Fellow Woody Boater Mike Lang sent us this wonderful barn Find story. We all love Barn finds. The time sitting waiting for you to love to help her shine again. That’s what we all live for. Take it away Mike!
Let me introduce myself, Mike Lang from Kingston Ontario. Owner of Lang Wooden Boats, I’ve been restoring wooden boats for about 20 years. Got a pretty good head start working for Clarion Boats and Canadian boat builder/designer Dwight Boyde.. Now I have a home based shop and calendar booked with work.
Everybody loves a great barn find story of an old boat that’s been hidden away for years, a Lyman that belonged to someone’s great uncle, a canoe that’s been at the cottage since 1927, or even Chris Craft Cobra hiding under a tarp.
Every time I read or hear about them, I wonder when will I get my barn find? I’ve dragged out plenty of junk over the years salvaged parts, talked to owners thinking they have the only cedar strip in the world. So each story leaves me a bit empty and envious about these wonderful finds.
Then I give my head a shake and say they are still out there never quit looking I Always tell everyone I know if you see an wooden boat let me know.
Here is my story
Quite simple how it happened a txt from a friend with a link to an ad. 1950″s wood boat as is where is.
I immediately sent a msg to the seller. The next morning got a call. I made arraignments and sealed the deal, not even seeing the boat only 3 vague pictures. All I could tell for certain it was a Port Carling Seabird. Now fun started Oh By the way, we have cut down some trees to get the out, its not on a trailer, there is a storage structure kind of in the way. When can you pick it up the estate is going up for sale..
On a Saturday morning I set out for the 1 1/2 drive to Seeleys Bay Ontario, the shop truck was loaded up with a potable gantry, a couple hundred feet of slings, chain falls, jacks ,blocks, brush cutters and a tandem trailer.
Upon arrival the trees were cut and there sat the boat bow out in lean to on the side of a shed. about 50 feet from anywhere close you could get a truck or trailer.
With a about a half hour assessment it was time to hook up the slings and pull it out to where it could be loaded on a trailer.
With a gentle pull from the truck there she sat unharmed on green grass in the sunlight.
over the next hour couple hours we lifted the boat on the trailer, lifted the engine into the back of the truck, looked through sheds and buildings for anything that resembled a boat part. We fought heat, hornets, mouse nest, dust mites, spiders but all worth it. The condition of the boat is good, it is untouched pre 2000, Very original some minor repairs here and there, and reupholstered seats.
Once the Seabird was back home I did an inventory what is here what not. I set each piece of hardware in place, windshield, gas tank, ,seats, floorboards, realizing I had about a 95% complete boat.
Stepping back tack taking a look at my dusty treasure I was feeling pretty great about my find.
I’m very familiar with Seabirds I’ve worked on a dozen of them over the years. Heck I already own 2.
This one had me confused she had more to tell. Why blue face SW gauges? maybe someone changed them? Why a plastic windshield not a 2 piece glass? This hardware is vary sharp and angular? Seats why is there blue and white under the burgundy upholstery?
After carefully removing the recover on the front seat bottom she reviled her story 59/52 in pencil and her beautiful teal and white personality.
We just brought home a !959 18′ Seabird Teal and white interior with matching Blue face SW Gauges. Even the Chrysler motor was painted blue to match instead of a dull grey colour
This could be one of the last Port Carling seabirds built, as the company was sold and in transition around this time. We will continue to research its authenticity.
The next day the adrenaline had worn off, I had a dust rash on both arms a spider bite, and a bit heat exhaustion. It felt like a barn find hangover.
After I went outside and did a walk around the boat, still fresh with smell of mouse and dust I felt better.
Wood is Good
Lang Wooden Boats