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Plans, Njord - 108 EUR
Instead, Njord is a kayak with a large action radius with or without camping gear, with a potential for high touring speed in all conditions, and at the same time is as easy to roll as a small playboat.
Dan Caouette built a Njord for a Spanish customer:
Nereida is just INCREDIBLE
We have been paddling together an is FAST, ELEGANT...and almost sexy!!
I still don´t have photos on the sea, but believe: everybody turns and stare at her.
I can stand about 5-6 Knots, she surf waves, is stable...the perfect kayak??
I am a HAPPY MAN
Thank you Dan!!!!!!!!!!!".
Gonzalo Martínez-Monche Zaragoza
Building photos (many!) from another Njord built by Dan CaouetteDan Caouette
||559/534 cm (overall/WL)
||51/50 cm (overall/WL)
||26/17 cm (in front of/behind the cockpit)
||120 kg/305 litre
||2/4 (initial/secondary stability)
||Expedition and touring, coastal and deep sea. Rolling and advanced paddling. Day tours and exercise.
¹ These dimensions can be adapted to suit personal needs or wishes.
² Depending on type of wood, equipment, care with epoxy usage, sanding etc. etc.
³ 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.
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 a rapidly decreasing righting moment is almost impossible to take advantage of.
The plan sheets contain the information needed to build the kayak. Station molds, stems and construction details are in full scale. The recommended cockpit size is in 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 kayak. Lines and construction drawings are in metric scale 1:10.
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, Njord - 108 EUR
Minimum window dimensions to get your kayak out from the workshop:
More about Njord
Maximal efficiency (most miles per spaghetti serving) is at just below 5 knots (9 km/h), due to a long waterline and a relatively high PC (0.56). Njord is therefore primarily aimed at strong paddlers with good technique, but with a narrow waterline beam and a very small wet surface area, it is easily driven at lower speeds as well.
Directional stability is on the low side, to enhance maneuverability in a long kayak, and an adjustable skeg is recommended for touring. Leaned turning works fine and feels safe due to a very high secondary stability. Njord is easily handled; tight turns, sideslips, high brace stops, etc. can be spectacular with a technically good paddler. The high secondary stability makes balance bracing, even without a paddle, very easy.
The volume is relatively small and a little packing discipline and ingenuity come in handy for longer tours. The experienced backpacker will find room for a week's supply – but for a paddler used to wide and high commercial kayaks, it might be a challenging proposition.
The Njord will initially feel a bit tippy for the novice. The initial stability is relatively low, while the secondary stability is very high – giving a very soft and dry ride (and for spectacular high braces!). For the experienced paddler, Njord feels safe and reliable with easy, predictable movements in challenging conditions.
Njord is based upon eastern Greenland designs and thus has a low deck – some 2 inches lower than the typical commercial kayak (but an inch higher than the original Greenland 19th century kayak). It takes a little getting used to a new seating position, but after a couple of hours, the kayak feels like a well-fitting shoe – good contact without pressure anywhere. The comfort of a small cockpit may come as a surprise for paddlers used to large volume kayaks, where one has to be tightly locked in between knee pads, hip pads, footrest, and a back band to gain control of the craft. The deck behind the cockpit is low enough to reach with the back and head, during a layback roll.
The Njord can be built with an ocean size cockpit or with a large keyhole cockpit. Bulkheads and hatches – two large hatches and a small day hatch - are indicated on the plans, but Njord can be built Greenland style without them. The bulkheads are placed so that the volume in the cockpit is minimized: the aft can be integrated with the seat and cockpit coaming.
The waterline is long and extended aft, making Njord usable without a skeg or rudder, keeping weight and mechanical complication down. But the downside is a loss of speed in a side wind, and for serious touring an adjustable skeg is recommended.
The hull form follows the eastern Greenland designs, with hard chines – but the chines are softened towards the stems, keeping noise and splashing down in a chop. The deadrise is slightly steeper than the Greenland originals, which together with a pronounced rocker gives a good balance between directional stability and maneuverability. The rocker furthermore places the paddler a little deeper in the water, increasing stability without excess beam, lowering the sheer for more comfortable paddle strokes, and keeping wind resistance down.
Njord is also slightly more full-ended than the Greenlandic inspiration – partly to increase the PC and thus the potential top speed and partly to increase the buoyancy without the need for high and wind-catching stems. The overhangs are shortened to increase the waterline length. The decks are arched to provide more room for gear – except for a flat surface just behind the cockpit (where a paddle can be held as support).
Njord - 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, seals were hunted from kayaks until a couple of decades ago and the tradition is unbroken.
Njord, designed in 2005, is loosely based on the east Greenland kayaks, mainly the one depicted in the American Museum of Natural History (fig 208 in Adney & Chapelle's "The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America"). While Njord is not a replica – strip instead of SOF, raised deck to create room for gear, less overhang, etc. – I have strived for an overall feel in handling that is close to the original.
Njord was designed in January 2005, and the name is taken from the god of sea and weather in the old Nordic mythology (in the Icelandic tales he was called Njórdhr and was one of the Vanir, father of Frey and Freya).