Kruger Canoes

P.O. Box 92, Irons, Michigan 49644

(231) 266-2089

Mark@krugercanoes.com

 
 
I first met Verlen in 1995 when I was planning a summer paddling trip for Lake Michigan. On our first meeting and my first time in a Sea Wind, I realized that Verlen and his craft were something very special. When I met Verlen I was searching for a better way to access wilderness areas here in Michigan, I had begun to study wilderness survival and I found myself longing for longer and deeper excursions into what was left of the wild places. The comfort and ease of movement the Sea Wind offered me was mind-blowing! I could travel faster and safer, carry more gear and supplies and get deeper into wilderness areas than I ever could before.  At that time I had no idea that this man and this canoe would forever change my life and put me on a special path of exploration and adventure.


Verlen invited me work with him in his shop and I did so whenever I had the chance. I started full time with him in 2000 and took over full operation of Kruger Canoes in 2002, when I moved the business to its present location in Irons Michigan. I have produced over 170 Kruger Canoes in the past 12 years and I look forward to building you your new Kruger Canoe with the same quality and craftsmanship that Verlen intended.  

 

mark przedwojewski     owner and master craftsman of Kruger canoes

Verlen Kruger

Verlen Kruger was born a sharecropper's son in Pulaski County, Indiana on June 30, 1922.  The second in a family of nine children, he had to quit school at age 14 to help out the struggling family in hard times. 

Verlen was drafted into the Army and became a reconnaissance tank driver in World War II in 1942.  Later, convincing his superiors to let him try the pilots exams, he passed the stiff requirement tests and entered the Army Air Force Flight Training School. He graduated at the top of his class as a pilot and commissioned officer.  He went on to be a flight instructor and trained advanced fighter pilots.  Eventually he served a tour of duty flying P-51's over Korea and Japan.

Verlen met his wife, Jenny Seavolt, during his pilot training program at Michigan State University, and married her during his years of service. Jenny Seavolt gave birth to their first of nine children while Verlen was away on duty. They, as many other military families, moved a few times before finally settling in Lansing, Michigan. There, they made a home with their love for each other and their faith in Jesus Christ. Verlen got his plumbing license and turned the cow barn into a successful plumbing business.

At age 41, he discovered canoeing in the backwoods of Ontario, and later set off on his first major expedition, The Cross Continent Canoe Safari (stretching from Montreal, Canada to the Barring Sea, Alaska).  He had found what he was born to do.  He later completed the Two Continent Canoe Expedition (over 21,000 miles from Inuvik, North West Territories to Cape Horn, South America) and The Ultimate Canoe Challenge (over 28,000 miles traveling through and around Canada, Mexico and the United States).  Verlen ventured far beyond that of any other person thanks to his canoes.  He has paddled and portaged under his own power the equivalent to nearly 3 1/2 times around the world and has set countless world records in doing so.  Very few explorers in history have traveled comparable distances.  The canoe was Verlen's home and kept him in harmony with the environment and natural beauty around him.  It was where he belonged.  He took great pride in designing, developing and continuously improving his Kruger Canoes to be worthy of his rigorous travels and high standards for quality.  His legacy lives on in each canoe we hand craft the way he intended them to be built.

Psalms 37.4

The Men and their mission