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Dan Thaler  ♦  Moonlight Marine

Shrub Oak, NY  | Kayaks | Website

kayaks

As you’re boating along the Hudson River, there are plenty of kayaks around you, but how many of them can last generations? Dan Thaler’s kayaks will! Winner at the prestigious boat building competition Okoumefest five years in a row, his handcrafted, customized kayaks stand out from all the rest.


GET TO KNOW DAN

What drew you to your chosen craft?
I have always worked with my hands and after paddling a store bought plastic kayak for a season I found I wanted something lighter, faster, more comfortable and prettier. I had become aware of the wood kayak universe and decided to take matters into my own hands. I built kayaks for my family and then decided to make a go of building for others. I have been building kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards for seven years and incorporated for four.

What do you enjoy most about your craft?
There is something about taking a concept and some wood and turning it into a piece of floating, usable art that is extremely satisfying. I enjoy each step of the process. From milling the lumber into strips to fitting each strip to the boat to that final coat of varnish. Each boat project is different and a new experience. It is also very gratifying and validating to hear the compliments from clients and others.

Why is it important for people to make things with their own hands?
Handmade items have a value that can be timeless and priceless. There is a connection with our world that goes back to the beginning of history. When I am paddling a handcrafted kayak in the Hudson River I am always aware that these waters have been traveled in similar craft for thousands of years.

In what ways are handmade goods better than those that are mass-produced?
Like a finely tailored article of clothing each boat is individually fitted to the paddler. Guaranteed to be comfortable and unique. A one of a kind craft that can become a family heirloom. You won’t find anything like it in a big box store.

What does the future hold for your type of work?
As more people become aware of the benefits of custom watercraft I believe the future is bright.


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