Sun - November 6, 2005

First Monarch Canoes Paddled by Steve Landick in 28,000 Miles Ultimate Canoe Challenge

Monarch canoe Monarch canoe Monarch canoe Monarch canoe
Norm Miller has sent me pictures of two Monarch canoes paddled by Steve Landick during 28,000 mile canoe expedition through North America, 1980-1983. What a piece of history! It seems that Verlen Kruger paddled the entire expedition in the original Loon while Steve Landick used three boats: Loon and and two Monarch canoes. It is really interesting to see outfitting of his two canoes. Both boats are currently for sale (check classifieds). You can read about their 3 year paddling in the recently published Ultimate Canoe Challenge book.

I had opportunity to see the Verlen's Loon in July of 2001 when I drove to Michigan to pick up my new Sea Wind. That Loon looked a little bit more scratched and bitten than the Monarch canoes shown in the pictures here. However, it was a couple of years earlier when I was intrigued by weird looking kayak-canoes featuring in Superior: Journeys on an Inland Sea, a wonderful coffee table book by a Canadian couple, Gary and Joanie McGuffin. After some research I learnt about Verlen Kruger and his expedition canoes. McGuffins paddled his Monarch canoes.
Steve Landick: The Monarch which I paddled from Skagway to the mouth of the Colorado River has the attached deck (on the standard cockpit) with a bulkhead and hatch. It is the first Monarch ever made. Verlen and I went out to Mad River and helped lay it up. The other canoe is a standard Monarch. I paddled this one from the mouth of the Colorado back to Michigan. Both were outfitted by myself with the standard adjustable seat and rudder. Both have Kevlar leg braces which pivot out from under the deck for better boat control.

Ultimate Canoe Challenge

Verlen Kruger in his book on building Monarch canoes during 1981/82 winter: ... I saw a need to refine the boat design. The trip down the Atlantic coast showed me that we needed better dry storage and a deeper boat. We expected the Pacific to be rougher than anything we had encountered before (and it was). I made the Loon two inches deeper and a little longer, for improved stability. The new boat had slightly greater rake (slant) on the bow. I also put on solid cockpit covers in place of the fabric ones that did so poorly along the New England coast and designed and made new cordura skirts to keep us dry. The new boat was named the Monarch.

The Monarch canoe was produced by Mad River Canoe Company from 1982 to 1995.

Monarch Canoes Slide Show

Monarch canoe Monarch canoe

And another quote from the book related to the Monarch canoes (Seatle, WA, June, 1982):

There were also numerous paddling events. Judy had took got some excitements out of Steve's rolling demonstration at the canoe festival. She rode inside the watertight stern compartment of his Monarch while he rolled it! That took some nerve, but it worked just fine.

More Verlen Kruger's books

Posted at 01:53 PM    

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