Wedding Canoe

Dave and Brenda wanted to make a canoe as a wedding gift for their son and his fiancee.  The only catch was that I had to keep it secret – until the wedding.  It was a little bit tricky because they often appeared in pictures of other builders in the shop.  Well the wedding date has passed so I can finally reveal their secret identity.  Have a look in the photo gallery for more pictures.

Repair Service for C4 and C15 Canoes

Dempster Boats Announces Large Racing Canoe Repair Service.

Canoe and kayak clubs in the Toronto area have been bringing their wood boats to us for repair so we thought we would make it official and add racing canoe repairs to our list of services.

Racing canoes such as C4’s and C15’s (sometimes called war canoes) get heavily used during a normal season and need to be maintained to provide maximum speed in the water and a safe environment for paddlers.

Typical repairs for a racing canoe might include:

  • Crushed or dented nose (from hitting a dock)
  • Broken coaming (from loading on trailers or paddle strikes)
  • Worn out finishes on decks and interior surfaces  (normal use and sun exposure)
  • Broken or damaged gunwales (tying down on trailers or from paddle strikes)
  • Broken or Loose Thwarts (from use)
  • Fibreglass scratches (from contact with shore or dock)
  • Floorboards (wear and tear)
  • Rotten wood (from water penetration under the fibreglass at points of impact )

We also refinish hulls to give these canoes back their true performance and your team its competitive edge.



Ross’ Paddleboard

Ross is an active paddler and was keen to try the latest thing in watercraft so he decided to build a paddleboard with us.  He decorated it with cloth and it has turned out beautifully.  Dempster Boats displayed it at the 2013 Tour de Terracotta bicycle race and Ross’ paddleboard got plenty of attention.


Laying Down the Decorative Cloth

Marla’s Paddleboard

Sadie and Friend On My BoardMarla wanted to build a paddleboard but the cost of importing a kit and then finding a place to build it were daunting.  We were able to solve both those problems for her.  Her board has been in use by nieces, nephews and other family members ever since she took it up to the lake, as the photos will attest to.

In fact, Marla sent a message: “I have been told by my family and friends that I should build an other one so they do not have to wait in line to use it.”


Sadie Thinks This Is The Way To Go

Standup Paddleboards Coming Soon

• Standup paddleboards are a great new way to explore the water. You literally stand up to paddle them.

Similar to surfboards – think of the big waves of Hawaii – but the hull shape has been designed for smaller waters. Agile and fast, these boards can be raced or just paddled leisurely if you prefer. They are great fun to build and can be decorated to your hearts content.

These are not the basic foam filled boards you’ll find in retail stores. They are actually built of wood in a way similar to that of an aircraft wing.  Increase your watersport options and show off your stunning board. Check back in January for details on making your own paddleboard with us!

Skateboard Build

• Sam (from England), Eric and Ben were the first to build their own boards in our shop. They got to use the amazing power of a vacuum press to bend their boards and each had their own truly unique design for decorating their board. Hey Sam, let us know what your English friends think of our Canadian skateboard, eh?






Kids & Classics Boatshops

• Our boat building friends just up the road in Glen Williams,  Kids & Classics Boatshops , run a volunteer, non-profit organization and boating museum which focuses on the restoration of classic wood boats. They have a great skiff building program for youth. In the space of a weekend, four kids build and launch a skiff (the really nice looking Bevin’s skiff), get exposed to the world of boatbuilding and learn to have confidence in themselves and what they can do.  Sale of the skiffs built by the youth helps fund the program. Check them out!

Mahogany Harbour


This is the Time To Build

• Don’t wait until spring. If you start now, you will be ready to get on the water as soon as the warm weather arrives.

Building a canoe, kayak or paddleboard takes time. Typically people take several months for a kayak or canoe, and perhaps one month for a paddleboard. However, building times can be significantly shortened if you have someone to help you.  There is no extra charge for your helper.

Read more…

Brian’s Kayak

Glueing Coaming On Kayak

Brian LeBlanc built a Pygmy Boats 14 ft. Arctic Tern kit with us in the shop. He has had it out on the water and loves it. Check out the grizzly bear paws we airbrushed on the boat for him – see the builder’s photo gallery.

Read more…

Repair Season is Here

To prevent costly repairs you should make sure that your boat or board is safely tucked away for the winter. Get it off the ground and protect it from rain and snow. Do not wrap it in plastic such that water or condensation can collect on the boat. Wherever you store it should be dry, but it  does not have to be heated.

Repairs take time. Get ahead of the rush (translate – long wait) in the spring. Bring your boat in now for inspection and repair so it will be ready to go in the spring.

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