-- Last Updated: May-05-05 4:08 PM EST --
A visit trip report to the SAWYER CANOE COMPANY.
A happy ending to a long trip to do some gruelling family business. After business was behind me I headed to Carl and John's Paddlin in Madison, WI to pick up a couple of new canoes. Got to talk to Carl about what is happening in canoeing and the past as well. A lesson in how to turn a short one hour stop into almost three hours. Great stop! Then it was on to St Paul, MN to pick up an old Sawyer Loon which brings us our subject. I drove to Ohio next to spend some time with the new owners of Sawyer Canoe. Yes, the rumors are true the Sawyer Canoe Company has been sold, hauled our of storage, and is up and running! No, the rumor about a guy in his garage is NOT true.
Spent a great morning and lunch with Bruce and Irma. They are true seasoned professionals with what seems to be the right drive and backgrounds in management, manufacturing, engineering, and procurement to make this enterprise go! Also met the owner of the professional composite forming company that is currently laying up the Sawyer hulls. He is very knowledgeable, professional, very personable, and is also a paddler.
We spent the morning sharing canoe information, discussing the Loon, Sawyer, and other high quality boats. I shared all the pertinent info I had gathered from various sources and helping to build boats in a commercial canoe shop for several years. They shared the current Sawyer lay up and process. Got so involved in just talking that almost left without seeing the production facility and THE PRODUCT, but thank goodness remembered at the last minute. The tour of the facility and inspection of the boats in various stages of build really sealed my impression of the rebirth of Sawyer! First class! Go Sawyer! Go for it!
I was deeply impressed with everything I heard and saw!!! Does it show a little? ;^) Being the natural sceptic and fault finder, and being somewhat knowledgeable in the area this is not that easy to do. There was extra speciality cloth in all the right high stress areas. Many kinds and weights of cloth were used that give the strength needed but keep weight to a minimum. More speciality cloth varieties than I believe I have seen in any other hull and/or deck lay up. The reinforced area in the central bottom of the hull is not foam that can move, tear, and abrade, but a vertical standing core of material that fills with resin making a true, solid, and dependable reinforced area where it is needed. The gel coat I saw looked flawless. Although already looking good, additional steps are being taken to make the interior finish look even better. I now understand why the "prototype" Loon we have been test paddling in our "Decked Canoes" evaluation did not oil can or exhibit some of the other bad characters I and some of the other testers expected. (Another make of the test boats, which looked and felt very similar in lay up ,did oil can.)
The new owners of Sawyer Canoes are definitely professionals and some of the nicest people I have met!
All those involved seem to want to DO IT RIGHT and in light of the many major changes in the canoe industry the timing seems to be right too!
I feel there are great things in the future for the Sawyer Canoe Company.
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|Messages in this Topic|
What - No free samples?|
Posted by: JackL on May-05-05 4:18 PM (EST)
But I did get to look and touch! :^)|
Posted by: mcwood4 on May-05-05 10:16 PM (EST)
And I have been paddling a loaned free sample in the Decked Canoe tests.
Posted by: osprey on May-05-05 4:38 PM (EST)
Thanks much for sharing your observations, Mick.
Not ignoring your question osprey.|
Posted by: mcwood4 on May-06-05 11:05 AM (EST)
I have only a few hours and must leave for the weekend. Killing the backed up rats from my last trip as fast as I can. May not finish reply until next week, but do intent to get back to it. If I do not please yell at me!
It'll sure keep|
Posted by: osprey on May-06-05 12:21 PM (EST)
In the mean time osprey, what do you|
Posted by: mcwood4 on May-06-05 10:57 PM (EST)
Back on Me?|
Posted by: osprey on May-07-05 12:46 AM (EST)
Man if I had a clue about trends in the industry. I wouldn't ask so many dumb questions. :-)
what is the line up|
Posted by: baldpaddler on May-05-05 6:30 PM (EST)
of old boats they are going to re-release? any new offerings in solos'?
Sawyer production line up - see below|
Posted by: mcwood4 on May-05-05 8:42 PM (EST)
Thanx for reminder! Did mean to mention|
Posted by: mcwood4 on May-05-05 8:23 PM (EST)
I was mistaken. It was in the catalog!|
Posted by: mcwood4 on May-06-05 8:25 AM (EST)
"I know there has been one inquiry for one of the old speciality extra long racing hulls that did not appear in the catalogs."
My neighbors have a Sawyer Oscoda|
Posted by: pamskee on May-05-05 10:43 PM (EST)
and a Cruiser. They really boogie. I enjoyed paddling them both. We have several guys in our club who paddle Sawyers. Two are Autum Mists, one is a Summer Song.
I Just Added|
Posted by: old_user on May-05-05 11:11 PM (EST)
Some "New" Sawyer items to "My Albums" as well as one containing the 1979 Mad River Catalogue.
I stopped at Carl & John's|
Posted by: yanoer on May-05-05 11:23 PM (EST)
last summer. It is real easy to spend alot of time talking to those guys. They're real nice and know alot.
Posted by: old_user on May-06-05 10:46 AM (EST)
which boat oil canned?
Believe it or not the beautifully built|
Posted by: mcwood4 on May-06-05 11:00 AM (EST)
esquizetly built Sea-1. It was minor oil canning and we were in rough conditions. Would not have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes and another paddler said they saw it too. As I said it was very minor and I would not be overly concerned about it. Certainly a lot less that any Royalex.
Hope it works|
Posted by: old_user on May-09-05 1:29 PM (EST)
I've come across some old models of Sawyer and there have been some interesting, no-compromise designs. I also spoke with the owner a little while back and he was shooting to get some good prototypes available for shows. I'll be interested in seeing what the production models, once he gets the line cranked up. (Interesting that they're just on the verge of production and couldn't be told where I could even see one, and yet two infommercials - I mean "reviews" - on different models pop up today. I doubt if it's coming form Sawyer, because the owner sounded astute.)
Posted by: c2g on May-09-05 1:46 PM (EST)
If you check my earlier posts, you will see that the Loon some of us paddled was a pre-production boat. And yes, it's from the folks who currently own and operate Sawyer. In addition, since they are planning to start by offering some of the old Sawyer designs, it is to be expected that there are folks here who have paddled them.
Who needs to check?|
Posted by: old_user on May-09-05 3:32 PM (EST)
You missed that the review alludes to ownership ("mine"), not a try-out of a pre-production model. If someone is grinding out reviews of multiple models he "has" when the manufacturer isn't even into distribution, and those reviews are short on information and long on, (and I quote) "wow, wow, wow," and that doesn't raise an eyebrow with you, you might want to avoid attempting to impose advice on other posters.
Just what reviews are you referring to?|
Posted by: mcwood4 on May-09-05 4:11 PM (EST)
It's in the Summersong reviews (eom)|
Posted by: old_user on May-09-05 4:46 PM (EST)
Thanks bellcapt. I can see where Paladin|
Posted by: mcwood4 on May-09-05 5:19 PM (EST)
Didn't see him questioning the canoes|
Posted by: old_user on May-09-05 5:45 PM (EST)
just those reviews, which I also viewed with a grain of salt. I confess to feeling a real nostalgia tug, because when I started paddling, I thought Sawyer had some designs that were way out in front. Of course, I thought the same about my pushrod, carburated Vette then, and the current version would kick its butt. But this field is becoming oligopolistic, so I wish all the independents well.
Wow, wow, wow SUMMERSONG|
Posted by: wildwater on May-09-05 6:31 PM (EST)
Any thoughts on the Oscoda 13 Solo?|
Posted by: yanoer on May-10-05 2:28 AM (EST)
I test paddled an old model for about 10 minutes on Sugar Creek in Indiana Sunday and I liked it. It belonged to another paddler (Elaine) who looked like she was around 70 years old. She'd owned the boat for several years. When I expressed interest in the boat, she offered to let me test paddle it and I accepted gleefully. Her paddling companions were surprised that I was interested in her boat that they teased her about all the time. I was confused because I thought that the Oscoda 13 was well respected and liked.
What is this Oscoda???|
Posted by: wildwater on May-10-05 6:24 AM (EST)
Don't post a review of it - no one will believe you actually own it...
Too late wildwater, already 4 reviews|
Posted by: mcwood4 on May-10-05 7:14 AM (EST)
might be mistaken|
Posted by: c2g on May-10-05 7:47 AM (EST)
But I think the poster is talking about the 13' Sawyer Oscoda, as opposed to the Oscoda-branded boats that were produced by Sawyer.
Oscoda model Sawyer not found in 1985|
Posted by: mcwood4 on May-10-05 9:41 AM (EST)
I don't think it was chopper gun.|
Posted by: yanoer on May-10-05 10:48 AM (EST)
I didn't look at the lay up very closely, but my first canoe was a 12' American Fiberlite chopper gun lay up and I would have noticed immediately if this was chopper gun.
Sawyer's Oscoda Line up for 1985|
Posted by: mcwood4 on May-12-05 11:21 AM (EST)
Ok, ok ... I'm impatient. Could not wait|
Posted by: mcwood4 on May-12-05 12:40 PM (EST)
Don't Do It|
Posted by: wildwater on May-13-05 7:19 AM (EST)
Why cut down the Oscoda Loon. Why not go purchase an Old Town Loon, instead. It'd be about the same weight and would perform about the same...
I know sad Glenn, but have no choice!|
Posted by: mcwood4 on May-13-05 9:29 PM (EST)
Posted by: Beyond on May-14-05 6:09 PM (EST)
Please tell me you ARE kidding?
Posted by: old_user on Jun-24-07 10:39 PM (EST)
can anyone give me info on a 1977 model #SAW122590777.