Handbuilding  Kayaks with Jon
  • Chappaqua, New York, United States
  • 42 hours over 6 days

Handbuilding Kayaks with Jon

Learn the techniques of skin-on-frame boat building with master kayak builder Jon. Join him in his studio tucked away in the Hudson Valley, where he’ll guide you through the process of making a fast, lightweight kayak of your own.
  • Snacks, Coffee, & Tea

Pricing

One Guest
USD $2850
Additional guest(s) (max 2)
USD $540

Accommodation

One Guest
USD $90
Additional guest(s)
USD $15

Meet the Artist

Jon has a deep streak of independence and resilience and is empowered by the sense that “You can do anything.” An expert craftsman who loves the outdoors, he has always been fascinated by the idea of making something out of nothing with your hands. His father is the inspiration behind his fervent passion for boat building. As a child, the two of them spent time camping and canoeing on the Housatonic River in Connecticut. As adults, they built Jon’s first canoe together – a sturdy and steadfast classic.

In the twenty years since, his love of the craft has only grown stronger. During his time apprenticing with a master boat builder, Jon learned the methods of steam bending and kayak making. He also turned to the building techniques of early cultures and their time-tested traditions for insight. These days, Jon focuses on reproducing early 20th century Adirondack guideboats using the skin-on-frame boat making process, as well as offering courses in handbuilt kayaks. A thoughtful and patient teacher, he finds joy in passing on his knowledge of heritage boat craftsmanship to those seeking a deeper connection to the serenity found on water.

VAWAA Includes:

  • A brief history of boat building, Adirondack style guideboats, Greenland Kayaks, and basic watercrafts.
  • All materials, hardware, cedar wood, and tools.
  • A selection of wood, nylon, and basic materials, including any custom colors, exterior customization, or design.
  • An introduction to the steam bending process.
  • Understanding the cutting process of gunnels and mortises.
  • Learning joinery techniques to build the frame.
  • Treating the nylon and outer surface for durability and waterproofing.
  • Treating the nylon and outer surface for durability and waterproofing. Working outdoors when the season allows, and inside a traditional log cabin home during the colder months.
  • Guidance on kayak care, storage, transporting, basic repairs, and maintenance.
  • Carving your own Greenland style paddle (requires a one-day extension and associated fees).
  • Tips on paddling the kayak or a kayaking lesson, weather permitting.
  • Taking your finished kayak out for a paddle in a nearby lake or on the Hudson River.
  • Your own hand built kayak to take home.

Stay at Jon's

Jon’s studio is in Chappaqua, a charming, woodsy hamlet conveniently located less than an hour’s drive from Manhattan, yet blessed with the beauty and vibe of the Adirondacks. The scenic Hudson River provides a constant flow of inspiration to the artist communities throughout the region. As the birthplace of America’s first arts movement in 1825, the Hudson Valley is rich with history and culture. With Dia: Beacon, Storm King Arts Center, Bear Mountain, and countless restaurants, wineries, and craft breweries to explore nearby, you’ll have no trouble feeding your curiosity and appetite.

Explore Chappaqua, New York

Jon’s studio is in Chappaqua, a charming, woodsy hamlet conveniently located less than an hour’s drive from Manhattan, yet blessed with the beauty and vibe of the Adirondacks. The scenic Hudson River provides a constant flow of inspiration to the artist communities throughout the region. As the birthplace of America’s first arts movement in 1825, the Hudson Valley is rich with history and culture. With Dia: Beacon, Storm King Arts Center, Bear Mountain, and countless restaurants, wineries, and craft breweries to explore nearby, you’ll have no trouble feeding your curiosity and appetite.

Additional Details

Built primarily with rot-resistant red cedar, ash, and oak and wrapped in a waterproofed skin, the versatile F1 kayak design weighs only 29lbs and is easy for one person to carry.

A background in carpentry is not necessary; however, participants should have some degree of comfort holding a hammer and using a hand saw. All tools will be provided.

This VAWAA is not suitable for children.
Jon's Availability 6 days