MT Canoes started -- unbeknownst to us -- five years ago in a one-car garage in Missoula, Montana. Tired of heavy boats, and looking for something with more snap to it, the dream began. With help from our friend Ben Schmidt, canoe builder/repair professional, we were off and running. John Gallagher and Jeff Styles officially founded MT Canoes in 2016 after years of testing and tweaking nearly 20 different canoes.
John is a Montana native who has been a self-employed builder for most of his career. John started open boating in the early 90s with kayakers. He learned how to roll really well, but needed a community of open boaters, and that is what he found right here in Missoula, Montana. Since then he has been instrumental in keeping people fired up to paddle every year. John's carpentry experience has paid off in the mold making and overall construction of these crafts.
Jeff, also a Montana native, has been paddling since the early 2000s, and every year is more active in the canoe world. After accidentally moving in across the street from John in 2005, he started paddling in the local Blackfoot Challenge down river race and slalom course and became a canoe addict. Jeff worked at a high-end woodworking shop for 13 years before starting MT Canoes with John. His attention to detail results in a polished finish that is the hallmark of MT Canoes.
MT Canoes would not exist without boat designers Steve Scarborough and the late Frankie Hubbard. Their experience, dedication, and knowledge of the sport sparked a lifelong passion for whitewater canoeing around the world. Hubbard's Ocoee and Scarborough's Caption are still regarded as the best all-around designs and are still highly sought after.
MT Canoes would like to tip our hats and say thank you to Frankie and Steve for feeding the passion. We are honored to present our composite versions of the Ocoee and the Caption.