Joe Moore – Placid Boatworks

Listen in as Will and Joe discuss the history,  art and craft of canoe building, and how Joe uses his background in environmental conservation and transferred his knowledge and experience of the outdoors into becoming one of North America’s most renowned canoe savants. Will and Joe also tell the tale of Upstate New York’s epic 90 mile canoe race, as Will paddled the race for the first time this year, and Joe has impressively won his class the last two years in a row. Joe relives the experience and shares how to physically and mentally prepare and train for such an adventure!

Joe Moore – Placid Boat Works

Owner Joe Moore’s educational background is in Geography and Natural Resource Management and Administration. He has worked as a journalist and spent more than 13 years with an Adirondack not-for-profit environmental group whose mission was to preserve and protect the wild, natural character of New York’s Adirondack Park. He served initially as membership coordinator and later as a park policy analyst, reviewing state and private project proposals as well as land use and water protection policies.  In 2003, Joe started Moore Environmental Consulting and worked with a grant administered by the New York State Adirondack Park Agency, identifying and implementing methods to improve parking and hiker safety along the busy Route 73 highway corridor.Joe is an accomplished woodworker with experience in everything from furniture building to home construction. He has an extensive background in outdoor sports, having competed in road cycling and nordic skiing. He is a multiple gold medalist at New York’s Empire State Winter Games and has medaled in the Keskinada Loppet in Hull, Quebec, in the 29 km freestyle event as well as the Lake Placid Loppet. He has paddled a Placid Boatworks RapidFire in each of the last four Adirondack Canoe Classics (“The 90-Miler”) and has won the event’s Solo Recreation class a number of times. Other favorite outdoor pursuits include hunting, fishing and, of course, recreational paddling.


Together with cofounder Charlie Wilson, Joe developed a unique vacuum infusion system that is used to build Placid Boatworks. Charlie had the idea of building composite canoes and bonding separately molded composite gunwales to them to cut weight and maintenance.  Joe took the idea a step further and developed the industry’s first simultaneously infused foam core composite gunwales. Several companies have copied this system (one in Canada that starts with an ‘S’ even takes credit for developing it!). Much to Joe’s chagrin, his former partner has chosen to work with that copy cat company after Joe bought his share of Placid Boatworks. Unfortunately, this kind of ethically challenged activity seems to be a common theme in the canoe industry….. Ce la vie.


Most recently, Joe has collaborated with USA Luge, using the same vacuum technology to build sleds for elite athletes. As a craftsman, the idea of building the very highest quality hulls in design, materials and performance coupled with hand finishing them in exotic, attractive and durable trim materials persuaded Joe to join in forming Placid Boatworks


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