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Ski Boats are for Sissies!

November 25, 2021 in Uncategorized


The Ski Nautique and similar purpose built ski boats are for those who are scared away by a challenge. With purpose built power, the hull to match and all the modern advances available, where is the real challenge with all these advantages?

Once upon a time, the family launch did dual duty as the family hauler and ski boat. The modern ski boat has likely at least 200 HP to play with, the low slung hull that planes almost immediately and with minimal wake and a top speed pushing 60mph.

The pre-1960’s utility/family launch had at most 120HP, more likely 80HP and would struggle to climb over its own bow wave and might achieve a bit more than 25mph. Now here is a genuine challenge. There are wonderful stories of water skiing behind the 30+ footer long deck launches.

My grandparents had a late 40’s SeaBird that regularly pulled family members around on a piece of plywood or kids on a water ski. We weren’t alone with this experience. Susi Patterson, whose family boat Maywood is a 1947 SeaBird, remembers as a child she learned to water ski behind the boat. One year the family Xmas card pictured the five skiing behind Maywood.

The kids must have been small. Susi further explains the circus behind the photo session. The Dick Family, friends from around the corner on Lake Rosseau were conscripted to manage the Christmas card skiing adventure: one drove the boat, one was the safety observer, one managed all the lines on the boat, one managed all the lines on the dock, and one was to chase after her as she ran up the hill to hide from all the chaos.

By Tim Du Vernet

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