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Warren Paulson

December 22, 2003

My Bill Mason Special is not my only canoe. And it is most certainly not the only canoe I've paddled. However, this canoe is without a doubt the most beautiful craft I've had the pleasure of paddling.

The canoe is amazing. Not only is it gorgeous, but it tracks well and turns on a dime. I've paddled a lot of canoes, and don't know one that handles quite that well. And it smells like cedar all the time.

I took the "Bill Mason" on a ten day canoe trip in Quetico Park with my brother this summer. It was a joy. Granted, it was a little heavier on some of the portages, but it was worth it. Whether on big waves, flat water or negotiating rivers, the canoe handled beautifully. And, the more load we put in it, the better it handled.

The best part was watching other people's reactions when they saw it. On portages, people couldn't resist touching it. On the lakes, they were compelled to paddle up and ask questions about it. "Where was it built?" "Who built it?"

Any wooden canoe is a joy to behold. A wood-canvas beats the newer wood-fibreglass designs hands-down in my books. It's just more — well — natural. Isn't that what you want in a wooden boat? And a Fletcher wood-canvas canoe is demonstration of craftsmanship. The woodwork is immaculate, the seats are secure, the canvas is smooth, the design is smart.

This is a canoe that should be kept in a prominent place when not in use. I keep mine (properly shaded and protected from the elements) just outside my back door. That way, on my way by, I can always run my hand along her hull.

Warren Paulson
Atikokan, Ontario
"The Canoeing Capital of Canada"

This is me soloing my Bill Mason Special on Lake of the Woods.

This is my canoe at rest near "Have a Smoke Portage" in Quetico Park.