Slow Boat to Freedom

Photo by Aaron Joseph

<< Back to Robb Report, Robb Report December Issue 2016

Some people say that when you build a canoe, you’re planning your escape,” says Trent Preszler, the owner of Preszler Woodshop in Long Island, NY. “But for me, it’s a process of making order out of chaos.”

For this gift, Preszler is inviting one Robb Report reader to participate in that process, collaborating with him on a custom canoe at his woodshop, which is housed in a converted 1820s barn. Preszler, who is also the CEO of Long Island’s Bedell Cellars winery, founded Preszler Woodshop 2 years ago after discovering his late father’s tool collection. He typically builds just two canoes a year, as the process that he uses to construct each hull takes about 6 months alone.

This custom canoe ($100,000) will take approximately a year from start to finish. It could incorporate a variety of local and exotic woods—including zebrawood, Siberian larch, and Alaskan yellow cedar—and be outfitted with leather-wrapped seats. Preszler often models his canoes after a centuries-old design that was used to transport cargo on Maine’s Penobscot River, making his creations well suited to comfortable cruising on calm waters.

Delivering the means for such an escape is, for Preszler, an escape unto itself. “You buckle down on a task and make something beautiful and useful,” he says. “Then, when you’re done, it provides freedom.”  

Preszler Woodshop, trent@preszlerwoodshop.com, preszler, (woodshop.com)