Career Change And Canoes

Career Change And Canoes - Fran Riley Feature
Career Change And Canoes - Fran Riley Feature

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) — Sue Peterson’s venture on Craig’s List resulted in an interesting purchase. About four years ago, Sue and her husband Bruce decided to buy Navarro Canoe Company from a partnership in Minnesota. They saw the ‘for sale advertisement’ online.

The couple had a crash course. Six weeks of basic training, learning how to build recreational canoes. Bruce is a former hospital administrator who had no previous experience building canoes.  Their shop is in downtown Rock Island.

Bruce says it takes about one hundred hours to build a canoe. It’s a labor intensive process. Custom designed. Fiberglass and wood products. Meticulous work.

The canoe ribs are black cherry. Bruce also uses composite materials to build the hulls. Timeless beauty!

Bruce grew up on the water in Wisconsin. The idea of building something to get back on the water has tremendous appeal for him and Sue.

A couple willing to take a chance. Handcrafting canoes. Paddling the waterways. Enjoying a change of career!

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