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by Rob

Our ACBS (Toronto) Spring tour of wooden boat shops continues.

May 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

Our tour continues with a peek at the boat shops of Butson Boats, Harwood Watercraft and James Osler’s shop near Port Carling. Enjoy the video below.

by Rob

More wonderful woodies from the ACBS (Toronto) Spring Tour

May 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

Our tour continues with additional photos from Breen Boats in Rockwood, Ontario.
1896 Dan Kidney 23ft Canoe Launch

This is a very rare find. Complete, intact and quite solid after 120 years, she has obviously been mostly stored inside away from the elements.
Dan Kidney was a substantial boat builder in northern Wisconsin.  His boats were sold throughout the United States. Very few have survived, as they were powered with early rudimentary  engines and mainly burned in the early years before gasoline motors started to become more reliable later in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Bill and Susan Ringo are rebuilding this piece of history to be used around their island on Lake Russeau, Muskoka for sunsets and family cruises. These launches are great family boats with wrap around seats.
Now totally ribbed, with a new bottom installed, Peter Breen’s staff are fairing it into the original sides and preparing to install the keel protection with the strut, shaft log and rudder assembly. Originally steam powered, very few of these survived as they were prone to fires and quite dangerous to run. Breen’s staff are converting her to a period gas engine – as was done when they realized that this was a safer, simpler and more user friendly way to go. Efforts are being made to identify the build date of this launch. With the power and propeller diameter it is known that she was built before the turn of the century.

 

This Duke playmate is in for some bottom planking, where attention to the wood grain selection for the bottom planks is critical.

The ultimate “wooden eye candy”…a garage crammed with Gentleman’s Racers!

The huge amount of labour and skill involved in creating this new 28 foot custom Gentleman’s Racer is a testament to the craftsmen and women who assemble her piece by piece!

The “Apprenticeship” , built by Peter Breen’s son Jeffrey, who has ‘learned the trade”, was featured at this year’s Sunnyland ACBS show in Florida show. A close look at the dash and forward end of the boat reveals the incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail lavished on the “Apprenticeship”

by Rob

The ACBS Toronto Chapter Spring Tour re-ignites vintage boating excitement!

April 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

Hats off once again to the Toronto Chapter, ACBS,  for a well organized spring tour of the (mainly) Muskoka area boat shops.  Woodies of all shapes, sizes, vintages and stages of restoration graced the floors  of the thirteen venues represented.  Luncheon at the Port Carling Community Centre was a sell-out as well. The first stop (made possible by N.H., our secret sleuth) focused on Peter Breen’s Rockwood boat shop  Enjoy some of the photos  and description below.


Miss Mary
Miss Mary is a 1920-21 Gold Cup Racer. She competed in three Gold Cups with her one-of-a-kind Peerless Racing Motor. After almost 95 years she is being fitted with new steam bent ribs and a copper riveted bottom, exactly as she was built… “light and sturdy.” With her unique Peerless Motor, she’ll be ready to race again.

Ragtime (photos below)
This boat arrrived at Peter Breen’s shop for a new bottom. Peter is replacing the West System original bottom that had been patched and repaired several times until it was no longer safe. Ragtime now has a new white oak sawn frame with a skeleton backbone, keel, chines, transom and new stainless steel running gear. The frame will be covered with a mahogany bottom of 7/8” solid mahogany, stainless steel fastened and sealed inside and out with epoxy. A beautiful choice of wood for the transom was selected and great finish work applied…as always.

by Rob

Last word on the Sunnyland Antique and Classic Boat Show:

April 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

Two of the most talked about boats on the St.John’s River cruise in Florida and at the Sunnlyand ACBS Boat Show were the Breen family boats; Jeff’s 24 foot Gentleman’s Racer and his Dad Peter’s “Dolly Durkin”. Jeff’s expertise in constructing the racer attests to his astonishing apprenticeship skills. Both boats are built by Breen Boats in Rockwood Ontario. Breen Boats will be participating in the Toronto ACBS Annual Spring Tour of boat shops this coming Saturday April 29th. This event is a wonderful way to see the projects of some ten boat builders throughout the Muskoka region and to view some of the finest wooden boats in the world! For contact information and details on the event, visit the ACBS Toronto Chapter website.

by Rob

ACBS (Toronto Chapter) Muskoka Spring Tour 2016 Part I

May 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

This year’s tour of Muskoka wooden boat restoration/construction shops proved once again that there is a continuing interest and love of “woodies”.  Enjoy the video highlights below.

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