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Merrimack Canoes - Handbuilt using modern technologies and old school sensibilities.
Merrimack Canoes - Handbuilt using modern technologies and old school sensibilities.
91 backers pledged $54,345 to help bring this project to life.

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PRESERVING A SPECIAL PIECE OF CANOEING HERITAGE. MERRIMACK CANOES - ESTABLISHED IN 1954 - IS ONE OF THE VERY OLDEST CANOE MAKERS IN AMERICA. 

We’ve taken the first steps of moving everything to Minnesota - but the canoe forms and templates and equipment are all in storage right now. We need your help so we can set up a new Merrimack workshop and begin crafting these beautiful canoes!
Souhegan Model - Composite & Wood Construction
Souhegan Model - Composite & Wood Construction

 

WHAT IS A MERRIMACK CANOE? WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
The original Merrimack Canoe - a wood reinforced composite canoe was developed by L.H. Beach more than 60 years ago(yes, it is one of the very oldest canoe makers in America!). Today the hull of a Merrimack canoe is built with a layup of fiberglass, Kevlar and carbon fiber much like other canoe makers. But what makes a Merrimack special is that it is then reinforced with actual wood ribs running the full length of the hull. It's a marriage of modern technologies and old school sensibilities.  Each is handmade: trimmed out with wood gunnels, seats, decks and thwarts and inlaid with a brass medallion on the front deck. Making a Merrimack both a thing of beauty, and a lightweight modern performance canoe.

Osprey - The original Merrimack Model.
Osprey - The original Merrimack Model.

 

 

THE STORY OF MERRIMACK CANOES:
The original wood-reinforced fiberglass hull was developed by L.H. Beach more than 53 years ago. He grew up in Maine and moved to Merrimack, NH where he started the company. When fiberglass started to be used in boat building, he didn't like the looks of the all fiberglass hulls. He came up with the idea of combining tradition with the new fiberglass technology. So he made a thin fiberglass hull and instead of reinforcing it with fiberglass he used wood ribs one-sixteenth inch thick. This gave the hull the stiffness it needed with less weight and great looks. In 1967, Doris and Lem Beach, took over the company and started building the canoes when Lem retired from the Navy. They built canoes in Merrimack until the fall of 1972 when the business moved to Crossville, Tennessee. Merrimack stayed in the family until only a few years ago when it found a new home and owner in Travelers Rest, SC. 

Earlier this spring we negotiated bringing Merrimack Canoes into the Sanborn family. We moved everything up to Winona, Minnesota and we're looking forward to crafting these exceptional canoes for years to come! 

 

WHO ARE WE? 
We are Sanborn Canoe Co. -  makers of high quality wooden canoe paddles. Each one crafted by hand. We started Sanborn 6 years ago to scratch an itch. We wanted to make canoes and paddles to take on our canoe camping trips. It snowballed from there and now we make paddles and other vintage-style canoe camping gear. We never did get around to making more than a few canoes though. That's where Merrimack comes in. It brings Sanborn full-circle to our original goal of crafting both paddles and canoes. We couldn't be more excited about the marriage of Sanborn and Merrimack!

Merrimack Canoe x Sanborn Paddle
Merrimack Canoe x Sanborn Paddle

 

WHY BRING IN MERRIMACK? WHY NOT JUST MAKE SANBORN CANOES?
At Sanborn Canoe Co. we are, at our core, in love with the nostalgia, heritage and beauty of canoe camping. All things that scream Merrimack Canoes. They are a mix of vintage and modern. High-performance yet still beautiful in the way classic rib/canvas canoes are made. You know what, sometimes the old ways of doing things are still the best ways of doing things. Merrimack Canoes have been crafted for over 60 years and we kind of see it as our duty to honor that heritage - preserving it and moving it forward for new generations of canoe lovers to enjoy!

Souhegan Model - Merrimack Canoes
Souhegan Model - Merrimack Canoes

 

QUALIFICATIONS & BUDGET:
We've spent the last 6 years building Sanborn Canoe Co. into what it is today. It started in our buddies garage - we had to develop every aspect of not only the woodworking/craft of making canoe paddles but the craft of building and nurturing a canoeing brand. Merrimack will require the same set of skills and hard work to make it possible. 

We're asking for $40,000. This is bare bones to get production of these beautiful canoes up and running again. We’ve taken the first steps of moving everything from South Carolina up to Minnesota - but the canoe forms and templates and equipment is all in storage right now. We’ll be using some of the money to recoup the cost of moving. Then moving forward we'll need to update facilities for canoe making and purchase the raw materials used to make canoes: composite materials, wood(lots of wood), tools, brass stems and medallions and finishing products.   

 

                                                                      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

Risks and challenges

The specific challenges for this project lie in the updating and construction projects for the canoe workshop. There may be delays with permits from different agencies that we are already working through to make sure everything will go smoothly. These are all things that we have worked through in the past and we don't forsee anything that will delay this project.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A tip of the cap to you the next time our paths cross whilst out on the lake!

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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    Canoeist Badge set. A set of embroidered badges to adorn your canoe pack and show that you're a Canoeist!

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    Pledge $24 or more About $24

    Merrimack Canoe Company T-Shirt. We'll contact you for size after campaign.

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    Pledge $145 or more About $145

    Merrimack Canoe Company lightweight cedar paddle. Made in the Sanborn Canoe paddle shop. Each is handmade, is roughly 18-20oz. in either straight shaft or bent shaft. We will contact you for sizing after the campaign.

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    Pledge $145 or more About $145

    Merrimack Canoe Company one-piece cherry paddle. Made in the Sanborn Canoe paddle shop. Each is handmade. We will contact you for sizing after the campaign.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $195 or more About $195

    Laminated Painted Paddle, painted in the classic colors of Merrimack canoes! Made by hand in the Sanborn paddle shop. Length - 58"

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    Pledge $195 or more About $195

    Cherry Painted Paddle, painted in the classic colors of Merrimack canoes! Made by hand in the Sanborn paddle shop. Will contact you about length after the campaign has ended.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Early Bird Merrimack Canoe - get one of the first Merrimack Canoes made by us. You pick the canoe model of your choice. Limited to 5 canoes!

    Learn more about the different models: www.merrimackcanoes.com

    Shipping: If you would like us to ship your canoe there will be an extra charge. In general it will be $200-$500. We will contact you after the campaign to arrange shipping. FREE within 100 miles.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    Pledge $2,750 or more About $2,750

    2nd Early-Bird Special - Get in on the second wave of Merrimack Canoes made by us. You pick the canoe model of your choice!

    Learn more about the different models: www.merrimackcanoes.com

    Shipping: If you would like us to ship your canoe there will be an extra charge. In general it will be $200-$500 within the US. We will contact you after the campaign to arrange shipping. FREE within 100 miles of Winona, MN.

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    Pledge $2,850 or more About $2,850

    3rd Early-Bird Special - You pick the canoe model of your choice!

    Learn more about the different models: www.merrimackcanoes.com

    Shipping: If you would like us to ship your canoe there will be an extra charge. In general it will be $200-$500 within the US. We will contact you after the campaign to arrange shipping. FREE within 100 miles of Winona, MN.

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    Pledge $2,950 or more About $2,950

    4th Early-Bird Special - You pick the canoe model of your choice!

    Learn more about the different models: www.merrimackcanoes.com

    Shipping: If you would like us to ship your canoe there will be an extra charge. In general it will be $200-$500 within the US. We will contact you after the campaign to arrange shipping. FREE within 100 miles of Winona, MN.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    5th Early-Bird Special - You pick the canoe model of your choice!

    Learn more about the different models: www.merrimackcanoes.com

    Shipping: If you would like us to ship your canoe there will be an extra charge. In general it will be $200-$500 within the US. We will contact you after the campaign to arrange shipping. FREE within 100 miles of Winona, MN.

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  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 4,500 or more About US$ 4,500

    You Dream it up and we'll make it!

    Fully-Custom Merrimack Canoe - Think of this as if you have a Merrimack Canoe as a blank canvas and we'll work with you to design the boat of your dreams! You'll work with our designers/craftsmen to pick(design) the paint scheme, choose the wood for the outer gunnels, seats, yoke, thwarts and decks. If you dream it up we'll try to do it for you. These will be fun and one-of-a-kind!

    Note: We can customize the paint scheme and a bunch of the woodwork, but there are a few things that we can't change. If you want to learn more about customizing please contact us with questions.

    Shipping: If you would like us to ship your canoe there will be an extra charge. In general it will be $200-$500 within the US. We will contact you after the campaign to arrange shipping. FREE within 100 miles of Winona, MN.

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 4,800 or more About US$ 4,800

    You Dream it up and we'll make it!

    Fully-Custom Merrimack Canoe - Think of this as if you have a Merrimack Canoe as a blank canvas and we'll work with you to design the boat of your dreams! You'll work with our designers/craftsmen to pick(design) the paint scheme, choose the wood for the outer gunnels, seats, yoke, thwarts and decks. If you dream it up we'll try to do it for you. These will be fun and one-of-a-kind!

    Note: We can customize the paint scheme and a bunch of the woodwork, but there are a few things that we can't change. If you want to learn more about customizing please contact us with questions.

    Shipping: If you would like us to ship your canoe there will be an extra charge. In general it will be $200-$500 within the US. We will contact you after the campaign to arrange shipping. FREE within 100 miles of Winona, MN.

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Funding period

- (45 days)