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WOW!

This past week we had aa wonderful report in from our Canadian pals and in there with some very cool boats was an amazing large Shepherd called “Kinsale Boy.” Folks asked about it, and so an internet star is born. Meet Gord Hooker and his amazing 27 ft Shepherd. And more.

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For me, being the custodian of a family cottage that your family built in 1954 on Balsam Lake in the Kawartha Region is important and is much like being the custodian of a classic wood boat.  The history traditions and family ties must be preserved and maintained for others to enjoy in the future.

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Kinsale Boy is a 1954 27-ft Shepherd hardtop runabout ser#54-27-31 that spent most of its life touring iconic Lake Temagami in Northern Ontario. The original owners were believed to be American cottagers in the area. The second owner purchased the American’s cottage in the mid-60’s, only to discover after they took possession, they also owned a boathouse in the nearby town with a 27-ft Shepherd in it!

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Most cottages on Lake Temagami are water access only at the time.  In 2007, the boat received an extensive restoration by the second owner’s family.  Restoration included necessary woodwork, period-correct engine rebuilt by Parry Automotive, Orillia and completely new leather interior. No matter how small, every piece of chrome was also replated.IMG_1911

Three years ago I was fortunate enough to become the third owner, when I purchased the boat through broker Duke Boats in Port Carling, Ontario.  As a reminiscent  person, I decided to name the boat Kinsale Boy in honor of my family and childhood growing up in the small hamlet of Kinsale in Southern Ontario.

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Designed to be enjoyed in larger waters, Kinsale Boy comes equipped with a host of unique features, including roll-up side windows, pump-out head, cuddy cabin, icebox, sink with fresh water system and provisions for a stove.  Twin 125 hp 6-cylinder single carburetor Chrysler Crown engines power the boat with ease.IMG_1909

Although a labour of love, it has been quite a challenge to complete the project, as I have resealed and painted the bottom, repaired all electrical wiring (nothing worked), many control and safety issues, repainted the sides and varnished exterior brightwork.

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For now, this is a turnkey and daily go-anywhere boat, as everything works as it should and is very reliable.  It will run along at 2600 rpm at 25 mph on the gps, no matter if it is being enjoyed by ten people or two.  It is a pleasure to own and operate Kinsale Boy.

Photos Gord and Dianne Hooker and family.

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WAIT, there is more! Gord is seriously into Shepherds and has TWO more!

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Two of Gords herd of Shepherds! The one on the left is Midway is a 1949 vdrive which he restored 5 years ago.

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At the moment he’s setting up to make Florence a rat rod shoehorning in a 331 hemi vdrive.

Thank you Gord, right now across the globe, jaws have dropped and there is drool messing up everyones computers. Woody Boater Drool cups..mmm, there is an idea!

 

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14 Responses to “Gord Hooker Is Hooked On Shepherds”
  1. Troy in ANE

    Thanks for the follow up story.

    Most of us refer to our boats as she’s but since this one has boy in the name I will say “HE IS A REAL BEAUTY!”

    Gord do you have any pics of the engines and compartment. Would love to see that too.

  2. Bill Hammond

    Wow! What a fabulous boat! That brightwork is beautiful!! I love those chairs! And very good use of space in only 27 ft. I’d love to see the same kinds of photos of his other completed boat and to watch as he does his newest acquisition.

  3. John D

    We rarely get a pure Shepherd article so cheers both to you Gord and WB — and very nice looking boats (of course!).

  4. MikeM

    Beautiful boat. The lines are similar to that of the Mighty Steelcraft.

  5. Shirley Hooker

    Oh my goodness brother Gord!!! You’re internationally FAMOUS! Kinsale Boy & Kinsale too! So PROUD to be a Hooker, knowing & loving you, Dianne & all of our family memories & making more memories every day forward. How about posting the Focus article too … other woodies would drool some more….

  6. John Rothert

    wish she was in Kinsale Viriginia….I would hit him up for a ride in that beauty!

    John in Va.

  7. Kentucky Wonder

    Gordon, sorry we did not get a chance to meet up during the Gravenhurst event. I will say that we in Eau! Canada enjoyed riding behind Kinsale Boy during the poker run, as your larger boat effectively broke up the crazy wakes left behind those ahead. Provided a smooth ride for us!

  8. Jack

    Beautiful boats. We are the current caretakers of a 1948 22′ Shepherd runabout. Wonderful riding boat and very stylish. I am getting inspired to go to the Gravenenhurst show.

  9. Dallas Cooley

    Gord – I’m stunned, please look me up if you ever consider letting someone else steward Kinsale Boy.

  10. Bimbo Buzz

    A well written article with some great shots. No doubt a lot of work went into the restoration of this beauty. I will be interested in the development of the rat rod Shepherd.

  11. James Bradford

    Gordon, I share your love of Shepherds and have an 18′ and a 27′. Would love to know where your 27′ was restored when the major work was done on it.