Just launched a new Baidarka

My Modern Baidarka design has hit the water. I have always been fasinated with the Baidarka but the traditional designs are tiny and unstable. I have been working on designing one to suit the average paddler for over a year now. Finally hit on a design I liked when I was approached about building another of my designs. I showed him Firefly and it was love at first site.

It’s 18 feet long, 23" wide with a large oval cockpit. Skin on frame construction with a polyester skin. It has good stability but it overly strong. Multi-chined hull is proving to be quick. Coy is tickled to death with his boat and honestly I wouldn’t mind having it myself. It’s really a sweet paddling boat.






that’s a fine looking craft. I’d love to give it a test paddle.


new name
New name Jeff?

Bill H.

I’ve paddled Jeff’s

– Last Updated: Sep-03-10 9:38 AM EST –

Vardo and Long Shot and they're two of the best boats I've ever paddled. They easily stand up against the best boats from any of the major manufacturers. I've owned and demoed a bunch of boats and these are a hoot to paddle.

Am I in business with Jeff? No. Will he pay me for this endorsement? I hope so.

Presently, I'm looking at putting up my tent, the Taj Mahal (10x18') on a friend of mine's land in order to build one. I don't do well with epoxy and the idea of tieing the joints together really appeals to me. I mean, if there's a problem with one of them, I can just retie it. Of course, I will have to learn how to sew the skin on. Maybe Bonnie could help me with that.

Maybe even build them and sell them. Won't make a lot considering the per hour rate, but when you're retired it might just bring in some beer money.


“Am I in business with Jeff? No. Will he pay me for this endorsement? I hope so.”

I promise John, when I get ready for a salesman you name is TOPS on the list! :slight_smile: LOL

Griffin, someone beat me to my nickname on here. I have been on Pnet for a long time.

So, what does the bow design actually do? I always wondered if it cut through chop better, or doubled as a carry handle. Fill us in!

I can’t tell from the photos, but the cockpit seems long enough for seat-first entry of a fairly long paddler (design intent, I gather). With the cockpit being perched on top of the cross section in the front, doesn’t it interfere with the hands while paddling? Looks like yours is rather narrow to the front and may be that helps, just curious if you had thought about that and if you got a top-down photo to share.

When I was designing my own cockpit just a month or so ago, I started with a very similar size cockpit to what you got. When I placed it on the boat, I thought that it was in the way of paddling. So, I opted for a much shorter cockpit, that ends mid-thigh, way before my knees. I also attached it so that the bottom of the rim is level with the cross-section (the masik in my case) rather than be on top of it. This way I lowered it more than an inch compared to having it rest on top of the cross section itself. While it is still high (so I can get my 36" legs sliding through without bending my knees backwards), my hands move well forward of the cockpit rim while paddling so it is not in the way at all… Of course, no seat-first entry with a cockpit like that…

One of my boats has a similarly long cockpit, but it gets very narrow in the front - just one knee wide opening b/w the sides of the rim (there are no braces protruding in). So that cockpit rim is not in the way of paddling hands on the sides yet still allows me seat first entry (one leg at a time as there is no room to put two knees together - too narrow). Of course, that shape pretty much asks for a custom spray skirt as most skirts that are that long are too wide for it…

Bifid bow
There is a lot of debate and no definitive answer on the bow. But I will toss a few answers out I have read. It lengthens the water line. You have a “hollow” shape with more volume up high and it will help lift it over the waves. Finer water entry.

The Aleuts were keen observers of nature and some say it may have been to make it look more like an animal. Camouflage of sorts since they hunted from from the boats. The did wear items to make them blend in so that is possible. It may have been a tribute to the animals that gave their lives for them to live. Maybe even some religious reason?

Me, I think it is little bit of all of that. But no one knows for sure.

If it interfered with you hands it is way to tall. I usually design in the neighborhood of 8" at the back and 12" in the front. On a higher volume boat I will go with 13" high.

This one (at the clients request) is 36" long. I usually use 34" coaming. I can straddle the boat and put my butt in the seat and then pull my legs in EASY! Makes getting out even easier. It’s pretty large but it is comfortable.