Ted Moores and Joan Barrett have been building boats for almost 45 years. At Bear Mountain Boats, Ted and Joan don’t just make canoes. They also help to popularize canoe building among hobbyists all over the world and sell kits to those who find it daunting to source their own material. Working together, Ted and Joan have become evangelists for wooden canoes, and have crossed paths with makers and builders all over the world — including Jimmy DiResta and Nick Offerman.
Ted and Joan have a lifetime of stories to share. Join us as we talk to Ted and Joan about:
- How Ted became a maker and the “back to the land” movement
- The evolution of Bear Mountain Boats
- The history and legacy of wooden boats in Canada and worldwide
- The writing of CanoeCraft and the filming of the DVD companion
Early on in the business, we realized that people didn’t really want to buy our canoes. They wanted to figure out how we did it.
We are always looking for opportunities to show people what we do in a different way.
I grew up with the idea that if you wanted something, you could do it; if you wanted something of quality, you could do it yourself.
Because Ted has always had an appreciation for old things and for history, I think that was another thing that really influenced us because he then studied the old builders and what they did.
There was a Canadian publisher who was also just starting up. His name was Lionel Kauffler, he runs Firefly books, which is one of the few publishers who have managed to survive in a world that’s been destroyed by big companies like Amazon. He saw the book and told the magazine editors that he would buy 10,000 copies, and that really sealed the deal. And Lionel ended up eventually buying the rights to the book.
When I learned that he was an actor – I’m terrible about hitting people up like that – I said well if you have nothing better to do, why don’t we talk about you making a DVD for us? Why don’t you film it, as a matter of fact? And he said well, I just happen to be having dinner tonight with a newfound friend named Jimmy DiResta, and I think he might be interested too. So I’ll talk to Jimmy and I’ll get back to you. And before I knew it, Nick and Jimmy showed up at our door, and they went home with canoebuilding materials and built a canoe.
Connect with Ted and Joan: