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The NANOOK kayak is based on the shape of traditional Greenland kayaks and can be built within a few days without a strongback. In fuselage frame construction CNC-milled frames and longitudinal stringers are connected with artificial sinew and determine the shape of the hull. The subsequent covering with robust polyamide fabric and coating with PU varnish turn the wooden frame into a usable skin-on-frame kayak. The NANOOK weighs only 12.5 kg.



In the design, the focus was on low weight, but the structural rigidity was not neglected by skillfully saving material in the right places.



The kit can be built with a few hand tools even by inexperienced builders. The components are already provided with holes for knotting, only the gunwales and stringers must be cut to length and machined at the bow and stern.



Due to a structural feature, the seat height can compete with those of traditionally built kayaks and gives the NANOOK additional stability due to a low center of gravity of the paddler. Thus, it is sufficiently stable even for beginners and has good secondary stability when angled. The hull has little rocker as well as a slight V-shape, so it is very true to track and also suitable for longer, enduring trips. The decks have been kept as flat as possible to give the wind little surface to attack. The flat rear deck also simplifies rolling.

longtime exporuse in the morning hours of the wooden handcrafted nanook skin-on-frame kayak in front of the alps at lake chiemsee in bavaria, germany


The speed test shows the GPS speed with no wind, shallow water and a boat loaded with approx. 80kg.


Total weight: 12.5 kg

Length: 507cm

Width: 55cm

Paddler weight: up to approx. 100kg

Paddler size: up to approx. 190cm

Coaming inside dimensions: 78x41cm

(the total weight depends on the materials and amount of varnish used)



The development of the NANOOK kayak kit took about 10 months. In an elaborate process, the dimensions of traditionally built greenland kayaks were collected, merged with empirical values and thus a first model was created in a hull design software. The handling characteristics were tested on several prototypes and construction details were adapted to the requirements of a customer-friendly kit. Parallel to the prototyping, detailed photos were taken and the building instructions were produced, which clearly describe the individual building steps. What was done with a jigsaw during prototyping was finally realized as a final prototype on a CNC portal milling machine. Now I have the kit produced in series by a partner company in Wuppertal.

detail of a wood connection of components from the nanook skin-on-frame kayak kit by zedernrot. made from birch plywood on a cnc milling machine


The kit includes 26 CNC-milled components from birch plywood, as well as other small parts and aids for construction. In addition to the frames, the sterns and decks, the seats as well as the antry aids, the kit also includes a CNC-milled coaming, which is very easy to assemble. All components are already equipped with notches for plugging together and holes for knotting.


The building instructions contains 61 pages and describes the complete construction of the NANOOK down to the last detail. Each step is described in detail and illustrated with pictures. The building instructions also include a list of materials that are still needed, which can be conveniently called up and ordered via QR codes. The instructions are primarily aimed at beginners who have had no previous contact with skin-on-frame kayak building, but of course experienced kayak builders can also use them to build their NANOOK.



The opening chapters of the building instructions range from a description of our CNC-milled components to required materials with parts lists and measurements to work safety. The construction of the NANOOK is divided into the production of wooden strips for gunwales and stringers (including instructions for tapering strips), the construction of the kayak frame from our components, the oiling, skinning and varnishing of the kayak as well as the installation of the hatch system, footrests, deck lines and backrest.
All construction steps are described with the help of detailed texts and expressive photos.


German / English

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the building instructions of the nanook skin-on-frame kayak kit lying on the cnc-milled parts of the kayak kit