I was curious how much has changed in the 30 years that I’ve been actively interested in canoeing and kayaking, so I leafed through a Canoe Magazine from 1977 and here are some highlights.
- Canoe Magazine was published by American Canoe Association. Was it the forerunner of today’s Paddler Magazine?
- Wet suits got a full page ad.
- Coleman’s Peak 1 had been redesigned and reintroduced with fully adjustable flame and extra large fuel capacity.
- Carlisle, Mitchell, Featherbrand, Sawyer were advertising paddles. A Sawyer fiberglass reinforced white water canoe paddle retailed for $14.
- Mad River Canoe and Dupont teamed up to sponser a 500 mile trip to the Artic Ocean to promote kevlar canoes.
- Hollowform Inc was promoting cross-linked polyethylene canoes and kayaks. A 13’ kayak weighed 35 pounds and a 16.5 foot canoe weighed 79 pounds.
- NONA advertised fiberglass canoes from 10.5 feet to 25 feet.
- Dolphin Canoes offered the 14-foot Princess model powered by a marine battery with a tiny propeller in the stern. Capable of 10 miles per hour.
- Keewaydin canoes were available in Royalex, fiberglass and K-Tek.
- Michicraft introduced their new square stern canoes in 12, 14, and 16 foot lengths.
- Monarch Canoes offered aluminum canoes in 15, 16 and 17 foot lengths with regular or white water keel.
- River Runner kayaks offered their new 13.5 foot recreational kayak made of rotomolded polyolefin, with a 3-unit stiffener and adjustable foot braces. It weighed 34.5 pounds.
- Perception was still in Liberty SC and made some really nice looking canoes.
- A.C. Mackenzie River Co. of Richmond Heights, Missouri offered a fiberglass 12.5 foot “poling canoe” that weighed 47 pounds. They also had a lightweight aircraft aluminum collapsible pole that measured 12 feet and weighed 2.8 pounds.
- Indian River Canoe Mfg. sold canoes from 10’ to 18.5 feet made from fiberglass reinforced poyester. A 16’er weighed 70 pounds.
- Blue Hole was still in Sunbright, Tennessee building Royalex whitewater canoes.
- Pinetree Canoes in Canada made a 16’ kevlar with wood superstructure canoe that weighed 37 pounds. “For rock-crushing and kamikaze use we make slightly heavier and more rugged versions”.
- Smoker-Craft and Lowe’s were big names in aluminum canoes. A 17-foot Lowe’s with a solid keel weighed 67 pounds.
- Chicagoland Canoe Base had the same logo they have today. Horse and buggy shuttle car.
- We-No-Nah Canoes advertised the 18.5 foot USCA Jensen Cruiser.
- Ranger Canoes offered a sweet looking 16.5 foot Fiberglass solo that weighed 29 pounds.Gunnel width was 26". Factory direct $395.
- Klepper America offered their back-packable “Hammerhead” whitewater kayak for $275. Their new whitewater kayak paddle was dubbed “Bullwhipper”.
- The White Brothers whitewater kayak sold for $198.
- Grumman Boats offered a coated nylon spray cover for their 17-foot canoes.
- EasyRider offered 5 kayak models made with kevlar 49, S-glass and vinylester resins.
- Thermarest introduced the self-inflating mattress. It inflated to 19"x47"x1.5" and rolled down to 4"x20" and weighed 24 ounces.
- NRS, REI and EMS all had 2-inch ads.
So in 30 years there is my list of 30 things from the good old days.
A final note; Ensolite by Uniroyal had a full page ad for life vests with the cautionary note that “even Ensolite can’t save you if it’s in the boat”. That’s one thing that is still a concern. I just read that the Coast Guard recorded 400 drownings in 2004 and 90% of them were not wearing life vest, and 90% of those could have been saved if they were wearing a life vest.