by PCB Admin


Welcome to the Port Carling Boats site

February 27, 2015 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

Friday February 27, 2015

February 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

ACBS (Toronto Chapter) Winter Workshop: (Part III)
Engine Talk:
Matt Faribrass, marine mechanic extraordinaire, kindly brought an operational four cylinder engine to the workshop – and ran it!  Matt spoke about various means of assessing an engine’s condition, including a compression test and a visual piston chamber inspection for rust. Matt emphasized the importance of paying close attention to the engine peripherals,  including the carb(‘s) fuel pump, and electrical system.  An engine “rebuild”  does not necessarily mean that the peripherals have been inspected. A faulty fuel pump diaphragm for example,, can lead to gasoline leakage through the engine and a potential explosion.. As usual, an ounce of prevention….
Propeller Talk
Amanda Holloway, of United Propeller in Orillia, Ontario, commented, when asked, that four blade propellers generally offer smoother acceleration, while three bladed props are generally a little faster. A pitch of 13-13, she explained, is common in older boats. (the two “thirteens” refer to the diameter of the prop and the distance traveled to complete one full rotation). Amanda also noted that while many props are bronze (with manganese) a superior propeller will be composed of Nibral (a combination of nickel, bronze and aluminum).
Adhesive Talk
James Osler, a Muskoka restorer, talked about the value of Dolfinite 2005M a bedding compound, unfortunately only available in the United States. (It can be purchased there and brought across the border to Canada.)
For scarfing planks, James suggests using Sikaflex 291 or 3M Marine. For applications requiring flexibility, James utilizes #M 4200 or 3M5200

by Rob

Wednesday February 25, 2015

February 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

ACBS (Toronto Chapter) Winter workshop, Part II.
As well as “Rita” the 50 foot Minett in the shop for a new bottom and engine rebuild, Tom Adams and his staff have also been working on a Greavette Sunflash and “Bella Vista III”, a 28 foot, 1928 Minett Shields. This beautiful long deck, displacement hull launch will surely turn heads, when completed,  wherever she goes.

Traditional putty (still wet) had been applied to the deck seams of Bella Vista III, just before our visit.



by Rob

Monday February 23, 2015

February 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

ACBS Toronto Chapter Winter Workshop
Tom Adam’s Port Carling boat shop was abuzz this past Saturday as ACBS members gathered to hear words of wisdom from Tom and his staff, as well as superb mechanic Matt Fairbrass, the staff of United Propellers, and James Osler, who discussed marine adhesives.
One of the morning’s highlights was the appearance of RITA a wondrous 50 foot Minett, dating from 1914. (Photos below). This magnificent “picnic boat” is in for a major restoration, including a new bottom, and a complete engine rebuild (by Matt Fairbrass). Rita is so huge, it was impossible to take a stem to stern photo from inside the shop! Tom Adams estimates that Rita’s restoration will take about 20 months. Following restoration, she will return to her original home at a Lake Muskoka Island.

Rita's interior





Stay tuned from more updates from the Winter Workshop, coming shortly.

by Rob

Tuesday February 17, 2015

February 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

Your Morning Smile! Just when you’d thought you’d “seen it all,” along comes a unique, if bizarre, wooden boat-motorcycle combination. Who would have thought it possible? The “Rockin Strawberry Motorcycle Gathering proves that some people just have too much time on their hands!

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by Rob

Monday February 16, 2015

February 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

Toronto Area Boat Shop Offers Skill, Experience
(Ed. note Many thanks to our secret sleuth for uncovering this informative story.)
“It’s a cold, February Sunday and Toronto is experiencing snow and slippery roads. I am suffering wooden boat withdrawal. All the Lakes in Muskoka are frozen (with two or three feet of ice) and snow covered.
There isn’t much chance of catching a gleaming mahogany Ditchburn Triple waiting at the Port Carling locks to open. So what is a wooden boat enthusiast to do?

While I could go into my garage and look at my 16 ft. wood canoe; but it is under a work bench in the garage, which would mean shoveling 16 ft of driveway to allow me a glimpse.
Then a great idea hit me. I launched the crackberry roledex and cranked out a note to Peter Code, a boat restorer who lives five minutes from my house, Peter has a 2000 sq. ft. boat shop that can accommodate a 38 ft boat!
Several days earlier, Peter’s wife had told me she had woven some new seat bottoms for a 100 year old Walter Dean racing canoe that was in the shop for some work. Also in the shop was a 15 foot stitch and glue sail boat, a 17 foot Toronto harbour built boat, as well as a couple of new canoes and a rowing skiff. Pete had also been busy building a 2nd storey inside this building for two canoe construction areas, as well as a soaking tank for steaming planks for canoes and boats.

When I arrived, Peter was busy planking a new 15 foot canoe. I immediately walked past a “Pocketship ” stitch and glue sailboat. Chesapeake Light Craft sells these boats either as plans only or pre-cut assembly kit with a CNC router. The latter version is shipped to you in a 4 x 10 ft box, weighing 540lb. You pop that into the back of your pickup truck and off you go. Buying the pre-cut wood saves you about 3 months of menial cutting work, but it really is the timing saved in fairing, as all the wood is within a 1/1000th inch of tolerance. This provides a very exact fit. Take a look at the way the two sheets of plywood are joined to form the side plank in the accompanying photo. The boat joints are all glassed and epoxied, as are all the external components of the boat. This provides a very light but strong hull.

This sailboat has room for two people to sleep, plus a head, storage – and you stay dry! The Pocketship is light boat that is easily trailerable with manageable sails and a mast. She is an excellent option for weekend sailing.

Behind Peter is the 2nd storey loft for the canoe building areas and the soaking tank. Facing Peter are two boats in for repairs this winter. The one with the brown paint to be removed is a 16 ft lapstrake rowing skiff from a builder named Crosswell from the Parry Sound area of Muskoka. It was bought at an auction. The purchaser decided thAT this was a job that needed a professional who could remove the paint without damaging the very old wood.

In the foregound is a blue lapstrake Aykroyd sailboat built in Toronto Harbour. That purchaser had never got around to repairing his boat’s bottom for a number of years, so Pete was handling the job for him.

…Which takes us to the Walter Dean Racing Canoe, constructed with longitudinal metal bands stretching the full plank length. These bands give the boat strength and keep it light. The band fits between two grooves in the planks to add rigidity to the boat. Look for the gold/green band on
the left hand side approximately 4 inches/2 planks down from the top edge. If you look carefully at the seats you will notice the back seat frame is much shorter on the right hand side. This allows the paddler to dig deep without leaning as much and tipping. Peter’s wife did an amazing job caning the seats.
Unfortunately the deck boards and the floor boards were beyond repair. Peter has remade these parts and they will be either matched to the boat’s patina or reveal that they are not original. This was a decision that the owner had yet to finalize when I visited Peter. This canoe is not a museum piece, but one that will be used on special occasions. Peter will take that into account when determining the materials and techniques to be used during the restoration.
When you look at the height of the stem you quickly realize that this canoe is not designed for freeboard; the angle and the shape of the stem also denote its function. One gunnel is original while the other one will have to be reconstructed. The rear deck needs work under the deck trim which will
not be visible for the most part. Quite a unique and rare canoe! it was great to see a canoe in such capable hands as Peter’s.

I really enjoyed Pete’s shop. He did not know I was coming for a visit, but you can see that the shop is clean, well lit and organized. The temperature and humidity are controlled. Peter seals off an area for varnishing and his work speaks for itself – even when a boat is 30 plus feet.

If you are looking for a someone to build or restore your antique boat, Peter has over 25 years of experience building and restoring his customers’ dreams in a cost effective manner.

You can reach Peter Code at Lakeview Canoe Company in Mississauga, Ontario. 416-518-2671 (email: petercode(at)

by Rob

Tuesday February 10, 2015

February 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

Huge price reduction on historic Petterson motor yacht, 42 ft.

This spectacular, historic motor launch is a unique treasure.  Nordstjernan (Northern Star) is a beautiful salon boat in Honduras mahogany, built by the legendary Swedish boat constructor C.G.Petterson. NS is the oldest motor yacht in Sweden, safe and sound in good condition and with many original features. The engine is a Volvo Penta D2-55, fifty-five hp., from 2004, used only 400 hours. The boat is unique and antique, registered in the Motor Yacht Society and has received numerous awards, including MYS Walk Bollards. NS has also been exhibited at the Stockholm International Boat Fair 2005 (100-year anniversary) and has been featured in a number of boating magazines and the general press. The boat is well documented. Copies of the original drawings are available at the Maritime Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. The present home port of NS is in central Stockholm. The boat has about 18 comfortable seats for passengers.
Update form the owner, June, 2013
“The boat has been inspected by one of Sweden´s foremost experts in wooden boats and is found to be in solid condition with no objections.”
Original price was $199,500 USD New price, Feb, 2015 $62,000 USD, (less than 1/3 of original asking price) (Ed. note: With this kind of price reduction, serious consideration could be given to shipping the boat to Canada or the USA.
For further information, please see ad number pb524 on the Classic/Wooden Boats page, or click on the link. pb524

by Rob

Monday February 9, 2015

February 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

Boat vendors: beware of Internet fraud attempts:
Luckily, Internet scams are becoming widely recognized. We received the same inquiry (below) from a so-called potential buyer as another of our clients. The first email from this individual asked about the vendor’s “bottom line” price, (not too suspicious) The second email reads as follows:
“I would like to inform you, am OK with the price and willing to pay for it, Arrangement for the payment and the pick up by my Transporter when Check clears in your account,my account officer will post Certified Check to your location ,It will take 3 days to book the money in your account. I want you to send the following details:
1, Full name
2, Full Address
3, Cellphone Number
4, Last Offer
I will wait for your response as soon as possible.

We have turned this individual’s contact information over to the Ontario Provincial Police, but would like to remind our vendors of fraud attempts.

by Rob

Friday, February 5, 2015

February 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

Rob’s Folly (Continued from 2014)
Rob is partway through the restoration of his 1963 Thompson lapstrake runabout. With engine removed, the boat has been moved to the shop of Michael Cooke, north of Burke’s Falls, Ontario. Muskoka winters can be particularly frigid, with night-time temps. falling to -25 Celsius or below. Mike’s large shop is wood heated, and will only rise 20 degrees above the outside temperature, so work is scheduled on warmer days. Generously, Mike (the expert) allows Rob (the novice) to assist…helping to keep the costs down.
Despite a local mechanic’s comment that removing an outdrive is easy… “just unscrew the four big bolts”, it was anything but! Exhaust pipe, wiring, steering mechanism, etc. all had to be disconnected… not an easy task when the outdrive hadn’t budged in 50 years.
Finally, it popped! What is left is quite a mess!
The next stage in the restoration involves removing two starboard bottom planks, one port plank, as well replacing a number of ribs and the interior keel. Of course, the bottom planks have to be unscrewed/unbolted from the exterior. Mike will need multiple chiropractic treatments after this exercise!

Removing planks from a lapstrake hull is tricky, especially when they’re embedded with sikaflex. A thin, wide pry bar helps to loosen the planks. A rubber mallet completes the job. The photo below shows the missing plank
Marine mahogany plywood has been delivered from “Noah’s” in Toronto. This wood will replace the rotten planks. It’s quite expensive, (about $140 per sheet) but guaranteed by Lloyd’s of London to be seaworthy! Note: “Regular” plywood should not be used for marine applications
Stay tuned for the ribbing and keeling!

by Rob

Monday February 2nd, 2015

February 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

Price reduction on beautiful Gentleman’s Racer:
Built by Reets Boat Works, in Mayfield New York, this stunning racer comes equipped with a 350  hp Mercury Scorpion engine. Complete with a triple layer West System bottom, the racer features a forward rumble seat and a spacious rear cockpit. A bow thruster is incorporated into the forward hull for greater manoeuverability. With only 78 hours on the engine, this boat is virtually new. a four blade prop helps propel the boat to 55 mph.  Included with the sale is a double axle Sierra custom trailer.
The original price was $100,000. New price, $78,500. For contact information, please see ad number pb536 on the Reproduction Wooden Boats page, or click on the link: pb536

by Rob

Thursday January 29, 2015

January 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

Heldena II: one-of a kind Gold Cup Race Boat:
Heldena II gas (2)
The mirror finish reflects a smiling Peter Breen filling up Heldena II. Designed in 1915 by George Crouch and built and delivered in 1916, this proved to be one of the longest campaigned Gold Cup boats of the era.
Matt Fairbrass discovered a derelict Heldena in a Scarborough, Ontario back yard. His story is below
by Matt Fairbrass:
“I found Heldena in about 1976 rotting away in a backyard in Scarborough on a side street that was off Brimley Rd. They widened Brimley Road about that time to create Bluffer’s Park Yacht Club. Once the road was done you could see into everyone’s backyard. I was not old enough to drive but spotted this huge boat under an old tarp. I kept an eye on the boat for several years. it belonged to a fellow named Fred Brough. Fred was a junk collector who bought the boat for $250.00. He hauled her home and it sat in his yard until 1984, when I was finally able to purchase her. I knew nothing about the boat other than it’s name and some little bit of history. I found that Helen Miller (ed note: a relative of the first owner) was still alive and met with her several times. She was a wonderful lady with many great stories of the boat. My father Alan and I put in hundreds of hours in her careful reconstruction and research. Sadly my Father passed away in 1992 and the boat was stored for some time until Mike Windsor of Windsor boats helped to finish off the majority of the planking and hull. Unable to continue with the project I decided to sell her and she was purchased by the McGraw family.
That is how Heldena II survived the scrap heap.”
Breen Boats-2
(Ed. note: Peter Breen was involved in the completion of this beautiful racer.)

by Rob

Tuesday January 27, 2015

January 27, 2015 in Blog

Our newest listing:
A J.H. Ross cedar-strip runabout: 15.5 ft, 1936
This versatile runabout has been very well preserved and cared for. (Serial number 88334). In the 1990’s the boat was appraised by Town and Country Appraisals at $6500.
The Ross is rated for a 15 hp. outboard motor. The sale will include a trailer (to be provided). The owner is willing to bring the boat to Muskoka and would also consider a trade for a “four wheeler”.
Price: $4500 (negotiable)
For contact information, please see ad number pb634 on the Classic/Antique Boats page.

by Rob

January 20, 2015

January 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

Our newest listing: A charming, very reasonably priced Disappearing Propeller Boat; 18 ft. 1936
This graceful Lindsay “Sport Special” Dispro was restored in 2011. It has been carefully maintained, is complete and runs well, with an engine “in perfect running condition”. There is a spare St. Lawrence, (similar to the St. Lawrence
engine in the boat) available for $500. The sale includes a single axle trailer, canvas cover, spoon blade oars, electronic ignition, fitted cushions and a glass aquascope (to examine the disappearing propeller mechanism).
Price $10,500. For contact information and other details, please see ad number pb632 on the Classic/antique Boats page, or click on the link. pb632

by Rob

January 14, 2015

January 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

Price Reduction on Triple Cockpit Port Carling Boat Works “SeaBird”
Originally priced at $37,000, we have been instructed by the owner to reduced the price on this fully restored Seabird to $27,999.
pb356-2l, rare, triple cockpit Port Carling Boat Works SeaBird, is a multiple award winner.
Powered by a 4 cylinder Buchanan Junior engine, this vessel turns heads wherever she goes. Awards received include:
-Best in Show and People’s Choice award Hartwell GA Boat Show
-Blue Ridge Boat Show: People’s Choice award
-Atlanta, Georgia: Wooden Boat Show: Best In Show award
Charlotte, N.C.; People’s Choice award
Lake Burton, GA Show 2nd place award
Alabama, Dixieland Chapter Show: First Place Runabout award and People’s Choice award
Mt. Dora, Florida: Sunnyland Chapter Show. (210 boats) Awarded one of 6 awards given for best boats in show.
Comments from the owner…”The Seabird comes with a trailer. “I added a new fuel tank with anti-siphon, bilge blower, lift rods to connect rings to keel attachments, 2nd bilge pump in stern. Petronix solid state ignition. Upholstery is pleated dark green. (New in 1999)” Additional bottom work has recently been completed. Equipment includes boat cover, bumpers, brass/wood boat hook, old brass fire extinguisher (non functional)
For contact information, please see ad number pb356 on the Classic/Antique Wooden Boats page, or click on the link. pb356

by Rob

Monday January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

PRICED TO SELL: a beautiful 1951 Chris-Craft cabin cruiser!
We have been instructed by the owner to reduce the price of this completely restored 38 ft. Chris Craft cabin cruiser to $50,000 U.S.D. Well over $200,000 has been invested in the restoration of this boat! The gorgeous, double stateroom cruiser is powered by twin Chris-Craft 283 engines, and comes complete with a Freedom 25 inverter, Cruisair reverse heat/air, vacuflush, Polar fridge, water heater and teak/holly flooring throughout. This boat requires no restoration and is ready for many summers of enjoyment.
For further details, photos and contact information, please visit ad number pb473 on the Classic/Wooden Boats page, or click on the link. pb473




by Rob

Saturday, January 10, 2015

January 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

Price Reduction on Custom Gentleman’s Racer
We have been instructed by the owner/builder of this stunning gentleman’s racer, to reduce the price by $25,000. Please see the photos and description below.

After 6 years of working on evenings and weekends,  David Young’s Gentleman Racer is finally complete. David started building boats with his father in the basement of their home, at the age of 14. After working at many boat-building companies, over the years, including Windsor Boat Works in Gravenhurst, and 9 years at Duke Marine in Port Carling, Ont. David decided in 2003 to build a 20’ four seater Gentleman’s Racer of his own. Powered by a 350 cu. in. Mercruiser 350 HP Fuel Injected “Black Scorpion”. This brand new boat is one of a kind, with many personalized upgrades including hardware castings that were first carved from wood by David himself. Additional information is available, regarding the special features and materials used. New price: $210,000. For contact information please see ad number pb418 on the “Reproduction Wooden Boats” page, or click on the link.pb418

gentleman's racer pb418-2

gentleman's racer pb418-3

gentleman's racer pb418-4

gentleman's racer pb418-5

gentleman's racer pb418-1

gentleman's racer pb418-6