Welcome to macwester.ch!

Machiel Wester builds and teaches the art of building traditional Greenland based kayaks. Their history dates back 4000 years. The Inuits used them as hunting boats, so they had to be fast and manoeuverable, well controllable also on rough seas. The Greenland kayaks were already adapted to body size and weight of the driver back then, they are considered the world’s most advanced boats of their class and are a lot ahead of whitewater or other kayaks in terms of speed and robustness.

Of course, Machiel Wester uses different, more modern materials than the Inuit now, no sealskins and tendons any more, but the underlying properties of the boats remain the same.

The Kayaks are built in the stitch and glue method, they consist of plywood, fiberglass and epoxy resin. With 15 to 18 kg, they are rather light, but very resistant.

The kayaks accommodate one person and are manufactured in various sizes, depending on the customer’s needs.

The interior of the boats is waterproof, so drivers can carry some luggage.


Water has always been very important in Machiel Wester’s life. Born in the United Kingdom into a Dutch sailor family, he grew up in different places at the sea, including at the North Sea and in Papua New Guinea – there he was caught by the kayak virus, he says. To him, the calm on a sea or lake is very different from the calm on a lonely mountain top, for example. And he’s convinced, the view from the water on the land gives one a whole new perspective on the world.

In the Netherlands, Machiel Wester completed an apprenticeship as a Carpenter. It has always made him happy to be able to create something with his own hands. And so finally, he decided to combine his two passions, the water and the craft – he began to build his own kayaks.

Today, Machiel Wester still lives near the water, in Switzerland, at the beautiful Lake Constance. Interested people can build kayaks there with him and try them out on the premises.

Get in touch with Machiel: mac@macwester.ch


You can reach Machiel Wester by mail (mac@macwester.ch) or by phone (+41 76 534 57 44).