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Bear Mountain Boats to Paddle from Milan to Venice

Posted on February 12 2013

paddling a north wooden canoe on the po river in italy


Ron Frenette our great friend and instigator of many canoe builds and paddling trips has been longing to develop plans for a 26 ft. Voyageur canoe. Many years ago Ron paddled one from Sault St. Marie to Thunder Bay and he thinks there must be others interested in building one. I am not convinced that there is a market and told Ron that we could not justify the development costs - besides we would then have to build one in order provide instructions. In case you don't know Ron I will share this secret with you - he does not understand the word NO. Before I knew it he had a scheme cooked up. Ron has been working with one of our customers in Italy named Mateo -  FYI when we sell a kit you also get Ron's wonderful support during the building process. Mateo's family has been building clocks for 400 years in Milan and naturally he became friends over the internet with Ron and invited him to come to Italy to paddle the canoe but Ron had a better idea - it was hatched over some high wine and a huge cedar fire on the Kipawa last fall and it goes like this...

Ron organizes a canoe trip every summer open to friends and customers who are willing to sign up and follow him down one of the many rivers and lakes in Northern Ontario. I happened to be along on the trip this year which was on the Kipawa River and I am not sure if it was the high wine we were consuming or the blue moon but Ron unveiled his plan to build a North Canoe and ship it to Milan - then next year our canoe trip would follow the Po River from Milan to Venice. Of course anyone who wanted to go had to help build the canoes. So 6 months later we have 3 hulls nearing completion. 12 paddlers signed up and plane tickets booked for Milan. Luckily Glen Fallis of Voyageur Canoes in Millbrook who builds fibreglass versions of these canoes and is experienced paddling them has agreed to teach us how to paddle and will accompany us on the trip. Stay tuned and check out the details by clicking here.

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