The Little Kayak Book, I. II. & III.

In these three volumes (each 5½" x 14") John Brand surveys historic kayaks residing in Great Britain and Denmark. Volume I. (1984, 38 pages) describes five kayaks, the oldest dating from 1613. Volume II. (1987, 72 pages) describes six kayaks and a Greenland paddle, along with an appendix on how to survey museum kayaks. Volume III. (1988, 116 pages) describes 10 Greenland kayaks, and has additional notes on kayak surveying. It also includes a tremendous amount of material on Gino Watkins' "Air Route Expeditions".

None of the three volumes includes any photographs. This is unfortunate. Those experienced in reading boat plans (in metric) will get the most out of these books. Volume III. is the most interesting, but assumes some familiarity with the "Air Route Expedition", which seems to have been quite famous in England - but is unknown here in America (at least to me). There is also some material on W.W. II usage of kayaks by British Commandos.

Brand also points out that of the existing kayaks in museums, many are still deteriorating - and may exist only in drawings soon.

(Reviewed by Charles Hall)