Fermon Canoes Blog

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Fermon Canoes Blog

Fermon Canoes Blog

  1. I would like to get hold of Ron Frenette but dont have a phone number bmy e mail id or 905 270 6818. If you could help much appreciated. Joseph Jursa
  2. Greetings to those interested in the craft of wooden-strip boat construction. During the winter of 2009, I had the pleasure of building a canoe with Fermon Martin (Fermon Canoes). I had long wanted to build a canoe. My Dad's people were all boat-builders, but somehow I didn't inherit the wood-working genes. I read Ted Moores' book "Canoecraft" over and over and, while it is very stimulating, it is also a bit intimidating. I heard of Fermon through a mutual friend, called him, and he invited me to visit him at his shop, which is only 10 kilometers from my home. My intent was to get some pointers on how to get started. We talked for a bit, then he invited me to use his shop for the project. I was also allowed to help him fibre-glass a canoe he was building (one of the intimidating steps). We developed a wonderful relationship, Fermon and I. He helped me get going, then allowed me to muddle along at my own pace, kind of keeping an eye on me at the same time.. He has a delightful sense of humour, and, although I'm old enough to be his father he would, with a twinkle in his eye, gently give the reins a yank and set me straight if he noticed that I was wandering. There are times when two pair of hands are definitely useful, especially for a rookie builder, and Fermon was always willing to guide me through those procedures. I was able to watch him work on boats he was making for other customers and, while he is basically self-taught, his insistence on quality and thoroughness was always evident. Nothing that does not meet his personal standards ever leaves his shop, and those standards are very high indeed. My boat might be an exception. I made every mistake a beginner could possibly make, yet the canoe insisted on becoming as lovely as I could ever have hoped. She's certainly mine but, if she is at all correct, it's because of Fermon's influence and his patient teaching. I have already admitted that Fermon has become a friend, a man I am more than proud to name as a friend. That notwithstanding, I would not hesitate to recommend his work and his dedication to his passion. I wish you all happy building. If you have a deep interest in building your own canoe, don't hesitate. You need to do it. Scary? Intimidating? Depressing at times? All of the above. Find a Fermon or, better yet, Fermon himself. Sand a hole right through your hull and fix it. Break a gunwale that you spent time scarf-jointing. Mend little patches where you sanded too deep into the weave of the fibre-glass. Mix filler incorrectly, wait three days for it to set, then dig it out and try again. I did all those things. All said and done, the first wee journey on my quiet lake, in my own canoe, was an experience so exhiliarating, beautiful and rewarding that I couldn't trade that sense of accomplishment for anything. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can. Best regards---John Hummel
  3. Very excited to be revising my website as the demand for custom canoes has grown.  Stay tuned for the official launch as we are preparing to increase our web presence through social media.  We are looking forward to your feedback and input through the various Social Networks.  You can fan Fermon Canoe's Business Page on Facebook or follow Canoeing Tweets on Twitter.
  4. Simple Strokes  (article from Sideroads of  Waterloo Wellington Fall 2008)


    My paddle’s keen and bright

    Flashing with silver

    Follow the wild goose flight

    Dip, dip and swing

    Dip, dip and swing her back

    Flashing with silver

    Swift as the wild goose flies

    Dip, dip and swing


    Taking to the water isn’t a new recreational hobby, but it has gained popularity as a way to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.  No fax machines, no concrete jungles – instead of wi-fi, it’s a low-fi life on the water.


    Away from the stresses of urban life, just a little out of the way, there is land that remains pristine – preserved in unspoiled slendour.  From a lake to a creek, there are calming qualities to be found on the open water.


    Man is separated from land by only a pair of  boots, gravity keeps you out of the sky and from the water?  A hand-crafted Fermon canoe.


    It’s the water that drew Fermon Martin to his hobby.  Growing up on Boomer Creek, he was always building rafts and had a love of boats.  Eight years ago, he decided to step up his childhood hobby and build canoes, kayaks and rowboats – all in the comfort of his Hawkesville home.


    “In 2000, I wanted to build my own, and that’s what I did,” Martin said.  “I figured out how to build one, and have been ever since.”


    “Almost anyone can build a canoe – I’ve supplied people with kits so people can build their own.” Martin said.


    His hobby is purely for the fun of it.  To build a canoe it takes between 300 and 400 hours.  A rowboat ranges from 500 to 600 hours to be crafted.


    “It’s a hobby for me,” he said.  “A sure labour of love.”


    This hobby has expanded into a business – Fermon Canoes - which he started in 2004.


    “I figured I should sell some, so my shop didn’t fill up.”  Martin commented


    With the crafting of the vessels taking anywhere from 12 to 25 days, Martin only creates a few a year.


    “It’s nothing huge: I build them to keep busy and because I love it,” he explained.


    Each vessel is meticulously created, using cedar strips without nails, ribs or fillers to take away from the design.


    “Each strip is cut from rough planks, some are wider than others,” Martin noted.


    With a handcrafted vessel there is a lot more class than other canoes, kayaks and rowboats on the market.  There are the popular brands on the market, available at large chain stores throughout the region – but getting back to nature seems more relaxing and enticing with a hand-made, simple craft.


    “My canoes are about 50 pounds, so they are a lot lighter than say a Coleman – which are up to 100 pounds,” Martin stated.  “Portaging would be a lot easier this way, with one of my canoes.”


    Pride of ownership and pride of craftsmanship combine when you hit the water in one of Fermon’s creations.


    “It is very unlike fiberglass; it’s smoother looking, softer and cleaner looking,” he said.


    There is no worry about the water-worthiness of one of his canoes, kayaks or rowboats – after all, from start to finish, there is plenty attention to detail.  Before the boat leaves his shop, there is a fiberglass epoxy applied before about nine coats of varnish complete with ultraviolet protection.


    “The varnish doesn’t break down the fiberglass, and each boat has laminate used inside and out,” listed Martin.  “These canoes are very maintenance free.”


    It’s not just the boats he makes, but the paddles, cane seats and seat hangers as well. – the whole package.


    Ash or cherry wood is used to create the paddles, which are available in all different lengths – each as unique as the people that buy them.


    “Antique boats seem to be coming back’ wood seems to be coming back,” said Fermon.  “If you take care of it, it will last forever and can be passed down through the generations.”


    Each of Fermon Martin’s vessels is a glimpse of the past, where life was simple – full of leisure that nature provides.  Taking to the water in one of his crafts is a way to reclaim that relaxing time.


    For more information on his products, visit

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