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08.14.07 - New York Times feature article- click here to read the article online (or download a PDF version- 40K).

Customer Testimonials

Just recently we received a testimonial from a gentleman who offered to “write something for the website.”

“I have worked with Wendy and Todd over the past few years and have rowed many miles during the course of my work in 2 guide-boats that they’ve restored. Both boats were more than 100 years old and barely seaworthy before they started. They put them back to essentially original condition and looking as if they were brand new! These folks were a pleasure to work with, both prompt and precise. I’d rate their work as second to none.”

Eric Wells, Adirondack Guide
Keene, NY

Date: October 13, 2011
From: John Dunn
Subject: Well Done!

Todd and Wendy,

Well done!!!

I cannot tell you both how pleased I am with the final results of the restoration work you did on the 1890’s Rushton ‘Saranac Laker’ guide boat. After I picked it up from you and got it back to Muskoka, I displayed it at the marina. Over the past few weeks, I have had nothing but fabulous comments from our many customers about how amazing it looked and what detail and craftsmanship went into the project.

I could not agree more. From ‘start to finish’ over the past few months you have both been so accommodating in sharing with me what you were doing and going that ‘extra mile’ to make suggestions about having the restoration be a true reflection of how Rushton’s crew would have originally built the boat over 100 years ago. The extra efforts you made in sourcing cherry for the gunwales and the oars did not go unnoticed.

As well, my wife is so pleased to now have here garage back – for a time, at least – until I uncover another abandoned boat needing attention!!!

Also, I ‘surprised’ my best friend who was visiting from San Francisco last week with photos of the restored boat. Unfortunately, he was not able to get up to Muskoka from Toronto to see the boat up close. It was a gift from him of the old ‘grey boat’ that he had stored in a barn that turned into the finished product we see here today.

To this point, I have not yet had my ‘maiden voyage’ of the boat on Lake Muskoka – I am having a proper display stand built for it to display at the marina – but will do so before the end of October (now that all our customers have gone home).

Todd and Wendy, not only have you become a great source of ‘woodworking excellence’, but you have become friends, as well, and I look forward to further visits when I pass through Buffalo in the future!!

Once again, thank you for bringing back to life a piece of history.


John Dunn
Gravenhurst, Ontario

Date: June 3, 2010
From: Mike Witham
Subject: Thanks!

Dear Todd and Wendy,

I would like to thank you again for the fantastic job you have done on the custom restoration of the 1939 OTCA 17 foot Canoe.

The beauty of the 1930's old growth mahogany must be seen and is just not available today. Todd, I was truly surprised at your qualifications. Your Forester training, knowledge of vintage woods, and what part of which tree is used where on a canoe was well beyond what I knew. Add to this, your tested experience on the best of modern materials to use.

Wendy, what a lot of sanding, Wow! Not a spot was missed. The finishing work and paint are of show quality. That Interlux paint is really tough! I'm careful but there are a lot of rocks around here. So far so good.

I love the look and feel of the wood and craftsmanship. This OTCA is a real performer. It moves fast, is agile and easy to handle. The extra weight, when compared to say, Kevlar, is not noticeable on the water. I think it adds stability to the craft.

A wonderful experience altogether! Great hopitality in Buffalo! The canoe was a rare find with and excellent finished result (including my custom green on the original graphic). The shipping across the continent and over the border all went without a problem. Thank you for everything!


M.B. Whitham
Kelowna, British Columbia

Date: Fri. Dec 21, 2007
From: Sue Sickels
Subject: Testimonial

Dear Todd and Wendy,

I want to thank you for the restoration of our family heirloom, an Old Town Canoe. For the past five years we searched for someone who would treat my grandfather’s canoe with the love and respect we have for it. After thoroughly examining our canoe, you explained the high quality materials and many hours of specialized care that would be needed to return our heirloom to its former splendor. I know that this is truly a vocation for you since you were unwilling to accept anything short of perfection. All we wanted was a water worthy boat that we could use for canoe rides on our quiet Adirondack lake. The results far exceeded our expectations. The final result is a work of art that we will be able to use for years, each time remembering my grandfather. It would be impossible to put any price on the enjoyment we will have and the memories you have so lovingly preserved.

Sincerely yours,
Susan Sickels, DVM, M Div
West Falls, NY

Date: Mon. Oct 8, 2007
From: The New Owner of the 1926 Old Town HW
Subject: Re: Canoe sale agreement

Todd and Wendy,

Finally got out in the canoe today - fantastic experience! Its a perfect canoe for us, just the right size and the shape works really well on the large lake. We had some mild chop today and the canoe really felt like it was built just for this - tracked straight without any real effort and was very stable, and no problem at all with the wind.

Amazingly, this canoe is more quiet than any canoe I can remember - no wave slapping sounds, and not a creak or groan to be heard from her bones! Completely silent. All that and beauty too!

It is of course, the best looking canoe on the lake. Probably in the state too.... The matte combined with the gloss topsides is absolutely perfect, best way ever to finish a canoe! I'm quite sure that the people of Old Town would be thrilled to see what you have achieved in restoring one of their originals.

Overall though it is a wonderful feeling to be paddling something that has had the benefit of so much personal use, attention and care, and shows it. All the more in that it isn't perfect - restored not rebuilt - we really feel a connection to the whole sense of canoing as it should feel. New and old at the same time, both recreational and utilitarian, industrian and artistic. Quite a wonderful feeling!

I'll try to send some pictures later in the week, but for now I'll close by saying thanks again from my wife and I for a most excellent canoe! We will definitely have hours of enjoyment with it...

Frank Deutschmann
Darien, CT

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