top of page

Willits Brothers Canoes

Restorations, Paddles, Rowing, Book, Video
(Click on the photo scroll to view full photos)

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 feel free to contact me.

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.

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.

"The Willits Brothers and Their Canoes"

The definitive book on Earl and Floyd Willits, their canoe company, and the masterpieces they built

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). Contact me for payment details (personal check, Venmo, or PayPal). Please allow approximately 3 weeks for delivery. Alternatively, you can order an unsigned copy direct from the publisher McFarland & Company.

Willits Brothers Book

The Willits' Legacy -
A Virtual Tour of the Willits Canoe Shop

Pretty Gritty Tours of Tacoma, Washington produced a short YouTube film in 2023 about the Willits Brothers factory, which was being dismantled in preparation for selling the building and donation of the contents to the Foss Waterway Seaport. Clips of my interview with the producer are featured in the film.

Click on this link to view the film: The Willits Legacy

The Willits Legacy Video
bottom of page