Orca 17 - Study Plans
Specifications BOM and Labor
Building Method Kits
Skill Level Plans Packing List
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The designer (Evan Gathouse) started sea kayaking at the age of 16, and has paddled on several multi-week paddling expeditions. He has paddled in numerous sea kayaks and has a lot of experience of what characteristics make a good sea kayak.

LOA: 16'-11 5/8" " 5,17 m
Max. Beam: 23 5/8" " .60 m
Displacement at Designed WL: 457 lbs. 208 kg
Material: Stitch & Glue  

Building method:
This boat features a inverted V shaped foredeck, which sheds water quickly and keeps your lap dry. In calm weather you won't need a sprayskirt. The moderately high bow provides buoyancy in steep waves but is not so high that it promotes weathercocking in side winds. This boat, with it's shallow V hull will provide good initial stability and feel comfortable for a beginner.

This model is designed for extended expedition touring, carrying a large load safely and with ample stability. Boats with narrow beam (under 23") are faster, but require constant attention from an experienced paddler. Unlike the Orca, they are not the sort of boat you can comfortably take off a sweater or take a few pictures with your paddle sitting across the cockpit.

Required Skills:
While not difficult to build, we recommend the Orca to builders who have completed at least one other stitch and glue project. Our Cheap Canoe is an excellent introduction to our building method and the plans are free. The Orca uses thin 4mm (3/16") plywood and lighter fiberglass than larger boats.
No woodworking skills or special tools are required.

Hull plywood can be 4 mm (3/16) or 6 mm (1/4").
Outside hull fiberglass is an option listed on the plans.
There are options for a fixed skeg, retracting skeg, or purchased rudder. Builders can add a forward storage compartment and hatch or keep the bow open to the cockpit. Plans also include details for building your own paddle.

Bill Of Materials:
(Excerpts from our BOM)
The BOM list materials based on our standard layout and includes a 15% waste factor for resin and fiberglass. For plywood, we use standard sheets 4' x 8' (122 x 244 cm). Please read the building notes and see the plans for detailed specifications.
Not listed in the BOM table below are small battens used as a sheer clamp and other edges.
Outside hull fiberglassing will require an extra 2 yards of 4 or 6 oz. fabric.

Plywood 4x8' (122x244cm)
1/4" (6mm) 3 or 6 mm
Fiberglass (totals)
Woven tape 50 yards 45 m
Epoxy, total 1.5 gallons 6 liters


We offer an epoxy fiberglass kit with free shipping in the US. Our kit cost less than the same supplies bought locally. See the main page, top left panel.

The estimated construction time is 30 hours.

Visit our message board, help pages, tutorial pages and read our FAQ: most questions are answered there.

Plans Packing List:

  • Detailed drawings, large scale with all dimensions required to cut the sides, bottom and the deck from flat plywood sheets: no lofting, no templates required.
  • Building notes including a detailed description of the assembly sequence and building tips
  • A Bill Of Materials
  • Help files reference list and more.

Read more information about our plans packages here.

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7485 Commercial Circle,
Fort Pierce, Florida USA