From the Shop: Big Octane update

Octane plug

The plug for the restyled Octane 91/92

It’s been a long, cold winter here in New Hampshire, but it’s given me a chance to get a lot of work done.  This week, big Octane plug finally headed out to the mold maker.  As it always seems to be the case, it’s taking longer and costing more than I’d like but that’s just the way it goes.  I know there are going to be a few questions that come up about this canoe, so I’ll try to answer them here before they’re asked.

1) What changed on the canoe?  I’d basically say the canoe has been ‘restyled.’  I pulled the
ends of the gunwales in more to try to get rid of some of the much lampooned ‘bathtub’ look the canoe had before.  I also added a ridge on the size like on the Octane 85.  Basically, it looks like a bigger Octane 85 (imagine that!).  Other than doing some fairing work on the hull, trying to get the curves and lines smoother and more symmetrical, the hull is the same as it has been.

2) When can I get one?  If all goes well, the timeline looks something like this:  The mold maker will do their magic over the next two and a half months.  Sometime around the end of April, the mold will get shipped to the molder, they’ll break in the mold and run some sample canoes.  Once I approve the samples, they’ll get the first run scheduled for production.  The lead time at that point is usually 3-4 weeks.  So if all goes well, I’m looking at the end of May or beginning of June to have canoes ready to put together.  Key phrase is “if all goes well.”  I know people want these canoes, and I want to get the canoes to people, so I’ll do what I can to get them done as quickly as possible.  I’m currently taking pre-orders, so if you want one when they’re ready, let me know, and I’ll get you on the list.

3)  What colors will you be making?  At this point, I’m know I’m going to be doing White and Mango, and most likely Blue and Lime green, all solid colors, no swirls (If you haven’t read my piece about colors yet, read it here.

4)  What will they cost?  Short answer is $1675 for an Octane 91 and $1975 for an Octane 92.  The longer answer- Let me start out by saying I struggle with this.  I realize I make toys.  I enjoy making them, and fine it fulfilling work.  I like seeing people enjoy the whitewater canoes I make.  But I still gotta eat, and I want to keep building the business, and making new designs.  I see myself as a boat designer first, and a boat builder second, and a businessman somewhere pretty far down the list.  And I need to eat too.  I have to balance that with keeping the canoes affordable.  When switched the Option and Octane 85 over to aluminum molds, I raised the price to $1575.  Anyone how has seen one of the new boats next to one of the old boats would agree that the improvement in quality is well worth the bump in price.  Because the big Octanes are a good bit bigger (about 25% bigger, depending on how you measure), they cost significantly more to produce, so an extra $100 over the Option is reasonable, and compared to other whitewater canoes available, it’s still a competitive price.


Now back to work…