Monkcraft Skin on Frame Kayak


Has anybody seen, used, or built the kayaks offered by this guy? Thinking about participating in one of his workshops, seems like a fun opportunity, but not really sure what I should be looking for when it comes to quality in SOF boats.

Also, I am in the South Puget and Portland is kind of a haul. Does anybody know of similar classes offered in the Puget Sound?



Don’t know
about this guy but the pictures all look about right. (design,lashings, etc.) How long does he take with the class to build one?

I built one in a week with Brian Schulz of Cape Falcon Kayak in Manzanita, OR last year. Brian does a very good class and makes good boats.

I don’t know either
but if you get involved with it, give us a review of the course. I am also in the PS area and would be interested in a course like this.

The class
runs over four weekends, with classes all day Sat, Tuesday evenings, but then his shop is open to work on your boat everyday of the week.

After doing some research
I also found a place in Anacortes that may interest you.

Their calendar is a little out of date, so I’m not sure if they are still up and running but worth investigating.

Bob Kelim
Not Puget Sound, but WA. Diamond City Boat Works, Bob Kelim, Nachotta, WA.

I know one person in Portland who chose Bob’s class over Cap Falcon. Lots of people choose Falcon though. I’m pretty sure she chose Bob because she liked his boat design best. I’m pretty sure she paddled both Kelim’s and Schultz’ boats before deciding.

I think Bob sticks with traditional, 19-20" wide boats, ocean cockpit.

Brian Schulz does traditional replicas, but also does contemporary designs, 23-26" wide, larger cockpit. Also doing an SOF copy of the Mariner Coaster now (with Mariner’s permission), which he calls the SC-1. Very popular class from the looks of his class schedule.

You may be intending this anyway, but I would want to paddle the design before I build it.

I haven’t heard of Monkcraft, either.

Paul S.

He occassionally posts on qajaqusa, and seems very pleasant and knowledeable. At one point I was interested in a SOF kit, and both he and Bob said that they could do it. I believe that he a monk in the Tibetan tradition–as with all Buddhist monks, he will have duties within his religious context that may take him out of circulation with some regularity. On the other hand, you will get a person who values kindness, compassion and generosity and who is absolutely honest.

Corey Freedman …
is the guy in Anacortes. I built a baidarka with him in 2005 and hope to built another soon. He has helped many people build … between 1000 and 1400 boats, I think. He offers classes in Anacortes and at the Wooden Boat center in south Lake Union. He also has some nice supplies to go with the boats … molded foam seats, dry bags, float bags and paddle floats for greenland paddle.

I would recommend him. #360-420-6270. And his web site is out of date.

Pictures of my boat construction at:

and my late camping trip by baidarka:

good luck, tom

You built a BEAUTIFUL boat Tom…

Your baidarka is a true beauty…at every stage of the build. I built a Greenland-style sof, and plan to build a baidarka someday. Am currently building a Redfish King.

I have been told by many (including Brian Schultz) that Corey is definitely ‘the man’ to go to, especially when building a baidarka. Hope to get out to the Northwest someday to build a baidarka with him.

Thanks for posting the pics…


Cape Falcon
If given the choice - I would go with Brian Shultz’ class as long as the I was able to build the boat I wanted. Brian has opted to focus each class on a specific type of boat, which I could understand, but seems to narrow the choices of classes somewhat.

Maybe he would be willing if asked to let you build a boat of your choice, but if you live out in that area (Portland OR) then maybe you could do a build at his place in Manzanita anyway that would probably give you that choice of design.

Other classes I have noted typically build “generic” SOF designs - which isn’t a bad thing - but Brian focuses on "semi-replica’ designs that give you the closest thing to a replica boat that was once paddled by Greenlandic hunters. Pretty cool.

I would research all the designs offered by all the classes in your area and go with the one that builds the boat you want.



I’ve owned and paddled one of Dawa Lodru’s Monkcraft kayaks for 7 years and can assure you that it’s the highest quality and best performing of any of the dozen sea kayaks I’ve owned or used. It weighs only 31 lbs despite being 18’ long and has withstood a lot of use and even abuse with little maintenance other than a few dabs of sealant on one seam and regular oiling of the exterior wooden components. In fact, here is a link to an album I posted with photos i took of the boat and from Dawa himself while he was building it.

If you have any questions about Dawa or the kayak, feel free to ask on here or send me a private email (not sure how that is done on this new iteration of the site.)

Brian Schulz and Dawa Lodrup know and mutually respect each other’s work. As mentioned, Dawa is an ordained American Buddhist monk, who I believe was originally an engineer. Both he and Brian have had some unfortunate health issues in recent years that have sometimes limited their availability to teach. Both are true craftsmen of the highest order as well as outstanding human beings. If you have the opportunity to build a kayak with either of them, you will not be disappointed with the experience or the boat