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by Rob

A “Bonnie Boat” comes home.

August 16, 2018 in Uncategorized

One of our subsrcibers, Paul Brady., kindly submitted this fascinating story of  his recently purchased Bonnie Boat.  This relatively little known company has since faded into history, but “Toasty” among others,  remains as a tribute to the company.  Paul’s story is below.

“Actually, last February I bought a boat that might make an interesting story. It is a Bonnie Boat, built in Jackson’s Point (Lake Simcoe, Ontario) around 1950 by Art Grew after the Grew name was sold to a company in Penetanguishene but before his passing in 1952. The Bonnie Boats name remained active on the same site until a developer bought the marina a year and a half ago and closed it. My wife Kim and I currently live in a wet boathouse next door to the former Bonnie Boats property on land that once belonged to Art Grew. The boat itself is a canoe stem cedar strip runabout named “Toasty” that was pictured in Joe Fossey’s 2006 history of Grew Boats. I bought it from Dwight Boyd of Clarion Boats after seeing it on Kijiji. Unbelievable that it should find it’s way home.  (Paul is currently restoring the boat. Additional phjotos and the full story below.

A Bonnie Boat Comes Home:  by Paul Brady.

About five years ago I was on Kijiji looking at wooden boats, just passing time. As I was looking at the boats, a Bonnie Boat popped up. I clicked on the ad, and sure enough the distinctive canoe shaped bow was apparent. There were few details in the ad but it was definitely a Jackson’s Point made product, dating from the early fifties. I wasn’t in a position to give it a proper home at that time but I made a few calls to see if there was any interest. A sixty year old wooden boat, no matter its history, is a major project and none of my calls raised any interest so I let it go. The ad disappeared and I didn’t think much more about it. Since then we have constructed a proper workshop, a boat trailer has been acquired and another wooden boat put into the stable. Then, this past February, in one of my searches on Kijiji, looking for anything to do with Grew boats or Bonnie Boats, there was another canoe stem Bonnie Boat. I sent an email to the vendor by 9 a.m. asking for details and within the hour he confirmed he still had it and that he would be home the rest of the day. The biggest problem for me was that the boat was in Warkworth, a town on the other side of Peterborough. My trailer was snowed in and a storm was forecast for the next day. I would have been happy to wait until April but I was concerned that someone else might be interested and a once in a lifetime opportunity to return the boat to Jackson’s Point would be lost. A consultation with my source of sober second thought (my wife Kim) confirmed that I must go get it so I called the vendor to tell him I was on the way, and I started shoveling. I was on the road by noon, found the place by GPS and had the boat loaded and headed back home by about 4 p.m. Another problem became evident as I was going through Peterborough – no running lights. Darkness had closed in and an accident on Highway 12 had created a detour away from the main road which put the GPS into a tizzy. So here I am, – 10ᵒC, in the dark, on narrow gravel side roads with no running lights on the trailer and the GPS nagging me to do a u-turn to get back on the highway. I finally got onto familiar territory and a stop at TSC got me a battery operated red taillight, so I was good to go. I got the Bonnie Boat into the garage in Sutton by 8 p.m., a little dirty but none the worse for wear. The vendor, Dwight Boyd of Clarion Boats, confirmed that this is the same boat that I had seen on Kijiji five years earlier. He had sold it at that time to a recently retired restaurateur who was looking for a project to pass his time. However, the cold hard reality of such a daunting task took hold and the boat sat in the garage untouched for five years. The storage space was dry and well ventilated so no harm was done. Wanting his garage space back, he called Dwight to see if they could work something out. Once again recognizing that this is a very special boat, Dwight went to St. Catharines to retrieve her. This had taken place about a month before it was relisted on Kijiji last February.

Dwight originally bought the boat many years ago when he saw it abandoned in a driveway. He didn’t know what it was at the time but he could tell that it was something special by the canoe shaped bow. He told me that of all the boats he was familiar with he had never seen that style of stem on a runabout. He had planned to restore it himself, and had even stripped off the varnish, but kept getting distracted with other projects. The boat came with some pictures taken in its heyday. One of the photos shows a young woman at the helm and the name “Toasty” on its bow. The story goes that every time the owner got a new girlfriend he would change the name. There must be more to this story however, because another photo of the boat shows a rather gruff looking character behind the wheel and the name on the bow is “Smitty”. These boats were made by Arthur Grew in Jackson’s Point in the early fifties. At this time Clarence Kemp, Grew’s financial backer, had sold the “Grew Boats Ltd.” name to a concern in Penetanguishene. The Jackson’s Point operation was still making wooden boats and Art Grew stayed in the Point, so the name “Bonnie Boat Company” was established. Arthur Grew died in 1952 and the operation and land was sold shortly thereafter to Bill and Stan Sellers of Jackson’s Point. According to a photocopy of a sales brochure that came with Toasty, Bonnie Boats offered three lines of craft during that period . The model that I have, with the distinctive “canoe stem” bow, is the “Bonnie Outboard Runabout” and at 14’ 6” overall length and a 62” beam was the largest of the line. The next model, the “Bonnie Outboard Skiff”, was the stock model and was used in the rental fleet. This boat was 14’ long and had a beam of 56”. The third boat was the “Bonnie Towboat” and was to be used as a row boat or tender, but could also take a small outboard. The Towboat was 11 feet long with a beam of 54”. All three models used the lapstrake construction method with white oak ribs and cedar planking. The decking, trim boards, transom and stem were solid mahogany, beautifully fitted and fastened with copper clinch nails. I know of one existing Bonnie Towboat. It shows the same attention to detail that the larger runabout exhibits, proving that a high quality product was important to the local craftsmen who created these boats. These two are the only Bonnie Boats that I have seen personally , but more may have survived. Although these wooden boats were made of the best materials and workmanship available, the average life span of a wooden boat was about ten years. Once a wooden boat was deemed to be beyond repair, they would be abandoned outside and allowed to rot or set on fire to get rid of them. A restoration will be started on Toasty this fall. It is currently inside my shop hanging patiently in its slings. I have located most of the missing parts, although she did have some hardware and all of her original seats and floors still intact. All I need now is lots of time, sandpaper and varnish.

by Rob

Video of the Muskoka Lakes Association Antique Boat Show

August 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

The video below highlights some of the most spectacular vintage boats in the world. This  “by invitation only” event, held in Port Carling Ontario, draws hundreds of visitors to oogle Minetts, Ditchburns, Greavettes and other beautiful classics.
Enjoy the video below.  (Part One)

by Rob

New price on a Continental and a floating boat house for sale.

August 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

Chris-Craft Continental: 20 ft., 1955.

We have been instructed by the owner to reduce the price of this Chris-Craft to $16,500. Please see notes from the owner and additional photo below.
Chris-Craft Continental: 20ft, 1955
This 1955 mahogany Chris-Craft  was located in a neighbour’s dry (dirt floor) boat house in 2012.  It had been in storage for twenty years! The boat was wet sanded, re-varnished and all the chrome was re-polished. The Continental has always been boat house stored and offers strong wood in great shape.  The boat runs really well…a fast 28 mph+, powered by a 6 cylinder 120 hp Hercules with three carbs.  The engine has been converted to a twelve volt system, so it starts easily. An automatic bilge pump has also been installed in the boat. Last year a fresh coat of copper bottom paint was applied to the hull. The Chris-Craft seats four or five comfortably and handles the ‘big water’ of Georgian Bay.  The sale includes four life jackets and a safety kit.
Original Price:$20,000
New price: (July 30, 2018) $16,500 For contact information, please click on the link.  Ad number pb781


Chris-Craft Continental:20 ft., 1955

Floating Boathouse for sale: 20 x 10

Located in the Huntsville area. Weighs 240 lbs. Supported by spherical floats. Zippered entrances on either side. Can be closed off at the front. Good height for most watercraft.
The unit is in very good condition and can be disassembled. (Only in use for four years)
I have sold my boat so the boathouse is no longer of use.
Price: $950. For contact information, please click on the link. Ad number pb834
Additional photos below.

by Rob

Custom Gentleman’s Racer: 17 ft, 2011

August 7, 2018 in Uncategorized


This custom gentleman’s racer is the last of three on our website designed by Ray Hunt and built by master craftsman John Adams.  Again, the fibreglass bottoms, 50 mph speed capability and included trailer offer distinct advantages to lovers of these speed boats.  Please see notes from the owner below.

Custom Gentleman’s Racer: 17 ft. 2011

This Gentleman’s Racer features an offshore fiberglass deep V-24o dead rise hull, .(Ray Hunt designed. These hulls finished 2nd place just behind the famous 30 Bertram Moppy raced from Miami to Nassau in the early 1960s.)

Jim Wynne, who drove this class of boat, was hired by Chris Craft to design the X-K, Lancer, and Commander runabouts built from the ’60s thru the ’70s.

The hull no. was the manufacture date.  “G” iand “F” are the vintage race boat series for the boat’s length and HP.

In addition to the great ride this hull provided, its construction had fiberglass hat sections stringers – no wood to rot.

The hull was  completely gutted, cut down and tumble home provided. Deck and framing are West epoxy to hull with wood composite from 5/8” to 1 3/4” at the hull. Deck and covering boards are 3/8” book matched mahogany. Dashes are ribbon striped with curved grain to match the crown of the deck.The engine is mounted mid-ship to laminated Douglas Fir, epoxied to fiberglass stringers.

Power for the racer is provided by a 12011, 350 cubic inch, 230 hp.  engine.
The transmission is a Borg Warner Velvet Drive hydraulic one-to-one with a stainless steel shaft and a Michigan propeller.

This “F-77” boat comes with a custom single axle  trailer with 15 inch wheels.

Also included is a full custom Sumbrella mooring cover with Velcro openings for mooring line access.

The seats are rolled and pleated marine vinyl . The racer seats three..

All hoses are marine grade, custom C.C. approved aluminum gas tank with vintage Stuart Warner gas, temperature, oil, volts and tachometer gauges

The Gentleman’s Racer  provides excellent bow storage.

The boat is also equipped with a Bower ventilation system and bilge pump.

The racer features vintage hardware and a wooden steering wheel with a mahogany bow and stern pole with navigation lights and flag. An  under-the-dashboard mounted fire extinguisher, anchor and line, matching dock lines, paddle, and hook combo are also included.   The port and starboard lights are from a 1927 Canadian racer.

Price: $28,000 USD    For further details and contact information,  please click on the link.   Ad number pb831. (Additional photos below.)


 

by Rob

A new listing: Custom Gentleman’s Racer. 23′, 2018

August 3, 2018 in Uncategorized


This beautiful racer is the second of three speed boats on our website designed by Ray Hunt and produced by master craftsman John Adams.  All three are currently for sale, feature fibreglass hulls, come with trailers  and all three have a top speed of 50 miles per hour.!
Please see notes from the owner below..

Custom Gentleman’s Racer:  23 ft., 2018

This Gentleman’s Racer features an offshore fiberglass deep V-24o dead rise hull, .(Ray Hunt designed. These hulls finished 2nd place just behind the famous 30 Bertram Moppy raced from Miami to Nassau in the early 1960s.)

Jim Wynne, who drove this class of boat, was hired by Chris Craft to design the X-K, Lancer, and Commander runabouts built from the ’60s thru the ’70s.

The hull no. was the manufacture date.  “G” is the vintage race boat series for the boat’s length and HP.

In addition to the great ride this hull provided, its construction had fiberglass hat sections stringers – no wood to rot.

The hull was  completely gutted, cut down and tumble home provided. Deck and framing are West epoxy to hull with wood composite from 5/8” to 1 3/4” at the hull. Deck and covering boards are 3/8” book matched mahogany. Dashes are ribbon striped with curved grain to match the crown of the deck.The engine is mounted mid-ship to laminated Douglas Fir, epoxied to fiberglass stringers.

Power for the racer is provided by a 1990, 8 cylinder, 454 cubic inch, 330 hp Crusader engine.
The transmission is a Borg Warner Velvet Drive hydraulic one-to-one with a stainless steel shaft and an acme propeller.

This “G” boat comes with a custom aluminum tandem axle trailer with disc surge brakes and heavy duty standing pads foreword and aft of fenders.

Also included is a full custom Sumbrella mooring cover with Velcro openings for mooring line access.

The seats are rolled and pleated marine vinyl . The racer seats six.

Hinged access to storage is provided  at the aft seat. The front seat bottom is removable to access water pick up valve for engine running on trailer and anti freeze pick up.

All hoses are marine grade, custom C.C. approved aluminum gas tank with vintage Stuart Warner gas, temperature, oil, volts and tachometrer gauges

“Glass of 68” provides huge bow storage with hatch glove compartments. Front and 2 aft side compartment storage.

The boat is also equipped with a Bower ventilation system and bilge pump.

The racer features vintage hardware and a wooden steering wheel with a mahogany bow and stern pole with navigation lights and flag. An  under-the-dashboard mounted fire extinguisher, anchor and line, matching dock lines, paddle, and hook combo are also included.

Fused rocker switching., AM/FM CD radio, Center Console with vintage shift handle with neutral lock up holders, flip up panel for GPS access are also provided.
The racer is powered by am 8 cylinder, 454 ci 330 hp Crusader engine.

Price: $78,000 USD     For further details, and contact information please click on the link Ad number pb830 Additional photos below.