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by Rob

Our newest listing: a Grew Cruiser; 14 ft, 1959

January 28, 2020 in Uncategorized

Grew Cruiser; 14 ft., 1959

1959 Grew Cruiser 14 foot. Nice little boat. Bottom redone last year with 200-e primer and racing bronze. Most bright-work done in the last two years. Engine runs well, has had carb-kit, new ignition, and bronze prop re balanced in past two years. The Grew has been in the ACBS Gravenhurst show the last two years. Trailer included with new tires, rims, and wiring.

Price: $5000. For further details and contact information, please click on the link     Ad number pb894

Additional photos below:

by Rob

SeaBirD boats: a brief history (III)

January 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

SeaBirD triple cockpit.. 18 ft. 1941. $15,000 Ad #pb881

The C.J McCulley Years – 1945 to 1959
Immediately after World War II the building of boats for private use resumed. Many inboards were built by the Port Carling Boat Works in Honey Harbour. Outboards and row boats were built in Port Carling.

SeaBirD utility: 20 ft., 1940 $29,900. Ad #pb786

In 1946-47 the Company was reorganized. The Honey Harbour plant was sold and eventually taken over by C. J. McCulley. “C.J” was not only an accomplished builder but a good business man. He had been involved with the Company since 1920!  IN many ways, he was the most successful of the Muskoka boat builders.
The SeaBirD line is largely credited to C.J., who was ably assisted by several family members.

The Company’s boats were sold to department stores such as Eatons and Simpsons, as well as other distributors.
From 1945-to 1959 Port Carling Boats works employed about 25 staff membrs, and produced approximately one thousand boats.

SeBirD triple cockpit: 20 ft., 1937

By the late 1950s, fibreglass boats appeared on the scene. During its last few years, the Company sold a number of fibreglass vessels. BY 1959, many of the older workers had retired and it was difficult recruiting skilled wood workers. That, and the emergence of fibreglass sounded the death knell to the Company , which was sold in 1960 to a marine sales and service company. Fortunately, a significant number of SeaBirD boats still ply the waters of the Muskoka Lakes and elsewhere.

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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

Our newest listing; a custom Shepherd, 22′, 1953

December 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Shepherd custom runabout; 22 ft. 1953

This handsome classic Shepherd runabout has been very well cared for, with fresh varnish, waterline and copper bottom paint applied in 2017 by professional restorer James Osler.

The engine, a 6 cylinder 135 hp. Chrysler Crown, (and Zenith carburetors) were completely rebuilt in early 2019 by Matt Fairbrass,  premier marine mechanic. The engine (12 volt electrical system)  is in EXCELLENT condition. (Full reports on both the boat and the engine are available from the owner.)
All instrumentation on the Shepherd is fully functional and the chrome is in good condition, as is the upholstery. The Shepherd offers a removable center seat back insert on the front seat. The hull is very sound. All safety equipment is included. The Shepherd is a roomy vessel, seating six or seven adults.
In the same family since 1985, the Shepherd is now ready for a new home

Original price: $35,000.  New price:  $28,900.    For further details and contact information, please click on the link. Ad number  pb891
Additional photos below

Port Carling Boats – Antique & Classic Wooden Boats for Sale