Handcrafted in
the Adirondacks

Pack Canoe vs Regular Canoe

Pack Canoes have been around in the Adirondacks since the mid-1800s, when writer George Washington Sears (pen name Nessmuk) and canoe builder Henry Rushton popularized this style craft.

Modern pack canoes have lower sheer heights (gunwale height above canoe bottom) when compared to traditional canoes to allow better access to the water with a double-bladed paddle.  The low seated position also provides greater stability.  Our boats add shouldered tumblehome – the recurve at the top that narrows the paddling station – to further enhance the paddlers reach to the water and allow use of a shorter, lighter paddle.


Just like Nessmuk, 125 years ago.

Small solo canoes designed for use with double-blade paddles were popular during the earliest days of recreational canoeing in the mid-1800s. The double-blade paddler almost doubles the single-blade user’s stroke-per-minute rate and increases speed. Double-blades allow smaller paddlers to keep up with, and even outrun, skilled single-blade users. Beginning paddlers can easily keep a straight course with a double-blade paddle. Our SpitFire is sized for modern paddlers.

SpitFire 13

A longer beamier pack canoe

The SpitFire 13 is a slightly larger version of our original 12-foot SpitFire.  At 13′ and 29″ max beam, it can carry a bit more gear, dog, or person.  Rock solid in weather and very efficient, this boat is fun on flatwater as well as moving water.

Paddled with a single or double blade paddle, it can carry a week’s worth of gear for your next backcountry pond-hopping adventure.  Or, pop it off the car top and head out for an after work, evening paddle.


RapidFire’s little sister

Our new for 2019 Oseetah (Huron for water lily) is a slightly downsized version of our most popular model, RapidFire.  At a svelte 21 lbs in Ultra laminate, this boat has all of the capabilities of the RapidFire but for the smaller paddler.  It also makes an excellent high performance day tripper for bigger folks, as well.


Speed and versatility

Camping gear? Check. Firewood? Check. Room for Maverick? Check.

The RapidFire is a solo tripper with exceptional efficiency, speed, and stability. It is our best selling model for a reason. Fast enough to deliver impressive times in the Adirondack Canoe Classic and stable enough to handle breezy days on big water, the RapidFire is a must-have, go-to boat for many paddlers seeking performance and versatility.


Fast tripper / Fitness trainer

It was risky. Time was beyond tight.  But the day was perfect and the opportunity not to be missed. Putting in at Fish Creek after 2:00, you fly through the Saranacs, running Bartlett Carry.  You hit Oseetah then Lake Flower, hammering past the tennis courts. There’s the landing. You’re early for dinner, thanks to Shadow and the paddling fitness you’ve gained from all of those morning sessions.

Shadow is 25” wide with enough rocker to be very stable in all conditions.  A great fitness boat, it is also a fun and fast tripper for more experienced paddlers.


Double blade performance tandem

We’re happy to welcome back the Ohneka for 2016.  Our unique twist on an open tandem debuted at the 2009 Adirondack Canoe Classic.  Rock-solid stability as well as plenty of forward speed and efficiency are on display in this one.

Some experienced paddlers have told us the Ohneka is the fastest recreational tandem they’ve ever been in.  With the right propulsion, it can keep up with our Shadow, cruising at over 6 miles per hour.  Accelerated rocker in the last three feet of the bow allow the boat to turn on a dime – in its own length if you lean it a bit.  It’ll also carve up narrow twisties like Brown’s Tract and Stony Creek with little turning effort, yet it doesn’t wander on big water and in wind and waves.

“S” gunwales significantly shorten the paddlers’ vertical reach to water, helping the boat track and allowing the use of shorter, lighter paddles.  Can be paddled with a double blade or single blade.

Our warranty

We at Placid boatworks are proud of the canoes we build. We guarantee both materials and our workmanship for the usable life of the canoe as defined by wear. Our boats, when properly used and maintained, will last a long, long time.

We try to build our hulls properly the first time. If for some reason we didn’t, we’ll make it right to you, repairing or replacing hulls and components at our option, but at no cost to the owner.

We don’t warrant against abuse. If you wrap the hull around a rock, scrape through the bottom or abandon woodwork to weather or rot, those are problems created by lack of proper maintenance or abuse. We will repair your Placid boat; please email or call for an appointment and return it to us for an estimate and repair.