Northstar Canoe News:
Fall load number 2 scheduled to leave Friday 10/22, hoping for fair winds/weather! I think that many think these are hauled here by standard semi trucks. Not the case! Ken works at Northstar doing all the wood trim prep and then doubles as their very conscientious driver when the load is ready to ship! Here is what load #1 looked like when it arrived.
You found us!
There is a lot of information on this page and it is updated frequently. No fancy design but just the best place to learn about Northstar Canoes and a great place to begin your quest.
We bring several loads of Northstars to the dealer network out West (see incoming orders, current inventory and A LOT of info below). We support through demoes, videos and events. We love these canoes and love to share the Northstar Experience. I’ve been paddling Ted Bell/Yost designed canoes since 1996. Just give an email or a call and let’s talk canoes! It is not just about specs and weights. There is a feel to every canoe in the line and I can help shed light and help you ask the right questions to guide you to the right choice.
If you have questions or would like to learn more and be notified of opportunities to paddle and order Northstar Canoes please complete contact form:
Vids, Tips and Reviews:
Incoming Canoes and Current Inventory
Key to Shorthand Below: KT = Kneeling Thwart (I put ’em on the models that should have them IMO) KD = Kneeling Drops (these are easy to change post purchase) AL = Aluminum Trim WD = Wood Trim E6 = E6 Carbon Trim (saves 1-2 lbs) Internal Skids = Extra reinforcement internal in bow/stern (still smooth exterior) AFB = Aluminum Footbrace CFB = Carbon Foot Brace WW Eyelets = Eyelets installed along rivets of Alum Trim (makes for easier bag outfitting)
2 Full Northstar (72 canoes) delivered fall 2021. See dealer list below or contact us to help you find available inventory.
BUY HERE: Western US Northstar Canoe Retailers:
Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe (Portland OR) www.aldercreek.com
Kent’s Canoe and Kayak (Spokane WA) https://kentscanoeskayaks.com/ 509-328-0239
Inventory as of December 2021 SOLO—
1– Trillum StarLite E6 Trim
3— Northwind 16 StarLite Alum Trim KT
1— Northwind 16 StarLite Alum Trim
1— Northwind 16 StarLite Wood Trim KT
2— Northwind 17 StarLite Alum Trim KT
1— Northwind 17 BlackLite Wood Trim KT
1— B 17 BlacklLite Wood Trim KT Internal Skids
Ebersold Distribution (Bend OR) 503.572.3848 (the distributor to all these dealers)
Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe www.tumalocreek.com 541.317.9407
Northern Lights Rivers Lakes and Ocean/The Barn (Bozeman MT and Kalispell MT) (406) 586-6029
Trailhead Missoula MT https://www.trailheadmontana.net/ 406-543-6966
Jefferson State Adventure Hub Redding CA (530) 768-5055 https://www.facebook.com/JSAHUB/
Please also don’t hesitate to call or email Ethan, who loves talking anything canoes, directly at 503.572.3848 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Next delivery: September 2022 (12 Solos, 24 Tandems)
(if you want more solos instead of tandems, that works)
Ebersold Distribution Stock
1 NW Solo BL E6 KD
1 Phoenix IXP Alum Trim WW Eyelets KD
1 NW Solo BL KD Wood Trim
1 Polaris Blacklite Wood Trim KT
Trailhead MT 6 Units (4 tandems 2 solos)
B16 Blacklite Aluminum Trim
Northern Lights 6 Units (4 tandems 2 solos)
Northwind 17 Blacklite Alum Trim WW Eyelets Stern Alum Footbrace
Northwind 17 Blacklite Wood Trim Internal Skids Alum Footbrace Installed
Northwind 16 Blacklite Alum Trim Alum Footbrace Installed
B17 IXP Alum Trim WW Eyelets Alum Footbrace Installed
Phoenix IXP Alum Trim WW Eyelets Internal Skids Alum Footbrace Installed
Northwind Solo Blacklite Alum Trim Kneeling Drops Alum Footbrace Installed
Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe 6 Units (4 tandems 2 solos)
Firebird IXP Alum Trim WW Eyelets KD SOLD
Northwind 18 BlackLite E6 Trim KT SOLD Cole
Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe 6 Units (4 tandems 2 solos)
Kents Canoe and Kayak 6 total Units (4 tandems 1 solos)
Northwind 16 Starlite Alum KT
Northwind 16 Blacklite WD KT Internal Skids
Northwind 17 Starlite Alum KT
Northwind 17 Blacklite WD KT Internal skids
Northwind Solo Blacklite WD KD Internal skids
1 ADK 12 Blacklite Alum Lounger Seat Internal Skids Sold Kents
Note on E6 Trim wood component change as of December 2020: “In the preseason we promised to let you know when we began to start shifting from birdseye to walnut on E6 boats. That is now. The birdseye will run out at varying times, seats being the first to go. We will substitute walnut as we run out of birdseye.”
October/November 2022 Delivery
(24 tandems, 12 solos)
Early July 2023 Delivery
(24 Tandems, 12 Solos)
Current Demo and Used Inventory Bend OR (7) 9.7.21:
1 B17 IXP with Whitewater Eyelets Aluminum Trim with Danuu Cover Mint Condition $2900.00 (pictured below)
1 Firebird StarLite Wood Kneeling Drops $3095.00 Not for sale
1 Phoenix IXP Alum WW Eyelets KD MSRP $2530.00 Not for sale
1 Polaris WhiteGold Red Wood Trim Kneeling Thwart Not for sale
1 Magic BlackLite Wood Trim Alum Footbrace Combi Drops Not for sale
1 Trillium StarLite Alum Trim KD Not for sale
ADK Solo StarLite Alum Trim Demo/Used No seats installed. Sold to my 9 year old but he might let you try it. Not for sale.
ADK LT StarLite Alum Trim no seats installed not for sale (think minimalist, set up for my 7 year old)
Bell Canoe Works BlackGold FlashFire Wood Trim: Mint Condition $2200 OBO
Price Sheet (click below image to enlarge to full size to see better). Dealers also often charge destination charge/Freight. These prices below do not include Freight charges. Freight is often $150-$250/canoe. Call your dealer to determine your actual freight rate.
2021/2022 Northstar Retail Price List:
Northstar Canoes are warranted against defects in materials and workmanship, to the original retail consumer, for the usable life of the canoe as defined by wear. Northstar Canoes will repair or replace hulls or components at our option. The customer is responsible for transportation costs to and from the Northstar Canoes factory in Princeton, MN. This warranty does not cover normal wear, nor damage resulting from abuse, alteration or unauthorized repair; also not covered are damage caused by driving over loose bow ropes, canoes taking flight on highways, loans to best friends, and incidents involving canoes that should’ve been removed prior to entering the garage. A copy of the original store receipt is necessary for all warranty claims.
Private Canoe and Kayak Instruction
Introducing Private Northstar On-Water Demonstration: $150
Requested by several aspiring owners, we’ve created the most catered experience for trying a Northstar Canoe. Give us a list of models you are interested in and we’ll make our fleet available in our hometown of Bend OR. Make a weekend of it and come visit Central Oregon! (travel available upon request and additional cost).
We’ll work with you out on the water to show you some hints and skills that will improve your analysis and take advantage of these great designs. Think of it as a big yummy burrito of Class/Outing/Guiding/Tour with the finest canoes available. No crowds. Just Ethan and you (and paddling partner) in one of the most beautiful paddling towns in the West.
- Any of the Northstars in our demo fleet: Polaris, Magic, Northwind Solo, Trillium Solo, Phoenix Solo, ADK Solo
- Use and demo of Bending Branches line-up of paddles. You’ll try paddles that are hard to find in western retailers and even some of our personal favorites from Bending Branches and others. Learn the best size and blade for your personal style.
- PFDs by Stohlquist WaterWear– paddle wear also available for your comfort.
- Assistance and consultation to help in the purchase of your new Northstar should you fall in love!
- Call 503.572.3848 or email Ethan at email@example.com to find a time that works best.
- Once date and time determined use payment link: https://squareup.com/store/happypaddlin/item/northstar-canoe-private-demo-experience
Learn more about IXP Lamination HERE.
Educational Videos and Learning about Northstar Canoes
Thanks to Headwaters Kayak for the vids. http://www.headwaterskayak.com
What is the deal with Northstar Canoes?
5/28/20 from Mike:
I just purchased a Northstar Phoenix IXP thru Ethan Ebersold (Happy Paddlin) and could not be more pleased with the canoe or Ethan. He was laser focused on matching me up with the right canoe and configuration – making helpful recommendations and being responsive at every turn. Seldom does one run into an individual that provides competive pricing, looks after the customer’s best interest, and then overdelivers in the service and support end. That’s Ethan. I would highly recommend Ethan to any level of paddler.
I think this email I received from a recent purchase of a Northwind 16 Starlight Wood Trim w/ Kneeling thwart sums it all up:
“Ethan: In approximate order from mission-critical to mission-perfected, here are impressions of our first paddle in our Northstar Northwind 16, StarLite, wood trim (after having spent an enjoyable summer in the same boat with aluminum trim and white gold layup and the year before that in a much heavier, older canoe):1. It floats.2. It does not leak.3. The wood trim is comfortable when a leg leans against it or a hand touches it while paddling.4. It is fast and very responsive.5. The sense of secondary stability in a Northwind 16 is incredible — like the difference between a ski that knows how to arc a fast turn and one that doesn’t have a clue.6. The lower weight isn’t just easier to carry — I believe we also feel it on the water in responsiveness.7. Very subjective, but it seems like the wood trim gives the boat a more natural feel for the water. I don’t know what that means, but I am pretty sure it is true.8. The bow and stern decks are stunning. For example, for the bow paddler, it’s hard to see the point of taking a picture of the river without having the bow deck included. “Photobomb” design, I would say.9. While we will be storing this (with care) outside, I am half tempted to hang it from the ceiling in our living room as art.10.Despite its gorgeous looks, the whole package just screams “Stop staring and get me onto the waternow!” That’s why we played hooky from work yesterday and did so!”
Here is another more simply put testimonial with picture from Fall ’16:
“What could be better than this? I love my canoes!” (Nwind 17 white gold, Magic Starlite)
Your Northstar canoe is not made in two pieces. The seam line is simply showing the process of how they build this canoe. Essentially the seam line is the bellybutton of a Northstar canoe that has high shoulder tumblehome.
All canoes with aggressive high shoulder tumblehome have to be built in a two-piece mold. This means that they laminate the kevlar/carbon/glass/resin materials into the mold (all one piece) and after the boat has cured, the mold has to open up to remove the canoe.
Northstar uses a thin seam tape to cover the seam in the mold so that resin doesn’t leak through this crack. A finished Northstar canoe tells the story line similar to how a fossil tells the reflection of an animal that rested against the now fossilized material. There is no structural downfall to this feature. It is essentially just a different texture because the seam line tape texture is different than the rest of the fiberglass mold’s texture. Northstar Canoe’s are hand built and reflect the process of how these craftsman have developed the process. Hopefully you’ll come to appreciate this little feature that tells a wonderful story and offers unmatched performance. I find it kinda unique and cute like a belly button.
Want to learn more about this “seamline”? Here is a such a great write-up from Northstar Canoe’s Bear Paulson (who is a Canoe Voyager in every sense of the term):
“Let me explain why our boats have a seam line. There are a couple ways to build the seating area of a solo canoe. Historically solo canoes were built with tumblehome in the center. The original Bell Canoes, built 25 years ago were built with tumblehome – these boats – the original Merlin, Traveller, etc, have been long since retired. Tumblehome means that the widest part of the canoe is only a couple inches above the waterline. From that point the canoe gets narrower up to the gunwales – it tumbles home. Tumblehome allows a canoe to be made wide enough at the waterline to have good initial stability and carrying capacity, while also being narrow enough at the gunwales so that the paddler doesn’t have to reach over a wide canoe or bang their hands on the gunwales. Sounds great, right? The problem with it is two-fold. First, when a wave hits the side of a canoe with tumblehome, the water tumbles home – it follows the tumblehome right into your lap – it makes for a wet canoe. Second, having the canoe begin narrowing just above the waterline creates a canoe with poor secondary stability. The best way to create secondary stability is by flaring the canoe all the way to the gunwales. The most stable canoes are those that constantly flare – they keep getting wider. This is because when leaned over due to rough conditions a canoe with flare keeps getting wider, more stable and therefore more resistant to capsize. The rougher the conditions the more stable a flared canoe becomes.
For years designers knew tumblehome wasn’t the perfect solution for solo canoes, but they couldn’t come up with anything better. Then David Yost and Bell Canoe created shouldered flare. Every Bell built since ~1995 and every Northstar that can be paddled solo is built with shouldered flare. Shouldered flare creates the driest solo canoes available. This is because the flare is carried almost to the gunwales. The widest part of one of our canoes with shouldered flare is right where the shoulder begins. If you look at one of our shouldered canoes from the bow or stern, the last few inches below the gunwale look like the profile of a human shoulder (very from front or back, the gunwale being a couple inches up your neck). Effectively what we managed to do is create a canoe with the benefits of both flare (dry, great secondary stability) and tumblehome (comfortable to paddle).
Now, on to your specific question. Canoes with shouldered flare require a complicated and expensive two piece mold. We build canoes in female molds. Prior to building the canoe we put clay in the seam between the two halves of the mold. When it’s time to remove the canoe from the mold, a canoe with shouldered flare requires the mold to be separated to get the canoe out. We build the canoe in one piece and then separate the mold to remove it, because it’s such a complex shape. The seam line that you see and Ethan referred to is the result of the clay and the two piece mold. Think of the seam line as a mark of the most advanced canoe design available.
Here is a picture of the 2 piece mold discussed above. You can see where the seam line is created from the tape/clay placement within the mold when building the high shouldered models: