 2005 - foto: Robert WindahlSensommarkväll i LommaVinterpaddling i BjärredBlack Pearl, byggd av Dan Caouette (Clear Stream Fine Woodworking) för Chris Russo i USA)Marcus Gunnarssons Black Pearl. Foto: Martin SamuelssonBlack and White Pearl - den vita är byggd av Rickard Jakobsson, den svarta är mitt prototypbyggeBlack Pearl, byggd av Dan Caouette (Clear Stream Fine Woodworking) för John March i USABlack Pearl för Annika, byggd av Peter Nelly5-part Black Pearl – Dan Caouette5-part Black Pearl – Dan Caouette5-part Black Pearl – Dan CaouetteIceblue Black Pearl by Jonas EkdahlTorbjörn Andersson, FuruvikBlack Pearl — Christophe MeyerBlack Pearl – Christophe MeyerBlack Pearl – Ruedi Anneler, SwitzerlandBlack Pearl – Ruedi Anneler, SwitzerlandBlack Pearl – Ruedi Anneler, SwitzerlandBlack Pearl – Wouter KammeijerBlack Pearl – Andreas Holm och Jørn RobsahmBlack Pearl – Andreas Holm och Jørn RobsahmBlack Pearl – Andreas Holm och Jørn RobsahmPål Gustad and Black PearlPål Gustad and Black PearlBlack Pearl – Alexandre MarcotteBlack Pearl – Anders JohanssonBlack pearl från Ursula LatusBlack Pearl – Per BörjessonKajakträning i Lomma: Emil i en liten Black PearlThe Wild kids (Agnes and Märta) in their small Black PearlsBlack Pearl, Bodafors 2011. Photo: Gunnar GustavssonBlack Pearl – Gunnar GustafssonBalance brace – Gunnar GustavssonBlack Pearl – Sean DaweBlack Pearl – Erik FrantzenBlack Pearl – Erik FrantzenBlack Pearl – Erik FrantzenBlack Pearl – Svein Tore HaugenBlack Pearl – Guido GalbariggiBlack Pearl – Guido GalbariggiBlack Pearl – Guido GalbariggiBlack Pearl – Martin KronkvistBlack Pearl – Martin KronkvistBlack Pearl – Martin KronkvistBlack Pearl – Martin KronkvistBlack Pearl – Martin KronkvistBlack Pearl – Panos NezisBlack Pearl – Panos NezisBlack Pearl – Camilla Lax UebelBlack Pearl – Camilla Lax UebelBlack Pearl – Patrick ChantrelBlack Pearl – Patrick Chantrelblackpearl-patrickchantrel3Black Pearl – Gustav BorremanBlack Pearl – Gustav BorremanBlack Pearl – Gustav BorremanBlack Pearl – Gustav BorremanA nice Black Pearl from Korea


Black Pearl lines

Length¹ 550/460 cm (overall/WL)
Beam 49/47 cm (overall/WL)
Draft 10 cm
Cockpit¹ 50x39 cm
Height¹ 23/13 cm (in front of/behind the cockpit)
Weight² 13-17 kg
Displacement/volume⁶ 100 kg/200 litre
Speed³ 8.1/11.2 km/h
Prismatic coefficient 0.54
Wetted surface 1.69 m²
Drag⁴ 1.48/3.07 kp
Stability⁵ 1/2 (initial/secondary stability)
Intended use Rolling and advanced paddling. Day tours and exercise.

* These dimensions can be adapted to suit personal needs or wishes.
** Depending on type of wood, equipment, care with epoxy usage, sanding etc. etc.
*** The speed numbers are based on mathematical standard formulas (175 lb paddler + 30 lb carco weight) and corrected from the kayaks actual performance om trials, on tours and in races.
⁴ Calculated resistance in 4 and 5 knots (at nominal load capacity).
⁵ Initial stability and secondary stability on a subjective scale, where 1 is very tippy and 5 is very stable.
⁶ Displacement is kayak + paddler + load. Count off the kayak weight to get the load capacity.

Stability curves


The curve shows the calculated stability with a static load, and therefore of limited use for a real paddler. The part of the curve near zero degrees indicates the initial (primary) stability – the steeper the curve, the more stable. The part of the curve left of the peak indicates end (secondary) stability – the higher and wider, the safer you feel edging the kayak. The position of the peak shows also how much the kayak can be leaned without tipping over. The part of the curve to the right of the peak with rapidly decreasing righting moment is almost impossible to take advantage of.


The plan sheets contain the information needed to build the kayak/canoe. Station molds, stems and construction details are full scale. For kayaks the recommended cockpit size is shown half scale with offsets for a full scale drawing and advice on altering the size. On the plans you will also find advice on how to shorten or lengthen the craft. Lines and construction drawings are in metric scale 1:10.

Black Pearl plans

The illustrated step-by-step building manual is in Swedish only, but it is available online in English: it covers all steps in detail and will guide first-time builders through the project.

Plans, Black Pearl - 190 EUR Purchase

More on Black Pearl

Black Pearl is based on the east Greenland kayaks from the late 20th century - narrower, lower, with more overhangs and a straighter sheer, less deadrise and more flare than the western types. These were overall faster (particularly against the wind) and maneuvered better. With less initial stability it was a demanding craft. In eastern Greenland, seals were hunted from kayaks until a couple of decades ago and the tradition is unbroken.

My take on this is a kayak lacking most characteristic qualities – meaning a kayak that is not stable nor unstable, not directionally stable nor maneuverable, not fast nor slow - but a kayak subtly following the paddler's intentions. No "kayak feel" between the paddler and the sea, no built in safety margin that saves the erring paddler and little mass to compromise fast maneuvering – a very reliable kayak.

Black Pearl is long, following Greenlandic tradition with length three times the height of the paddler. The waterline length is relatively short with sloping stems – resulting in good maneuverability at low speeds and good directional stability at higher speeds when bow and stern waves climb the stems. Top speed is good for a Greenland kayak but does not match the full-ended archipelago kayaks like Nomad or Njord.

A logo?The narrow waterline means a tippy kayak. The total beam is hip width plus approx six fingers for a rolling/touring kayak: approximatively 46-52 cm. My own Black Pearl is 559 cm x 48 cm and 21,5 cm high in front of the cockpit (I am 185 cm tall, weigh 80 kg and wear size 43/US9.5 shoes). Because of the narrow beam, initial stability is low and a novice or someone used to wide commercial kayaks will have a nervous first trip. But with a good secondary it is easy to get used to the movements – and in waves, there is a pleasant surprise: waves do not affect a 'tippy' kayak as much as a 'stable' one. When surfing, Black Pearl settles in its own wave system and becomes surprisingly stable and easily handled.

Black Pearl maneuvers superbly. The almost flat bottom (5° deadrise), the hard chines and the short waterline length means that the kayak is easy to turn and reacts instantly to leans and weight shifts. The low deck takes some getting used to, but after a while, there are some benefits – the comfort of needing no firm support padding against the knees, hips, back etc and working with the knees as an additional power source for the strokes.

The deck aft is very low and flat to facilitate layback rolls.

When choosing Black Pearl you should be a reasonably experienced paddler and interested in developing skills in rolling, kayak acrobatics, exploring rock gardens, day touring etc. An ambitious novice with patience and perseverance might use Black Pearl as a crash course to advanced paddling.

Black Pearl - background and history

The east Greenland kayak found its form later than the west Greenland types, but late in the 20th century, it began to gain popularity around the coast. Compared to older types it was narrower, lower, with more overhangs and a straighter sheer, less deadrise, and more flare. It was overall faster (particularly against the wind) and it maneuvered better. With less initial stability it was a demanding craft. In eastern Greenland, seal was hunted from kayak until a couple of decades ago and the tradition is unbroken.

east Greenland kayak

Black Pearl, designed in 2003, is loosely based on the east Greenland kayaks, mainly the one depicted in the American Museum of Natural History (fig 208 i "the Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America"). While not a replica – strip instead of SOF for a start – I have strived for an overall feel in handling that is close to the original.

I painted the prototype black – a change from my usual bright-finished kayaks – for three reasons: the contemporary Greenland kayaks used for rolling contests sometimes are black, when building I saw the little Japanese carbon fiber kayak Qaanaaq and I wanted to accentuate the small size of the kayak (dark colors makes things look smaller). An amusing coincidence was that one week after my first trial tour Bill Withcomb launched his plywood kayak, with almost the same dimensions, also painted black. We even published photos (both unaware of the other) of our kayaks with black pets in the cockpit: a black cat in mine and Bill´s dark-colored dog in his.


Hi, is the build manuel available in english for the black pearl. I wanted to order

but was wondering about manuel. Thx

Hi Jay. The general manual is available online in english.

The Black Pearl related specifics details are in english on the plans.

Hej Björn,

Jag står i valet mellan att bygga en ribb/duk-kajak (som i Cunninghams bok) eller strippbygga en Hunter eller Black Pearl. Cunningham avråder från att avvika från de angivna måtten, då de har utvecklats under århundraden och ger en stabil kajak med goda paddlingsegenskaper.

Din BP ser ut som Cunninghams SOF, med undantaget att botten verkar planare. Ribb/duk-kajaken har en mer utpräglad v-form (om än svag). Är detta ett medvetet val och i såfall vad är tanken bakom detta? Eller är det så att BP/Hunter egentligen är närmare orginalet och ribb/duk-kajaken (enligt Cunningham) är "fel"?

Tack på förhand,


Det finns grönlandskajaker av alla utseenden och storlekar - Harvey Golden presenterar över hundra uppmätta exemplar från fyra sekel i sin "Kayaks of Greenland". Så vad är "original".

Det finns allt från helt plana bottnar och vertikala sidor längst upp i nordvästra Grönland, över djupa V-bottnar på västsidan till svag v-form och utfallande sidor på östgrönland. Längden varierar från 3,5 till nästan 7 m och bredden från 38 till 70 cm. Stävarna kan vara raka, peka uppåt eller neråt etc.

Min uppfattning är att Cunningham har skissat fram en "amerikaniserad" medelgrönländare med drag från flera olika typer, avsedd att fungera bra för modernt rekreationsbruk, och han har samtidigt anpassat byggtekniken och materialen en aning så att den passar amatörbyggare i USA eller Europa. Om detta är bra eller dåligt är en smaksak.

Att Cunningham avråder från att ändra måtten beror mest på att han vill undvika att aningslösa byggare gör ändringar som de inte kan förutse följderna av, och kanske får en kajak som varken går att använda som en välsittande grönlandskajak eller som en volumiös havskajak.

Robert Morris har gjort något liknande i sin bok "Building Skin-on-frame Boats", men med lite fler alternativa lösningar, medan Mark Starr i sin "Building a Greenland Kayak" håller sig rätt nära originaltanken (han är sakkunnig på äldre båtar på museet i Mystic Seaport). Allra mest "korrekt" är H C Petersen i sin "Qaanniornermut Ilitsersut: Instruktion i Kajakbygning" - om det är det man vill ha.

Min Black Pearl är baserad på en enda identifierbar föregångare - en östgrönländsk kajak från slutet av 1800-talet, uppmätt att Howard Chapelle 1948. Men från den har jag gjort en del ändringar, några högst avsiktliga: aningen högre reling och aningen större sittbrunnshål, eftersom mycket få västerlänningar hade kunnat komma ner i originalet, en lite mer egensinniga: jag jämnade ut relingslinjen till en mjuk kurva istället för den s-form (slokande stävar) som originalet på uppmätningsritningen har, och som jag, möjligen felaktigt tolkade som att kajaken deformerats av olämplig förvaring.

Det speciella med Black Pearl är att den såvitt jag vet är den enda kajak (förutom hembyggda skin-on-frame-kajaker) som måttanpassas efter byggaren på traditionellt grönländskt vis.

Fördelarna framför en skin-on-frame är att den är säkrare genom att det lätt att bygga vattentäta skott och luckor, att den är lättare att komme i och ur och att packa genom att det saknas spant och stringers invändigt och att den tål mer slitage.

hej, jag ska bygga en kajak. men är inte säker på vilken modell jag ska ta men tror på black pearl. jag är 165cm lång ,ska man ha lite kortare längd på kajaken då? jag såg att man ska 3ggr sin längd,

tack för svar

Finessen med Black Pearl, förutom utseende och egenskaper, är att får du en kajak som är anpassad för din längd, vikt mm. Anpassningen går djupare än till bara de här förenklade tumreglerna om 3 ggr längd och sådant.


can you tell me if there is anywhere a similar boat to the Black Pearl available in beam and linen construction?

Thanks a lot


If you by "beam and linen" means what is usually referred to as Skin-On-Frame or SOF the answer is no and yes.

NO – there are no plans available for SOF constructions, since those are sized and built around your own body.

And YES, because if you build a standard SOF from one of the usual book references (Petersen, Cunningham, Morris or Starr), you will get something very similar to the Pearl.

Black Pearl is a strip interpretation of a traditional skin-on-frame kayak and takes its inspiration from measurements of museum kayaks from east Greenland (Chapelle and Golden).

Some builders have ordered a BP and build it SOF-style (as a shortcut to a proven set of principal dimensions, without involving any calculations or trial and error - the conversion SOF to strip, is up to you though ;-).

Hi Björn

thanks a lot. A kind of a skin on frame version of the Black Pearl (or similar) is exactly what I wanted to know.

Have a good new year!

Wasn't sure if this is a strip or stitch design. If it's a stitch, do your plans make it easy to loft onto the plywood sheets?

The design is intended for strip building and that is what is shown on the plans. But it is not difficult to convert it to S&G and it has been done a number of times (fx here:

Since there are no panel expansions on the plans the best way is to erect the molds on the strongback and trace the panels directly in place.

blev sugen på kajakbygge igen när jag såg rollbaletten.

Priset för ritningssatsen Black Pearl är inte dyrt när man får så mycket erfarenhet serverad för sin egen kropp. Vilken uppmätning utgick du ifrån?

Men experimentlusten får mig att undersöka Kapaskiva som man kan hämta gratis efter tex båtmässan och sy ihop som plywood. Yrvind gjorde ju en Bris i Divinycell som han testade med ugly machine.

Nackdelen med strip och plywood är att undervattenskroppen är svår att justera? ...och så giftigheten...till skillnad från de komposterbara farkosterna av trä-kanvas


Could you said me the price about the black pearl kit ? And the time delivery for France?


Hi Jean-Luc, unfortunately I cannot ship kits at all for the moment. My supplier has on very short notice closed his boatbuilding business, and I am waiting for quotes from a few potential suppliers that can get such an operation running within reasonable time. The problem is having access to wood supply of necessary quality. (The latest kit price was approx 590 EUR plus shipping cost)

The other stuff - epoxy, cloth etc - is not a problem, but since shipping of chemicals is costly, I am sure you can get this in France for much less.

So there are two option for the moment: cut your own strips (easily done from ordinary lumber yard timber with a handheld circular saw), purchase epoxy and cloth locally and build from the plans, or check with other builders in France if there is a boatbuilder specializing in kayak strips, and thenm build from the plans.

The only difference between a kit and building from scratch is a couple of boring job cutting the strips - otherwise everything is done exactly the same.


With the two sheets necessary to build the Black Pearl can you provide also the "developped plates plans scale 1" ?

It will be my first construction on plywood and I am not very experimented to read correctly your data. I don't to do a bad job.


Jean-Luc, no panel expansions yet, and when I do get around to provide those, they will be as offsets on a scale 1:10 sheet. But this will have to wait until I have had time to try out a set of panels myself.

Until then the proper way would be to erect molds as for a strip project, and trace the panel shapes in place on the molds. Building on molds offers a far better control over the hull shape than the more common stitching "in free air"...

beautiful picture! I wish I could see such a landscape with my own eyes! the photo is just marvellous!

It would be great, to have the panels printed 1:1 or as offset table. Are there any news concerning the Black Pearl and Stitch&Glue?

Sam, you are welcome to Sweden (or Norway, some of the pics are from Norway) anytime.

Waterholic, there is a new development in the S&G department. Petrus Kajaks in Tranås has initiated kayak building classes (which I have written about recently), where the participants build their own S&G Black Pearl in 8 days with access to a modern boat shop, professional tools and guidance from a master boatbuilder. Kits can be supplied for those who prefer to work in their own shop (as can professionally built and finished kayaks).

As a consequence of this I will not for the time being develope S&G plans with printed panels expansions. The basis for my BP is the limitless adjustment to the builder/paddler. This is lost when going S&G, and therefore I prefer that the builder, interested in a S&G version does the adaptation directly on the molds of the adjusted kayak setup. It takes a couple of hours more than cutting panels from paper or film patterns, but I consider it worthwhile.

Black Pearl is a small kayak, depending on a very good fit to work as advertised, and the margins of error are small.

Ups, i did not read the news. My favorites in my browser guide my directly to this BP page - i might change that ;-). Great to hear that building classes, kits and gfk versions available.

I would love to get some pricing info the black pearl and the timeline for shipping plans

I am really exited t see more details the weather is starting to get nice here and a good time to build outdoors is coming up. Thanks

Brent potts

Brent: The price (€ 140 or Sek 1200) is displayed at the top of this page and I need a day to adjust the plans, order prints and ship.

If you use the online ordering (click "order" in the green box at the top of this page) you open forms for submitting your name and shipping adress, the measurements I need to adjust the plans and payment options.

Hej Björn,

I wonder if you sell tje black pearl wooden kayak ?? not as a kit but as abuilt one.

If you do, where can I order it?


Gidi, I have a businesspartner (Petruskajak) that sells everything from BP kits to 8 day building classes to finished kayaks. Contact him for a quotation and a delivery time:

Petruskajak, Morgonstigen 32, 573 73 Sunhultsbrunn, Sweden

Phone: 070 - 227 11 71 or 0140 - 21171


If I build the Black Pearl to suit my dimentions hight weight ecc. would it be to critical for my daughter that weighs half my weght and twelve cm. shorter than me to learn to paddle with this kayak .

Donatello, it will of course be too big for her, since the pearl is closely adjusted to the builders measurements. But, the positive thing is that it will still suit her much better than anything you could buy in the shops (because prohibitive mold cost tempts the manufacturers to produce only high volume kayaks, to maximize the number of potential buyers). With a little extra padding under the deck and an adjustable (or padded-out) foot support, she will have no problems learning to paddle, handle and roll your BP.

I believe this: "In spite of the maneuverability Black Pearl has a good directional stability and is not noticeably affected by wind." So why did Jay Babina write: "the way the skeg is molded is truly a nice piece of art work" Art yes but a skeg? why?

I am not quite sure to be honest (and did not get around to ask), but guessed at the time that since the keel line aft does a pretty good job of keeping the kayak on course without any obvious adverse effect on maneuvering – it might perhaps be considered an "artfully" crafted skeg-without-a-skeg ;-)

Many kayaks have a protruding skeg or a built-in S-curve aft to achieve the same...

Does glass over wood strips produce a lighter result than a kevlar/carbon layup? Composite Kayak's version is 18kg* but you say 13kg.


Carbon can be even lighter than wood strip, when used as epoxy-prepreg, cured in an autoclave. But for normal layups, it cannot match wood for lightness.

Wood is an anisotropic structure, with superior strength in the direction needed for long item like wood trunks, branches and kayaks, whereas resin as an isotropic matrix will have an overkill in longitudinal strength when the cross-strength minimum is met. Furthermore the I-beam structure of wood-strip with 5 mm between the skins is far superior for stiffness than 2 mm solid laminate (the structural strength is proportional to the square of the skin distance).

But light weight is not an automatic bonus – you have to work consciously to achieve the really low weights.

I'd love to see a real BP. Since I live on the other side of the world that may be unlikely. Do you have any photos of one in surf, lumpy confused seas and high winds. My local beach faces the Southern Ocean. I love the concept of BP. The phrase "Small but perfectly formed" springs to mind (just like me, well 20 years ago anyway;-) However, I worry that I might need a bit more volume.

Paul, as far as I know there is just one Black Pearl in New Zealand, and I will mail an address, so you can contact him if he lives close enough to you...

Paul, I'm building a Black Pearl at the moment in Wellington. Just about to fibreglass the inside hull this weekend. The hull has taken me a bit longer than normal because I didn't pay enough attention to cutting the strips evenly. I've fixed all that up now and I have some very nicely cut strips for the deck so I'm working on the basis it will be quite a bit quicker for the top half. Feel free to get in touch. Email address is firstname.surname at

Done. Looking forward to getting in touch.

Starting with the hull is a cunning idea. Get all the "learning" issues out of the way before starting on the deck, which is the part everyone sees;-)

Hi Bjorn,

I am ordering a black pearl from seabird kayaks.Was wondering if I could get your opinion if I should order the low volume or the high volume.I'm 5'8 and 161lbs


Gary, definitely the LV – unless you focus more on touring than on control and rolling qualities. I am 6'1 and 187lbs and my personal strip BP is actually slightly smaller than the LV

Thanks Bjorn !

I'll definitely be ordering the lv.Can't wait to get it !!

Hej Björn.

Undrar om man kan blanda i pigment i epoxin så att man får en lite mörkare färg, men så att ådringen ändå träder fram.

Det går att blanda pigment i epoxyn. Jag gör det normalt när jag skall måla kajaken (för att det inte skall lysa vitt trä om man repar färgen).

Men resultatet brukar inte bli så bra – pigmenten ligger hopklumpat i epoxyn och skymmer träet – hyfsat transparent där epoxyskiktet är tunt, med opakt där det är tjockare. Så räkna med möjligheter att du drar på en toppfärg till slut...

Ett annat alternativ är bets: – inte heller helt lätt, men det finns lyckade exempel.

My friend Grant and I have recently finished building two skin on frame kayaks (Baidarka and West Greenlander). We're looking for a new project and are keen to build two black pearls strip kayaks (we are both into Greenland rolling). We are both reasonably big Australian fellows in our late 50s. We would appreciate your feedback on the feasibility of building black pearls given our peculiar dimensions:

Grant, 6'1", 95kg, size 11 feet

Bob, 6'2", 115kg, size 12 feet

Can you fit either or both of us into your customised black pear design? If you can then we're very keen to buy your customised plans.

We look forward to hearing back soon


PS we are members of the Victorian Sea Kayak Club in Melbourne, Australia

Hi Bob, "the record" til now is 6'9" and 137 kg, so I have no doubt I will be able to customise the BP for you!

Hej Björn!

Gillar verkligen utseendet på din Black Perl och blir verkligen sugen att bygga igen. Jag har samma minimalistiska syn som dig och skulle gärna bygga den utan luckor och skädda. Ser bara en enda i bilderna ovan som inte har luckor. Grönländarna hadde väl inga luckor? Kan man lösa ev packbehov med lösa vattentäta säckar istället och då också få tillräcklig flytkraft vid eventuell kapssejsning?

Bygger de flesta BP med skädda?

Arne, BP går bra att bygga utan skott, luckor och skädda - med med vissa nackdelar.

Skott och luckor är främst en säkerhetsdetalj: de vattentäta utrymmena ökar möjligheten att ta sig upp i kajaken från vattnet. Alternativet är att ha täta säckar i för- och akterutrymmena - helst sådana som har en sektion för packning och en för luft/flytkraft. Men akterdäcket är så lågt att det är lite knepigt att få in någonting under akterdäcket. Så mitt val är skott och luckor.

Grönländarna hade mycket riktigt aldrig skott och luckor. De transporterade aldrig något i kajaken (till skillnad från jägarna vid Alaskas västkust) och kajak/tuilik var ett hermetiskt slutet system som aldrig öppnades till havs. Alla jaktredskap förvarades på däck. Mycket få grönländare kunde simma och den som hamnade i vattnet hade små chanser att överleva.

Justerbar skädda bryr jag mig däremot inte om på BP. Visserligen finns en rätt påtaglig upplovning i (akterlig) sidvind, som man får kompensera med att sänka farten, luta kajaken och justerar paddeltagen lite - men för mig är det ett rimligt pris för att slippa komplikationen med skäddbox, skädda och kontrollvajer etc...

Tack för svaret Björn!

Nu fick man nåt att fundera på. Vill verkligen försöka undvika luckor, då dom både försvagar konstruktionen och ger mer vikt, dessutom förlänger dom byggtiden en hel del. Risk för läckage finns ju också. Kanske kan man bygga ett aktre skott som är öppningsbart och ha säckar i fören?

Er det muligt ud fra dine tegninger at bygge en S&G BP?

Som du kan se längre upp bland kommentarerna har detta varit uppe flera gånger. Det går utmärkt att bygga en S&G efter ritningen. Men det finns inga mått för expanderade paneler, utan du får sätta upp spanten precis som för strip-bygge. På spanten hänger du sedan plywoodskivorna, markerar storleken och sågar ut. Det tar en aning längre tid än att sy ihop panelerna fritt som på klassiskt S&G-vis, men ger fördelen att skrovet blir symmetriskt och korrekt även om man missar några tiondels millimeter här och där när man sågar ut panelerna. Med 4 mm plywood blir skrovet starkt och lätt. Till fördäcket kan man använda 3 mm plywood eller 4 mm böjplywood.

Hi Björn,

since I read the posts and your answers to them above, I guess, I know your answer in advance, but would be very pleased and reassured to hear from you to make sure I'm right.

I'm planning to buy a Black Pearl lv from Seabird. At 182 cm, 76 kg an a length of feet of 28 cm I assume, the lv should fit for the purpose of play, rolling and light touring, right?

Thank you so much for your answer!



Carlo, you will fit nicely in the LV. You'll have to bend your feet slightly forward under the foredeck, but that is common practice in low Greenlanders, and something you'll get used to quickly.

Hi am interested in the planes of black pearl, I have to say that would be my first kayak I am amateur, my questions are if sent to Spain, if you also include step by step instructions in Spanish or English if very bold start surfing with this model for someone the first time and if stitch construction and glou thank you very much.

The manual in English is available online, and I have the plans in English as well.

Though Black Pearl is a demanding kayak, I have shipped more than a fewplans to beginners, and with some ambition and perseverence they have all mastered the learning curve – of course with some unintentional swims the first season ;-)

The plans are intended for strip building. There are no instructions for stitch-and-glue. Those who have built the BP in plywood have made the conversion themselves – which is not very hard to do.

Hei, jeg har bestilt tegning av BP og har et spørsmål ang. størrelse på luker.

Hvilken størrelse på luker anbefaler du (8" fram og bak) ?

Det går att sätta en 8" även fram, men för att få en tillräckligt bred plan monteringsyta måste luckan sänkas ganska mycket i däcket, vilket minskar packutrymmet och gör det det svårare att packa långa föremål. På min BP valde jag 6" fram och 8" bak. Bakdäcket är brett nog för en 10" lucka om du har stora föremål att packa.

Hej !

Har byggt en Frej och rollar med den.

Men min fråga är om det är stor skillnad att rolla Frej kontra Black Pearl....

Har provat Sea Birds BP LV, men den var för trång. Funderar på om jag skulle köpa en HV. (Har inte provat någon HV ännu.) Jag har ungefär samma mått som dig.

Eller ska man bygga, så den blir "skräddarsydd".......


Bygg en Black Pearl. HV är för stor för mig och blir svårare att rolla än Frej. Däremot passar LV mig mycket bra och är lättrollad och trevlig. Men det finns andra skillnader: en träkajak är till skillnad från plast varm på vintern och sval på sommaren och låter dovt och mjukt i sjön medan plast slamrar plastigt (!).

Dessutom blir man bortskämd med egen kajak: färdigbyggda plastkajaker kan inte konkurrera – det finns alltid lite plastkanter som är ivägen, skott och prylar som inte sitter där man egentligen ville ha dem, sits som är gjord för någon annan etc...

Sitter och småtittar på Black Pearl igen, och upptäcker en parentes du skrivit: "(Black Pearl känns faktiskt initalt mera stabil än t ex en olastad VKV Anita/Måsen Elite – men saknar naturligtvis en hel del av VKV:ernas slutstyvhet)"

I somras provade jag en BP i Tranås. Satte mig ganska nervöst, eftersom jag inte uppskattar att sitta i kajak med kölen uppåt... Men upptäckte precis det du skriver:

Black Pearl, bred som en penna, är stabil som en VKV. Jag provade inte ut gränserna, men i lätt sjö kände jag mer trygghet i Pärlan än i "standardkajaker", svensk eller brittisk stil, även när jag provade svängar med ganska juste kantning. En rätt intressant känsla, får jag säga.

Kan det vara så att vår allmänna uppfattning om "nybörjarkajak" kan vara uppåt väggarna? Bara en tanke från en nästan nybörjare med vattenskräck och usel paddel-/balansteknik...

Jag håller med dig om att "nybörjarkajaker" är ett tämligen löst begrepp. Men oftast handlar det stora, tunga, klumpiga kajaker; stabila som pråmar och ungefär lika spännande att paddla – ett rätt tveksamt sätt att introduceras till en trivsam fritidssysselsättning. Jens Marklund kommenterade för många år sedan en ännu mer kuriös introduktion: han undrade varför kajakuppvisningar på mässor nästan alltid gick ut på att titta på folk som rollar? Oinitierade går förmodligen därifrån med uppfattningen att kajaker är ondskefulla prylar, vars existensberättigande går ut på att bättra på drunkningsstatistiken. Tänk om fallskärmhoppning hade marknadsförts med att visa nödlösningar om fallskärmen inte löser ut!

Men stabilitet är en komplex egenskap att sätta sig in i. Jag har skrivit en artikel om stabilitet här på sajten. Mycket kortfattat utmynnar den i att så länge kajaken är bättre på att hålla sig upprätt än paddlaren är det inte fel med en hel del initialstabilitet, men när paddlaren är bättre än kajaken blir för mycket initialstabilitet en minuspost på vägen mot effektiv paddling i vågor. Eller annorlunda uttryckt: en gungstol (minimal initialstabilitet) är ett säkert sittredskap med mycket liten risk att välta omkull. En fyrbent stol däremot (mycket stor initialstabilitet) kan välta plötsligt och med trista konsekvenser om man gungar på den.

Trygghet handlar också mycket om att känna att kajaken inte har en egen agenda som kan ställa till det med manövreringen: ingen onödig volym, vikt eller kursstabilitet som gör det svårt att behålla kontrollen över kajaken i kritiska lägen.

Med just VKV är problemet snarast att skrovet är utformat för hög effektiv fart med ett tävlingskajakliknande skrov. Men till skillnad från tävlingskajaker måste en kajak för långfärd kunna hantera mycket last utöver paddlaren. Eftersom det inte är bra för ryktet om kajaken sjunker när den lastas måste VKV istället välja den mer acceptabla konsekvensen att kajaken olastad blir rank.

En nackdel med låga kajaker som BP är att relingen kommer under vatten vid tämligen måttliga lutningsvinklar. Därför är slutstyvheten mycket sämre än kajaker med VKV:s typ av skrov. Men det kompenseras till viss del av att BP är så lättmanövrerad att man inte behöver luta den mer än marginellt för att paddla cirklar runt en roderförsedd långfärdskajak.

Hej Björn, köpte en Seabird Blackpearl LV i somras och är nöjd med den. Dock har den ju en annan sits jämfört med hemmabyggen. Provade i våras en Petrusbyggd BP och sitsen var väldigt mycket mer bekväm i ryggen. Har du tips om hur man kan ersätta sitsen mot en sådan som Petrus har? Eller tips för att göra den mer bekväm och mindre hård kant i svanken?

Du får nog prata med Petrus om det – det är han som tagit fram sitsen för hembyggekajakerna. På den ritning som skickades till Seabird finns samma sits lösning på som på Petrus kajaker, men Seabird fattade beslut om en enklare och billigare lösning.

När jag senast paddlare en Seabird BP funderade jag på att flytta fram sitsen ett snäpp och bygga på sargkanten med en rundad bit hårt skum så att den blir mera bekväm att luta ryggen mot.


Behöver man ha något fotstöd i en BP, får man inte tillräckligt stöd med benen ?


Det är inte lika nödvändigt som i en kajak med högt däck, eftersom kraften till paddeltagen kommer från knäna mot däcket snarare än fötterna mot fotstödet. Men det finns ingen anledning att inte ha ett fotstöd. Enklast är att placera förliga skottet på rätt ställe och förstärka det med en tunn träbit i ovankanten (finns på ritningen). Den som bygger utan skott monterar bara balken i ovankant. Eftersom man sitter med fötterna lätt framåtvinklade behöver inte fotstödet vara flyttbart – det fungerar både barfota och med tjocka neoprenboots på vintern.

Skall flera (med annan benlängd) paddla kajaken är det enklast att köpa ett färdig fotstödsställ och bulta i skrovsidan. Men ett hembyggt kan vara både lättare och snyggare.

För en tillfällig tur kan ett stycke uretanskum eller en bit frigolitskiva användas för att justera för kortare benlängd

Den extra bordläggningsribban, mellan skrov och däck, är den ett måste.....

Man laminerar på både utsidan och delvis insidan, räcker inte det...


Det beror på hur mycket du rundar relingskanten. Men även med en rätt lindrig rundning (radie ~10 mm) blir det inte mycket trä kvar längs relingen på akterdäcket.

Väljer du en tämligen skarp kant klarar du dig utan extraribba, men får i gengäld en ömtålig kant som slits snabbt.

Jag förstår, den kanske blir mer lättrollad med rundade kanter....:-)



Jeg har akkurat påbegynt mitt første BP-bygge og har et spørsmål.

Spant #6 og #8 er omtrent like brede, spant #7, som skal mellom disse er smalere.

Har jeg gjort noe feil eller skal det være slik?


Jon Leithe

Jon, byt plats på spant 7 och 8. De verkar ha blivit felmärkta på din ritning (ber om ursäkt för det). Sedan skall det nog stämma.

För övrigt gäller att det finns en rad små felkällor i ett kajakbygge: t ex när man ritar, sågar och monterar spanten. Oftast tar dessa småfel ut varandra så att resultatet i slutändan blir bra.

Men det är ändå en bra idé att hålla ett öga på skrovet när det växer fram och vara beredd att korrigera om någon ribba bär sig underligt åt (kanske beroende på en kvist eller ojämn ådring i ribban). Skrovet skall bli jämnt och snyggt med mjuka fina linjer – inga omotiverade in- eller utbuktningar. Lita på ögonen. Ser det jämnt och symmetrisk ut är det OK. Om inte, fila lite på ett spant eller knacka ut ribban en aning från spantet (eventuellt en kartongbit som mellanlägg).

Efteråt ser ingen hur du gjort eller hur lång tid det tog – men man ser resultatet.

Det var det jeg trodde, men det er alltid greit å spørre når man er usikker. Takk for raskt svar :-)


Hej Björn!

Jag köpte ett kapell från CReed som det står Black Pearl i.

Innermåtten är 53x40, visserligen bifogade jag en mall på sittbrunsargen.

Om man beställer fler kan man säga att det är Ocean B eller ska man skriva BP ?


De bör ha full koll på att BP kan ha högst varierande sittbrunnsstorlekar. Det har vi pratat om vid flera tillfällen.

Men de bör också ha fått rätt många beställningar på det som är den vanligaste storleken på BP-ritningarna (sitter på ca 70% av alla), så som jag förstått det kollar de medskickade mått eller mall och ligger den inom flexmarginalen skickar de standard. Utanför den skräddarsys kapellet av standardkomponenter efter en datoralgoritm. På det viset kan de snabbt få ihop i stort sett alla storlekar och former.

Är du nöjd med passformen och vill beställa en till, kan du enklast hänvisa till ditt tidigare köp. Men generellt är det en bra idé att alltid skicka med mått eller mall – då är det deras ansvar att anpassa och därmed lättare att reklamera om de missar (jag har vid ett tillfälle reklamerat en tuiliq med en inte helt perfekt utformning av ansiktshålet för flera år sedan och fick en utmärkt service – snabb och korrekt).

Tack för dina synpunkter, kom att tänka på att min torrdräkt i Aquatherm "kärvar" mot kajaken när jag ska glida ner i brunnen. Har använt en torr handduk och då går det lättare.

Har du något bättre tips på vad man kan använda ?


Nej, jag använder tuiliq i stället för torrdräkt, så jag vet inte. Kanske någon annan torrdräktsanvändare har något bra tips?

Hei Björn,

jeg har akkurat prøvd kajakken på vannet. Det var moro fra første øyeblikket. Den er utrolig manøvrerbar og rask ! Jeg har aldri hatt såpass mye moro med en kajakk.

Det var min første prosjekt, og lærekurven var veldig steil, men takk din hjelp har jeg oppnådd målet : å lage en kajakk selv som er moro, lett å rulle, og lære mye under byggeprosessen.

Tusen hjertelige takk for hjelpet.

Jeg tror jeg skal bygge Hunteren neste vinter. Den ser veldig fin ut.


Nico Vertriest

Hi Björn!

Two weeks ago I bought a SeaBird Black Pearl HV Hybrid Carbon/Kevlar and I wanted to let you know that I absolutely love my new acquire. I used to ride a Anas Acuta and a Nigel Dennis Greenlader, but when I saw the Black Pearl and even more when I had my first ride in the Black Pearl, I have felt deep in my guts and in my heart that I found the perfect kayak for me.

Finally a boat which translates what I feel in my body directly to the water. It is definitely a challenge to master this boat, but I happily accept that and I know that this kayak will allow me to reach the next level in paddling.

Thank you very, very much!


Thanks Daniel, you describe my design ideals well – the kayak without properties, that follows the paddlers intentions, precisely and instantly, so that the paddler can interact directly with the water, wind and waves.

If someone could advise me please. I have an "LV" model Black Pearl.

On the website i see 4 different combinations of composites possible to purchase complete.

The lightest of the 4 is 44lbs….I weigh mine to be under 41lbs.

Can I assume that my model is the "carbon kevlar" because it is the closest in weight to the lightest one shown?

P.S. I am new to this type of kayak and I am absolutely thrilled with it's performance. Everything I am reading regarding this model is accurate in every way.

On their website, the carbon/kevlar is indicated to be 42 lbs, and the difference between the versions are generally very small: 42, 44, 46, 49 lbs. My own LV (one of the first off the mold) tips the scale at 39 lbs and is, according to the producer, a carbon/kevlar – which I see no reason to doubt. The actual weight of a production kayak varies slightly, and the weights given is normally a liberal worst-case figure (better with a positive surprise at the scale than a disappointment).

But a low weight is the objective and the materials the means. You have a kayak that weighs less than the lowest advertised figure – most likely a carbon/kevlar but does it matter. Go paddling and enjoy the kayak, which (but for the weight) is very true to the original wooden BP.

You can correct the speed... ;-)

I own a SeaBird Black Pearl HV, my weight without gear is 82.6kg and I was above 12.0km/h for 500 meters nearly without any wind or currents in the water. I seems like I couldn't get any faster, but I will keep on trying.

From week to week my paddling skills seems to improve since I own the BP. It feels like the steepest learning curve since my first roll. I can virtually feel the impact of each parameter like the angle of the paddle, any tiny movement of my body's centre of gravity. Measuring speed is a great indicator for me to compare different techniques, besides my own feelings while paddling.

On the same time I enjoy any second on the water. Unfortunately I don't live next to the shore, so I have to train on channels and rivers, but I get rewarded each time when I start my training in the brisk time of the early morning. I learnt that deers can swim quite well and paddling next to a beaver is a joy of its own.

Thanks for the comment, and thought it would be tempting to announce BP as a 12 km/h kayak, I think many builders would feel deceived when trying out their new craft (I did make a small adjustment though ;-)

Top speed is not a definite figure, just the approximate point where the effort it takes to propel the kayak begin to go steeply upwards. You can push any kajak to almost any speed, but the effort it takes would be superhuman. So in essence your speed says more about you than about the kayak ;-)

One of the early builders when the kayak was quite new, Erik van Woerkens, also pushed the kayak to speeds that were above the calculated top speed and far beyond my best efforts – a lesson in humility.

It is like the famous 10-knot baidarka that has been feeding the imagination, since first reported a couple of hundred years ago (by sources with certain credibility: ship captains with profound knowledge of time, speed and distances). New replica baidarkas built after museum pieces never reached speeds even close to this. The theory now, from examining the bone structure of old aleut hunters from 17th and 18th century, seems to be that they were much stronger and more fit than even the top racing and marathon paddlers today.

A rough estimation may be that speed is 75% paddler, 20% kayak and 5% paddle.

Hi Bjørn,

Do you have plans for a Black Pearl HV? I mean I am 1,90/90 kg and 46 shoe size. Is there any way to fit in a Black Pearl HV?


Marius, when ordering plans for a BP, you get a kayak individually adjusted to you: length, width, foredeck height and cockpit configuration – a kayak that fits you, the same way my own BP fits me.

Compared to this the HV/LV option is a rather scanty compromise, offering two sizes to cater for paddlers 150cm/40kg/36 to 200cm/100kg/48 – though better than what many kayak companies offer.

Hi Björn

I am the happy owner of a Black Pearl LV since April this year. I love it for rowing and rolling.

But I have a big problem with the pedals. I am a bit small for the kayak 170 cm high and 60 kg, but I don´t feel any problem except for the fact that it is impossible for me to adjust the pedals from the cockpit. It has happened some times that one of the pedals slide forward while I’m rowing, it brings me in a very awkward situation trying to row ashore with one pedal and find a place to take the kayak on land and crawl into it with a hook to reach the pedal and draw it back to place.

I thought that a simple solution was to change the pedals to another design, but unfortunately it is impossible to reach the front screw of the pedal holder. Neither the kayak workshop nor I could reach the front screw and the space between the deck and the floor is so small that it not possible to get a screwdriver turned.

Can you give me any recommendations any help with this problem?

Marie Louise

P.S. Look forward to meet you in August in Thurø

Hi Marie Louise

First: I will be at Ærø sommarträff July 28-31 for classes and talks. I do not know anything about August in Thurø. >>Update: My mistake – had those two symposias mixed up – too close in time and locataion ;-). I´ll be at the Thurø meeting as well.<<

The pedal installation in the first versions of the BP was a standard system, not intended for small cockpit kayaks. It is functional though, but not convenient. You reach behind the pedal with your big toe and press the locking lever forward, adjust the pedal with your feet and release the lever. It may take some time initially to find the lever with your toe, but once there it is not too bad.

I designed the hull, but was not involved in the choice of seat, deck hardware, pedal system etc. I did complain to Seabird Designs about the inaccessible pedal system (and a few other things) and after a couple of years it was replaced with a better setup, adjustable from the cockpit, which of course is way more convenient. I have talked to a couple of owners, who installed the newer system, but I have no idea how they achieved it ;-)

Hei Bjørn har tenkt å montere KeelEasy på min Black Pearl, men er det slik at epoxy ikke kan varmes opp til den temperaturen som KeelEasy krever?

Mh. Per Morten

Det brukar inte vara något problem. Epoxyn mjuknar en aning med hårdnar igen när den svalnar – vilket för övrigt även composit- och polyetenkajaker gör, de senare allra värst.

Jag brukar ha ett litet munstycke på värmepistolen och hålla den 15 cm ifrån ytan för säkerhets skull

Hej Björn, och tack för all hjälp man får från din fantastiska sida.

Jag skall dra igång ett Black Pearl bygge snart. Min Frej är klar om ca tre veckor, byggd av trä-ribb. Denna gången tänkte jag testa S&G, och efter en konsultation vid Stocken träffen, med mäster själv, så tyckte du att en BP har rätta linjer för detta.

Så nu skall jag beställa en byggsats av Petrus. Och nu till min fråga...

Enbart för utseendet skull så tänkte jag ha lackad kolfiber på däcket. När jag nämnde detta för NM-Epoxy, där jag handlar glasfiber och epoxy, så säger han att det är inte bra med svarta kajaker, vare sig det är målat eller kolfiber. Epoxyn som vi vanligtvis använder, Laminering 275-A, börjar mjukna vid 50°c, och en svart kajak kan bli upp mot 60-70° i solen. Absolut inte så det känns på ytan, men styrkan försämras. Är detta allvarligt nog att ta i beaktning, eller är det något som NM säger lite för att friskriva sig. Dom flesta BP jag har sett är ju svarta.

Tusen tack på förhand. Micke.

NM har såklart helt rätt – epoxy mjuknar vid hög temperatur (vilket är anledningen till den från början ansågs olämplig för marina applikationer – marinplywood skulle enligt gamla regler vara tåla långvarig kokning för att godkännas!), men återtar sina egenskaper när den svalnar igen.

Men varken jag eller andra ägare av svarta BP har (vad jag vet) upplevt några nackdelar på kort eller lång sikt – inte ens de som nyttjar en dylik i varmare trakter som Medelhavet, Västindien, Florida etc.

Om du någon gång paddlar i tropiska farvatten under en stekande sol i zenith, eller i heta källor, kanske en roll då och då kan rekommenderas.

Hej Björn och Micke

Det som jag har märkt med svarta kajaker är att om det finns lite luft under laminatet kan det resultera i en blåsa som tenderar att växa under varma och soliga dagar inget stort problem, den är bara att slipa bort ersätta med ny epoxi,väv och färg.

mvh Petrus

Tack Petrus, det glömde jag nämna - men jag har å andra sidan haft blåsor av det skälet på både min svarta BP och min ljusgrå Njord. Dåligt fyllda fogar straffar sig nog oavsett färg, men blir värre med mörka färger.

Hej Björn o Petrus.

Det finns epoxy som tål lite högre grader, men enligt nya klassificeringar inte får säljas till privatperson. Men jag pratade med herren som är ansvarig hos NM och dom skall ha en produkt färdig i månadsskiftet Ja-Feb, som skall säljas till privatpersoner. Man använder den som vanligt, skillnaden var när kajaken var färdig, rådde han mig att lägga ut den i vårsolen om jag hade chansen. Det är molekyler ovh dyl som skall hitta varandra för att uppnå värmeskydd.

Och det sker bäst och snabbast i värme.

Tack till er båda !


Epoxy härdad vid hög temperatur innebär fler korsbindningar och därmed större hållfasthet. Industriellt används ofta autoklav för värme/tryck.

Vårsolen låter som en tämligen medioker värmekälla i sammanhanget – där solen inte kommer till är det förmodligen rätt kyligt även under varma vårdagar.

Jag jobbar gärna med uppvärmd epoxy (mycket försiktigt så inte en exoterm reaktion startar och förvandlar epoxyn till en svart rykande stenhård klump) och ett uppvärmt skrov. När lamineringen är klar stänger jag av värmen. Det innebär snabb härdning i början av processen vilket ökar antalet korsbindningar, men att den långsamma avkylningen därefter minskar risken för att luft inifrån trävirket skall tränga ut och bli bubblor under väven.

Hur mycket värmer du upp epoxyn till??

Jag gör det främst när det är kallt i bygglokalen – det blir neråt 10-12 grader under vintern i min källarverkstad. Då värmer jag upp skrovet i förväg med en kupévärmare och värmer upp epoxyn till ungefär 25-30 grader – räcker att blåsa med en hårtork eller värmepistol ner i blandningstråget en kort stund medan man rör om. Sedan stänger jag av kupevärmaren vid skrovet och applicerar epoxyn.

Tanken är att värmen håller epoxyn lättflytande under lamineringen så att det går lättare och snabbare att arbeta in den i väven, och att härdningsprocessen kommer igång snabbt – men att avkylningen sedan innebär att luften inne i trävirket kontraherar och därmed bidrar till att suga fast väv och epoxy. Motsatsen, att sätta på värme när lamineringen är klar, riskerar att luften expanderar och trycker ut väv och epoxy i blåsor under härdningsprocessen.

Att värma epoxy i blandningskärlet är känsligt. Använd helst ett tråg där kylytan är stor (till exempel en 2-liters glasslåda), för att inte riskera en exoterm reaktion (ju mindre yta i förhållande till volymen, desto större risk).

Hejsan Björn,

Jag köpte ritningar till Panthera för drygt 2,5 år sedan och har påbörjat och har nästan ett helt skrov, har inte börjat med någon epoxi än då det kom ett husbygge emellan mig och Kajaken. Jag bor nu precis vid Vättern och köpte förra året en Point 65 Jack bara för att få utvecklas som paddlare då jag inte paddlat något innan. Men nu känner jag att det är mycket roligare att surfa än att bara paddla fort. Vill även lära mig att rolla. Vad tycker du, ska jag bygga färdigt min Panther eller ska jag köra ett BP-bygge och vänta med Panthern?

Mvh Martin Mizgalski

Hej Martin

Det är inte så lätt för mig att råda. Panthera är säkert inte fel. Den är mycket lättrollad, surfar mycket bra och med bättre kontroll än i stort sett alla havskajaker och är snabb. Däremot är den helt beroende av roder, vilken gör den mindre lämpad för strandnära lek: slalom mellan stenar, rockhopping mm.

Black Pearl är också mycket lättrollad och mycket manöverbar – en kajak som inbjuder till lek och lust. Däremot är den rankare och kräver en del paddelkompetens för att vara trygg i krabb sjö.

Ytterligare ett alternativ kan vara en Frej: lika lättrollad som BP, lika manöverbar och leklysten, surfar bra (men inte lika bra som Panthera), går väldigt tryggt och bra i vågor och rymmer packning för långturer – bygger du en Frej, kan du sälja din Point (den kan ingenting som inte Frej gör bättre)

Tack för snabbt svar.

Så om jag förstår dig rätt så ska jag bygga båda? =)

Likabra att ha två om någon vill följa med.

Jag funderar på en annan sak oxå, tänkte bygga en isfjord Micro till grabben. Just nu så sitter han bak i skottet på pointe , men snart är det dags för honom att paddla själv. Hur tidigt kan dom börja, han är 6.

Mvh Martin Mizgalski

Jag vet inte riktigt. Jag började rätt sent med kajaker så min yngsta var väl kring 9 när hon började paddla, men då men en Kavat i fullstorlek. Inga problem alls, varken med att hantera kajaken eller klara vågor.

Det finns bilder från Grönland med småbarn (3-4-årsåldern?) som paddlar små minikajaker med en tvärslå surrad på akterdäck och två PET-flaskor som utriggare.

Hi , i'm in love with your boat , my problem is i can only find the carbon kevlar HV here in Canada (montreal ) and it's listed for a paddler wheight off 80 to 100 kg , i wheight 70 kg , the LV is probably perfect for me , do you think i could paddle the HV without loosing to much performence ? Thanks

The LV would indeed be perfect for you. An HV will work for you, but more as a touring kayak than a playboat. I weight 84 kg and my own wood strip BP is slightly narrower and lower than the LV (when I design for my own use I can go closer to the limit than when designing for paddlers I don't know ;-).

That means that if you are looking for a kayak that fits you like a true greenlander is supposed to, the HV is not that kayak.

Do you have the time and a place to build a stripper? The plans are individually adjusted to your exact weight, length etc? Or to speed it up you can get a plywood kit from Dan Caouette at Clear Stream Custom Watercraft.

Yeah Clear Stream was my second option , maybe they can build it for me . Thank you for the fast and honest reply .


Er Black Pearl en god kajakk til å surfe med?

Surfer den bra i korte bølger, eller trengs gode sufebølger for å få fart på kajakken?

Black Pearl är väldigt bra på att fånga surf i mindre vågor – det räcker med ett par decimeter våghöjd för att få en bra fartökning. Har man koll på paddeltekniken surfar BP bra även i riktigt stor sjö.

Hi, just found your great resource of kayak designs and absolutely love it.

Last year I built my first strip model (Endeavour) which I like very much. But since I have some cedar strips collecting dust, I started looking for a new project.

I had my eyes set on the Pearl and absolutely love the reviews. Maybe a bit afraid of the stability but I can manage a wavehopper or alike. And a first try in K1 wasn't a complete disaster. We'll see what it gives ...

Before placing an order I was wondering if you could provide me with an estimation of the

circumference of the kayak at it's widest. Just to have an idea if I still have enough strips left :) I'm 1,84m and about 66kg. But a rough estimation is fine though.

Secondly, I absolutely love the child versions. Not sure yet if would build one...

Kind regards

Steven, a Black Pearl for you would have a circumference at the widest part of 1140 mm.

And as for stability, a BP has a lot more stability than a K1 – partly since the hull itself has a more solid stability curve but even more since you sit lower in the water (more keel rocker and a lower seat).

More than a few beginners have built BP:s (liking the looks ;-) and they all report that after a few involuntary swims they surprisingly quick got the hang f it.

BP is a very direct kind of kayak. It lacks most of the sluggish inertia that in many other kayaks saves novices from their own mistakes. Without excess volume, weight, surface area, etc it does what you want it to, directly and without delay. This means you quickly learn what works and what doesn't, and can begin to work together with the kayak in wind and waves, instead of the kayak being an additional obstacle.

The child versions have worked very well. Small kids get the center of gravity low and often learn by trial-and-error with few preconceived ideas on how things should be done ;-)

Hi Bjorn!

Thanks so much for all the information! I've read it all! Even the pages and comments in Swedish :) Google translates "deck" to "tire" :)

However, even after all this reading I still haven't found answers to basic questions.

First, a little bit about myself: I'm novice. I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. No seas around here. I have only two seasons under my belt. The last season I spent mainly recovering from back injuries due to the weight (27 kg) of my plastic touring kayak (Old Town Castine 140) and the tight neoprene Dagger spray skirt that was very hard to put on. I was practicing the roll, but was mainly practicing wet exists and emptying the kayak... :)

I was, still am, very hungry for play and roll. I decided to buy a kayak better suited for rolling. To my surprise, these are simply do not exist in Canada, the home of the Inuit... There's Rebel Ilaga in the US but it's quiet a long journey to bring it here from there, with all the taxes and duty involved. I've found a builder in Edmonton so I just need to choose between the BP, Frey or Njord. I only do lakes but we do have strong winds to battle with. Here are my questions:

1. Which of the three to choose? I enjoy day trips on flat water. But winds are a big issue here. My passion is rolling and playing. The BP is the obvious choice but it seems to me that the Frej is more compact and lightweight. I know that "play" typically refers to play in the sea. So maybe this is not relevant to me. So maybe the Njord is a better choice. I'm not asking you to choose for me, just to expand on the differences between these three so I can have a more informative decision.

2. How the BP works without a skeg or rudder?

3. Black cockpit doesn't get hot in the summer? Just wondered...



Hi Ilan,

And thank you for your patience with the pages I still haven’t translated. Google (and other translation services are notorious for not handling synonyms and homonyms very well – AI still leaves a few things to be desired).

1. Simply put, the BP is a kayak not usable for anything but having fun with – not very fast (but it feels like it being that close to the water, as in an old English sports car where your butt is centimeters from the tarmac ;-), no load capacity to speak of, very little inertia, weight, volume, etc. that in most other kayaks becomes the disobedience that saves beginners from their own mistakes – the same disobedience that might get in the way of competent paddlers competent handling of the kayak in challenging situations. That means that the BP is a kayak to trust in whatever conditions the weather may through at you – provided you don’t make mistakes (or have a bomb-proof roll) – and thus, a kayak with a built-in crash-course in kayak handling ;-)

Frej is as easy to roll and maneuver as the BP but has a little more initial stability and a load capacity for multiday tours. It is slightly less demanding, and the most versatile kayak I have designed. But, of course, there is a bit more kayak between you and the seascape around you than in a BP.

Njord is the long-distance version of Frej (or rather, Frej is the more versatile and user-friendly version of Njord). The advantages of Njord are the speed on long distances; you get farther with less energy spent than in any other kayak I have tried, and it is slightly kinder to the paddler in really bad weather (you get less tired from wind and chop and you need less bracing to stay upright). But to achieve this some of the playfulness is sacrificed. So, to benefit from Njord's potential you should have a fair amount of long-distance touring on the agenda.

2. BP should not have a rudder (it would hamper the performance significantly) and is good without an adjustable skeg. I have neither on my BP. But, of course, without the skeg you get weathercocking from wind in the aft quadrants, and the only way to remedy that is to go slower. So, it is a balance: performance vs complication.

3. It is a minor problem. I don’t notice any difference between my black BP and my Frej and Njord with a light grey deck. And if I get warm (due to my black tuiliq rather than the color of the deck) there is a lot of cooling liquid nearby ;-)

Hope this helps. I can’t, of course, make a solid recommendation, since kayaks are quite personal.


Thank you Bjorn for reminding me the basic appeal of a low volume hunting kayak i.e. close to the water... To be close to nature... to feel as if I belonged there - not a visitor... that's (at least in my mind and not from experience :)) the magic of a low volume hunting kayak - to transform to an amphibian!

'One fit with boat'. That's the difference between a boat that you get into and a kayak that feels like a body extension. You move it like you move your hand or leg... (also from reading and not from experience :))

Does "play" only means playing in the sea and is not relevant to people without a sea or maybe, it implies to the responsiveness of the craft in general and is also useful on lakes?

I heard many people say that the low volume hinders turns and not good for surf because it has a tendency to dive instead of staying on the surface. One renowned designer even used words like "submarine" and not "seaworthy". Can you please untangle the "play" aspect?

Thank you!


The public image of kayaks is often the Greenland kayak hunter fighting wind and waves in open sea conditions and that the kayak is the most seaworthy small craft ever designed. But kayaks in Canada were often designed for and used on lakes and in rivers for hunting swimming Caribous.

The renowned designer you referred to is of course correct in that a low-volume kayak sometimes dives while surfing a steep wave. But he is wrong about the ”not seaworthy” assumption. A well-designed low-volume kayak moves gently and predictably with the water, like a tree bending in the wind – while big heavy hulls are pushed around and perhaps turned over due to resisting the wind and waves and being hard to handle. It is a common misconception that you "win" the fight against the weather conditions by force, instead of working with them – like budo disciplines where small agile fighters take down strong overconfident hulks. All kayaks are a challenge in “survival mode” – it is in more benign conditions that you have the most fun, and it is there a "fun" kayak shine.

Playfulness is a mindset. Someone said: what happens around you in life is just theater scenes; what matters is what you do on the stage. The raison d'être for a kayak like BP is that there is very little filter between you and the conditions around you – as you aptly put it: to temporarily become an amphibian. A light, low volume BP can surf 1 ft waves in speed and style, waves that "normal" kayaks would hardly notice. And slalom around rocks and stones close to shore is quite another thing than in a heavy. high volume kayak, or a crash stop with the paddle slammed into the water, turning 90 degrees and stopping within half a kayak length, or executing a 180 degree turn within a kayak length just by a bow rudder stroke, or sliding diagonally sideways on a hanging draw. Or performing different layback easily rolls since your weight pushes the aft deck down close to the surface while leaning back – compared to a large volume kayak where you must lift your upper body 4-5 inches up on the deck.

Yes! That's exactly what I was looking for!

Thank you Bjorn!

I'm going to order this kayak but I am still not sure about the skeg. Most people recommend installing a skeg. What exactly is your argument against it?

I do not have any good argument against it – just the added complexity against the satisfaction of a "clean" kayak (what 's not there, doesn't break or need upkeep, doesn't add weight, cost, and building time).

But, without an adjustable skeg, you will need to slow down in hard winds from abeam or aft (weathercocking increases with the speed). Many builders have retrofitted a skeg, after a year or so.

When I built my Black Pearl my usual paddle companions were a group of skilled and very fast paddlers and in certain winds, I couldn't keep up with them (kayaks with rudders or adjustable skegs). On one occasion I tried gluing a small fixed skeg (20 cm long and approx 3 cm deep) under the stern. It made things much better and I could keep up with them in all conditions – but it killed the kayak! The sparkling maneuverability of the small Greenland kayak was gone. So at the first break ashore I removed the skeg with a kick and decided to enjoy the original potential and accept that I lagged behind in bad conditions. I thought a while about adding an adjustable skeg but decided against it. I liked the kayak as it was, and still do.

Happy Holidays Bjorn and thanks so much for your answers!

According to my builder, the weight and complications of adding a skeg are negligible. Since winds on our lakes a common nuisance, I think a retractable skeg can help mitigate shoulder pain...

I know you don't like rudders but I see that some of your models come with one. Can you please outline your argument against rudders?

Thanks again!


Is there a locking bar in the design?

Maybe a wooden handle that can be used for:

- carrying

- as an anchor to tie down to a vehicle

- to insert a locking cable

Hi Ilan, and happy holidays to you.

The main disadvantage with a rudder is that a kayak needs a certain amount of direction stability (i e is hard to turn) for the rudder to work against (like the keel on a sailboat). Without that, the kayak will slide sideways instead of turn. On a highly maneuverable kayak like the BP, you must thus first deprive the kayak of its maneuverability (f x with an outer keel strip) to regain some of it with the rudder.

Furthermore, the efficiency of a rudder is proportional to the kayak’s speed, which means that it is efficient in high speeds when you rarely need sharp turning, and not so efficient in low speeds, when you really need precision maneuvering. Going through a rock garden you can paddle circles around any rudder kayak in a BP

Add to that that a rudder with a sharp blade, wires and fastenings may be a liability in a rescue situation ¬ and that a rudder that is lifted (f x in shallow waters) acts as a “sail” far aft, increasing the problems with weathercocking.

Rudders are very useful on certain types of kayaks (doubles, racing kayaks, surfskis) but Greenland kayaks are not one of them.

Some people claim that rudders were used on Greenland kayaks but it is a misunderstanding. What is referred to as “rudders” were wooden skegs that was temporarily tied under the stern when the hunters were trying to use old muzzleloaders in the late 19th century. It kept the kayak on course long enough for a shot, since firing in any other direction than straight ahead would cause a capsize. (see

Rudders were also used on baidarkas for travelling to far away hunting-grounds. Two baidarkas were tied side-by-side, one with a small running sail up front, the other with a crude rudder tied to the drain pipe aft.

But apart from that, paddlers in the north had neither the need nor the inclination to mess around with fancy gadgets.

No locking bar in the plans. You don’t need it for carrying – the kayak is light and well balanced with one hand on the rim, or holding the lines fore and aft if someone is helping.

For tying down, two straps around the hull is much better than any bar. You can tighten the straps much harder on a wooden hull than on a plastic or laminated one. Best is to lay the kayak upside down on the rack. 1. Less windage and noticeable less fuel consumption (stem pointing forward!). 2. You see that kayak stem without leaning forward, and 3. No need for cockpit covers.

An anchor point for a locking cable can be positioned aft of the cockpit, and can be constructed with the same method as the line hardware – or maybe something better that I haven’t thought of...

Thanks Bjorn!

I use a Thule DockGlide cradles to slide the kayak from the rear.

Bow and stern tie downs are recommended for traveling on the Hwy.

My builder now says the skeg will add 850 grams. So you were right. It does add weight. Maybe you even need to consider that in the plans for me.

I chose my car, a Volvo V50, with an eye on the need for transporting kayaks on the rooftop. It is very low (approx 140 cm), so I can have the light wooden kayaks on my shoulder and just let it fall down on the padded racks, and with a good distance between the racks (140 cm) so I don't need more than two straps at the racks, no tie-downs even on highways.

How come there's no info, no kayak design offered by the Inuit themselves? Why I need to purchase a kayak that is manufactured in Poland and designed by a Swedish designer who stole the idea from my neighbors who still live right here, in the same country where I live?

"The world is a stage but the play is badly cast "

Oscar Wilde

But there are! If you are interested in building a traditional kayak, an almost overwhelming number of good resources are at hand. Albeit rarely written by the Greenlanders themselves (they build their kayaks from anthropometric measurements and knowledge passed down from the elders) the information is available in the works of scholars and enthusiastic kayak builders, covering traditional kayaks from Greenland, Alaska, and Canada. Here are a few:

Best perhaps are the books by Harvey Golden, who has studied, categorized, and also built (museum-quality replicas) most of the kayak types from the polar region and the last four centuries (hundreds of them!). They are presented with drawings in his two impressively comprehensive books "Kayaks of Greenland", and "Kayaks of Alaska". The kayaking world is eagerly waiting for his book on Canadian kayaks.

H C Petersen "Qaanniornermut Ilitsersut: Instruktion i Kajakbygning" is perhaps the source that best mirrors the Greenlandic way of building and thinking about the Greenland kayaks, their construction, outfitting, and use.

Mark Starr ("Building a Greenland Kayak") is a museum curator and in his book, he describes building historically correct Greenland kayak types.

Robert Morris ("Building Skin-on-frame Boats”) has a more relaxed attitude and his prose is a good read. His building manual is not strictly Greenlandic, but to a degree adopted to conveniently available materials and methods. He also expands the technique to other kinds of craft, to which it may be adopted.

Chris Cunningham (“Building the Greenland Kayak”) has developed a generic Greenland kayak for modern-day paddlers, with another body type than the Inuit hunter and may be lacking the patience to spend hours under a 19 cm high foredeck.

Wolfgang Brinck (”The Aleutian Kayak”) is the book, if you are interested in the Baidarkas: origin, construction, and use.

Thanks for the info Bjorn!

So if there are... then where can I find a kayak or a kayak builder, or a Kayak design offered by the Inuit? (For recreational purposes, not for hunting).


The information you need is in comment 117. How you use it is up to you.

Are all Inuit kayaks (including BP) made skin-on-frame with no bulkheads?

Happy New Year!

All the best in 2022!

Strip and S&G kayaks normally have bulkheads for safety and convenience, since it is easily done – SOF's rarely, since it, while theoretically doable, requires an unrealistic amount of work and with a not very reliable result (a seasock may be a more realistic alternative, though with a few usability issues).

Happy New Year Bjorn!

1. So why the Inuit didn't use strip building for the safety and comfort of added bulkheads, hatches and a skeg?

2. Is the use of the word "Greenland" i.e. Greenland kayak, Greenland Paddle, Greenland style kayaking etc. correct? If not, where is this mistake stems from? Is there, in your opinion, a better word to use? I noticed you use the word "Traditional". How about "Lower volume kayak", "rolling kayak" and "traditional paddle"?

Isn't that obvious? The kayaks of Greenland have developed over thousands of years – long before waterproof glues (post wwII) and planed/routed timber was invented.

They did not need bulkheads (they attached themselves tightly to the cockpit and never opened the "seal" at sea), hatches (they never put anything in the kayaks – everything needed was on the deck, and harpooned seals were towed ashore), skeg (see comment 112).

English is not my native language so I may miss the finer nuances, but I don't see a problem with "Greenland" in this context – whereas 'traditional', 'lower volume', 'rolling kayaks' etc can be found in other places up north as well.

I have a few chapters on kayak history here (Swedish only, since there are a lot of sites in English available on the internet already) – and you seem to have digested more than a few of my Swedish pages already, using Google translate ;-)

Hi Bjorn,

Thanks again for all the information. I think I owe most of my kayaking knowledge to you :)

I guess paddling your BP would be my thanks to you! It is being built now. Fortunately, not by me :)

Another question: The BP looks quite flat in the photo. Most people would assume it is hard to turn. Yet, you say it is highly maneuverable. I also read here

that skeg works better with some rocker.



I have read Peter Carter's musings about different kayak-related issues, sometimes more than once. They are adequate, profound, and thought-provoking and I agree with most of his observations.

But in sea-kayaking it is not always relevant to focus on one single isolated issue – everything is interdependent like a multigrade equation, and every development or improvement must be considered in an overall context.

There has been significant development of kayaks and equipment since Carter wrote these articles, the kind of kayaks he often used in his research has rarely been in use in the northern hemisphere in the last decades, and few of us paddle in the Southern Ocean with nothing but Africa and South America, many thousand miles away, to stop the waves, and Antarctica as the nearest neighbor to the south.

BP is extremely maneuverable, primarily due to a short waterline and a shallow V-bottom, characteristics that in this case are much more important than the apparent lack of rocker.

Carter’s observation that skegs work the best on kayaks with some rocker, is correct in its context, but not universally so. What he should have been saying is that skegs work best on maneuverable kayaks – for the very simple reason that on hard tracking kayaks a skeg would have been useless or even counterproductive.

BP:s hull configuration is very relevant for this type of kayak: the long overhangs and short waterline makes it easily maneuverable, but when speeding up, the bow and stern wave climbs up the long overhangs and increase the waterline length and thus the speed potential – and with the added bonus of making it easy to launch and land from an ice edge.

First photos. Will add more as I receive them from the builder:

Hey Bjorn,

May I please have your help with Reed's Tuilik measurments?

Ocean cockpit A or B?

Deck width:

Deck length:

Hi Ilan, the cutout on your plans is a suggested 53x38 cm. But you have to discuss that with Rod since the final size depends on how he constructs the rim and flange. Then the best way is to trace the outer rim contour on a piece of paper, indicate where your waist will be positioned, and send it to the company.

But since Reeds/Chillcheater has provided lots of BP tuiliqs, it should suffice to provide them with just the length and width of the flange. The shape is closer to Ocean B and the tube position is their standard 10 cm

Thanks Bjorn!

Hi Bjorn,

1. Grab loops

I don't see them in the photos. Is it due to construction limitation or just a matter of taste?

2. Bulky deck loops

The front loop is for a spare paddle. What is the loop on the aft deck for? Why are they so bulky? A deck line would be suffice and won't catch wind, wouldn't it?

3. Deck rigging

I am thinking to leave the aft deck bare. Deck lines behind the cockpit might get in the way when doing the lay back roll, wouldn't it? But a grab loop in the rear end might be useful for towing, rescue, tie down... In previous comment you noted to place the kayak on the roof, stern pointed forward, why?

4. Foot rests

Do I need them?

5. Bulkheads

Is the placement of the bulkheads marked in the plans?

Thank you!

Hi Ilan

1. The rope loops on the stems work fine as handles, and for handling the kayak on land the thin stems are comfortable handles.

2. A rope loop doesn’t catch the wind but makes it very easy and quick to park a paddle. A deck line is harder to get the paddle under, even if you have a ball on it. There is no reason not to have a loop aft as well – a secondary paddle park or a well-positioned handle.

3. Deck lines aft isn't a problem when rolling but they are handy for stowing a rain jacket, a pump, or whatever you may need. It is a good practice to have lines both fore and aft. If you in a rescue situation ends up in the water in bad weather, you need something to hold on to – a wet kayak is slippery! The aft paddle park is of no use when towing though. You must have the tow line attached midships, preferably around your waist – otherwise, it is impossible to control the kayak.

The kayak should be stem forward on a car, not stern – otherwise, the cockpit hole catches the wind.

4. You need a footrest. The simplest is, as indicated on the drawings, a correctly positioned bulkhead, strengthened with a wooden bar up towards the deck.

5. Bulkheads are also indicated on the drawing – the aft one as close as possible to the seat, preferably contoured and sloping to minimize the volume in the cockpit, the forward one placed to suit your leg length.

Thanks Bjorn,

I've received photos of the drawings and I see everything is indicated incl. a note regarding the skeg... still undecided on this one...

I see you suggested to glue couple of minicell foam strips as a masik. The seat should be glued as well? What about back support or rim protection. In this video nothing is glued on

Cherri and Turner are knowledgeable and very experienced paddlers and teachers. You can trust that their ideas will work nicely. I am also competent in my field and I know my ideas work. So it is up to you to choose – it will be your kayak.

One thing that may be relevant here, is that Cherri and Turner modify a commercial craft while I build my own from the start, and thus have more control over the cockpit area and what I fit there.

I was asking for your ideas regarding the backrest because I didn't see a note about that.

My builder, Rod, put up a video:

I understand this kayak will be better than the Rebel because it is custom fit.

The backrest I favor is clearly described in the drawing. It is the curved and sloping aft bulkhead that gives solid low lumbar support but otherwise doesn't restrict moving around in the cockpit for bracing and rolling.

For visual reference, here are two posts on laminating a contoured bulkhead on a temporary foam mold (text only in Swedish, but the photos contain all the info needed): reparation-av-skott and reparation-av-skott-2. It is easily built, light, and it increases the volume in the aft compartment while decreasing the volume in the cockpit (for safety), and is comfortable and efficient.

It may initially seem inadequate to those too used to sofas, office chairs, and car seats, but after getting used to it is highly relevant in a Greenland style kayak.

If you find it overly complicated to fabricate a contoured bulkhead, a foam pillar is a very good alternativeor a smaller pad

There are, of course, more than one way to skin a cat, and while mine is the best for me, you should of course make your own choice with the outfitting.

Thanks Bjorn!

Glad to learn everything is in the drawings. As you know, I don't have the drawings. All I have is what the builder decides to share with me

The builder lives 1000 km away so I won't see the drawings or the kayak before it is shipped to me.

Hi Bjorn!

I wonder what is it, in the design, that makes the BP manuverable, responsive and a good roller, despite the fact that it has no rocker?


Any kayak's performance is a function of a multitude of different but interdependent factors that together build a performance profile of the craft. But with a simplification, you may attribute the maneuverability to a relevant rocker, combined with a short waterline length and a shallow V-bottom, the responsiveness to the same, plus low volume, weight, and windage, and the rolling qualities to the very low cockpit rim, which allows you to move around in the cockpit; forward, backward and to the sides – and to a tight cockpit under a low front deck which makes it easy to control the kayak.

Kayak design is like a multigrade equation – change one seemingly insignificant factor and the result may surprise you. A kayak is the experience it may offer, not numbers and data.

Hi, I am paddling for several years in sea a sup and an ultralight 8.5kg sof pack canoe , arrow 14. I would like to make a kayak for day touring , on days with higher winds of 10-15kn. I red that black pearl is ok even for "ambitious novice with patience and perseverance". Would it be a bad idea or "blasphemy" , to make it with a keyhole cockpit instead of Ocean, since I am a novice to kayaks? Is there such an option of keyhole cockpit at black pearl?

Blasphemous maybe ;-) but otherwise no problem. But I recommend making a standard oval cockpit hole and adding the knee supports in the correct positions when sitting in the kayak.

The cockpit on a kayak intended to be easily rolled is not one-size-fits-all.

The suggested cockpit is a small ocean cockpit, but there is information on the drawing on changing it to whatever you like.

It's been done before.

A lot of pictures and description of the retrofit

It has been done several times, and as always with knee or thigh supports it is about hitting the narrow slot between being too small to replicate the advantages of a small ocean cockpit and too big to facilitate entering – and positioning it correctly for the intended user.

I have spoken to several BP owners with keyhole cockpits and heard more regrets than satisfaction over the conversion (albeit an insufficient statistic).

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