How James Osler and his staff managed to squeeze a mammoth 34 foot Minett launch into his shop, never mind flip it, remains somewhat of a mystery! However, they succeeded, and have been “operating” on the boat since then. The current power plant, a 6 cylinder Scripps engine, has been removed for refurbishment. Also on the “chopping block” is a major restoration of a 17 ft. 1950s Chris-Craft. Enjoy the video below.
Dan Van Gelder sources white cedar from Eastern Ontario and red cedar from British Columbia
Our congratulations to Dan and Becky Van Gelder on their thriving canoe restoration business in the Huntsville, Muskoka area. With some ten projects on the go, there is no shortage of work this winter and beyond. What began as a hobby and love of canoeing and canoe restoration for the couple has become a full time career for the Van Gelders, who set up shop in Muskoka about three years ago. They obviously have a passion for their work
Enjoy the photos and video below.
Becky’s skills with canoes began with a high school apprenticeship programme.
Imagine being married and business partners at the same time! That’s commitment!
Cherry and ash are frequently used for the Van Gelder’s canoe gunwales. This canoe is a “new build”.
This Walter Dean canoe (top of photo) has had a complete restoration.
Each new canoe is built from a template mold like the one in this photo.
Ho-ho-hold the varnish! One of Santa’s favouriute elves, aka Peter Code of Tender Craft Boats,(and a junioor elf) are hard at work on this seventeen foot, late 1950s Century Resorter. The new bottom, frames, strringers, keel, transom and deck make the Resorter an almost new boat! Peter hopes to have the work completed early in the new year. Meanwhile, the engine is out for restoration. With care and good luck, this Century will provide another fifty years of service.
A recent visit to Brackley Boats in Gravenhurst, Ontario, provided a very pleasant surprise. Nestled into Paul’s restoration bay sat “Kittyhawk”, the early 1930’s Gidley day cruiser purchased by aviator Orville Wright in 1931 for $3,075.00. The boat was used extensively on his island property in Georgian Bay. After Mr. Wright’s death, Kittyhawk was active until the 1960s when a storm event punctured a hole in her hull. She lay on slings, deteriorating for several years, until a massive restoration was undertaken in the 1970s. Kittyhawk was relaunched in 1975 and has been in active use ever since. Paul and his staff have re-varnished her, replaced several planks, had new upholstery installed and the seating configuration adjusted. Her new home will be on Lake Rosseau, in Muskoka, Ontario.
Let’s hope that this iconic boat continues her historic connection for years to come. Enjoy the video below.