Trying to find some more info about this canoe..

Hi everyone. I am brand new here. A year or two ago my neighbor and I acquired this funky gold color canoe from another neighbor who didn’t want it anymore. I am quite familiar with brands such as Old Town or Grumman… but I have never seen or heard of this brand before (Geiger Corporation). A google search provided nothing. I’m just trying to learn a little more about it and better yet… any routine care or maintenance for it. It’s had a couple voyages so far in the river behind our house (Passaic River). Thanks!

Apparently made for three years early 80’s. No special care… Interesting rib pattern. Its fiberglass

Watch the conditon of the seat and yoke. Bet its heavy!

Oh yeah, it’s heavy! When the river is at it’s normal level there is a 3-4 foot steep drop from the top of the bank to the water level… so it’s a struggle to get in and out… but we manage.

Forgive my lack of boat terminology… the yoke I am assuming that small wooden cross bar across the top? That is starting to look a little ragged… it probably wouldn’t hurt to be replaced someday. The seats seem to be ok.

Thank you for the link! Hmm… l just found a picture of it I took a year or so ago… that I didn’t notice until now (I must not have missed this yesterday when snapping photos). I found a boating registration sticker from 1976… so perhaps there was another GCO company before the one in that registration? Or perhaps it changed ownership a couple times and the one in the 80’s was the last one to have it. Who knows…

I’m looking forward to many more adventures with it. It’s definitely unique…

@James1787 said:
Oh yeah, it’s heavy! When the river is at it’s normal level there is a 3-4 foot steep drop from the top of the bank to the water level… so it’s a struggle to get in and out… but we manage.

There’s a trick to doing that kind of launch which makes it practically effortless, which hardly anyone thinks of. I assume a pair of you are lifting the boat from opposite ends, then when the fatter middle section of the boat contacts the bank, you are forced to lean out farther, straining in the process. Don’t do that. In spite of the fact that nearly 100-percent of canoe paddlers would do it that way, it’s the hardest possible method.

The two of you should get on opposite sides of the boat instead of opposite ends, and pick it up by the middle. Carrying the boat in that fashion, stick one end out over the water as the two of you walk to the edge of that steep bank. Once there, shuffle your hands toward the shore end of the boat as you continue to stand in the same place. The boat will move out over the water and then tilt so that one end hits the water (suddenly it starts to get lighter in your hands too). When you’ve hand-walked the boat so far that you are left holding one end, let that end down the bank to the water with a rope that’s already secured to the bow or stern for that purpose. Use your hands to twist the boat around parallel to shore, and get in.

Use the reverse procedure to get the boat out of the water. Lift one end via the rope, grab the end and walk your hands toward the center until the boat levels itself, and walk away with it.

One precaution with this method: Don’t leave paddles leaning up on seats or thwarts, or they may tumble out when the boat is really far from being level.

What we do currently… is one of us hops down the steep bank to the waters edge and the other up top sort of pushes the boat over the edge and passes it down to the person at the water’s edge. The person at the waters edge just guides it into the water. We keep a rope tied onto the end to assist if needed. Gravity does most of the work.

When we’re done for the afternoon we do the reverse. The person up top uses the rope to pull the boat up and the person at the water’s edge assists with getting the canoe up there. It’s a little bit of a struggle but it gets the job done. I may look at adding a dock someday to make it a little easier to maneuver the canoe as well as other reasons.

We’ll definitely try your method next time we head out… but that won’t be til springtime when it warms up!

Actually, as I look at the one photo once again, it almost looks like there’s no “wider top” on the gunwales to wrap your fingers around when lifting and handling the boat in the manner I described. A normal canoe has a widened “rail” along that edge so there’s a natural handle for lifting no matter where your hands go. If on your boat there’s nothing to tuck your fingers under along that top edge, then the method I described wouldn’t be much good. A dock sounds like a good idea!

Raising this thread from the dead. I’m a new guy and found this thread googling for “Geiger Corporation canoe”. I think I have James1787 canoe’s brother. I got this from my neighbor (Chicago area). He said he got this in the late 70s from a group buy he went in on with some friends from work. I think he worked for one of the “Ma Bell” companies back in the day. Same DuPage County registration sticker/year (1744 vs 763 on this one) and definitely the same make/model. Hopefully James gets this update…anyway, here’s the photos:

Hi Oldestyle, WOW!! Thank you for posting this!! I saw the email notification come in this morning.

You are the first person I have come across that also has one of these canoes and glad to see its still around! I still have and use the one we have. Interesting you mention “Ma Bell”. Our town had a lot of people working for a “Ma Bell” company here (Bell Labs)… you never know, maybe a prior owner was friends / worked with the person that owned yours? The next time I see my neighbor I’ll have to ask her where she got the canoe from. Here are a few recent shots from our latest trip out on the river with it from last month, a nice fall trip to check out the leaves. Thanks again for the reply!

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Hey so I finally had a chance to talk to my neighbor. I mentioned your canoe, how it came from a group buy and the buyers were from one of the Ma Bell companies, how it had the same registration stickers, color, type, etc. I asked where hers came from. A friend of hers who also had worked for the Ma Bell companies had sold it to her. I am guessing there is a good chance that these came from a similar group buy. I forgot but I should have tried to get a name out of her to see if your neighbor might have worked with the person my neighbor bought the boat from.

This boat definitely falls in the old fiberglass category. The company is probably long gone. Some of the early boats were pretty strong, overbuilt even because fiberglass was a new technology. Look out for fatigue in the materials used because of deterioration in the presence of ultra violet light. I had a kevlar boat start to fall apart once when I was in it. Be careful about paddling this boat even on an easy river until you have tested it s strength.

To the best of my knowledge the company is long, long gone… I could not find a single reference about the company ever existing anywhere online. I’ve had the boat 7 or 8 years and it goes out every year on the river. I do usually give it a quick once-over every time we take it out checking for cracks, stress, etc… but I’ll give it a more thorough inspection knowing that fatigue and age can affect it. Luckily the river behind my house is pretty easygoing / calm (you can paddle up / down river with no effort) and shallow. Thank you for your reply.

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Thanks for the update James. I’ve had it out on the lake a few a times this year, but it is showing some signs of its age. The handles on the front and back have both pulled its screws out from the anchor points when pulling towards/out of the water, so it’s a bit tricky gripping the thing and moving it around, but luckily the seats still work great and there are absolutely no signs of leakage.

@oldestyle our canoe is still doing ok. I just had to replace the thwart on it as the old one rotted away / fell apart when I had it out last weekend. For your handles, look up Well-nuts… I had to learn what Well-nuts are and I needed to get some to replace the old Well-nuts that fell apart. They sort of work like drywall anchors but the use rubber, seal the hole and are designed for boats.

Here are the after pics of cleaning it up some and replacing the thwart. She’s ready for more adventure!

Here are how well nuts work. The company that made the video sells them. That may help fix your handles.

Not a well made boat.

Perhaps… It could be why they are no longer around today and nobody has heard of them. The price was right on it though… free :slight_smile:

It’s still around and provides enjoyment after 44+ years!


Thanks for info on the well nuts. I will look into them. I’d agree with you that maybe it’s not a well made boat, but there’s something to say for longevity for sure!

I was part of the GCO in the early 70’s. We made the canoe and many other products. It is made of ABS plastic and the process is called thermoforming. A heated sheet of ABS is placed on a vacuum mold and sucked into the mold. We sold the company in 1975. I don’t think the buyer ever used the boat molds again. I am impressed that some of the canoes have lasted so long.

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