What's a Wabash Valley???

I purchased a Wabash Valley which is supposed to be an early Magic.

Instead of 29" wide, it is 30". Also, the tumblehome is much less - 28" from outside gunnel to outside gunnel.

It is 15’ 6" long and was made in 1987.

What is this Wabash Valley???

Ted Bell
When I canoed race years ago (raced in the rec class and brother did the race class) you would see a few of the Wabash Valleys show up in the top three. It was Ted Bell’s first canoe buisiness.


hearsay I have been told that Wabash was an earlier Venture into Canoe building by Ted Bell. They must have had some really good ones because I still see Wabash Valley boats in some of the Races I go to.

Wabash Valley…

– Last Updated: May-08-05 11:06 PM EST –

I had a Wabash Valley Phase III touring canoe in the 80's. They were made in Crawfordsville, In. I stopped by once, but they were closed. It was an old school building. They are listed in the 1987 Canoe Magazine buyers guide, but not 1988, so that must have been the end of production. From your measurements, it sounds like you have a Merlin C-1. If you like, I can scan the listing of the buyer's guide and email it to you in jpg form.
Pat #2

Seems Fast - Great Glide
Thanks for the info. Yes, please send a catalog if not too much trouble.

I own several Yost boats, including a Merlin II and a Sawyer Summersong.

This Wabash Valley, however, intrigues me. It has MUCH better initial than the Merlin II and the Summersong. It actually feels as solid as a Wildfire, maybe moreso. The secondary doesn’t stop, either, yet the canoe seems almost extremely fast - comparable to the Merlin II’s glide. It may be as fast as the Summersong, I’m not sure.

The hull dimensions wouldn’t seem to allow the glide this boat allows. I’m a bit over 200 pounds, so I love the Summersong, but something about this Wabash Valley intrigues me. I’d like to know as much as I can find out about it…

Thanks, Glenn

Probably not a Magic
I think you have a Merlin. The original Merlin was designed by Bruce Kunz of Minneapolis. It was 15’ 6" w/ no rocker. A fast canoe! I can’t remember WVC ever producing a “Magic” named boat. I might be wrong though; I’ll check into it.