Questions about my 1911 Detroit Boat Co. Hudson River Canoe


New Member
I just picked up a very nice Detroit Boat Co. Canoe - Hudson River model. Looks all original and in excellent shape but I am an absolute greenhorn about wood / canvas canoes. Any help would be appreciated.

Should I have any concerns about using the canoe?

It doesn't have seats or places where seats would have been. Would they have knelt in it?

Where can I pick up paddles that would be authentic or good replica of authentic paddles? Not sure it would be right to use modern paddles with such a nice piece of history.

How should I feed and care for it?

Does the WCHA have any events or gatherings in Indiana area where I can come to learn from others?

Here are some pics - do you think at it is original?

I was told it was made in 1911 from the gent I bought it from at a yard sale here in southern Indiana.
Your images didn't get attached, or maybe my computer is misbehaving (it seems to be).

I don't see a local chapter for Indiana, but you'd be welcome at any of the chapters around it -- I'm in the Great Rivers Chapter (IL/WI), then there's the Valley of the Maremec (St. Louis area), Michigan (Lower), and Three Rivers (Western PA) Chapters. Looking at GoogleMaps, the St. Louis area might be the closest. Contact info is here: Chapter happenings are often posted in this forum: Great Rivers has one coming up on Aug 11th, near Fort Atkinson, WI, that might not be too far for you (depends on how much you like driving).

Care and feeding: indoor storage is best; lacking that, keep it covered loosely. Canoes are meant to get wet, but not to stay wet, as staying wet means rot starts. Keep the varnish & paint in good shape! Pictures will help the experts (not me) with assessing your canoe's condition. Sounds like a great find!
There are several previous threads that address Detroit canoes including Hudson River models. Just do a search for "Detroit Hudson River model" and they come right up. I actually own a Hudson River model, but it is no way near able to float.

Jack McGreivey knows a lot about Detroits. He's not much for email. address: 12290 Old State Road, Cato, NY 13033. He can also supply all the materials you will need to restore it.

Good luck with your project.

Jim C.
Pics didn't attach from iPad - so trying it now from PC.


  • Detroit Canoe Top.JPG
    Detroit Canoe Top.JPG
    95.5 KB · Views: 262
  • Detroit Canoe Broadside.JPG
    Detroit Canoe Broadside.JPG
    310.6 KB · Views: 247
  • Detroit Canoe Coin.JPG
    Detroit Canoe Coin.JPG
    236.4 KB · Views: 247
Hi Gene,

I think your canoe would have had seats originally.

Here are some picture of a 17' Detroit Hudson River I have.

Your canoe may have been restored previously and they removed the seats to kneel.

You might check under the inwales to find some holes where the seats would have been. Unless of course, the inwale has been replaced.

You have a very nice canoe.



  • eb5.jpg
    89.3 KB · Views: 235
  • eb6.jpg
    136.3 KB · Views: 233
  • eb8.jpg
    57.7 KB · Views: 225