Last weekend the historic Rideau Canal in Ontario, Canada was the site of the 38th Annual Ottawa International Antique & Classic Boat Show, hosted by the Manotick Classic Boat Club at Manotick’s Long Island Locks. The Manotick Classic Boat Club was founded in 1976 and has held a boat show every year at various locations along the 125 mile long Rideau Canal over its 37 year history.
Fellow Woody Boaters Chris & Julie Bullen participated in the event with “King of Harts” their very cool Clarion Gentleman’s Race Boat, and sent us this great report. We get a chance to see a lot of boat shows and boat show reports throughout the summer months, and we love them all… But we can’t remember the last time we experienced such a wide range of classic boats at a local boat show like this. It’s great to see… – Texx
38th Annual Ottawa International Antique & Classic Boat Show
Hosted by The Manotick Classic Boat Club
Story & Photos by Chris & Julie Bullen
Friday morning brought us a cool partially cloudy day for the start of the event. We had a late start to boating, as a windshield bracket was a wiggling and allowing the glass to fall out. Thinking this was not the folding windshield option we wanted on this cool morning, we pulled the front seat and repaired it.
We had a chance to show our friends from Gladwin, Michigan the Historic Rideau Canal, we stayed in the section of the canal as it is 27 miles long, lock to lock, just great to be boating.
The first event for the boat show participants was a gathering for deserts on the river at the home of “M’Lora” a 1949 Grew Admiral. A chance to meet up with old friends. We heard stories of the club President’s new boat, which he purchased in Poughkeepsie, NY. A 1929 38’ Elco cruiser that was last restored from 1973 to 76. This included a new keel some ribs and repower to a 1973 Ford Lehman 2715e 8 cyl, 125hp. That meant the rest of “Queenie” was still original. This was a site to see.
The first boat I noticed was what looked like a Shepherd, but the stern was all wrong. This turned out to be a 1949 Matlow. Surprisingly this was built just around the corner from me, Dick Steel an engineer started to build boats in Foots Bays on Lake Joseph in Muskoka. This model is a Deluxe Coxwian – she is powered with a Chrysler M47. Still 90 original. Notice the dash, Dick used the Shepherd instruments and turn it upside down to get a different look. Dick built only 6 boats and moved on as he got a job on the historic Avro Aero aircraft project.
As we are looking at this boat, another boat with a very loud presences comes rumbling into the show site. It was a 1969 Sanger California drag boat, powered by a 469 Chevy with 600 hp. This is used as a runabout today. He was a character as you might guess but he sure knew motors.
The next unique boat we saw was owned by a young man. Brad found an 1972 Aqua Loop and was lucky enough to get it for Christmas. The prototype to the personal water craft, was built in Montreal from 1972 to 1974, and a total of 800 were made.
Brad’s family had 3 boats at the show, his Grampa brought “Grampas Dream” a 1985 30’ Triple Hacker Craft, his Dad also had a rare 1960’s Cracker Box, purchased with a surface drive only went 29 mph but what a roster tail. A traditional drive has now been installed, but some tweaking is still needed, but she sure looks good. Turns out, Brad has an older brother and he is restoring a Century Coronado. This family sure has the boat bug – bad!
Another young man at the show brought a Mini Most, a Scampy boat that was a project with Granddad. This young boater was given a special award for his continuous demonstrations throughout the day.
Manotick has some great youth in the club and should have a good future. The whole show was put on by not more than a handful of very dedicated volunteers, very low key and fun is the order of the day. Congratulations to them all.
Chris & Julie Bullen
ALLEZ Chris-Craft Yacht
A magnificent wooden yacht named ALLEZ attended the show this year which deserves a closer look. She’s a 1930 48′ Chris-Craft Model 123 Yacht that Chris & Julie toured during the show. Here’s how they described it with a few photos.
Chris Bullen commented – Texx, this is the nicest cruiser I have ever laid eyes on. ALLEZ is a 1930 Chris-Craft 48’ 6” Yacht. This couple maintain the boat themselves, its their hobby… The family is sure Dad is nuts, but support him all the way. They found the boat in Florida and brought her home. Louis Gagnon put a new bottom on it and then sanded and varnished her, and all the rest to make it the treasure you see today.
His wife Jose and 2 kids sailed out of Montreal for 6 days to be at the show. She is powered by twin 454 Chevrolet engines, she runs over 20 MPH but empties the 3 tanks quickly at that speed, so 12 knots is a better cruising speed.
“ALLEZ” won 3 awards at the show, including People’s Choice. This young couple were a treat and inspiration to have in the wooden boat community. – Chris Bullen