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Someone asked where are the original drawings that my dad made of the kayaks that he measured?
We gave what we knew of to Harvey Golden of Portland Oregon.
There were also his notes, as measuring a kayak, especially in a cramped attic or with it hanging from the ceiling, is hard to do, and the exact curve of the hull is critical to performance and stability. Many kayaks had been crushed and one must guess from studying the “bones” of the framework as to what the original design was like. And as you begin to draw the kayak, you realize (hopefully) that you did not measure this or that and must return or send someone to get the missing data. Few had really investigated kayaks back in those days. Actually, not all that many have done it yet, but I think that all the remaining kayaks have been measured.
Harvey seemed a good choice as he was not only one of many good friends of my dad, but certainly has the bug and has documented and built more replicas than anyone that I know of. (I am not up to speed on this and please forgive my ignorance if others are even more bitten by the bug. Building 60 replicas of native kayaks in just the first 10 years of interest, seems like a lot to me.)
I think that we have found some more drawings and notes and will pass them on to Harvey if he will be custodian. This data must not be lost. IMHO
Be sure to read
and notice that it was written a long time ago. Also, burn into your brain the quote:
“. . . Not until we ourselves have made use of a complicated implement do we fully understand all its small details, which at first sight, we either do not notice at all, or regard as unimportant for the purpose of the implement, and therefore readily consider them to be peculiarities of style belonging to a certain district or tribe.”
But, then you already knew that, right? It always amazes me how many have not figured that out. Please educate them as you run across them. My dad’s first kayak that he built in the 1950s (not his kayaks as a child) was a design that he bought from a British expert on Greenland kayaks.
From a distance, it did resemble a Greenland kayak more that any of the other boats in the yet to be published “The Bark Canoes and Skinboats of North America”. But, it was the then standard European design that bore NO RESEMBLANCE in construction to any Arctic kayak ever conceived. As I recall it had going for it was that it was 19″ wide and 17ft long. But, it was a nightmare to paddle. I would guess that it was the reason that my dad realized that these modern designers had little of no idea what they were doing. Because they had only been doing it a few years.
But, there was a database that was thousands of years in perfecting and the cost of substandard work was the death of the builder & his wife & kids. And thus began John’s quest…
Some photos of John’s Personal Items