Eau Galle Canoe

There is an Eau Galle recreation area 15 miles west of Menomonie, WI which is operated by the Army Corps of Engineers.

This canoe is apparently strip-built with a black protective bottom. A local man called me about it looking for info.
My husband owns an Eau Galle canoe and knows the place and name of the maker. Phone him (George) and ask him about it: (608) 251-0912
Seen on Madison, WI Craigs list today. 16-foot, 62-pound Eau Galle cedar strip canoe made by Martin Van in 1990.
I know this is an old thread, but I'm new on this site.

I first met Martin on a tour of his shop with the Minnesota Canoe Assc. back in the mid 90s.

He was, and maybe still is a wonderful builder ! Simply built boats with a great attention to quality ! I remember that my goal was to build to his standard of quality!
I would snatch up anything he built, if I had the chance !

For years he had a canoe hanging from the ceiling at Piragis canoe outfitters in Ely Minn. I always made a point to stop and view it when we were up there !

The last I knew he had moved to the coast to continue build boats.

This thread brought back some great memories of my early days building strippers !
Thanks !

I have an Eau Galle canoe built by Martin Van that I'm looking to sell. It was the first one he made base off a Maine Guide or White Canoe form. It is 18 feet long, 36 inches wide, 10 inches deep at the center yoke, and comes in at approximately 65 pounds. Martin was known for constructing with no butt joints and even at this length that's true. The bookend decks, gunwales, and seat frames are walnut. The seats are caned and the bow's seat slides to achieve perfect balance. It has brass stem posts/handles though the contour of the decks fit your hand wonderfully and makes it easy to carry. The graphite bottom provides added protection and works as kind of a skid plate. This canoe has been used through the years so the finish is not pristine, but the canoe is solid. It can be loaded to the max and it still moves through the water like a dream. Though it is long, I've also soloed in this canoe and it is still responsive. I'm including the Yakima racks, a Granite Gear canoe pack, 2 pair of foam canoe carriers, 3 cushions, and a custom gray canvas canoe cover. This canoe attracts attention anywhere it goes.
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Avmermaid, where are you located ?

Martin was my inspiration, as he and his wife built great canoes !

Avmermaid, where are you located ?

Martin was my inspiration, as he and his wife built great canoes !


The canoe is located in Neenah, WI and we are in the process of moving permanently to Savannah, TN. The canoe was used when I lived up in Minocqua. We had it built from a canoe that my ex had built in Madison based on a White canoe form. I can remember taking that canoe over to Martin's and him measuring it all up and deciding that it was close enough to a Maine Guide canoe that he was willing to create the form and add that model to his collection. I never met his wife but I know she did the caned seats for it. I tried selling the canoe 5-6 years ago when I was moving from Minocqua. Somehow I was able to locate Martin. He was interested in buying the canoe but for a lot less than we had purchased it for. I'd almost consider letting it go to him now just so I knew it was in a good home. I would miss the canoe since all of his were a work of art, but I don't want to canoe the Tennessee River. It's just too big with too much current and shipping activity and the other area streams are too small for this size canoe. Pickwick Lake is too populated so canoeing there would pretty much just be looking at houses.
Jim Dodd, Avmermaid, In the mid-90s, Martin (then of Eau Galle Boatworks, Elmwood, WI) made us an Ian-Oughtred Stickleback Grand Banks Dory. Very glad to see that Martin is recognized as a legend. The dory is still in great shape, We love it.
Yes ! Martin was and I hope, Still is a True Craftsman ! A true inspiration to me ! Thanks for bringing back this thread !

Jim, Thanks. When the "Margaret R" was completed, Martin Van loaded the dory on the trailer he had bought and modified (removing a couple spring leaves to weaken the springs so the mere 150-so lb. boat wouldn't bounce all over the road) and drove it over to St. Paul. Wonderful fellow.
I had first talked to Martin about his Rangley guide boat, but he suggested the sailing/rowing dory. Oars of Sitka spruce, it's so light it's like rowing a leaf. Single-mast, sprit rig. Simple to set up. Apparently, if you're caught in a serious blow and need a sea anchor, you just secure the sail line to the boat, then lift the mast and sail out of the seating and throw it overboard. Steady as she goes, Mr. Bush!
I showed the dory to a friend from Alaska, and he said ... "hmmmm. coffee table." Marine mahogany and cherry. Almost time to get it out on a local lake!
I was just up to Lake Nokomis, in Minneapolis. I saw two sail boats tethered to slips. Yup it's time to wet those hulls.