Those who appreciate exemplary boat craftsmanship are in for a treat from Johnson Outdoors UK at this year’s 2007 Southampton Boat Show. For the first time at any UK Boat Show they will be showing a top of the range hand built wooden canoe from Old Town. The Molitor 17 is a traditional craft which epitomises grace, elegance and practicality and defines the remarkable heritage of Old Town.
The company derives its name from Old Town, Maine, New England, USA where it is based. For centuries this has been the home of the Penobscot tribe of Indians and members of the fourth generation of the same family still work for the company. It was their forefathers’ birch bark canoes which inspired the first wood and canvas canoe built by Old Town in 1898 behind the local hardware store. They proved highly popular because records show that by 1906 they were producing between 200 and 400 boats per month. By 1910 the town was calling itself the Canoe Centre of the World producing 3,500 boats that year. They have now produced well over a million boats
Old Town produces a whole range of canoes and kayaks in a variety of modern materials; classic designs are also available in advanced composites. But there is undeniably something special about the wood and canvas models still made by hand. The Molitor 17 has a pronounced tumblehome making her easy to paddle. Her sleek, sweeping sheer gives a dry boat with a fine entry and the long decks, outside stems and oval mahogany gunwhales create a frame so strong that no thwarts are needed. This graceful classic is also enormously stable and offers great manoeuvrability.
Molitor 17 specifications: Length 17’ (5.2m), width 35” (88.9cm), width at 4” waterline 35” (88.9cm), bow height 22” (55.8cm), depth 12” (30.4cm), weight 84lbs (38.1 kg), capacity 624lbs (283kg).
The Molitor 17 and other great new recreational products from Johnson Outdoors UK will be on stand B054 at the Southampton Boat Show 14 – 23 September, 2007.