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Who is SeaDog?

Wooden Boats - Why they're great!

The Baidarka - The ultimate Kayak

SeaDog Quality



SeaDog Boats Ltd. was started by Mike Schwartz, an avid canoe and sea kayaker for over 20 years and life-long boating enthusiast.  We're a small company with some creative resources that allow a great amount of flexibility in designing and building wooden sea kayaks, as well as other paddle and rowing craft, and occationally motor and sail boats, not to mention stitch & glue kits and plans for the do-it-yourselfers.  We build boats because we like to build and use boats, and it shows in our designs and attention to detail.  We are located in southeastern Wisconsin near Lake Michigan and several beautiful large inland lakes where our boats are used at every opportunity.  The opportunity to try boats under a variety of conditions from calm inland rivers and lakes to the sometimes rough Lake Michigan ensures that our boats will perform well in all conditions for which they are intended. 

SeaDog boats are designed for those who want a "lifetime" boat that has outstanding performance as well as being beautiful, distinctive, and durable.  Every boat that we build or kit we sell can be customized to meet your needs.  If our boats don't fit your specific needs, we can either design a boat for you or build from boat kits or plans from a designer of your choice.  If you just want precision cut plywood panels for a boat from another designer, we can cut them on our CNC router from any design that provides the panel layout.


"Wooden boats are heavy, they leak, and they are a lifetime of constant maintenance."
- Many "experts" on wooden boats

Traditionally constructed wooden boats can be all of the above but don't need to be. There are many different construction methods for wooden boats, each of which must be applied appropriately. Combining an appropriate construction method with regular maintenance is the key to your wooden boat.

Many modern wooden boats take advantage of materials that weren't available a hundred years ago. They are made from combinations of marine grade plywood and solid lumber, joined and sealed using epoxy resin, then finished with a covering of clear fiberglass. This forms a stressed skin structure or composite sandwich core that is structurally rigid enough that it doesn't need forms or ribs. As an added benefit, the fiberglass/epoxy coating seals against water and adds abrasion resistance to the hull.

From the performance standpoint, modern wooden boats using this construction are very durable and can be much lighter than a composite boat of equal strength. Composite sandwich core construction is used in most high performance boats today. A typical kayak in fiberglass weighs from 50 to 65 pounds while a similar wooden boat will weigh 40 to 50 pounds, 25 - 30% less! Wooden boats are also rigid so that your paddling energy isn't lost on flexing as with a plastic boat.

Even wooden boats built from modern materials require some special care and maintenance. You have to be careful when paddling along rocky shores to not hit the rocks hard or you can scratch or even damage a wooden boat similar to a fiberglass boat. Maintenance consists of rinsing the boat with clean water after use to remove weeds and other living material and sand, and a light sanding and revarnishing of the outside every one to three years, depending on your use.

On the aesthetic side, I'd rather paddle a beautiful wooden boat than plastic or fiberglass any day. People instantly notice wooden boats because of their natural beauty.


SeaDog's kayaks are based on the Aleutian Baidarka design that has been in use for thousands of years along the coast of Alaska. The Inuit depended on boats of this design to carry heavy loads through powerful,
stormy seas over great distances. They are known for their speed and seaworthiness. Some of the original European explorers to Alaska believed them to be superior to any other boat known.  During the period of Russian colonialization the native Alaskans were forced to paddle as far is the current states of Washington and California to hunt seals.
We have translated this design to modern mahogany marine plywood, epoxy, and fiberglass materials.  


The baidarka hull design that we employ produces boats that are easy paddling, maneuverable, and stable. The shallow "V" hull and long waterline provide excellent tracking and the hull curvature (rocker) is balanced to maintain maneuverability. These boats can almost be spun in place. The draft on our boats is in the range of 3 to 6 inches from minimum load to fully loaded depending on the model. The hull shape creates deceptively easy paddling boats that surprise even experienced paddlers who expect a fast boat. These boats feel like an extension of your body. Our kayaks are all roomy inside. You can move your feet and legs within the boat and up through the front of the cockpit so that they don't fall asleep or get cramped. All this room without excess freeboard to catch the wind.

We use different approaches for our other boats and design for an intended use rather than for a specific look or "because that's the way they're all designed".


All of our boats are designed and hand-built by Mike Schwartz who brings his enthusiasm, knowledge, and workmanship to each boat he builds. All aspects of construction are meticulously inspected at every phase to maintain quality. After the boat is assembled and, in some cases completely encased in fiberglass, five coats or more of high quality marine varnish are applied to the outside. The varnish is extremely hard and durable with UV absorbance to reduce discoloring of the wood. It's available in either gloss or matte finish. Every effort is made to build our boats in the most environmentally friendly manner possible.

This same level of attention is used in developing our kits. Each kit contains precision cut parts with access hatches, cockpits, and cockpit coaming parts precut! Our goal is to make your boat building experience as enjoyable as your paddling will be.

One paddle in our boats and you'll be a believer!
Call us today to schedule a test paddle.

SeaDog Boats, Ltd.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Call Mike at 414-614-4158
or email "michael" at this domain


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All Rights Reserved.