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Thread: Yukon Freightworks Canoe Questions

  1. #1
    Member akcrewdog's Avatar
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    Default Yukon Freightworks Canoe Questions

    Hello all,

    Does anyone have any personal info they would be willing to share on the Yukon Freightworks Canoes that "Mainer" makes in Wasilla? I am looking for some customer testimonial before I make the decision to purchase one myself. Specifically I am interested in pictures of the canoe with a load in it and customers opinions on its capabilities. The website itself has very limited information, not very many pictures, and Micheal seems to be a very busy man. I am particularly interesting in the 18" tiaga creek model equipped with a 18hp copperhead surface drive. Thanks

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    The man know's his canoes, I have no experience my self with them , what I do know all canoes are not speed boats , an they are subject to sudden
    stops [ not planed on ] in shallow rivers, that size motor could be an little large on the HP , slow turns no problem . but going up narrow streams
    the sudden turn's will cause the canoe to want to bend in the middle ,
    I know a 15 HP will damage a 19 ft Grumman, look at the middle seat
    at the rivet on the seat support in the center of the seat [ this happens over time ] so your question on the canoe will be open on how they hold up over time , His canoes are a well made canoe , an do a lot of things for you , there not much out there if any that will beat what he is selling .
    MY 2 CTS SID

  3. #3

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    I went for a test ride in a 18 foot Taiga creek model but we were using a 20 horse outboard. We could not get the motor to perform at it's greatest potential because it had a recently installed rock guard and was cavitating badly. We had 8 people including kids and adults along with the outboard, fuel and a Malemute that weighs a bit over one hundred pounds. The canoe had an estimated 1700 - 2000 pounds in it and still performed quite well. It turned quite sharply at that weight when he was maybe about 1/2 throttle I'm guessing. I don't believe that an 18 horse copperhead would be too much for this boat since due to it's construction material (epoxy resin fiberglass) it is made to flex, twist etc. I was looking at a small white scratch on the side of the boat down low and michael said that is where the owner of the boat had hit a boulder. He went on to say that the boulder pushed in the side of the boat considerably and then as the boat continued on away from the boulder, the hull just popped back out again. The only visable damage that I could see was that tiny mark where the outside surface had been scratched away. I have a Taiga creek ordered and will most likely be putting the 18 horse Copperhead on it. the canoe is scheduled to be done and ready for pick up on or before mid April. I assume you have seen this picture from another thread in this forum. This picture is the test ride that I am talking about above. http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...=1#post1500954 If you are seriously considering one of these boats, private message me if you wish to. I have some info you might be interested in.


  4. #4
    Member akcrewdog's Avatar
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    Pm sent. Thank you

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    Hi Mountain Joe,
    How are you doing with your Taiga? I also have on ordered, and paid paid for, for mid April delivery. I have not been able to convince Mainer to finish it or commit to a delivery time though. Just wondering. They sure look like good boats.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by canoeless View Post
    Hi Mountain Joe,
    How are you doing with your Taiga?.......
    I placed my order with Michael on September 7th 2015. Our hand written contract that we both signed says my boat will be completed BEFORE April 15th 2016. He assured me that the boat would be very easily finished before April 15th with no problem. I have not received my boat yet. The latest word from Michael is that the boat will be done by the third week in April. That leaves him two more days as of this date April 19th 2016. I will eagerly let the forum know on this thread when I have received my boat as you are not the only one asking me about my experiences with Yukon freightworks. The big Susitna is open now from Deshka landing down river. The ice in the Deshka Landing launch area is broke up and floating but not cleared out yet. The Deshka river is open except right at the mouth as of several days ago and is probably open now. I believe the Yentna is open though I have not heard that Specifically. Knik river is open all the way to the glacier. In other words, The rivers of Southcentral are clearing and wet and many are ready for boats. I am anxiously waiting for my boat to be finished. Alaska summers are short.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by canoeless View Post
    ......... I also have on ordered, and paid paid for, for mid April delivery.....
    If you don't mind me asking, when did you place your order?

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    Mid October 2015

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    I sure hope you get your boat soon, maybe I will get mine right after?? I am a subsistence fisherman and trapper and really stuck my neck out fotr this boat. I hope Mainer is just swamped with work for having a good idea, but I am in deep doodoo if this falls through.

  10. #10

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    I think that he may indeed be swamped. I know of another order that was placed albeit more recently. I was not aware of your order so it would not be surprising if there are other orders also as well. He is now making boats full time. Good luck on your canoe.

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    I'd like to see a photo (or a line drawing) of Mike's canoes looking down from the top, to see how much taper there is toward the stern. He was always determined to have enough "flotation" in the back of his boats to prevent "squatting" at high power settings. But, I hope they still look like canoes which taper at both ends. Instead of long narrow skiffs, that only really taper at the bow.

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    If you go to the website there's several photos, none of them exactly what you want, but you can kind of see what looks like some taper to the stern.

    http://www.freightercanoes.com/

    There's more pictures on Facebook as well, that hint at the taper you're talking about. To a canoe "purist" they may look like a skiff, but to me they look like a helluva freighter canoe that won't have the squatting issues my Frontiersman freighter has.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by BluNosDav View Post
    I'd like to see a photo (or a line drawing) of Mike's canoes looking down from the top, to see how much taper there is toward the stern....
    These pics below are not from the top but maybe give you some idea. Since I don't have my boat yet and it looks like it may be quite a while before I get it. I can only choose pictures I already have.

    TaigaCreekmod.jpg
    IMG_2033mod.JPG

  14. #14

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    Here is the final pic
    Attachment 89002

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain joe View Post
    I placed my order with Michael on September 7th 2015. Our hand written contract that we both signed says my boat will be completed BEFORE April 15th 2016. He assured me that the boat would be very easily finished before April 15th with no problem. I have not received my boat yet. The latest word from Michael is that the boat will be done by the third week in April. That leaves him two more days as of this date April 19th 2016. I will eagerly let the forum know on this thread when I have received my boat as you are not the only one asking me about my experiences with Yukon freightworks.......
    Another update: I called Michael two or three days ago and he said the boat has been primered so I assume that means it has not been painted yet. Still needs the ash gunwales steamed and installed. The seats need to have the webbing installed and the metal hardware is yet to be installed. In other words, there is quite a bit to do yet to finish it.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canoeless View Post
    I sure hope you get your boat soon, maybe I will get mine right after?? I am a subsistence fisherman and trapper and really stuck my neck out fotr this boat. I hope Mainer is just swamped with work for having a good idea, but I am in deep doodoo if this falls through.
    Canoeless,

    Welcome to the forum, I've been a contributing member of this community here for many years. As you're new to this forum, there are rules here regarding business relationships on this forum. This may not best the venue, as I rarely frequent this forum much anymore, due to my busy schedule. I appreciate your continued patience. I'm currently on my lunch break. As I've so thoroughly described to you in our correspondence, you will get your boat if you still want it. At anytime, you feel uneasy about the wait time, I can refund you in full. In my one-man ford motor company, when one coat is drying for 24 hrs, whether it be paint, resin, sealant, steamed wood, etc. I move over to another boat order and work on it. There is a method to my 14-18 hrs of daily work. First order takes precedence in my sweat and labor. That is customer John in Fairbanks and so forth, down the list.

    Mountain Joe,
    I also appreciate your continued patience. With all these bodies of water opening up early, I'm eager to see my canoes out there, getting work and exploration done.

    BluNosDav,
    My many miles of river running shaped this canoe, I had to facilitate what works. The stern does taper a bit, but not as extreme as wine glass sterns. You need your stern running dry. As Mountain Joe had witnessed, my sterns run extremely shallow, so as to prevent damage. My first customer, bless his heart, became my customer because we ran into each other on the Yukon in freezing temps, trying to get patches to cure on narrow transom canoes. When I ran into him, he was using a camp fire, I was using a coleman stove and a tarp.

    It's official:
    I've made the transition from day time work that had me traveling to remote villages twice a month, to a full time canoe builder. As stated before, I wish I had left months ago, as flying around in bush planes all over Alaska is not conducive to boat building schedules. Blending both day time work, a pot of coffee, and the labor of boat building in the evenings, put me in the Emergency Room last summer for heart troubles. I find boat building and tending to my dog team is plenty enough work for my older years. That Emergency Room visit was a reminder that I'm not as tough as I used to be. Running three one-year tours to Iraq maybe took from my resilience, I dunno.

    Likewise, finding employees that have the precise skill set that I desire, is a challenge. Boat builders with composite experience and wood working skills are few and far between. You end up paying a guy, all while spending hours to train him, that don't work for me. With this year's record-breaking early spring, time is of the essence, I see it on my phone, my email, etc.

    Final Update:
    Yukon Freightworks Canoe Co has been chosen to speak at the International Green Energy Conference May 8th-11th. Stop on by if you would like to see my presentation. I'm one of the only guys, addressing fuel efficiency in the transportation sector for rural Alaska.

  17. #17
    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Mainer,

    I have NO DOUBT that you are building the very best boat that you possibly can.

    But, every boat is designed for a specific type of performance: sailboats are designed to sail, cigarette-boats are designed to race, barges are designed to carry massive cargo, but, don't have self-propulsion, etc. None of these three examples would do very well, trying to be something that it wasn't designed to be.

    Your canoes are designed for fuel efficiency, while running shallow rivers, using surface-drives. That's a good design goal for Alaska!

    But, I'm still curious . . . . since your designs evolved from previous wine-glass-stern-narrow-transom canoes. What were those earlier canoes designed for? Was it for better efficiency in deeper water (lakes)? Or better efficiency with smaller motors? Or something else?

    Just hoping to understand the strengths of each style canoe!

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  18. #18
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    old style canoes are made to move people or just freight , along lakes , rivers or sea , with very little effort [ paddling ] we have put the motor on them, so we don't have to use as much effort , as you know every person has his own ideas on style , look at all the different styles of canoe's
    out there, they are all the same but a little different shape, what Mike is doing is making one for a motor, wide in the stern so it won't sink under full power , as I see it , he has improved the style on this type of canoe for Alaska rivers as well for lakes systems, SID

  19. #19

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    mike, joe, sid,
    will the 18 footer accept outboard and surface drive both? im assuming outboard would be a short shaft?

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK.airboater View Post
    mike, joe, sid,will the 18 footer accept outboard and surface drive both? im assuming outboard would be a short shaft?
    Look at the second picture in post 13 of this thread. That is a 20 horse Honda outboard if I remember correctly. So yes, as far as I know, surface drive or outboard does not matter. In that case where the picture was taken, the boat did fine with the outboard.

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