I built three baidarkas this spring. I used steam bent and laminated raised beams. I laminated bow stems and added an oak shoe for strength. I used two different polyurethane coatings on the skin, one for a primer which saturates the cloth and another for the finish coats for a smooth satin finish. No one could tell me how to get a good finish so I worked on it until I got it right.
I have great respect for the Aleutians who perfected this hull design. It’s fast, and edges well and the bow planes when it plunges into a wave. I added a little more rocker to make it turn better. I added a ‘suicide masik’ for firm control while rolling. I am very pleased with this baidarka. I may add a hatch to the flat rear deck to make it easier to stow gear.
The low rear deck and coaming and portable masik makes it a good rolling qajaq.