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What’s in a Name

April 26, 2022 in Uncategorized


Whether it be letters, a place or a family name, the name given to a boat, especially a wooden boat, connects it with a story and history. In previous blogs, we learned about the history of the name of the Wenonah, meaning first born.

How do you choose the name of a boat? Is it to be a reference to a family member, a characteristic of the boat, a reference to an historic element or to make a statement about your ownership of the boat?

Circles, MAB, Black Prince, Black Knight, Black Beauty II, Jolly Roger, SCUD II, Glenavy and Flying Lady all have something in common… they are Minett-Shields sporty runabouts. With connections to the Olympics, to a Lieutenant-Governor, a US sports channel and more, these boats carry their owners’ passions from one generation to the next. Does a boat ever create its own history?

Black Beauty was at one time owned by Lt.-Gov John Aird. I remember seeing her at boat shows and during visits to the CNIB camp on Lake Joseph. Mr. Aird was very generous with his boats. He also had a rather unusual, at least for Muskoka, sea-trawler-like boat called Yosemite Sam, if I remember correctly.  Black Beauty certainly is a striking boat. With her hull all in black, the chrome gleams especially brightly.  Many of the boats from Minett-Shields owe their hull design to John Hacker, especially the sport runabouts.

By Tim Du Vernet

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