Mike Vincent, of the Regina Marathon Canoe Club, is a world class paddler and avid boat person. He is eager to learn and discuss anything, and everything about paddling. It is through these conversations that his idea for this special boat took shape.
Sharing his ideas and thoughts with Martin Bernardin, owner and boat builder of the Kisseynew Canoe Company, found in LaRonge Saskatchewan, the two started to bounce ideas back and forth. Both Mike and Martin share a passion for making canoes travel more efficiently through the water and have spent hours, and hours of their lives honing this skill.
The idea for an efficient Saskatchewan Made canoe finally took shape in the winter of 2017, when Martin put his engineering mind to work and designed the boat. A few more suggestions, changes, edits and the final design emerged. Martin had the forms made and Mike picked them up, from a local Regina company (we did say this is a Sask made boat after all). Then the work began; strip by strip the plug (what the form for the boat will be crafted out of) started to emerge in the Vincent’s garage.
As with most things in the paddling community, the whole Vincent family got involved. They all had a go at taking out staples and romanticizing about the finished product and the speed it would travel.
A few more hours, and the finished plug was heaved onto the top of the van and began its journey north. The long- anticipated transfer happened in a parking lot in Saskatoon, where Martin joyfully took possession of the raw work and headed back to La Ronge. The plug journeyed north to the Kisseynew Canoe Company, where Mike Maggrah spent countless hours sanding the plug to a gleaming finish. A mold was constructed over the plug and popped up, carefully, one early spring morning.
The day Mike had been waiting for, finally came. He received a call in April, it was time for him to travel north and join Martin in his shop. Construction began in earnest! Four days, and seventy-five hours after arrival, the first Kisiskâciwan canoe was born! This name is ever so fitting as Kisiskâciwan means “fast flowing” and is also the Cree word for Saskatchewan.
All parties connected to the construction were ecstatic with the product and could be seen grinning from ear to ear as they shared stories and relived the last few months. The shell returned to Regina, where Mike promptly invested another forty hours of work into the finer, finishing details. The result, a rec canoe weighing just under 40 pounds, while also maintaining its stiff and surprisingly strong hull.
The maiden voyage occurred on May 22nd on the mighty Wascana Lake, in 60km per hour winds, complete with waves and overcast skies. Despite the weather, we are told the glide was magical! This boat and its maker will experienced their first race together on Canada Day in Prince George at the Northern Hardware race! And what a maiden race it was, Mike teamed up with Pat Turner to win the event.
Kisseynew canoes are built just off shore of Lac La Ronge in Northern Saskatchewan. The Boreal Region fuses with cutting edge technology to create canoes with unmatched form and function. Each canoe is hand crafted and custom built using the latest in aerospace and technology, to meet your discerning requirements. For more information on these home-grown canoes, check out their web page at www.kisseynewcanoecompany.com