Welcome to the Orca Boats family of wooden kayaks
Similar in overall design, “Luna“, “Springer“, “Skana“, “Skana HV “, “Kiska“, “Hyak” and “Bjossa” (pronounced Beeyossa) have slightly different features for different paddlers needs, abilities and performance desires. Designed for recreational use and overnight expeditions, our wooden kayaks are complete with two watertight flush hatches for storage, standard deck cargo shock cords, adjustable foot braces, optional cockpit sizes and a custom carved high density foam seat for comfort. Bulkheads are strategically placed to provide as much dry space as possible for each customer. Most features can be adjusted to suit.
We can also custom design a kayak for you. We have adapted many of our designs to increase length, beam, deck height or profile. We can start with one of our current designs or begin from scratch to meet your needs and design displacement. To discuss pricing and having a boat built for you, Contact Us.
Meticulously designed, built by hand, one at a time
“Kayaks are a very personal craft therefore each boat that I build is custom fit to you. You tell me your preferences, needs and desires for how the kayak should look, and then I design and build it specifically for you”.
Choose from one of my designs on my Kayaks page or have your kayak custom designed from the ground up. Be sure to check out the gallery for inspiration. I will also build any style of kayak from almost any company that sells plans.
Thinking of building it yourself, check out our Kayak Plans and Kits.
We are glad to welcome “Luna” to our family of kayaks. Don’t be fooled by the small size of this boat; it still has the capacity to carry a load. The longer waterline ratio to overall length puts lots of boat in the water, which means this boat has equal tracking ability to any kayak in its class. The square stern allows for the attachment of a rudder if that is your choice.
“Springer” is a playful, low volume kayak with a slightly lower deck profile. At 16’6” and a maximum beam of 22.4”, she is perfect for day use and smaller paddlers. Springer is sure to bring pleasure to those who like to explore shorelines and tidal areas.
“Skana” was the first in our growing line of wood kayaks. At 17’4” and a maximum beam of 24”, this kayak will handle you and all your gear for day trips and overnight excursions.
“Skana High Volume” is for those that require or prefer a little more leg room. We raised the sheer line giving an inch or so more free board and then raised the deck profile to match. The length and width are the same and the hull is basically the same configuration as our standard Skana with primarily the same underwater particulars.
We originally set out to modify our Skana model and call it Skana Sport, but when all was done, this new design deserved its own name. Modeled after more traditional Greenland style of kayaks, “Kiska” has increased rocker, a very fine entry and a flat, low rear deck for lay back rolls.
For experienced paddlers who are looking for a “high performance” kayak with plenty of speed and handling ability, Hyak is your choice. With moderate rocker, finer entries and exits, turning is best performed while leaned.
For larger paddlers who have difficulty finding a kayak to fit, “Bjossa” was designed with you in mind. At 18’10”, and a maximum beam of 23″, this high volume kayak is the one for long, multi-day excursions. With a boat this long, we have made sure there is enough rocker which means even at this length, turning is not a problem. With a higher deck and a larger standard cockpit for easier entry, there is also plenty of leg and knee room. The higher bow assists in rising over waves.
Where did we get the names of our boats?
The resident Orcas (Killer Whales) of the west coast of Canada and the Northern States have long been the symbol of freedom, majesty, and legend. Known as skilled hunters, these playful mammals are soon becoming an endangered species with the encroachment of civilization and tourism. To honor these beautiful creatures of our coast, Orca Boats has decided to name all our kayak designs after Orcas that have captured the hearts of British Columbians and the world over.
“Luna” (L98) resided in the wild in Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Having been separated from his pod in 2001, Luna managed to survive on his own; however, he had become overly friendly with tourist boats, recreational boaters and the residents of Gold River and became the topic of much controversy. This over interaction with humans was detrimental to his well-being.
In the winter of 2006, Luna was killed in a tragic accident with a tug boat.
“Springer” (A73) has a similar story. Separated and orphaned from her pod off the coast of northern Washington State in the United States, Springer was successfully re-united with her extended family in Johnstone Strait, British Columbia on July 14, 2003. Much of the world watched as she was released from her special enclosure to swim and hunt with her family again.
“Skana“, originally named “Walter”, was caught off the Washington State coast in 1979 and brought to Vancouver for the annual Boat Show. The Vancouver Aquarium purchased the whale and when it was realized that he was a she, they renamed her “Skana”. Skana soon became the Aquarium’s star attraction. At the time of her death at age 18 in 1980, Skana held the record as the longest living Orca in captivity.
“Hyak” was captured along with another Orca in 1980 in Pender Harbour, B.C. by a commercial fisherman and was also purchased and brought to the Vancouver Aquarium. Hyak would be Skana’s companion until her death. Hyak died of a lung infection at age 26 at the Vancouver Aquarium in 1991.
“Bjossa” arrived from Iceland and was introduced to the Aquarium in December of 1980 to replace Skana. During her long stay in Vancouver, Bjossa twice gave birth to calves fathered by Hyak. The first, named K’yosha, was removed from Bjossa after three weeks since she was not able to sustain feedings. The calf died two months later from a massive brain infection. Late in the 1990’s, public pressure caused the Vancouver Aquarium to re-evaluate its policies on capturing and maintaining Orcas in captivity. In 2001 it was decided that since a mate could not be found for Bjossa, she was to be transferred to San Diego’s Sea World. The transfer took place on April 18, 2001. Unfortunately, following a long illness, Bjossa died later that year on October 9th, 2001 at the age of 25
“Kiska” was captured of the coast of Iceland in the winter of 1979. She currently lives at Marineland in Ontario, Canada and currently weighs in at over 6500 lbs. Named after the island “Kiska” in the Aleutian group of islands of Alaska.