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Willits Brothers Canoes

Restored Willits Brothers canoe

I am expert in the repair of Willits Brothers canoes, a unique "double planked" canoe built in Tacoma, Washington until the mid-1960's and now highly prized by knowledgeable canoe enthusiasts. The method of construction used in these canoes requires special techniques to restore correctly.

I'm not aware of any other builder with more experience restoring Willits Brothers canoes. I take great care to replicate the methods and materials that Earl and Floyd Willits used in the original construction of their canoes. After repairing canoes that they built throughout the length of their careers from 1908 to 1962, I have become familiar with the different designs and techniques they used. If you have a Willits Brothers canoe that needs repair or restoration give me a call or send me an email.

Earl and Floyd Willits often sold spruce paddles with their canoes, but over the years many of these have been broken, or disappeared. I can reproduce Willits paddles to compliment your treasured canoe. See my paddles page for more information.

Sailing a Willits Brothers canoe

Willits Rowing Canoe

Another Willits canoe accessory the brothers built was a rowing apparatus composed of a non-sliding seat, oarlock blocks, and 7' spoon-blade spruce oars. I reproduce this rowing setup so Willits owners can add another dimension to these incredible craft. Contact me for details.

I spent 5 years researching and writing the definitive biography of the Willits brothers and their canoes, and it was released in May, 2006. The Willits Brothers and Their Canoes: Wooden Boat Craftsmen in Washington State, 1908-1967 is a book that every canoe enthusiast will want to have in their collection. Packed with previously unknown facts about their lives and details of their incredible canoes, the book is also loaded with scores of never-before published photographs. You can order a signed copy direct from me for $42 ($35 book, $3 Tax, $4 S&H). Mail a personal or cashier's check, or money order to:

McFarland Lake Canoe Company
1714 Dickinson Ave. NW
Olympia WA 98502

Please allow approximately 3 weeks for delivery.

Alternatively, you can order an unsigned copy direct from the publisher McFarland & Company .

Willits Book Cover - click on image for larger view

$35 softcover (7 x 10)
272 pages; 100 photographs; tables; appendices;
notes; bibliography; index

Place order at McFarland & Co., Publisher

I wrote an article in 2001 on the Willits Brothers for Wooden Canoe, the journal of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA). As a preview to some of the information in my book, see that article.

If you're looking to buy or sell a Willits canoe, visit my Used Canoes page.  I sometimes have these canoes for sale and they don't generally stay on the market long before they're snapped up.  I'd be happy to list your canoe for sale, or help you find just the right one for your collection.

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