18′ 4″ North Star
North Star© was inspired by the kayaks of the Aleut Eskimos of Alaska and by George Dyson. Using anthropologists drawings of a baidarka as a starting point, I designed North Star to retain the excellent handling qualities of this native design and yet have the stability and features the recreational paddler wants.
Laughing Loon was the first, and still is the only company, offering the Aleut “baidarka” style sea kayaks of the north Pacific Aleutian Islands region, as a hard shell “stripper”.
I built the first North Star baidarka in 1993.
I had the good fortune to hear George Dyson speak at the Maine Maritime Academy in 1992 on the “baidarka” style sea kayak. His claims about the outstanding speed and sea worthiness of this design seemed exaggerated. 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.
These baidarkas were designed for big waves and rough water!