Laughing Loon offers designs inspired by the East Arctic Greenland style, above, Ootek
And designs inspired by the West Arctic baidarka style, above Mystic Star

Laughing Loon was the first to build a hard shell baidarka and is still the only company, offering the Aleut "baidarka" style sea kayaks as a "stripper".

I had the good fortune to hear George Dyson speak at the Maine Maritime Academy in 1992 on the "baidarka" style sea kayak. He made some astounding claims about the outstanding sea worthiness and speed of the baidarka design, in six hours of presentations!!!

I was paddling solo whitewater boats at the time and immediately noticed the similarity between the high volume and full stems of then current whitewater boats, and the Aleut baidarka.

I realized these baidarkas were designed for big waves and rough water!

I built the first North Star baidarka in 1993.

I have since found the baidarka design to be the the fastest, most sea worthy kayak I have ever paddled!

I have had many calls and letters from owners and builders of my baidarka designs, tell me the same. I have also had my baidarkas called the "surf board you sit in", for their outstanding surfing characteristics. Read a review of one of my baidarka designs.

above Panache left North Star right


First, Light-weight
Light-weight is the first priority in my designs.

I've spent many years portaging heavy canoes in Northern Ontario. I dreamt of a canoe so light-weight that I could carry it and a pack in one trip. This started me down the path of my light-weight quest.

An added benefit of having a light-weight boat, one I had not realized, is the improvement in performance.

A light-weight boat is much more responsive to strokes, making it easy to paddle and quick to turn and maneuver.
Of course, every racer knows this and strives to reduce weight.

A light-weight boat is also easy to put on a car and carry to the water, a feature that ensures the boat will be used often.
Think about going paddling and there is nothing stopping you!

My sea kayaks range in weight from 30 to 40 pounds depending on size and outfitting.
This is the lightest-weight available in a hard shell sea kayak.

And then, Performance
As important as light-weight, is designing and building performance boats.

By this I mean boats that take less effort to paddle and that excel at a specific purpose.

I design sea kayaks that are fast and track well. And yet they turn and manuver well also.

Most of my designs are "soft chine" hulls, with a rounded bottom. A soft chine, means the transition from the hull side to bottom is rounded. A rounded bottom hull has less wetted surface and is faster than a hard chine hull of the same width or beam. The more rounded the hull, the faster it will be. The trade off is that you will have less stability.

Soft chine hulls ride rough waters more smoothly.

True Greenland designs have hard chine hulls. A "hard chine" means the transition from the hull side to bottom is a sharp or a harder angular change. A hard chine hull is not as fast as a soft chine hull but it will have greater initial stability given the same beam.

A hard chine hull with a 21" beam will feel like the stability of a 24" beam soft chine hull.

I like "flare" in the sides of my kayak hulls for greater secondary stability. Flare means the sides of the hull overhang the water so as the hull is leaned to the side the hull surface gets larger creating a strong "secondary" point of stability.

This flare creates an angular transition from the hull to the deck at the "sheerline".
The sheerline is the edge where the hull and deck meet.

When I began designing and building sea kayaks I felt I could learn some very important lessons from the lines of native kayaks. My kayak designs reflect the performance of their native sources, combined with the features recreational paddlers want.

Paddlers will appreciate the great performance of these well-designed kayaks. I receive letters and email, all the time, from happy customers.

And, Beauty
I believe in the phrase," Form Follows Function", And that beauty... is the reflection and result of a well designed human object. The importance beauty has for me, is that it is the reflection of a well-designed boat.

Finally, Spirit!
Many people talk about the spirit of wood, and how a wooden boat feels and handles like no other boat.

I feel this is true.

For me, this spirit, brings back childhood memories of many happy rides in wooden boats.

These are the sea kayaks designs I have to offer!

From shortest to longest in length.

Dark Star © above, is 15' 6" long by 21" wide Baidarka style sea kayak.

Shooting Star© is a 16' 6" long by 21" wide Baidarka style sea kayak.

Georgian Bay© above, is 16' 6" long by 24" wide, Arctic inspired soft chine sea kayak

Disko Bay© above, is a 17' long by 21" wide, true West Greenland hard chine sea kayak

Fire Star© above, is a 17' long by 21" wide, baidarka, based on the North Star

Mystic Star© above, is a 17' long by 22-1/2" wide, baidarka, based on the North Star

Ootek© above, is a 17' 6" long by 22" wide, a soft chine West Greenland style sea kayak

North Star© above, is 18' 4" long by 22-1/2" wide, baidarka style sea kayak

Panache© above, is 18' 4" long by 22-1/2" wide, Greenland inspired soft chine sea kayak

Twin Star© Baidarka Tandem above, is 21' long and 26" wide.

Building plans and Kits are available for all of these kayaks

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This web site owned by Laughing Loon Custom Canoes & Kayaks
Rob Macks.

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