You are browsing the archive for antique wooden boats.

by Rob

A blast from the past!

December 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

Although it’s only mid December, Ontario’s Muskoka region is buried in some forty centimetres of snow, and winter storms have pounded the Carolinas and even Texas. It’s enough to make woody enthusiasts beg for summer. Althnough we can’t produce warm weather, we hope that this video of an Antique and Classic Boat Society show in Gravenhurst, will provide cheer through these cold, short days. The “footage” in the video was shot by N.H., the former owner of Port Carling Boats. Enjoy.

by Rob

A wintery visit to the stunning “woodies” at the Discovery Centre.

December 2, 2018 in Uncategorized


As winter arrives in Muskoka, Ontario, the beautiful vintage wooden boats at Gravenhurst’s Discovery Centre have been hoisted from the soon-to-be solid ice, and laid on cross beams to hibernate until late spring. This provides the advantage of even better viewing.
Enjoy the photos below.

Enormous resources of funds, energy and exeprtise have been poured into Miss Canada IV to restore her to former glory.

Miss Canada IV won the Harmsworth Trophy in 1949, after attaining speeds of 138,9 mph. Later in Picton, Ontario, she suffered a gear box blow-out at speeds approaching 200 mph!

Miss Canada IV is poweered by a 3000 hp. Rolls Royce Griffon engine.

Chrome rails support the canvas top of this charming classic. Was this technique really all that inferior to current methods of protection from the elements?

A beautiful barrel -back with an external rudder.

Greavtte Streamliners, with their rounded sheer lines, are highly sought after by collectors.

A chunky Shepherd?

“Malolo”, an early gentleman’s racer with a very generous “rub-rail”.

A beautiful long deck launch, likely a Minette Shields or Ditchburn.

Patiently awaiting spring, 2019!

All eight feet of this tiny, 1930s “woody” are powered by a small two cylinder engine. What child wouldn’t delight in this model?

A beautifully restored “John Bull” model Disappearing Propeller Boat

Stay tuned for the upcoming video from the Muskoka Discovery Centre.

by Rob

Our newest listing: an historic Herald Brothers sailing canoe.

November 23, 2018 in Uncategorized

Herald Brothers sailing canoe: 16 ft, 1906

Notes from the owner:
“This is a very rare canoe. Basswood planking.  Restore or leave it original.”
(Editor’s note: This canoe would be a wonderful winter restoration project!)

Price: $3,000     For contact information, please click on the link.   Ad number pb839   (Additional photos below.)

by Rob

Orville Wright’s “Kittyhawk” gets a facelift at Brackley Boats

October 9, 2018 in Uncategorized


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.

Additional photos below:

by Rob

What’s cooking at Butson’s boat shop?

October 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

After a six month absence,  it was time to get back to Tim Butson’s boat shop in Bracebridge, Ontario. Tim and his staff are nearing  completion of at least three classic watercraft, including two Greavette Executives and a Grew day cruiser.  As usual, the shop was humming.  Enjoy the photos below, and stay tuned for the video.

It’s hard to imagine how a virtually dust free finish could have been applied to the Greavette Executive, circa 1973.

“Brown Bear”, another Greavette Executive, awaits further completion.

This ‘big water’ Grew has been rebuilt from top to bottom.

 

Stern end of the Grew. This boat has been structurally reinforced. She’ll be stronger than when originally built.

Don’t be fooled by the photo. This Grew is a BIG boat.

This Grenell is a new arrival in the shop. She’ll be examined for an evaluation of required work.

It looks like the hull, forward of the dash, might need some work.

This is one of three major work areas at Butson Boats.

No salivating on the deck, please, speed lovers! This racer is a new custom build at Butson’s.

This Chris-Craft ski boat has had a new bottom installed. The owner is searching for a new ski pole.

.Simple lines, but a very functional design. One half transom coming up!