Racine Boat Company

Years in Business: 
1905 - 1927
Company History: 

When the Racine Boat Manufacturing Company factory burned down in 1903, the company relocated and rebuilt in Muskegon, Michigan. In March, 1905, a number of workers who had moved to Muskegon returned to Racine and incorporated the Racine Boat and Canoe Company, which they shortened to Racine Boat Company in August that same year. Like the RBMC, the Racine Boat Company produced a wide range of steam and gasoline boats, sailing boats, duck skiffs, etc., as well as canoes.

At the onset, Racine Boat Company built one 13’ lapstrake canoe and canvas canoes in 14’ and 16’ lengths. By 1915, the company had developed their line of canvas canoes in three grades and in 15’, 16’ and 17’ lengths; an 18’ canoe was added in 1916.

The company was dissolved in 1927.

Identifying Features: 

Canoes built by the Racine Boat Company usually exhibit these features:

  • Heart-shaped deck (single lobe decks and three piece decks also known)
  • Carrying thwarts (short decked models)
  • Bow seat suspended from inwale
  • Rivets used for gunwale fasteners
  • Cypress or Port Orford (Oregon) cedar or mahogany gunwales depending on model
Models Offered: 
  • Chippewa Model – short decks, Port Orford cedar gunwales
  • Seneca Model – 30” white cedar decks, Port Orford cedar gunwales
  • Navajo Model – 30” mahogany decks, mahogany gunwales, seat frames and thwarts.
  • Model B40 – 13’ lapstrake canoe similar to the Indian Paddler built by the Racine Boat Manufacturing Company. Shown in 1906 catalog only.
  • Model B68 – canvas canoes in 14’ and 16’ lengths, offered in 1906 catalog.
  • McGreivey, Jack. 2003. Is it a Racine? Or is it a Racine? Wooden Canoe 116:10-13 (April 2003)
  • Wheeler, Steve. 2004. The Racine Canoe, Part 4: The Racine Boat Company, 1906 to 1928. Wooden Canoe 121:6-11,14-16 (February 2004).