There's more than one way to skin a boat!
Black Dog Kayaks


Who Are We?

Joel and Randi at Pictured Rocks


    Joel is married, with three children, and is the pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church, in Marquette, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Superior. Joel grew up in South Dakota, Texas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and served eight years as a Combat Engineer in the U.S. Army Reserve during College and Seminary at Immanuel Lutheran in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. His first congregation was Mt. Olive Lutheran in Lamar, Colorado.

    You might have come across some of Joel's other projects on the web. He has a '68 Jeepster Commando, dubbed Project No Bucks and has built a canoe, kayaks, and a 14' sailboat.

    Joel has been canoeing since he was eleven years old and got into kayaks in 2001. While he was building his first kayak it seemed that the majority of his building time seemed to be more about cutting out kayak pieces than actually building the thing. Eventually, he convinced Mark, a professional woodworker, that other people with this problem might benefit from buying a kit with the parts precut and Black Dog Kayaks was born.

Mark in the shop


    Mark lives in a small town in northwestern Wisconsin and is married with three young children (seven, four, and two). He grew up in Minnesota, and has lived in the states of Washington, Wyoming, and Wisconsin and served for three years of active duty with the U.S. Army.

    Like Joel, Mark has been paddling since he was about nine or ten. His first year of canoeing nearly drowned him, but definitely caught his interest. He loves making things with his hands, and has been a woodworker for many years, including working as a professional woodworker for several years. Mark fell in love with boatbuilding when he came up to Marquette to help Joel build his 14' sailboat and since then has been putting a lot of effort into that hobby, and has built a number of kayaks.

    Mark is also an avid fisherman and enjoys floating the local rivers while fishing. He also makes fairly regular trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and, on one trip, covered over two hundred miles. Some of Mark's other hobbies include shooting, hunting, and camping.






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