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Clyde Boat Works

8600 Livernois

Detroit, Michigan

This manufacturer sourced molded plywood hulls from Industrial Shipping Co. of Canada.

History by Ken Keisel:

My family is delighted to see so many people still enjoying their Clyde Boats! Clyde Rummney was my grandfather, and my mom was the company accountant, so with her help I can fill in some details. The company started in 1925-1928 in Clyde Rummney's living room near Lake St. Claire. He started by building rowboats. The company moved to a small building on Livernois Ave. in the early 1930's and stayed there until the 1940's, when the company's growth forced them to buy a bigger building down the road on Livernois Ave. (though he kept the smaller one and rented it out).

Clydes were available in three sizes; 12', 14' and 16'. They were usually produced as custom orders, though some were manufactured during the winter (when business was slow) to a company standard, and sold as-is, or finished with added details.

They sold several kinds of motors, though Evinrude was most common. Many were purchased without a motor, which the customer bought separately. The company's reputation was for making exclusive, custom-made boats of a high standard of quality, that were unusually fast for boats of their size. Their speed was a company secret, but had to do with the kind of lightweight wood used.

Clyde Boats went out of business in 1971, when Clyde Rummney retired. They never had more than four employees building boats, and Clyde did most of the work himself. He could always be found working in the shop, wearing his signature captain's cap, looking like the "Skipper" on "Gilligan's Island". He died at home in Redford, Michigan in 1973.

Model Information

Clyde Boats in Use

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