Mike McCrea - 1984 Whitewater
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Mike McCrea is a canoe refurbisher extraordinaire and a mystery canoe sleuth. He loves finding canoes of unknown origin and researching to find out their story, and he has rehabbed many canoes, including this beautiful 1984 Whitewater which he has completely repaired and repainted. In trying to learn the story about this particular canoe, Mike reached out to us and he came to the conclusion that it is a 1984 Mohawk Whitewater. Read below to learn more about this canoe's journey in Mike's words. To see Mike's complete blog post for this project (which includes tons of awesome photos and descriptions) which was originally posted on the "Canadian Canoe Routes" website, click here.
I am now 99.9% certain it is a Mohawk Whitewater. The only other early ‘80’s RX canoe close to the dimensions and stem layout was the Old Town Kennebec, and the person who gave it to me got it from a local paddler/guidebook author who was later noted for always paddling an Intrepid. The person who gave it to me may have gotten it from a local paddler/guidebook author Roger Corbett (Mohawk Canoes note: Corbett was a paddling figurehead of the Virginia region and also author of "Virginia Whitewater").
The ’84 Whitewater story:
I first refurbished this 1984 Mohawk Whitewater in 1999 and gave it to a friend, who ran it hard for the next 23 years, sometimes paddling, sometimes as a poling canoe.
It returned in 2022 for more extensive, and much needed, refurbishment.
The bottom was trashed from an incautious newbie loaner trip though a shallow graveyard of old steamships, slicing across every piece of sharp metal they could manage not to see. 25 slices in the vinyl skin.
The Mark of Zorro Z slice would have been interesting to witness. “We’re stuck, scootch forward, wait, scootch back. . . . .now forward”. It had a bad paint job, and a faded owner-applied moniker “Das Uber Bot”
This time, instead of a kneeling thwart, I set it up as a solo/tandem with a center seat. Patched and painted, with new brightwork and outfitting, it is a cushy tandem.
And, with the new vinyl gunwales drawn in a bit during the first rebuild, it is a solid solo canoe with a lot of years left.
If nothing else it has a distinctive color scheme.
In 2024 I’ll bake it a cake with candles in honor of its 40th birthday.