Paddling a canoe on a placid lake deep in the woods is a sure way to restore your soul and rest your mind. But now, paddlers can also soothe their green side with a line of environmentally friendly Merrimack canoes that use sustainable woods to reinforce their state-of-the-art hulls. Based in Crossville, Tenn., Merrimack has been building canoes to order for three generations, averaging two boats a week. Randy Pew, grandson of company founder L.H. Beach, and his longtime friend Scott Hale offer six models for everyone from the lounging sunbather to the grizzly woodsman. The hulls of the boats are built by hand from carbon fiber, Kevlar and fiberglass, and then reinforced with wood ribs, creating a strong, stable, lightweight masterpiece that looks as beautiful hanging on a wall as it does carving through placid waters.
Starting at $3,100, the new models, available in sustainably harvested purpleheart, teak, zebrawood and yellowheart, will help ensure that quiet forests will still be there when your grandchildren are borrowing the canoes for their own adventures.