Light, Strong, Beautiful Custom-Built Kevlar Canoes


Frequently Asked Questions

Feel free to contact me if you have more questions!

Do you offer a solo model?

Yes.   The Columba is a solo canoe.  The Cygnus is also available in a single-seat model.

Can you do repairs on my current kevlar canoe?

Yes, I’m happy to do minor repairs for you if time allows (Replace gunwales, patch holes, install skids, replace seats etc.).

Do you have kayaks?

We have the best kayaks! Our Peregrine Kayaks are all handmade, one at a time, and have outstanding performance.  Two models now available.  Minnesota and regional delivery available.

Do you offer a square-stern model?

Yes, I am happy to make a square stern canoe for you, based on either my Tandem-Plus (recommended) or Tandem 17 designs.  Max of 2 hp, gas or electric.  Ask for details.  Custom Order.

What else can you say about your designs and performance?

There are naturally trade-offs in any design problem.  I have designed these canoes to be as fast as a stable canoe can be.  They are very easy to paddle.  Canoes that are much faster become tippy and hard to control.  In a Nighthawk Canoe, it is easy to stay centered, even with a light load, or calm water.  You don’t feel like you are fighting to keep the canoe balanced… if you sit still, the canoe will stay centered.  There is also enough arc and rocker in the hull to make rough water surprisingly easy to navigate.  This is a hard-to-find balance of performance features, giving very good speed and glide, and a comfortable paddle stroke, along with reassuring stability and tame handling characteristics in a variety of conditions.

These are excellent canoes, and well-balanced for flat-water travel.

Can I get mine with a keel?

Yes.  I generally do not recommend keels on kevlar canoes, but I have several options to add an aluminum or composite keel if you require one.  Custom order only.  Call for details.  I can not build the hull with an integrated keel, it will have to be attached after construction to the hull (slightly less tidy appearance).

Can I tour your shop?

I generally do not offer shop tours.  Please contact me if you are interested.

I am happy to answer any questions you might have, and have you paddle a demo canoe.  I have a demo book containing samples of all our fabrics, colors, etc..  I bring it with to all canoe demos.

How are your canoes different from canoes from the larger manufacturers?

Overall my canoes are tougher and tend to be more stable and more comfortable than typical lightweight touring designs.  They also tend to compare favorably with respect to weight and paddling performance.  The finish is glossy smooth and the canoes are of excellent quality.  I use one of the best and strongest (and most expensive) epoxy systems available.  My particular manufacturing technique yields a glossy smooth exterior, with a slightly less smooth interior.  I.e., you may be able to feel some texture (no sharp edges though) to the surface around the ribs and flotation compartments.  This process relies more on hand-crafted finishing than specialized building equipment, but produces excellent results, with an overall weight savings.  These canoes are handmade at every point of assembly: handmade molds, hand-laid fabrication, hand-finished (no vacuum bagging), and handmade final assembly.

Since I don’t buy materials by the truckload, I can actually offer far more material options than anyone else and not force you to choose from whatever I have chosen to stock.  I believe Nighthawk Canoes to be the equal or better of anything else on the market.  Competitive pricing is achieved through low inventory, no storefront expenses, and purchasing direct from the manufacturer.

Why Nighthawk?

I like nighthawks.  They are my favorite bird to see in the air: fast, slender, nimble, and aerobatic.  They are strong flyers, and large enough to appear graceful while flying, unlike smaller aerobats, like swallows.  As flying bug-eaters, they are often found near water, though not always right on the water.  I feel the nighthawk association, whether an appropriate metaphor or merely an emotional pairing, is a good one for my company.  The canoes are named after constellations of the night sky.

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