SOF Construction question

Couple of questions for you folks:

What is average range of construction time for SOF Greenland style boats?

What kind of average costs are you seeing all said and done?

Finally, I see that most everyone is lashing and / or pegging the frames together. This may border on being heretical, but why not move to stainless steel or some other sort of modern fastener? I appreciate and understand the nostalgia of being true to historical form, but the local fabric shops are fresh out of walrus and seal skins, so I figure why not change the fasteners too? Or, is it that lashing works better anyway?


Good resources
Two of my friends and co-instructors are into Greenland all the way, and have a small fleet of craft and accessories that they have made. I know that I have seen brass screws in the construction and nylon in the skin. If you like I can email thier addresses to you and I’m sure that they’d love to convey some of the tricks of the SOF methods that they use.

Zap me at

See you on the water,


Lots of aluminum baidarkas out there.
Stainless steel is heavy and hard to work with. Aluminum is lighter and easier to work with but tends to bend rather than flex when accidents happen. Pseudo-traditional methods using wood, man-made lashing material, and synthetic fabric coated with urethane have better resiliency. Some people have worked with PVC for folders with decent luck. I trust you have discovered Much info there to help you on your way.


Tom Yost Is The MAN
he has an e-manual for bulding aluminum frames and hypalon (?spelling). Rather than publishing, he has made his boats available to all for free through the net. The modern skin on frames that he has designed and built are amazing… Here’s an example which is similar to the dimensions you were interested in (punch the menu key at the site and you get the whole list of boats):

While I will someday work around to building one of Tom’s designs, I have to say that a wooden frame has a warmth and appeal to me, whereas Tom’s frames speak (to me) in terms of modern utilitarianism.


Seems to me that lashings flex. So does the boat. Makes for a good match, no? Well placed pegs could offer similar ability to move a bit and still aid positining of parts. Fasteners and structural materials more similar than different. Better stress distribution.

Screws dont flex - so something has to give - that someting will be the wood around the screws. Ribs are not that thick. Fasterners dissimilar from structures - act as stress focus points.

That said (out of conjecture - not experience), I’m sure if you went to Greenland you’d find all sorts of “modern” hardware being used!

Flexible seems to be best.
But you’ll find stainless steel screws and staples in mine and even a couple brass screws.

Cheat where you think best but if you use screws everywhere I’d put money on the fact that something will break. I used some staples on my skin (not seen) and two stainless steel screws at the deck beam just aft of the cockpit (because I sit there to get in). I used the brass screws on the lip of the coaming (nylon type material). Other than that everything is dowelled and lashed and it flexes nicely and seems very strong and stress is distributed well.

My thinking is to use whatever you’d trust to stay together or ask what others have used and see if things held up. If you’re not making a replica anything goes but lashing things together is still probably best.