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New Models: Atka-series S&G Alaskan Iqyax (Baidarkas)

Posted By Dan Caouette

We are proud to present three new models of the “Atka”: our stitch & glue Aleutian-style kayak.   They are often called “baidarkas,” which is Russian for “small boat.” The term was made popular by George Dyson with the release of his excellent book.  The ancient Unangan name is iqyax.  Ours are built using the stitch & glue (S&G) method of small boat construction. With some innovative construction details, they should be the easiest to build hard-shell baidarkas for home builders.


For our smaller, more petite paddlers we have the Atka-14.  The prototype is being built for our daughter.  With a base design displacement of 120 lbs, it’s ideal for paddlers ranging from 75 to 110 pounds.

Adults interested in touring will appreciate the regular Atka. It has generous cargo holds and an efficient hull shape. Though only 16′-9″ long it can easily keep up with most 18′ sea kayaks.

For racing, exercise and fast touring we have the Atka-FSK. It’s designed at the upper limits of the Sound Rower’s “Fast Sea Kayak” class. It’ll definitely brings some Alaskan style to open water and river races. Even with the multi-chine plywood hull, it’s faster and more efficient than the Wahoo (on paper at least).

They are modeled and named after a historical example found on Atka Island, Alaska in 1934 by Margaret Lantis. It is currently stored at the Lowie Museum at the University of CA, Berkeley (LM 2-14886). The lines were taken off it by David W. Zimmerly in 1978 (http://www.arctickayaks.com/). The standard “Atka” model is very close in size and shape to this specimen.

Lines:Aleut LM2-14886-18
Lines:Aleut LM2-14886-18


Atka LogoThe word “Atka” roughly translates to “guardian spirit.”  My daughter decided the spirit for her kayak was the orca (aka killer whale) and wanted hers to be painted like one.  We liked the idea so much that we decided to incorporate an orca into the design’s logo.

While not shown on the website yet, CNC-cut plywood kits cut and shipped by CLC are available.  They should be posted this Spring.  Until then please inquire if interested.

Here’s some more pictures.


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3 thoughts on “New Models: Atka-series S&G Alaskan Iqyax (Baidarkas)

  1. Hi Dan, your hard chine ATKA’s particularly the 18′ FSK is of great interest to me, how do I get more information? I’ve built a lot of boats for other people it’s time I built one for myself. I have a 21′ x 16 3/4″ surfski, a Pax 20 and a 17′ x 23″ NC, all nice boats, but because I did not build them something is missing. I think you Atka-FSK could be a good choice for me. Thanks, Ron

    1. I’m waiting for my daughter to give the prototype a good workout before I release all three designs to the public. I also need some time to write up the kit instructions. Kits will be available some time in June. To to the complexity of the design at this time there are no plans to release paper plans.

      1. Hey Dan, as a builder and paddler of sea kayaks (7) I would ask you to reconsider selling plans for the Atka series as the challenge for many builders is the complexity of the design thank you for all your years of involvement in the qayaq community and have enjoyed your posts on qayaq’s usa and your current website

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