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2019 Makers Rendezvous at Bear Mountain Boats

Postcard-style, illustrated announcement for the Makers Rendezvous at Bear Mountain Boats

When Is It?
Every few years we at Bear Mountain Boats and Canadian Canoes have hosted a gathering to promote and recognize the role of craftspeople and makers in our world. We invite you to join us for the 2019 Makers Rendezvous in Westport, Ontario on Sept. 14 and 15th, 2019.

Who Will Attend?
Paddlers, tinkerers, metalworkers, woodturners, sailors, builders, designers, suppliers, artists, writers, schools, woodshop cooperatives, filmmakers, historians, musicians, conservationists, educators, publishers — everyone is welcome.

Most events are free. We invite you to support this event and this our presenters by purchasing an optional Supporter ticket for $10, available here. The dinner on Saturday night will be hosted at a local winery and requires tickets, as do a few of the workshops. A canoe raffle will help to offset the costs. Tickets will be for sale on site or online.

We hope you will be able to join us for a lively weekend. Reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Get inspired to get on the water or into the workshop.

To give us an idea of attendance, please fill out the registration form.

Where Can You Stay?
If you’re looking to stay for both days of the Rendezvous, you’ll probably want to find accommodations in the area – we’ve put together a list of recommendations to suit a variety of budgets.

Interested in Presenting or Displaying Your Work?
We’d love to hear from from you, whether it’s showcasing a personal project or representing your business at the Rendezvous. Please include your presentation details in the last section of the registration form.

Confirmed Presenters
Ted Moores author, teacher, and partner at Bear Mountain Boats.

Ted will be on board his stunning electric fantail launch in the Westport Harbour and happy to take people on short cruises.

Kevin Callan – aka the Happy Camper, author and paddler, is renowned for making the outdoors fun – one misadventure at a time! . He will give a presentation on cooking and trip planning and also entertain us during the Saturday night dinner at Schuermann Winery.

Jimmy DiResta is a New York state based, designer, artist and video producer. Jimmy produced an instructional DVD with woodworker actor Nick Offerman on how to build a Bear Mountain canoe. Jimmy’s easy-to-follow project demonstrations will entertain and inspire accomplished and aspiring Makers alike.

Joyce Burkholder is a talented wilderness artist from Barry’s Bay, Ontario. She will offer a 3-hour watercolour workshop designed for all levels of experience, even those who have never painted before. Registration required – click here for details.

Ron and Pat Frenette of Canadian Canoes have been helping people build their own canoes for 40 years. They will bring their 26 ft Voyageur canoe for paddling excursions. This canoe has been on many canoe trips including one from Milan to Venice. a few years ago. Pat and Ron will set up their typical canoe camp with a very fancy wanigan and also teach a class on how to cane your own canoe seat. Registration required.

Kim Pressnail will teach the skills to carve a cherry paddle.

Brent Kirkham of Kirks Canoes in Perth, Ontario will demonstrate installing exotic inlays on canoes, canoe decks and paddles.

Headwaters Canoes will display a mold and demonstrate steam bending ribs for cedar canvas canoes. Featuring Hugh Stewart, Jamie Bartle, and Kate Prince.

Roger Foster of Carlisle Canoes will lead a presentation on how to build a coffee table canoe.

Walt Sepic will show several canoes of differing materials and discuss typical damage, challenges of repair, problems to watch out for, suggestions for repair, and materials and techniques used. He’ll also offer an introduction to harmonica playing for the musically inclined.

John Summers, author and canoe historian, will display and demonstrate his 1937 Old Town canoe with its authentic 1937 sailing rig.

Dennis Osmond will present a slideshow about the miners and sappers who constructed the Rideau Canal. He may also be persuaded to present the story of building a canoe with three generations of his family.

VIDEO Small Boat Tour: ESCA, 15′ Christmas Wherry

At The WoodenBoat Show in Mystic, Connecticut, Scott Williams brought ESCA, his impeccably built Christmas Wherry to exhibit among other small boats for “I Built It Myself.” The sail-and-oar boat won Best in Show for owner-built boats in the Concours d’Elegance awards, and this video shows why.

Scott built ESCA’s hull with glued, lapped Okoume plywood on white cedar frames. She’s got a 1-1/2″-thick Okoume keel, a stem of white oak, and the transom and thwarts are of quarter sawn Sapele. The spars are solid, laminated Sitka spruce.

What does Scott appreciate about boatbuilding? Well, as a contractor and builder normally working on land structures with straight lines and 90 degree angles, boats give him the opportunity to “throw away the square” and to do the satisfying work of sculpting and shaping wood “to the perfection of the boat.”

Sip & Scratch at Buffalo Maritime Center Foundry

On Saturday, May 11th from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., join the Buffalo Maritime Center Foundry for an evening of making, drinking, and fun! Participate in an aluminum casting event while creating your own low-relief sculpture. Participants will be provided with instructions on what to do, tools to scratch, and what is called a scratch block mold.

Scratch block molds are a resin bonded sand mold with a blank “face”. They are sort of like a blank canvas, but for hot metal! Every participant of this event will be given their own scratch block, shown how to create an interesting image on it, given examples on what a successful sculpture created in this method looks like, and be allowed to sip on beer and wine in the process!

Once completed with your scratch block you will be able to see it poured with hot metal right before your eyes. The castings will then be cooled and ready to take home that night!

ONLY 35 TICKETS AVAILABLE! Register now – seats fill up fast! For more info, email us at

Teaching With Small Boats Association Wants YOU

The TWSBA Steering Committee has reached out to say that there are regional meetings coming up in 2018, and they’re looking for a few things. Get involved with this great organization by taking part. They say:

  • They need your input for planning.
  • They need you to present and share the work you’re doing.
  • And, they need you to show up.

New England—July 28 in Boston (It’s really soon!)
Contact: Kelly Crawford,
Here’s a link to their flyer.

Mid-Atlantic—November 3 in Philadelphia
Contact: Gary Lowell,

Great Lakes—In October
Contact: Bill Nimke,

Northwest—Planning an event in the Fall
Contact: Robin Mills

Bay Area—October 18, Berkeley
Contact: Inka Petersen,

South—Still trying to see if there is “critical mass”
Contact: Maury Kaiser,

Canada—November 3rd in Halifax

Amazing Resource: Nick Schade’s How-To Videos

Funny video title: Stripping to MusicNick Schade—Guillemot Kayaks

Nick’s got some great titles for his videos in these series.

Nick Schade has been documenting, on a day-to-day basis, his process for building Guillemot Kayaks‘ designs. The latest is a build of the microBootlegger Sport, a beautiful and sleek double paddle kayak. Here’s the whole playlist on YouTube, which will play the next episode automatically when you finish one.

If you’re building one of Nick’s boats in particular, then this is obvious gold, but there is a lot to glean here for anybody wanting to know more about strip-built or skin-on-frame boats. In an average of 20 minutes per episode, Nick gives a level of detail that both seasoned and beginner boatbuilders will appreciate, as he shares his own personal take on all sorts of aspects of the build, through the entire process, from buying the lumber to doing the finish work.

Not only do you get to see a professional in action, but you get to see Nick screw up, then tell you what happened, and how he fixed it. One episode, “Ruining Expensive Lumber,” certainly got us to click and watch, and he gracefully and openly admits to having accidentally ripped some strips in the wrong direction, yielding some undesirable grain orientation. This is the real deal.

Nick launches his skin-on-frame kayakNick Schade—Guillemot Kayaks

Nick launches the skin-on-frame kayak he built in another series of videos.

These are beautifully produced videos that are helpful and chockablock full of information. Be sure to check out these other playlists and builds: A skin-on-frame microBootlegger Sport and a Petrel Play.

Have a look at our review of Guillemot’s Noank, a sliding seat pulling boat.

Drake Raceboat Plans and Kits Are Now Available

Christopher Cunningham takes the Drake Raceboat for a spin.

When we reviewed the Drake Raceboat in our September 2017 issue, designer Clint Chase was studying the prototype, putting the finishing touches on the plans, and preparing to produce kits. The boat is now available both as plans or as a kit.

Those of you who enjoy rowing a go-fast boat might enjoy the Drake Raceboat. Our review pointed out: “The boat is quite easy to accelerate; a half dozen strokes and it was off and running. I did some speed trials in a marina where there was neither current nor wind. With a lazy, relaxed effort I easily maintained 3-3/4 knots; a sustainable exercise pace brought the speed up to 5 knots. Fluctuations in GPS speed readings… in the lightweight Raceboat spanned at least 1-1/2 knots—I’d estimate that the boat’s sprint speed averages out around 6 knots. It’s a fast pulling boat. While the Drake Raceboat is designed ‘for the greater speeds in race conditions,’ you don’t have to compete to appreciate the boat. It will give you an exhilarating workout and reward improvements in your stamina and technique, but it’s not so high strung that you can’t take it out for a relaxing outing.

With winter coming on, it’s a good time to retreat to the shop for a boatbuilding project. By spring you could have a Drake Raceboat ready to row. You can now order plans or kits from Chase Small Craft.

The Drake Raceboat’s sprint speed averages out around 6 knots. “It’s a fast pulling boat.”

From the review: “The Drake Raceboat kit includes all of the computer-cut plywood parts for the boat as well as engineered wood panel pieces for the building forms.”