Making break-down paddles

I plan on making my third Greenland paddle over the winter. The first was too small, the second, too big, so I am looking for “just right.”

I’d like to make this one a two-piece paddle. I think its nice to take a euro blade and a GL, and to switch back and forth when making longer trips. But storing the single-piece GL on the deck is a pain, so I’d like a two piecer.

I have no idea how to go about building the two pieces. My first thought is to build a one piece paddle and cut it in half and somehow fit ferrules to the halves. But maybe I should “start with the end in mind,” as Covey says. Or maybe its too difficult, and I should go looking for commercial sources.

Advice on building techniques will be appreciated, and also, can you recommend a source for the locking ferrule mechanism that joins the two pieces together?




Good luck/have fun.


paddle ferrules

– Last Updated: Oct-27-05 11:28 AM EST –


Last spring, I made a two-piece canoe pole using Sawyer ferrules. I'm pretty happy with the result.

Take a look at:

The gallery works best, I think, if you set the style to 'Journal' alongg the top line.


Take-Apart Paddle Construction
Also take a look at:


Thanks for those references. CLC is in my neighborhood, so I’m glad to know they have the ferrules, and also to know that is what they are called.

That yost page is fabulous with the detailed photos and instructions (nice html work, too). But, know what impressed me the most? The guy’s shop is spectacularly clean! Even the towels on the saw horses look freshly laundered and pressed.

Thanks for the replies! This p-net is a great community!


Tom Yost IS The Folding Kayak
MAN!!! That guy is incredibly creative, productive and generous with his designs and ideas.


The problem is…
…that all the commercial ferrules are designed for round paddle shafts, but the loom of a GP is typically a flat-sided oval. While a round ferrule can be made to work, the paddle will not have the same smooth feel when sliding it through your hands.

Loom Shape
Yost’s looms are more oblong than mine, and I have often thought that there’s no reason I need so much bulk in the center of the loom. It’s got to be oval where you grip it, but from there it can be tapered to a center that is thinner and rounder. You never even put your hands on that part during normal paddling.

In fact, I wondered why Yost halved his in the middle. Offset the cut a bit and both half of the broken down paddle could be equal length. Maybe that’d screw up the balance, I dunno.


You said:
“You never even put your hands on that part during normal paddling.”

My hands go there everytime I do an extended stroke. Have you considered making a storm paddle as a spare? That way you don’t have the storage problem of a full size GP and there’s no need to carry one of those Euro shovels on your boat or make a take-a-part stick.