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by Rob

Our newest listing: a Ditchburn launch, 27 ft. 1927

January 2, 2020 in Uncategorized

“Wasan”  an iconic Ditchburn launch; 27 ft., 1927

Wasan is truly a Muskoka treasure. This rare launch has been featured in Grace and Speed, as well as The Boat Builders of Muskoka. She is truly a collector’s item.
Wasan
was totally refurbished by Duke Marine in 2016/2017. and comes with a new 1944 Chrysler Crown engine.
This beautiful vintage launch, one of a kind, is in like new, “show” condition.
Please contact the owner for further details and pricing.

DItchburn Boats
(Editor’s note): Ditchburn boats are considered be the creme de la creme of the classic boating world. The Ditchburn company produced a wide variety of watercraft from the early 1870s until 1938, in their facilities in Gravenhurst and Orillia, Ontario. Their boats ranged in size from ten to one hundred and twenty feet. Henry Ditchburn built the first gasoline powered launch in Gravenhurst in 1893. Purchasers of Ditchburn boats included the Eaton family of department store fame..

By the time “Wasan was constructed in 1927, the Ditchburn company employed some 130 men in their 1.5 acre manufacturing facility..
It is safe to say that Ditchburn built boats are of “Concours D’Elegance” quality.

For further details and contact information, please click on the link. Ad number pb890

by Rob

SeaBirD boats; a brief history.

December 23, 2019 in Uncategorized

Pictured is an 18 foot SeaBird, 1941. |(Ad number pb881). Price: $15,000.

Part One
The Port Carling Boat Works, a company which operated from 1925 to 1959, apparently produced more wooden runabouts and launches than any other company in Muskoka, and possibly Canada.
The boats squeezed out of the factory were known generally as SeaBirDs, a moniker created when a Muskoka visitor noticed a test model emerging from a fog, sleek and graceful. “Why, it’s just like a seabird sailing gracefully out of the fog,” he commented. The name stuck thereafter.
Port Carling Boat Works was founded in 1925, following the collapse of the Disappearing Propeller Boat Company in Port Carling. The founders included Billie Johnson Jr., who also later produced watercraft under his own name.

Powered by a four cylinder restored Buchanan engine, this SeaBIrd will plane at 20 knots.

Unlike other builders who produced mainly custom boats, Port Carling Boats built stock models, using a small production line. Purchasers could pick up a SeaBirD at the factory, at a showroom, or through dealers across the Country.
There are three fairly distinct periods in the life of the Port Carling Boat Works:
1925-1939…the expansion of the company
1939-1945…the war years
1945-1959…the C.J. McCulley years

The first production-line SeaBirDs sold for a reasonable $400. They were good quality boats with an inboard engine and reverse gear. From the beginning, SeaBirds were powered with engines from Fred Buchanan, who ran a machine shop in Orillia, Ontario

The first production line could not keep up with the demand. Letters of appreciation from new owners, (including McLaughlin of General Motors) gave encouragement to the owners and employees.

Unfortunately, the factory was completely destroyed by a fire in October, 1931. A larger and greatly improved building was constructed soon afterwards. Production increased to the point where the firm’s accountant noted that the Company had sold more inboard motor launches than any other company in Canada.

By 1935 Port Carling Boat Works had opened a branch at Honey Harbour in Georgian Bay. This offered access to the Great Lakes.

In 1938 the Ditchburn Boat Company folded. Port Cartling Boat Works bought all the hulls that had been partially finished as well as their stock of lumber and supplies. These boats were finished in Port Carling.  One of them, a twin engine, twenty-six foot model, was sold to Ewart McLaughlin of General Motors fame. Unfortunately, this boat burned in a fire in 1960.

By 1939 Port Carling Boat Works had “the finest outlet in the world for boats, with service and parts in sixty-odd countries”, according to the Company’s accountant.
Stay tuned for Part II: The War Years

Note: Information for this article is credited to Douglas Garfield McCulley, author of “SeaBird…Muskoka’s SeaBirds:’

by Rob

What’s Cooking at Brackley Boats?

December 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

A 24 ft Greavette (right) glistens with new stain while the Baby Gar sports new frames and stringers.

A recent visit to Brackley Boats in Gravenhurst, Ontario, unearthed two quite spectacular vintage watercraft; a very streamlined-looking, twenty-four foot winter damaged Greavette, and a “monster” thirty-three foot Baby Gar.
Enjoy the photos and video below.

This 24 foot Greavette sank and was damaged by winter ice. “She’s” certainly on the mend now!

The ultimate classic dashboard!

This 33 foot Baby Gar is powered by a Rolls Royce tank engine!

(Click on the arrow below to engage the video)

by Rob

Our newest listing: a Billie Johnson triple cockpit launch, 24.’

December 2, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Billie Johnson triple cockpit launch:  24 ft., 1937

This handsome Billie Johnson triple cockpit launch has undergone a recent restoration. The upholstery and chrome are in very good condition. A lattice floor (helpful for ventilation) and inside hull lining have been installed in the boat.
The launch is powered by a 95 horsepower Buchanan Rocket engine. The Johnson is a wonderful family boat with abundant seating.
Originally priced at $37,500, the launch is now listed at $32,000
For further details and contact information, please click on the link . Ad number pb889

by Rob

A Visit To Dispro Heaven…the movie!

November 24, 2019 in Uncategorized

Further to our recent photo coverage of DIsappearing Propeller Boats from the collection of Ian and Barb Dickson, Muskoka cottagers, enjoy the the video of the “best little boats afloat” in the video below.

Port Carling Boats – Antique & Classic Wooden Boats for Sale