We are excited to announce the arrival of Wenonah canoes at Pack & Paddle. These beautiful watercraft are hand crafted in Minnesota and the perfect choice for our waters. We are carrying two astoundingly light boats that are “Best in Class” plus a more moderately priced canoe. Here’s a quick rundown on the models we are stocking:
Think of this boat as a fusion of canoes and kayaks. The Fusion looks like a canoe, but paddles like a kayak. At 13’ in length, the Fusion tracks well and maneuvers like a dream with the included rudder system. It is perfect for birding, day tripping, fresh water fishing, and overnight camping.
The padded high back seat comes standard and allows for hours of comfort. Lighter, quicker, and more maneuverable than any fishing kayak, the Fusion also runs drier and holds more gear while keeping it all readily accessible.
Best of all – at only a touch over 30 lbs, the Fusion can be easily loaded by just about anyone.
With the Fisherman 14, Wenonah has created what may be the perfect all-around canoe for Louisiana waters. From the Atchafalaya basin, to the Bayou Teche to our protected inland marshes, the fisherman is w pleasure to paddle.
Built short and wide, the Fisherman is stable enough to fish out of, but efficient enough for a 12 mile day trip. Don’t limit this boat to day trips though, as it’s got plenty of space and capacity for a large cooler and all your camping gear. We are carrying the Fisherman in the Ultralight Kevlar Layup – putting the total weight at only 36 pounds!
Put all of Wenonah’s design and manufacturing experience into a canoe under $1200 and you’ve got the Southfork. This canoe glides through the water almost effortlessly. It will carry extra gear and passengers, making it a great camping and family canoe. The 3 layer plastic and foam construction is maintenance free and can handle rockier rivers such as the Buffalo National River in Arkansas.
Wenonah Canoe Company – American Business Success
In case you are not familiar with the Wenonah brand, this info from their website will tell you about this unique American business:
Wenonah Canoe is a small, independent, family-owned company that has become an award-winning designer and manufacturer of high performance canoes and kayaks, sold and paddled around the world. We are a different kind of company. In a world dominated by giant manufacturers, we measure our success by the success of our dealers and the satisfaction of our customers. Our mission has always been to fit people into the best boats for their chosen use. In this, we reflect the values and the passion of our founder Mike Cichanowski.
Born to Paddle
Mike grew up in Winona, Minnesota, where he inherited the ethics and values of his ancestors – hard-working Polish immigrants who worked in the town’s lumber mills. Living on the edge of the great upper Mississippi River, Mike learned to paddle a canoe at a very young age. By the time Mike became an Eagle Scout, he had built several wood-strip canoes and was molding his own designs from fiberglass. Not only was he good at working with his hands and good at solving problems, Mike took a lot of pride in doing this work and doing it well.
When the warehouse he used as his canoe-making shop was slated for demolition, he made an important move: Instead of settling down to study Wildlife Management in college, he applied for a bank loan, bought land, and built a small shop on the edge of town. He wanted to build canoes.
There was no looking back. Mike, his wife, and young family stuck with it through some very lean years as Mike learned the entrepreneurial skills that would make canoe building a successful enterprise instead of just a lifestyle choice. When plastics, composites, and carbon fibers came on the market, Mike made the jump. It was a big investment and a steep learning curve, but Wenonah Canoe was soon producing the fastest, lightest, most efficient canoes around.
A Composites Pioneer
To maximize every advantage the new materials offered, the company engineered new construction techniques. Although now industry standard, Wenonah Canoe is recognized as the pioneer of vacuum-bagging, a process that pulls excess resins out of the construction thus reducing weight and improving strength. The process emits no fumes and minimizes waste. To evolve new materials and processes for making canoes, the company took full advantage of its location. Winona, Minnesota has become a world leader in composites manufacturing, home to dozens of companies that engineer products for sports, music, aerospace and industrial uses. Mike’s love for paddle sports has always been a magnet for others who share the same passion. Before long, he collected a team of dedicated employees. Dave Thill has led the manufacturing development for 35 years. Rick Thrune has made significant contributions to composites technology as well and is responsible for implementing new manufacturing processes. Hard-working, innovative craftsmen have made us the world-class company we are today.