It looks like Maelströmkayak is quickly getting back on their feet. I got a note today from company President, Charles-Alexandre Desjardins explaining what’s happening over the next couple of months.
First off they have a new website that is supposed to go live any day now. Though a new website will be great to see, the current photo that is on the site current is awesome and better be part of the new design.
I’m told that when the new site goes live we will learn more details about two new boat designs that should be available for Spring 2013 (or hopefully earlier). The two new boats are going to be 16’6” x 21” and 17’7” x 21.5” beam. The solid design details are sketchy right now so we will need to wait until we see better photos of what the boats look like. Here is a tease drawing of what to expect.
Charles-Alexandre had this to say about what’s to come:
The names of the new models will be disclosed on our website, but you can expect a Scandinavian inspiration. We are pushing the envelope a bit with the new designs, with features quite unique. The decks are not designed for carrying all your stuff on them and in my mind, you should only carry a spare paddle, compass and water pump. All the rest should be in the boat or on you. You'll see what I mean.
So two new boats, for expedition and fun in the surf zone. One for small to medium size paddlers and the other one will be for larger paddlers. Great color combination will be made possible with our unique and distinctive hull's wing.
They are planning to test the prototypes this July and August and if the designs hold up, they will be manufactured at a factory in Quebec which is great to hear.
Time will tell what we will get. I’m just glad to see them getting back on their feet after taking quite an unexpected beating this past spring.
Big news from the outdoor industry. I just heard the sad news from Joe O'Blenis and Bryan Hansel that Quebec kayak manufacturer, Boréal Design has closed its doors and will be filing for bankruptcy on Monday.
From La Presse.ca:
Director of the shop, Frédéric Patry said that attempts by the company management to find new investors were unsuccessful. Forty-five people lost their jobs.
Realistic, Frédéric Patry nevertheless retains a slim hope that a takeover could save the brand.
It’s a shame to hear about them go under. Boréal made fantastic boats and their construction and craftsmanship was second to none for sure. Over the 20 years in business, Boréal expended their company by purchasing accessory company, Beluga. They also developed a fantastic partnership with Maelströmkayak to manufacture and distribute their high-end sea kayaks.
From a business perspective, their product lines were appealing to paddling shops as they were able to offer both boats and accessories for the entire spectrum of paddling; from absolute beginner on a slim budget all the up to the highest end.
I have no idea of how the bankruptcy of Boréal will affect Maelströmkayak as they are a separate company with a factory to build their boats. I reached out to them for comment but haven’t received a response yet. I will update this post if I hear back.
Update [Feb 4, 2012]: I receved an email from Charles-Alexandre Desjardins one of the owners of Maelströmkayak. He said, "We learned about it the same way you did, which is unfortunate. That's about all I can say for now. Maelströmkayak is still very alive and we intend to continue our business."
Update [Feb 6, 2012]: I have written to Boreal Design looking for a statement as nothing has been posted on their website as of yet. I will post if/when I receive it.
Update [Feb 9, 2012]: Nikki Rekman Sales posted the following on her facebook page a couple of days ago:
We received confirmation from BORÉALDESIGN President, Eric Blouin this morning that the company is indeed in the hands of the bank and has closed its doors. BORÉALDESIGN was founded in 1991 by Natalie Simard and Eric Blouin and made a fantastic product. It is with great sadness that our relationship with BORÉALDESIGN has ended and we think about Eric, Natalie and all our friends who no longer have their jobs.
Flickr Photo Credit: Pub de Boréal Design? Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
QUEBEC, May 13 / - BOREALDESIGN and Maelstromkayak, two companies based in Quebec, have signed a very promising partnership agreement.
Henceforth, BOREALDESIGN will manufacture two models of kayaks originally designed and marketed by Maelstromkayak. This partnership will serve to further showcase the strength of design expertise in Quebec on the international scene, since the Vaag 174 and Vital 166 kayaks compare admirably with the best British kayaks in their category in terms of design, beauty and performance.