Winter Is Officially Over – The Canadians Are Out And Looking At Boats! Woohoo!


Hacker Style!

Thanks to fellow Woody Boaters Chris and Julie Bullen for sending in a nice wright up and photos of there Spring Tour in the North. As in Canada North. And so it has begun. Get your Bumpers/Fenders out!

ACBS-Toronto hosts a spring kick off every year with a tour of many shops in Ontario – concentrated mostly in the Muskoka region.

No Snow! Cool round windows. Gary Glarks shop and 2 Rivas

In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, our boat show theme this year is Birch Bark to Fiberglass. And, as per Matt’s request, admission and registration are both FREE! So come on up to Gravenhurst for July 8 and be part of the celebration.

1928 29ft Hacker sterling power

1928 Sterling Petrel 200hp 6cyl

This year we had 13 stops on the Spring Tour. Right now, we need to thank all those shops that took the time to let us all in and see what they had been working on this winter. The shops all had lots to do; that’s a good sign showing our hobby is continuing to thrive.

Vic Capenters crazy detail on a boat that upset the wife called Pissed off and the name is inlaid

Bow of Rainbow IV

Rare Clive Brown

I went to a good number of shops, but time and distance makes visiting them all a bit of a challenge – after all this hobby is also about meeting all the great people, so being in a rush is not possible.

Riva Style

Riva Tesoro

Gary Clark’s shop was like going to Little Italy with three Rivas in the shop. Tesoro, a 1966 Riva Aqua Rama was first owned by the Romanian Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu After he was done, Riva bought the boat back and sold it to Formula 1 driver Eddie Irvine. After all that, here it is living in Muskoka.

Miss Canada III

Rainbow IV bottom

Rainbow IV

This year we had a number of the most famous Canadian race boat family’s crafts in the shops from Harry Greenings reproduction of Rainbow IV to the Wilson Family’s Miss Canada III and Art Ashbury’s

art Ashbury Miss Canadiana

Miss Canadiana; the only family missing was the Thomson’s Miss Supertest.

Art Asburys Miss Canadiana Upside down!

It is a thrill to see Rainbow IV being rebuilt as Harry Greening is a real star up here for some of us.

bpm in Rainbow IV

Looking at old pictures really does not do it after seeing this boat and all the proportions. In real life, it is very cool. Seeing it on the water well be a thrill. Harry ran away with the race in this boat, but was told that although he followed the rules his lap stake bottom was not in the spirit of the rules and he was disqualified. This boat, as with the original, will have a huge 24” surface piercing prop.

1934 Ditchburn 35ft

1934 Ditchburn interior

We also saw Senga a 35’ Ditchburn which I believe was on Freedom Boats site for sale. Nice to see it has come home back to Canada from her extended leave.

little Ditchhburn big power

little ditchhburn big power

Another Ditchburn we saw was only 18’, but she had a huge 6 cylinder engine stuffed in the back – must be a fun driving boat.

We could not have asked for better weather for the day. It’s time to go boating.

9 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Seems like a great story, but I think I better reserve judgement until Tim shows up to tell us what is wrong with it.

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I love reading about the Canadian Spring Tour every year on WB, one day maybe I can actually participate.

    If my memory serves me the Spring Tour story produced one of my favorite headers a couple of years ago.

  3. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    wow, neat tour.
    I will jump in an say that engine install angle on the ditchburn is radical! It may not get the ditch to burn…but the front main bearing will be roasted..

    John in Va.

  4. Sean
    Sean says:

    A great lunch is also included with the Spring Tour. While at lunch, Peter Code was showing his available hardware/chandlery and ACBS Toronto Ships Stores had T-shirts available for this years Gravenhurst Boat Show.

  5. Jamie Smith
    Jamie Smith says:

    Another great ACBS Spring Tour day in Muskoka thanks to Gerry Lodge and his committee. More than 300 enthusiastic members, including ACBS’s new Director Dan Gyoerkoe and US chapter guests attended.
    July 4-9 is the Toronto chapters 37th annual show celebrating Birchbark to Fiberglass … see you then?

  6. Dick Hansen
    Dick Hansen says:

    Don’t know if I would want a boat owned by Ceausescu, but “Brutal Dictator” would be kind of a cool name!

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