It’s no accident that Bear Mountain canoes and kayaks look as appropriate in an art gallery as they do in the water.
For 40 years partners Ted Moores and Joan Barrett have worked to produce wooden watercraft that combine classic lines with the most advanced marine technologies. We firmly believe that anyone with basic woodworking tools and a desire to learn can create a Bear Mountain masterpiece. Our dedication to this ideal keeps us searching for more effective teaching tools, simpler systems, user-friendly materials and creative new designs. We measure our success in the thousands of Bear Mountain canoes and kayaks that emerge from home workshops around the world each year.
We also take pride in building National sprint racing canoes, prototypes for production designs, elegant one-off custom boats, and in restoring historically significant craft.
We first started building Bear Mountain canoes near Powassan, Ontario in 1974, in a log and stone workshop which we built on a high hill at the northwestern edge of Algonquin Park. We soon found that there were many people interested in learning how to build their own canoes. Ted collaborated up with neighbour Merilyn Simonds to write CANOECRAFT a guide to fine woodstrip canoe construction, released in 1983. Canoecraft has sold more than 300,000 copies and was revised and expanded in 2001. Many people say Canoecraft is the best book on the subject.
When we re-located to Peterborough in 1995 Ted wrote KAYAKCRAFT, (published by Woodenboat Books) and persuaded our daughter Jennifer to help him with the photographs.
In 2004 Ted teamed up with Greg Rossel to write KAYAKS YOU CAN BUILD (Firefly Books). KYCB provides plywood builders with the tricks and skills to make an outstanding craft – it does what his other books have done for strip construction – it raises the bar!
Our ongoing relationship with Canadian yacht designer Steve Killing has had an impact on the success of Bear Mountain. Steve not only creates dynamic hull shapes, he provides our customers with the knowledge and technical data to make informed choices. We know that many companies design their own hulls but we prefer to use a qualified designer who applies sound principals of yacht design for the safety of our customers.
2010 we celebrated the completion of an intense 3 year project building the electric/solar fantail launch called Sparks. We have cruised the Trent Canal, Thousand Islands and the Rideau Canal on board this 30 ft. boat with kids, dogs and friends showing people the potential for quiet boating.
On a personal note, the little girls who grew up playing with wood shavings and making little boats, continue to inspire us. Jennifer lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories where she works in communications for the NWT government. She runs, skis, bikes and hikes with her husband Sean Whitaker and their trusty dogs Nova and Alastar. The whole family spends time as possible exploring Great Slave Lake in “Persephone” a 16-foot Gloucester Light Dory, Jen built with Ted a few summers ago.
Daisy and her husband Adam have settled in Ottawa where they enjoy life with their handsome and energetic twin sons Peter and Leo. Dr. Daisy practices family medicine while Dr. Adam works at his dream job researching and crunching statistics on Canada’s bird population for the Canadian Wildlife Service.
Ted and I take continue to take some time out of the shop travelling to Belize to assist various boat building activities there.
Life continues to be full of exciting possibilities and enriching friendships