by PCB Admin


Welcome to the Port Carling Boats site

November 26, 2014 in Blog

Welcome to the Port Carling Boats website! We hope the site will satisfy your love of wooden boats, cottaging and the holiday lifestyle. Check out our links at the bottom of this page, too!

Your source for Cottage life in Muskoka Ontario and Antique and Classic Wooden Boats

(For information on our new boat listings, be sure to subscribe to our website (see right hand column)

by Rob

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

Blackbird Boats unveils a stunning new Gentleman’s Racer, 23 ft, 600hp! Enjoy the video below.

by Rob

Thursday November 20, 2014

November 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

Our newest listing: a rare Minett-Shields, 26 ft, 1929
This extremely rare, beautiful Minett-Shields twin cockpit launch represents the very best of Muskoka boat building. Custom built at the end of the “Roaring 20’s”, and in show room condition, the launch comes re-powered (2000) with a reliable 8 cylinder, 370 hp. Mercruiser engine. The original Scripps engine is also included in the sale. The launch, which offers pristine bright-work, was re-varnished in 2011.  The iconic Fleetwood II  has been boat house kept, has a very interesting history and is in mint condition.
Price $325,000
For contact information, please see ad number pb627 on the Classic/Antique Boats page, or click on the link. pb627 (More photos below)
pb627-2 pb627-1 pb627-5 pb627-4 pb627-3 pb617-9

by Rob

Sunday November 16, 2014

November 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

Incredible new Gentleman’s Racer debuts at Blackbird Boats.
Congratulations to Paul Hunter and his staff on the completion of this amazing 23 foot Blackbird GR (Gentleman’s Racer). The racer has been water tested and is back in the shop for some fine tuning. The 600 horsepower, 588 ci, 8 cylinder Roush Marine engine pushes the boat to a plane in about two seconds flat.
The cold molded, fifteen layer epoxied hull is coated with an additional layer of fibreglass for abrasion protection. The boat offers enhanced features such as an electrically operated engine hatch lift, a retractable water ski pole, mooring cleats and even bow light among it’s many custom features.
The GR will seat three in the main cockpit and two in the forward “mother-in-law” compartment.
The GR project, which can be ordered directly from Blackbird Boats, took about six months to complete. It’s difficult to imagine a more spectacular Gentleman’s Racer than the Blackbird GR.






by Rob

Friday, November 14, 2014

November 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

Can you help to identify this mystery boat?
The owners of this unique hard top sedan (photos below) are seeking assistance in identifying the origin and manufacturer of this twenty foot “mystery boat”. The previous owner, who bought the boat at auction, had the craft stored in a barn for twenty years. He told the current owners it had been built as a mail delivery boat in the Prince Edward County area of Lake Ontario, likely in the 1930’s to 1940’s.
Strangely enough, the boat may never have been launched. There are no bumps or marks on the hull; nor are there any hardware holes in the decks for cleats or running lights!
The owners would be very grateful for any leads or knowledge of the boat’s history. If you can help, please contact Rob at Port Carling Boats through our contact information tab (About Us”) at the top of the home page.

by Rob

Thursday November 13, 2014

November 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

Our newest listing: a lovely Port Carling Boatworks SeaBird, 20 ft, 1947
This lovely Seabird is a truly beautiful boat, always stored in a protected boathouse. The “Bird” is powered by a Buchanan 6 cylinder, 105 hp engine, which received major attention in the winter of 2013, including:
-Remove and replace engine and steam clean inside hull
-Replace flywheel ring gear and rebuild starter and generator and convert them to 12 volt
-Complete new wiring harness and fuse panel to modern specs
-All bulbs and spotlight bulb replaced with 12 volt units
-New 12 volt gauges
-Carb rebuild, tune up, water pump rebuild
-Remove and replace and steam clean gas tank
-New 12 volt bilge pump and blower
-All hoses, clamps, belts, as needed
– fuel filter system upgraded
The SeaBird comes fully loaded, with a fire extinguisher, many spare parts and an electric boat lift system.
Price: $9,500
For contact information, please visit ad number pb625 on the Classic/Antique Wooden Boats page, or click on the link. pb625

by Rob

Monday November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

Our newest listing: a Duke Playmate; 17 ft. 1951

This charming Playmate has been boathouse stored and meticulously maintained. Comfortably upholstered with seating for five or six, it makes a wonderful, gentle, touring boat. The rebuilt (2010) Buchanan Midget 4 cylinder inboard engine promises summers of reliable boating.
Price: $10,000
For contact information, please see ad number pb623 on the Classic/Antique Wooden Boats page, or click on the link.

by Rob

Sunday November 9, 2014

November 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

A quick peek at Tom Adam’s Boat boat shop and Duke Boats in Port Carling…

A brief stop-over at Tom Adam’s Muskoka boat shop last week revealed several interesting boats in for restorative work. The list included a Greynock triple cockpit, A Rayson Gardena from California, a Shepherd and a beautiful big Duke.


Over at Duke Boats, Jeremy Fowler and his staff were busy at work on an absolutely stunning 26 foot Hunter, a Greavette Sunflash (and several other craft).

by Rob

Saturday November 8, 2014

November 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

World Speed Record for wooden rib installation?
Watch Crossley Hunter, (son of Stan Hunter Boat Builder) in an amazing show of speed and dexterity, below. Crossley installs a scalding hot oak rib in a 20 ft Duke in a few seconds flat, bare handed!. Warning: Do not try this at home!

PS: For anyone interested in renting a wooden launch, please see Stan and Crossley’s Muskoka Launch Livery side bar ad on the home page of the Port Carling Boats website.

by Rob

Wednesday November 5, 2014

November 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

Remembering that 2015 will be the year of the Disappearing Propeller Boat, we offer these lovely shots of this especially lovely Dippy taken by photographer Michael Walker. To see more of Michael’s beautiful photos, visit
Muskoka, July 2009 174Muskoka, July 2009 175
Muskoka, July 2009 176Muskoka, July 2009 177
September 2008 Vacation 598September 2008 Vacation 599

by Rob

Tuesday November 4, 2014

November 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

“Varnish Off” Competition highlights tips from the professionals.

Thanks to the ACBS Toronto Chapter and Ken Lavalette of Woodwind Yachts, attendees at the recent Fall Workshop were treated to some very valuable information on preparing a wooden boat for varnishing, and the “roll and tip” varnishing technique. What’s more, they had fun doing it. Watch the video below to see how the pros do it!

by Rob

Friday October 31, 2014

October 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Join us at the Antique And Classic Boat (Toronto Chapter)  Fall workshop at Woodwind Yachts, where Ken Lavalette and his staff have lots to teach us about wooden boat restoration.  (Part one below)

by Rob

Wednesday October 29, 2014

October 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

More from Woodwind Yachts!
Fridays are varnish days at Ken Lavalette’s shop in Nestleton, Ontario.  Before varnishing, the shop floor is cleaned, (and sometimes watered down).  All excess clothing is removed and Ken and staff move around very slowly so as not to raise dust. If the varnish job is to be a “show finish”,  a plastic tent will be constructed around the boat. The vessel is vacuumed and then rubbed thoroughly twice with a tack cloth
Ken and staff use a “roll and tip” method of varnishing.  A foam roller is used first to apply a layer of varnish.  Roller pressure, (sometimes applied at right angles to the planking to fill cracks) can be applied with enough pressure to really penetrate into the wood fibres.  Following the roller stage, a brush is used to lightly “tip” or smooth the varnished surface.  WIthout the “tipping” from the brush, the roller would leave small stiple marks in the varnish.
Ken points out that it doesn’t take too long to varnish a boat.  It’s the preparation that takes the bulk of the effort.
For the first three coats, and Epiphanes product requiring no sanding between coats. For the remaining coats, sanding is applied between varnish coats.

(Below) Ken and a competitor competed in a Varnish Off at Saturday’s workshop.  Guess who won?IMG_3360

Steve demonstrates the “roll and tip” method on a cedar strip Lakefield. (below).  (The green hull is coated with an Epiphanes bottom paint)

by Rob

Tuesday October 28, 2014

October 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

ACBS Toronto Fall Workshop at Woodwind Yachts
Many thanks to Ken Lavalette and his knowledgeable staff for a rewarding and informative day spent with wooden boats this past Saturday. The workshop featured instruction on removing fasteners from unwanted planking, applying new planks, varnishing techniques, tool sharpening, care of brushes, steam bending, boat licencing and a myriad of other restoration details. (Ken also makes a mean bowl of chili!) It was really worth the drive to Nestleton.

Woodwind’s famous reproduction Peterborough IMG_3335

This sleek 30 ft. Dragon class racing sailboat (above) sets the standard for streamlined design.

The Hacker design gentleman’s racer below, (built in the 1990s) was in for a new transom and additional work. Inadequate ventilation was mentioned as a likely contributing factor to the premature wood rot.

Steve used this 22 foot Greavette (below), in for a major restoration, as a model to demonstrate fastener removal and new plank installation. Steve emphasized that adjoining planks must butt together across the full thickness of each plank, not just along an edge.

Woodwind Yachts staff make use of electric heat guns (below)  rather than chemical strippers, when possible, as they are less messy and require less cleanup.  A note of caution when stripping paint or varnish from marine plywood: excessive heat may cause delamination of the layers.  Apply heat gently!


by Rob

Friday October 24, 2014

October 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

Sorry folks, it’s sold
This exquisitely hand-crafted, 16 foot Whitehall design row-boat has just sold through the Port Carling Boats website for $4,500. The beautiful wine-glass transom really sets this row boat apart as a timeless classic. We wish the new owners countless hours of quiet, carefree boating. (Formerly ad number pb578)

by Rob

Thursday October 23, 2014

October 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

The restoration of an 18 ft, 1963 Thompson…or “Rob’s Folly!”
This marine ply lapstrake Thompson runabout was purchased in Michigan this past June for $1500, including the trailer. It seemed like an excellent value, as the owner had dropped the price by about 75%. A close inspection was impossible, as the floor boards and sides had been covered with stapled and glued indoor-outdoor carpeting. When the carpeting was removed, a significant number of broken, rotted ribs, several bad planks and a damaged interior keel were discovered. It seemed a shame to scrap the Thompson, so restorative work began.
At first blush, the boat looked great!
Unfortunately, the engine needed removal to access the affected planks and ribs. The shop ceiling was too low to allow for interior removal so an excavator was employed for the job!
This view shows the Thompson interior stern end minus the engine! It’s difficult to see the damaged areas without a closer look.
Finally, the Thompson was hauled to a friend’s shop so work could begin on removing the affected planking. As this Thompson’s lapstrake planking was fastened with nuts and bolts, (countersunk and puttied over, removing the hundreds of fastenings can up to five minutes for each one!(Video below)