Alvin Hoffman Meyer

Charlie Wilson Consultant

Charlie Wilson conceptualized the original  Fire series of boats back in 1993 in collaboration with renowned designer David Yost.


Charlie’s involvement with canoes began 10 years earlier and in the mid 80’s he helped promote the budding sport of FreeStyle canoeing.  Throughout  the years he has been instrumental in the promotion of canoe sport through his writing, speaking and teaching. He held leadership roles in both the instruction and governance functions of the American Canoe Association and is a certified Instructor Trainer Educator.


Charlie is a sought after presenter at canoe and paddled shows, festivals and gatherings. He has contributed thousands of pages of writing on canoe techniques, canoe camping,  gear reviews and paddle trips in a variety of publications including Canoesport Journal, American Canoeist, Canoe Magazine, Currents, Paddler, Paddling, Paddlesport, River and Wooden Canoe magazines and several event and club newspapers. He wrote a chapter for Cliff Jacobson's Basic Essentials of Solo Touring, co-authored FreeStyle Canoeing, and Introduction to Canoeing and re-edited Appalachian Whitewater for Menasha Ridge Press. Editor and principal author of the ACA FreeStyle Instruction

Manual, Charlie is working on three books on Modern Paddling Technique.


Charlie served as marketing director and sales manager for Bell Canoe Works, before retiring to Lake Placid where he was bitten by the building bug again and co-founded Placid Boatworks. There he developed Infusion Technology which yields 20% lighter hulls, no voids and is much, much greener for the environment. He is currently expanding this technology through working with other canoe companies and an auto parts manufacturer. He retired from Placid Boatworks in early 2009.  Shortly thereafter, during one of their conversations, Paul Meyer asked Charlie about the future of the Fire boats. It was then that Charlie realized that he had found an individual with the love of the sport, a craftsman’s commitment to quality and a keen business mind, a perfect

match for the reintroduction of the single blade members of the Fire series.