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.
It is as a pre-cut plywood kit for home builders. It can also be custom built by CSCWC.
In coordination with Björn Thomasson and Petruskajak of Sweden, we have used our advanced naval architecture and CAD programs have adapted it to true stitch & glue construction using 3mm and 4mm okoume marine plywood.
The kit feature full bulkheads and a stacked plywood coaming for easy construction. The kit includes hull and deck panels that are professionally cut and shipped by Chesapeake Light Craft from 3mm and 4mm BS 1088 okoume marine plywood, and the forms from particleboard or MDF. The kit includes plywood parts to construct recesses for Kajak-Sport 43/30 oval and 24 round hatches (available separately). The kit includes only the plywood components; solid wood (for the sheer clamp), epoxy, fiberglass, hardware, foot braces, and so on are not included. It is packed in CLC’s standard kayak shipping carton.
Below is an except from Björn’s website for the strip Nanoq:
Nanoq is a sea kayak with west Greenland ancestry, based on the legendary Illorsuit (or Igdlorssuit) kayak that appeared in England 1959, having a profound influence on English sea kayaks ever since – and that was the inspiration for the Qanik, I designed for Seabird Designs some years ago.
With Seabird now making major changes in the catalogue and market position, I thought it was time for a strip version. And though Qanik was a success among reviewers and customers, there are always things to refine in retrospect. A commercial assignment is a compromise between my ideas on hydrodynamics and usability and the clients ideas on costs and markets needs (imagined or real) – and of course, the necessary adjustments for industrial production.
Turning production Qanik into strip Nanoq, I went back to the original drawings and adjusted the lines to suit strip building. Nanoq will be easier to strip with slightly less friction due to he smooth lines (water prefers simple harmonious curves that are easily achieved in strip). A wood strip kayak will also be lighter and structurally stiffer, resulting in a faster, more maneuverable kayak with slightly more load capacity.
Nanoq has a slightly higher deck and more secondary stability than those of my kayaks with east Greenland influence: Black Pearl, Njord etc. Thus Nanoq can be leaned over 30 degrees without support of the paddle, that in combination with a accentuated rocker means very good maneuverability – a quality often mentioned in reviews – making it the perfect play kayak in surf and in rock gardens. Skeg down, Nanoq becomes a controlled cruiser for long distances with good touring speed. The higher deck is a welcome advantage for those who find Njord a bit tight, but of course a disadvantage for those who appreciate the comfort and control of the tight fit in Njord; as many other paddling options a matter of taste.