Collecting and Enjoying the Classics #2
March 8, 2021 in Uncategorized
Introducing our Feature Writer – Tim Du Vernet
We are absolutely delighted to have, as our featured writer for Port Carling Boats, Tim Du Vernet.
Mr. Du Vernet is well known in both photography and boating circles as professional and knowledgeable in both areas. His striking and illustrious photos have graced exhibits, posters, Wooden Boat magazine, and in a book “Wood and Glory” published in 1997, which he co-authored.
Welcome, Tim Du Vernet. We look forward to some good reading and photos.
S.M. Givens, owner of Port Carling Boats
Collecting and Enjoying the Classics
My earliest memories of wooden boats was as a young child at my grandparents’ cottage in Windermere. In regular use was a mid-1930s Port Carling built skiff and a Peterborough Otonabee canoe. I have had both restored and treasure them. The skiff is classic in Muskoka design. The wonderful thing about wooden boats, even those as simple as a skiff, is the special character of each design or build.
Those who are fond of skiffs and canoes will quickly identify all the little features that are tell-tale for one region or another. The little depression under the bow deck where your hand would go when lifting by the bow, the slight beveling of the seat lips, the little gnurl that tops the front stem are just a few of the features that are part of the Port Carling skiff iconography. The Disappearing Propeller Boat is essentially an 16’ or 18’ skiff with an engine in it. Many of the traits of the Port Carling built skiffs were carried over into the Dispro as well.
This little skiff is only 14’, but I rowed it from Windermere, Port Carling, Brackenrig and Portage Bay. There is a definite knack to becoming efficient with traditional oar locks and a fixed seat. The boat has its hull speed limitations and there was no point in pulling very hard. I had Jeremy Masterson, a boat builder some will remember from some years ago, make me a set of custom oars. The topic of oars is worthy of a blog in itself! They can be true works of art!
By Tim Du Vernet