Salmon Falls Canoe - our story

Salmon Falls Canoe is owned and operated by husband and wife Dylan and Emily Schoelzel.  We specialize in custom building traditional wood canvas canoes and boats and the restoration of traditionally built wooden canoes and small wooden boats.  This is our full time profession and we take great pride in what we do.

Together we do it all.  There is nothing Dylan can do that Emily cannot and vise-versa. We are responsible for every aspect of the building process from start to finish. Whether it's answering the phone, milling the lumber, planking or canvassing a canoe, making the mortise and tenon seats, hand carving a thwart, or doing the finishing work, we do it all from scratch, from A to Z.   

The shop facility for Salmon Falls Canoe is set up in an old post and beam barn that was renovated by us specifically for canoe building and restoration.  Our facility consists of 10,000 square feet of indoor space fully equipped with stationary machinery and hand tools, and separate temperature controlled rooms for construction, milling, finishing, and plenty of indoor storage for completed projects, projects waiting in the queue, and all of our building forms, jigs, lumber, and material. 

All of our work is commissioned, custom work.  We do not build or restore boats on the speculation of a future sale. Our customers come from all over the country and abroad to.  We have done commissioned work for people in almost all 50 states and from Canada, Europe, and Japan.

Dylan and Emily have been building and restoring canoes and boats together for 18 years.  They have over 45 years combined experience of canoe tripping in the north. Our trips have often lasted for 6 to 8 weeks at a time and have brought us to places like the wilds of Labrador, Northern Ontario, Quebec, and the Arctic Ocean. We only used wood and canvas canoes on these trips which is ultimately what drew us into building and restoring.

Much of this time spent canoeing and guiding trips has helped shape the new canoes we offer.  You can have all the formal class room and computer training you want in design, but nothing will teach you better about canoe design than paddling one for 700 continuous miles on lakes, rivers, oceans, and portages.

Emily, a graduate of Moravian College, attended Camp Wabun on Lake Temagami.  She spent many summers paddling all over Canada and would go on to start a girl’s canoe tripping program at Camp Keewaydin on Lake Temagami.  For the last 9 years, Emily has been back to Keewaydin to help run the camp as the Assistant Director. Keewaydin puts 175 kids and adults on the water every summer in wood canvas canoes on trips as short as 5 days and as long as 54 continuous days. Many of the canoes paddled have been built by Emily and Dylan.

Dylan, a graduate of The University of Montana, attended Camp Keewaydin on Lake Temagami and was a long time staff who led their long trips. Dylan learned canoe building from Jerry Stelmok and went on to learn the craft from other builders.  He was eventually able to convince Emily that working with him would be a good idea.  We are still working side by side 16 years later!