Nikumi Skin on Frame at Merrill Creek Reservoir.

The Nikumi is my third attempt for the ideal Skin on Frame boat. At 18’ long and 20” wide its size fits nicely between the Sea Rover and the Long Shot and somehow captures the best attributes of both boats; it is fairly narrow without being tippy and has decent length for greater efficiency at higher speed. The Nikumi is now the boat I most often find on top of my car and I'm glad I repurposed the wood from the Long Shot to build it.

Nikumi paddling away at Merrill Creek Reservoir.

Tom Yost designed the Nikumi as a Baidarka or Iqyax which is an Aleutian style Kayak. It normally has a bifurcated bow and an odd stern. Pictures of Yost's version

Niki sitting on my car at Merrill Creek Reservoir Ramp.

With my version I eliminated the bifurcation and instead built an almost plumb bow and I lowered the gunwales aft of the cockpit and brought them together gradually.

Picture of Nikumi Offsets

This is the original table of offsets for the Nikumi as designed by Tom Yost; I changed many of these offsets to achieve the look I wanted.

Nikumi drawing forward frames 1-4.

This is a drawing of the first four frames from the preceding offsets table. The original lines are in pencil; the black lines are the as built lines. I dropped the gunwales as shown at "G", dropped the keel line at the bow "B" to lessen the rocker, and added two deck stringers "D" to flatten the deck at the cockpit and allow for more foot room.

Drawing showing the Aft frames of the modified Nikumi (5-8).

For the back half of the boat I dropped the gunwales by around an inch "G" then dropped and brought the gunwales closer together at the stern "S". I also raised the baseline from "B1" to "B2" to lessen the rocker.

Nikumi Bow Tracing

This is a tracing of Niki's plywood bow. The Keel is attached at "K" and the Deck Ridge at "DR" using dowels, glue and lashings. I call my boat Niki since I didn't stay true to the original design.

Nikumi Stern Tracing.

I made the stern out of plywood in 2 parts. The Horizontal piece sits on top of the Vertical one with the points A and B matching up. I secured the top to the bottom with wood glue and dowels. The aft deck stringer attaches to the stern at B and the Keel is lashed in the notch K.

View from fore to aft of Nikumi Frames and stringers.

Looking down the length of the kayak from the bow, the first frame shows the single notch for the deck ridge. At the next 2 frames are the additional notches to accept the 2 deck stringers. You might have noticed the ladder under the boat; I used it with a couple lengths of 1x6 boards as a strongback- it worked well and stores easily.

Nikumi at Merrill Creek Reservoir in the submerged forest with a blue sky.

It's a great boat to paddle.

Nikumi in the finger cove with ice; at Merrill Creek Reservoir.

Even in the winter.

For the next boat I'm looking to go even skinnier and longer- something in the 18" wide x 20' long range. I haven't found any plans on the internet so it looks like I'll be designing my own.

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