Own a piece of history: Orville Wright’s sedan launch

January 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

We have been instructed by the owners to list “Kittyhawk“, (originally priced at $495,000) at $295,000
This wonderful 32 foot, 1929 “hard top” Gidley sedan launch really is one of a kind, used by Orville Wright of Wright brother’s fame, to commute to his Georgian Bay Island. The boat has had a top to bottom restoration, and is in Bristol condition.
For contact information, please click on the link. pb582
More photos and text below.
Kittyhawk History
Kittyhawk was built in 1929 by the Gidley Boat Company in Penetanguishene, Ontario. She was a 32.5 ft open runabout with a “navy” top for water taxi service in Parry Sound. In 1931 she was returned to the Company almost “new”, due to the Depression.
Orville Wright, the world’s famous first aviator, purchased the boat in 1931, had the navy top removed and replaced with a standard “gull” hard top. Orville used her regularly on his Georgian Bay Lambert Island property until 1941. At that point, a new Kermath 8 cylinder, 100 h.p. engine was installed. The Gidley was then put into storage as a result of World War Two.



When Orville died in 1948, the boat and Island was passed to the children of his brother Lorin.
The heirs sold the Island in 1953. Kittyhawk was sold to Wilfred France who used her as a work and water taxi until the mid 1960’s due to hull damage. She was put in slings for years until her owner passed away.


In 1972 Kittyhawk was purchased by Guy and Kathy Johnstone, (Kathy being the daughter of Wilfred). The Gidley was completely restored by the Greavette Boat Company and re-launched in 1975. The Johnstones have owned her ever since, and have been wonderful stewards of this beautiful, historic vessel.
Kittyhawk’s current condition:
Kittyhwawk has undergone three significant restorations since the 1970’s (as follows).
1974: A “mammoth” restoration by Greavette Boat Works in Gravenhurst, Ontario.
1988: Restorative work by Butson Boats in Port Carling
2006: Major restorative work by Woodwind Yachts in Nestleton, Ontario, including:
_26 new partial sister frames
-replacement of five bottom planks
-topside plank repairs
-bottom sanded, resealed, re-caulked and painted
-some hardware re-chromed as required
-new stainless steel rudder and carpeting





pb582-9in 2011, Kittyhawk was certified to be in “excellent condition” by Woodwind Yachts.
Kittyhawk comes complete with a newer, custom dual axle trailer.
Regular engine maintenance and winter storage has been by Purser Marine Honey Harbour.
For further details, visit the Kittyhawk information website
Price: $295,000 Ad number pb582

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