I think a "concerted/good faith effort" to try & return the boat to it's "legal owner" is the best bet.
After that, I'd have a clear conscience in keeping it; BUT I'd turn it over to a "proven owner", no matter how much time passed. I don't like carrying around a guilt trip in my head; not worth it for any boat in my opinion.
I think the answer the cops gave you is some "bogus bs".
Recreational Kayak Paddle
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
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