2015 Alleq 52 – John (MA)

Posted By Dan Caouette

2015 Alleg 52 – John (MA): Approval Drawing


BTD Alleq 52 built summer of 2015

The Alleq is the stitch and glue version of Björn’s new strip built “Nanoq” design.  It’s a modern take on Ken Taylor’s historical Illorsuit (or Igdlorssuit) kayak that appeared in England in 1959. The original skin-on-frame heavily influenced English style sea kayaks and helped spawned modern sea kayaking as we know it. With it’s accentuated rocker it is quite maneuverable.

John’s Alleq 52 is built from 4mm okoume precision cut by Chesapeake Light Craft.  It is finished bright (ie. clear-coated). It has flush wooden hatches cut from the deck and are held by internal bungees.  It has deck lines in fiberglass and carbon fiber tube fittings and a carbon fiber cockpit coaming.  Finished weight: 29 lbs.

The West Greenland “Alleq” designed by Björn Thomasson is available in stitch & glue construction for home builders.  In 1959 Emanuelle Koreliussen built a kayak in Greenland – the now famous Illorsuit kayak – for an English visitor.  Back in England this kayak inspired many well-known production kayaks, among them Anas Acuta and Nordkapp.  The Qanik, Nanoq and Alleq are Björn’s takes on this legendary kayak.  The Qanik is a commercial design for Seabird (Norway).  The Nanoq is the strip version (strip kit also available).  Alleq is a sheet panel version, adjusted for S&G, a simplification of the Qanik concept.  It is actually a little closer to the original Illorsuit, that in SOF-technique also has flat surfaces. The hard chines results in a slight loss of speed (to friction and turbulence) and a slight loss of interior volume.

The looks is inspired by the Illorsuit, but the hull shape and hydrodynamics are modern, efficient and relevant to an altogether different situation than seal hunting in arctic waters 60 years ago. The Alleq comes with remarkable maneuvering – a bow rudder and edging (relying on impressive end stability) turns the kayak almost in the kayaks length!

To accommodate different paddlers, there are two sizes of the Alleq.  The 55 is closest to the Nanoq/Qanik design.  The 52 is slightly smaller. See the “Hydrostatics” tab for  information on both.

John sent in a quick review after some sea trials with the Alleq:

Hi Dan,

Ellen & I just gave the Alleq a try-out — and we both think that it is a REAL SWEET boat. We love it on land because it’s so easy to car top.

It’s even better on the water. The response to just a little edging is wonderful: it turns on the proverbial dime and it makes a precise turn, rather than just skidding. I was expecting this maneuverability because of the hull characteristics (so much rocker) but Ellen was caught by surprise — and experiencing that kind of maneuverability was thrilling to both of us. On top of that, the Alleq accelerates at the slightest touch of the paddle; I hadn’t ever experienced anything like that before, and didn’t expect it.

The Alleq is fulfilling my expectations in every way.


Project Particulars
Stitch & Glue, Standard Construction:  4mm okoume, clear coated with DuPont urethane
– Hatches:  Flush wood lids held with internal bungees using carbon fiber support lips and hardware.  Internal tethers and pull tabs.
– Coaming: Laminated carbon fiber, twill weave, finished bright
– Outfitting:  Fiberglass tubing fittings with 3/16″ polyester cord and black walnut Greenland-style sliders
– Completion: August 2015


Design = BTD Alleq 52
Length (Overall) = 17.06 ft (520,0 cm)
Beam (Overall) = 20.16 in (51,2 cm)
Draft = 4.33 in (11,0 cm)
Wetted Surface Area = 17.37 sf (1,61 m2)
Prismatic Coefficient = 0.506
Finished Weight = 29.0 lbs (13,2 kg)

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Construction Photos:

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High performance kayaks, canoes and other small boats. Crafted individually in the USA.