By Leo Maloney, Oneida Daily Dispatch, link to original post
Several years ago at a sportsman’s club the guest speaker was an Adirondack guide. As I looked out the door I saw him with canoe, projector, and assorted material so I went to the door and offered to help. He smiled and said, “sure you can hold the door,” as he proceeded to pickup his canoe with one hand and stroll through the doorway.
Since that time I have seen many of those wonderful little carbon fiber craft and even had several opportunities to use them. They really are ultra-lightweight, paddle like a dream, and are fun to use. Last fall I also had the opportunity to visit with Joe Moore, owner of Placid Boatworks and see how these amazing canoes are designed and built.
Placid Boatworks is located on the banks of the Chubb River on Station St. in Lake Placid. The small shop combines fine craftsmanship in the Adirondack tradition with modern high tech material. Joe Moore has a love of woodworking and many years of canoe experience that combine into some very special canoes.
Visitors are encouraged to stop in and see the process of molds, wood trim, resin coating, and other steps. You can also see and discuss the various styles and sizes that they make. Joe remarked that their slogan is “every day is demo day” and you can test paddle as long as the Chubb River isn’t frozen over.
Although Placid Boatworks’ canoes are the vessel of choice for racers, including those who participate in the 90 Mile Classic, many of the boats they produce are lightweight pack canoes. These canoes are sturdy, handle well, and are easily carried on portages and camping trips.
Their classic canoe is the Spitfire 13, designed for use with a double blade paddle. It is lightweight (24 lbs.) and easy to carry, and it is sturdy and very easy to paddle. This is an improvement in design on the original Adirondack pack canoe, as well as using modern materials like carbon and Kevlar. It is stable, efficient to paddle, and has a generous load capacity.
You can get a Spitfire or any of the other canoes custom fitted for seat, foot braces, and other options. The larger Starfire model is in the typical “cabin canoe” style but at 15 feet and 45 lbs. it is also fast and efficient to paddle. Check the web site http://www.placidboats.com or call 518-524-2949 for more information.
Connie Perry (357-3444) the owner of Frisky Otter Tours in Inlet is also a rep for Placid Boatworks. Connie, who is one of the most knowledgeable people you will ever meet when it comes to kayaks and canoes, can show and explain the virtues of these sleek, tough, and light craft. Stop in at Connie’s base of operations at the Woods Inn in Inlet to check out the Placid Boatworks canoes for sales or demos, as well as take one of her many tours offered.
I am often asked questions about these by various people. As you might surmise the price of a Placid Boatworks canoe is not cheap.
But you are paying for quality in workmanship, design, and body. For those who want performance, and perhaps are not quite as young as they once were when it comes to lugging a canoe around, it is an investment. Check them out and you will see why they are so popular among the serious paddlers.