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Our congratulations to Jeremy Fowler and his crew at Duke’s Boat shop in Port Carling, Ontario.
Check out this different approach to varnishing (photo taken at Clayton’s Antique Boat Museum). Fine craftsmanship at Stancraft Boats has enabled the total restoration of these two beauties below: Hot, steamy weather accompanied the ACBS boat show, in Clayton, this past August.
Grey skies cleared for the ACBS Annual Boat Show in Gravenhurst, Ontario, this past July 7, 2012.
One of the interesting aspect of the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton NY is the workshop where volunteers restore boatsthat have been donated to the Museum for display. The boat is 21ft, it looks like it is powered by a pair of old mercury engines which are really dual newer 115hp outboards retrofitted with engine cowlings from the 1950’s. This is the most extensive outboard and toy boat auction and his collection of Falls Flyers is fantastic.
There are a number of other very unique wooden outboard boats and I think their will be a lot of happy buyers out there.
The WA CHEE WE, a 1923 Ditchburn, Fisher-Allison Class Racer, is briefly dunked in Lake Muskoka to determine its waterline. The Toronto Chapter, ACBS, held it’s annual Muskoka Spring Boat Shop tour this past April 21, 2012. Captain Randy Potts of Bracebridge Ontario is at it again…taking a tired vessel and transforming it into a viable tourist cruise boat. Harold and Lorna Wilson were a husband and wife wooden boat racing team who set out to conquer speed.
Since 1954 they have been maintaining, repairing and restoring all of the Legendary Riva Boats.
Pirates and Privateers will have its world broadcast premiere on CBC Television’s Land & Sea on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 12 Noon.
BY STEVE LAW The Portland Tribune, Feb 23, 2012 Some people just have a thing for wooden boats.
It’s just the kind of thing Portland needs now that the city has completed its $1.4 billion Big Pipe project and ended most discharges of untreated sewage into the river, says Rick Bastache, program coordinator for the city’s Office of Healthy Working Rivers.
The Antique and Classic Boat Society, Toronto Chapter, hosted a winter workshop on February 18, 2012, at the facilities of Peter Breen, (near Guelph, Ontario) To view some of the restoration work underway on a number of beautiful antique and classic launches, click on the video below.
Jim Hammond is a wooden boat builder, located on the shores of Lake Erie in a community called Long Point. The boat is owned by the Larters – Coughlins of Silver Bay, where the family has maintained a camp for over 100 years. The tiny boat was put back in service three years ago, after spending fifteen years in storage.
Paul Brackley, of Brackley Boats in Gravenhurst Ontario, is undertaking the restoration of a 1936, 35 foot Chris-Craft cabin cruiser. As the photos shot in January below show, the staff at Hacker continues to test new and used boats year round, even in snow and ice…until the ice becomes too thick to cut the ice apart with the bow of our utility boat.
Also, the fiftieth anniversary of the Riva Aquarama will be celebrated this summer at Lake Tahoe, USA. Harold was the first Canadian speed boat driver to make a lasting mark on the international racing scene, claiming three world championship titles and setting numerous speed records over the course of his 20-year competitive career. International Boat Show at the Exhibition grounds and see some great boats including the ACBS display with 14 wooden boats. It’s hard to believe that the monstrous looking Infiniti engine below will actually fit into the Chris-Craft without sinking it!
The iconic Miss Canada IV, piloted to victory by Harold and Lorna Wilson, is undergoing a thorough restoration in Tom Adam’s Port Carling Boat Shop. Paul Brackley, of Brackley Boat in Gravenhurst Ontario, is undertaking some bright work restoration and possible engine replacement in this 1930’s Chris Craft.
The owner of this Shepherd wrote: Shepherd Boats were built in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. The engines may have been smaller, but it was just as exciting to race in the 1940s as it is today.
For those who love watching wooden hydroplanes in action, (for a good laugh and a scare) check out this vintage film of wooden hydroplanes racing at break-neck speed. Miss America 8, currently undergoing restoration, will be auctioned off tin the Kissimee, Florida this coming Jan 24-29 (2012), along with Miss Universe. ACBS Toronto Chapter Cancer Society Event: a one hundred mile Segwun cruise from Gravenhurst to the tip of Lake Joseph.
Don’t miss your opportunity to recreate a part of history and contribute to cancer research. Apparently there is more than one Miss Universe: both the unique wooden kind, and the human variety, (a lovely Canadian model). Mike Windsor, in Gravenhurst Ontario, is replacing the bottom on this historic 1913 Lawley tender. Paul Brackley, of Brackley Boats, (Gravenhurst Ontario), has freshened up this lovely 17 foot, 1950’s Chris-Craft with three coats of Petit varnish. Paul also will be sanding and refinishing the bright work on this 35 foot, 1936 Chris-Craft cabin cruiser.
Stan Hunter located in Milford Bay, Muskoka) has kindly offered one of his livery rental fleet of Duke Playmates for participation in the Bala Santa Claus Parade. Boomerang, (below) is a reproduction of a 1941 Gold Cup racer, designed by the famous builder George Crouch.
Autumn is a beautiful time of year for classic boating, particularly in the warm sunny weather that enveloped Ontario this past Thanksgiving weekend.
This 1930’s Dodge Race Boat, appearing at the Toledo, Ohio, Boat Show, seems to be begging for a restoration, or at least a re-varnish.
The Niagara Frontier Antique and Classic Boat Show, held on Grand Island, New York, Sept 10, 2011, featured countless wooden beauties, some stunning antique automobiles and of course, the annual boat races. The Toronto Chapter ACBS Annual Boat Show, held July 9th, 2011, in Gravenhurst, Ontario, attracted thousands of visitors. Please click on the You Tube link below to view the construction and live footage of a gentleman’s racer in action.
The Bigwin ferry, used for decades as chief transport to the Bigwin Inn on Lake of Bays, Muskoka Ontario, was relaunched with great fanfare in the summer of 2010. This unfortunate Greavette, below, apparently sank within one minute this summer at a the Greenwood Lake Antique and Classic Boat Show in New York.
Canada’s iconic Bluenose schooner is undergoing a major rebuild, below, ((2010 -2012) in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia.
Miss Canada 1V, an iconic Canadian race boat, has returned to Muskoka for some restorative hull work.
The Muskoka Sea Flea Association, is a very active organization, with a comprehensive website, including directions for building your own Sea Flea. The crew of Woodwind Yachts in Nestleton, Ontario, recently completed a total rebuild of the 6 metre yacht Merneito, which was subsequently shipped back to Finland. This stunning, rare Chris-Craft Cobra was recently captured at the 2011 Lake Dora Boat Show. The Toronto Chapter Antique and Classic Boat Society held its annual Spring Tour this past April 16, 2011. The striking photos below come from the Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival, in Wooten Park on Lake Dora, (Florida). For colourful videos and photos of the Muskoka Lakes Association Bi Annual Antique Boat Show, click on the link below.


Check out this video of the Muskoka Lakes Association Antique and Classic Boat Show, held in Port Carling, Ontario, August, 2010. The 33rd Annual Niagara Frontier Classic and Antique Boat Show and Race Boat Reunion was held at Grand Island, New York, this past Sept. Be sure to check out some of the beautiful woodies on display at the April 2010 Antique and Classic Boat Society (Toronto) Muskoka Spring Tour, (below).
This unique runabout has been restored and modernized with a four cylinder Mercruiser engine and an external surface propulsion system. Hi Rob,thanks for the Amphicar story.back in the sixties,a women and two kids ran a red lighit at the intersection of Sherbourne and Shuter, (in Toronto, Ontario). We have been instructed by the owner of this beautiful, historic,  42 ft.Swedish motor yacht, built in 1905, to reduce the price to $138,000 USD. Through these efforts a part of Muskoka’s heritage has now returned for residents and visitors to enjoy. This classic Grew is still in the same family boathouse since the time of it’s original purchase. This beautifully maintained Chris-Craft is a wonderful cruise boat, with lots of interior space for passengers. Enjoy Part II of last weekend’s spectacular Race Boat Show, held in Gravenhurst, Ontario. Port Carling Boats BlogWelcome to the Port Carling Boats siteWelcome to the Port Carling Boats website! The boat is stored near Seeley’s Bay in the Kingston, Ontario area and is available for viewing this fall.
Apparently it produces few runs, provides a smooth, uniform coat distribution and it actually works! The Museum has the most extensive Wooden Race Boat collection building, as well as other a canoe building and their other buildings. Nick spent three and a half years building a hydroplane racer from John Hacker plans he discovered in a 1920 Motor Boating article. The boat is being restored at Clark Wooden Boats, Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada and will be completed by June, 2012.
The shops were humming with activity…everything from a re-canvassed cedar strip canoe to a thirty-five foot Chris-Craft cabin cruiser.
Powered by a Hispano-Suiza V8 aircraft engine, this racer was recently restored by Muller Boatworks. Peerless II, (see photo below) will be the third vessel in Sunset Cruise’s armada, a smaller cousin of the recently refurbished Peerless. In the process they brought international fame to Canada from 1931 to 1950 as a young couple in love, who loved pushing race boats as fast as possible. He runs Inner Bay Wooden Boats and has just completed a 2 year restoration of a wooden 40ft sailboat called Pirouette II. The Roo, a virtual clone of a larger Hacker-Craft Racer, is now in our showroom until next summer. When he took the boat out for a test run (only the second time it was on the lake) Teddy’s grandfather, Edward Larter Jr., saw the boat.
In the sequence below, Jay cuts through the ice (and then runs the boat back and forth many times to chop the ice into harmless pieces).
The first Riva delivered to the United States, and the only remaining V-12 Scripps powered Riva and she is the oldest Riva Tritone built of 267 Our restoration has taken over four years yet the last 12 months have been a mind boggling experience of completing the many systems, re-confirming the previous 21 years of research for “1953 Italian correctness”, testing, and pushing everyone toward completion. This is particularly significant because the Tritone model was the precursor to the Aquarama; in fact the first Aquaramas were built on modified Tritone hulls. Hacker’s 3rd race boat design for Harold Wilson and riding mechanic and fiancee Lorna Reid gave Canada its first repeat World Champions.
The Wilson Racing Team is the subject of Muskoka Film Work’s Harold & Lorna, to be released in late 2012. It is powered by a very rare 1930 Lockwood Speedibee dual cyclinder engine of which five are known to exist. The engine’s transformation is nearly complete, but it seems the boat needs a great deal more work. This is a major restoration, including a newly discovered, rare replacement Rolls Royce engine.
This Shepherd (below) was on display at the Chicago Boat Show when it was purchased it new in 1961. On Saturday, August 18, 2012, the “RMS Segwun” will depart from the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst, Ontario and follow the route of the “Sagamo” on Lake Muskoka through the locks at Port Carling and on to Little Lake Joe.
Sea Flea fest Hornett (see photo below), was retrofitted by Howard Hughes to be the fastest boat on Lake Tahoe and was so for approximately 20 years.Today her polished aluminum hull is testament to style and function and speed.
Both surpassed the listed North American mark of 126.6 mph set by Jack Schafer of Detroit in his Such Crust at Gull Lake in Michigan last August.
Randy and his wife Debbie have been hard at work since 2003, transforming the Peerless II, a former 60 ft. Working with modern epoxies and wood preservatives should provide this sleek sailboat with a greatly enhanced lifespan. Sadly, a number of brand new Cobras were scrapped by the manufacturer when sales slowed in the 1950s.
The tour highlighted Muskoka’s boat shops and the highly skilled craftsmen and women who build and restore wooden classics. Proceeds from the calendar benefit the breast screening programme at the South Muskoka Hospital. At a top speed of about 40 mph, this runabout turns heads wherever she goes, sending up a rooster tail 30 feet in the air. For the uninitiated, an Amphicar is a road vehicle (70 mph on the highway) and a boat, complete with propellers and a bilge pump! Enjoy the video (below) of a cruise on the historic SS Bigwin, sailing from Dorset, Ontario, on the Lake of Bays!
Well maintained and boat house stored, the Butson is powered by a Mercruiser 8 cylinder, 5 L engine.
We hope the site will satisfy your love of wooden boats, cottaging and the holiday lifestyle. Working with plans from CompuMarine in British Columbia, Peter recently completed a two year sailboat project. It’s a great opportunity for like minded people to get together and pursue a common interest, wooden boats.
Pictures of Fortuna On the west coast of the United States is Sierra Boat Works, on the shore of Lake Tahoe, the site of the Concours d’elegance which is considered by many to be The boat show in North America, if not the world for wooden boats. The falls flyer is a cedar strip boat with white oak frames & ribs frame boat covered in canvas like aircraft wings. Captain Randy Potts of Bracebridge deserves credit for working through a Muskoka winter to breathe new life into Peerless.
They won the Harmsworth Trophy and were invited to the White House to receive the Trophy from President Roosevelt. Starting Memorial Day, he hopes to find many others like him and offer them spins on the Willamette River.
This boat weighs 10 tonnes and is one of two boats built in the 1950’s using the cold molded method of wood boat construction.
Then Dave takes out a 1934 20’ Hacker for testing, running into heavy snow on the return trip.
After winning the 1932 Canadian title in Little Miss Canada II, Harold & Lorna rode Little Miss Canada III to Canada’s 1st motor sports World Championship during the 1934 CNE, a title they successfully defended in 1935 in Little Miss Canada IV.


The pleasure craft, which dates from 1962, has already has three other marinized engines from car manufacturers, a Lincoln and two Chrysler Hemi powerplants. Along the route, the “Segwun” will be joined by over 100 wooden boats; some will complete the entire journey, others will join en route. Patricia Ross (Traditional Boat Finishes) is undertaking substantial work on one of of only three known Greavette gentleman’s racers of this type.
If you’re visiting the Thousand Islands, this summer, a stop at the museum should provide a welcome treat. This premier event in the antique boating world was well attended and showcased Dodge boats, as well as many other manufacturers. Their high price, limited capacities and increasing government regulations eventually sounded the death knell of the world’s only amphibious production car. In a time where so little of the past has survived, we treasure these opportunities to hold on to our heritage.
Lightweight at approximately 350 lbs, (not including engine), the Giesler is easily trailerable. Using locally sourced cedar-strip for the hull and mahogany for gunwales and the mast step, Peter completed the job with cloth and epoxy, inside and out, for a maintenance free, long lasting vessel. The Wild Goose is a large triple cockpit that has undergone a one and half year restoration under a number of volunteers.It is a great project being undertaken in a wonderful building, the stone building. Lauderdale, Florida, the boat is built with balsa core construction laid over a mold, and glassed inside and out. They piloted a wooden boat built in Gravenhurst that could run up to 170mph and put Canada in the world spotlight. Pirates and Privateers is a half hour documentary about the exciting history of piracy and privateering in Atlantic Canada. His boat, made in Kelso, Wash., has a mahogany hull, with a top made of Alaskan yellow cedar.
Jim is meeting the sister ship in Lake Worth Florida and together they will travel across the ocean towards the Bahamas. Father Ernest A Wilson and his racing team were able to build the Little Miss Canada and Miss Canada series of speedboats into a dynasty of championship vessels. Hacker Official 1935 World Champion photo of Little Miss Canada IV This dynamite little 13ft step hull racer (below) is one of the finest boats I have ever seen.
The gents at Freeport Boat Outlet in Freeport, Maine are overseeing the wooden hull restoration and have said that 85 percent of the mahogany will need replacing. The owner wants to purchase a larger cruiser and is looking to find a new home for his Trojan. Originally used to guide large vessels into the port of Bristol, England, Simon discovered the sloop at a yacht club on the Toronto Islands in 2004. For the owners who love them, however, and the public who get a huge kick from watching them they will live for eternity.
Both Dwight and Paul spoke of the necessity of creating a very strong, rigid,  structure, that would resist bending and cracking. Resort owners please take note: this vessel would be a diamond in the crown of your tourist business. She ferried guests to and from the famous Bigwin Island Resort – one of the most spectacular resorts in North America. Bigwin was moved to a property in Dwight., then later, Dorset, where restoration began in earnest. A new bottom was installed about 20 years ago along with a re-chroming, new seats and a new bimini.
He was very proud of his inboard boats as they are the rarest and they only made 18 of them. The aft section behind the step is prismatic and a little steeper deadrise than the original.
Enjoy the great pictures and video footage of some incredible Muskoka Wooden Race boat history.
It introduces the viewer to several notorious pirates who pillaged Atlantic Canada, and explains how the business of privateering was practiced. He’s among dozens of Portlanders who’ve turned to Kickstarter, a “crowdfunding” website that helps budding entrepreneurs and artsy types raise cash for a startup business or creative project. He also owned the famous Hacker-Craft racer, Scotty-Too, a 28’ three step Gold Cup contender, which still remains in the family . The SS Bigwin has seen the likes of Clark Gable, Louis Armstrong, Winston Churchill, Great Garbo and many others. Engine has newstarter drive and water pump, spark plugs, with newer prop and anodetrim tab. The staff are currently putting a new bottom on the Ditchburn built Gentleman’s Racer Rainbow III that was designed by Harry Greening. Offering guided tours of Portland’s stretch of the Willamette River in his six-seat Tollycraft, a 17-foot wooden boat built in 1961 that he purchased on Craigslist.
His great-great grandfather owned the property on which the Hacker Boat Company’s Silver Bay location now operates. Assuming all goes well, the hull will get an SUV’s worth of Infiniti luxuries and be married to its engine.
Vore plans to store the boat at his Southwest Portland home, then pick up people who reserve tours at Willamette Park or other points along the river. Temporarily caulking her seams with silicone so she wouldn’t sink, Simon towed her to Oshawa, Ontario, where work began in earnest.
The engine is in good running condition,A  with a signal lever control for forward and reverse and throttle. This is a wonderful event filled with all sorts of antique and Classic wooden race boats and hydro’s. Cotton was re-applied to her hull seams and the vessel was saturated with CPES  penetrating epoxy, then varnished.
But his modest venture could provide a new way for Portlanders and tourists to experience the Willamette, in a more intimate fashion than jet boats or Portland Spirit’s larger vessels.
The teak decks contain so much natural oil that they must be periodically stripped and re-varnished., as the oil leaches up and causes bubbling at the surface. The words are Gits Olssons, a very well known Swedish journalist, and the scenario could have been a reality.
Simon’s efforts have provided him  with a very sea worthy, seven ton vessel, on which he plies the Great Lakes.
Today it is still an incredible speed – something that few people will be fortunate to experience. The clients, two thrill-seeking men from Stockholm wants to realize the old dream of beating 100 knots with a Swedish-built boat.
The boat will be built here in Holmsund, we have good experience of rapid wooden boats by having built the replica of Ivar Kreuger?s SVALAN and restored Max Gumpels lovely racer LAILA. The project is led by Anders Bathus with the goal of creating a classic record breaking boat completely without compromise.



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