I was searching in the C & K vaults the other day and came across a vintage issue of the magazine that I thought you might find as interesting as I did.

The year was 1975. Space Mountain opened at Disneyland, Barney Miller premiered on TV, Barry Manilow’s “Mandy” went gold and the first televised kidney transplant was featured on the Today Show.

That year held a couple of notable firsts. In September the first space shuttle orbiter, Enterprise, was completed and Canoe & Kayak came out with its first Buyers Guide. It was ten pages full of the latest in canoe and kayak design and listed “all the makers of canoes and kayaks in the US and Canada” .

In the introduction we suggest “Fall buying will help avoid disappointment – a tip that certainly makes sense in the view of spiraling prices.” An Old Town Carleton 16 was listed at $340.00 in the guide. Anybody out there still have one? Want to sell it?

There were many manuafacturers that are long gone now. Companies such as Mansfield Canoes, Brown’s Fiberglass Works, Aquatech, Langford Canoe Company, Natural Progression Kayaks, Algonquin and Bart Hauthaway. There were a few manufacturers that are still around: Old Town Canoe Company had 16 models back then. Seda was making sea kayaks and canoes and Tubbs of Vermont ventured out from snowshoes and was making canoes that year.

There was one folding boat company listed – Hans Klepper Corporation and two makers of inflatables – Leisure Imports, Inc. and Sevylor, USA, Inc. There were 23 kayak companies listed and four kit boat makers.

Quite a bit has changed in the years since but for the last 22 years we have produced a yearly buyers guide. 2008’s Buyers Guide featured 155 pages with over 1,000 kayaks and over 800 canoes listed this year.

Back in 1975 there was one missing component of the BG: there were no ads. There was just one article on Canoe Construction and Design by GW Birch and a list of ACA Book Service along with 56 different manufacturers of canoes listed.

Have a favorite year of paddling? Want to see an old cover you fondly remember? Just email me at webeditor@canoekayak.com and I’ll see what I can dig up from the vaults.

Happy Paddling


WebEditor at Canoe and Kayak