Das Boot

boat 001small

The other day, HTBS received an e-mail from Terry P. in Belgium. Terry, who is a restorer of furniture, recently bought, he writes, a household of furniture from an estate of a deceased gentleman from Germany. Along with the furniture, he also bought an old rowing boat, probably from Germany and from the 1930s.

‘I bought it because I liked the shape, and it looks quite elegant’, Terry writes. ‘The length of the boat is 520 cm and the width at its widest point is about 82 cm. I assume it had a canvas or tarp cover at some stage’.

It is Terry’s intention to restore the boat and hang it from the ceiling of his workshop. Unfortunately, there is no boat builder’s plaque or any other identification mark, but Terry hopes that HTBS’s readers can help him shed some light on the boat’s history, or at least figure out the name of the boat builder or the company which built it.

Terry sent along some images of the boat, as it is now, and the oars that were used.

boat 003 - small

If you have any ideas about the boat, please leave a comment, or write to HTBS editor at gbuckhorn – at – gmail – dot – com

boat 004 - small

Thank you.


  1. Looks like a collapsable kayak frame that would have had a waterproof skin pulled over it.

  2. While I agree both with Chris and Jonny – the frame looks to fragile to be able to have wooden boards attached to it – I got a little hooked up on the oars. One of the oars, the third from the left, has a collar, which one would not use for a kayak or canoe.

  3. Definitely a folding kayak minus its skin. The best place to look for further information would be: http://www.foldingkayaks.org/WP/. There is a forum. I am sure if Terry P posted this information on there he would be able to get details of manufacturer and date.

    Replacement skins come a bit expensive because they have to be a perfect fit to go tight when fitted. If you just wanted to get the boat back on the water it would be cheaper to do a diy reskin in canvas but probably lose the facility of folding. Lots of info on the web on how to apply a new skin and what to use.

    In the intro to the folding kayak website it mentions folding kayaks can be paddled, sailed and rowed which might explain the collar on the oar.

  4. Try setting fire to it – if it does not burn, it’s a kayak. This is because you cannot have your kayak and heat it.

  5. Likewise, it looks like an early Klepper, perhaps from the 30’s; I have a similar boat from the 50’s. There were a number of manufacturers in the 20’s and 30’s, so without closeup of the connections, it’s hard to discern. The ring on the collar appears to be a drip ring that usually resides closer to the blade; they tend to dry out in a few years and crack.

Leave a Reply to Tim Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.