THURSDAY WAS AN AMAZING DAY HERE IN MUSKOKA. Our hosts Chris & Julie Bullen arranged in advance for us to visit a number of boat houses in the area, and not only see a spectacular range of antique & classic boats, but to get them out to ride in and photograph. (You can click on the photos to enlarge them)
Starting at 8:00 AM we left on our day-long journey around the lakes on a fixed schedule so the boat owners would know when we were arriving. Julie prepared a picnic lunch for seven of us, traveling in two boats – and with cameras (and drones) in hand we hit the water. All these boats you see today have great individual history which we are planning to cover in more detail after the show.
Our first stop at 9:00 AM was at Bobby Genovese’s cabin to meet up with our friends Jamie Smith and Norm Woods, to take “Miss Canada III” out for a ride. Norm is a very successful boat racer and invited Chris Bullen to ride shotgun.
The next stop in our tour was at Chris & Louise Cragg’s boat house. We had the pleasure of going out in two of their boats, first a wonderful 1927 31’6″ Ditchburn named “Robin Adair” – The ladies decided to ride along for the photo shoot.
Then we were treated to a very special 1936 18′ Seabird which is powered by a period correct 60 HP Ford flathead V-8. The Ford V-8 required a change in the deck arrangement from three cockpits to two, but the little boat was fast and agile on the water, and Chris Cragg really made her perform. (Chris has decided it needs a new home if anyone is interested)
Our next stop was with Murray Walker, who has a spectacular collection of wooden boats, including some rare, early race boats. We had our choice of boats to ride in and we decided to go out in the 1920 Hutchinson Brothers 35′ race boat – “Clarie II”. Rich & Linda Hughes, who were traveling with us in their 1968 Greavette were treated to a ride with Murray. “Clarie II” was said to be the fastest boat on the St. Lawrence river when she was launched in 1920, and she performs beautifully even today.
Once we were done shooting “Clarie II” – Murray and I went out for a ride which was fabulous! – Texx
Then after a short dinner break back at Morris Island, at 7:30 PM we stopped by to visit Rick McGraw who also has an outstanding collection of wooden boats. Rick invited us out to shoot the legendary “Heldena II” a 1917 George F. Crouch designed 36′ Gold Cup race boat, which is still powered by a vintage Liberty V-12. This time Julie Bullen took the passenger seat with Rick at the helm.
Special thanks to everyone who invited us to their boat houses today, for me it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences to not only see these boats in person, but then have the opportunity to photograph them and ride along with the owners. Also a big thanks to Chris & Julie Bullen for making it all possible today.
These owners are very passionate about their boats and enjoy sharing them with fellow classic boating enthusiasts. A great day.
Friday we start early with the popular Woody Boater Poker Run – stay tuned for updates from that event, as well as the Toronto ACBS Summer Vintage Boat Show on Saturday.