Live-ish From The 2015 Toronto International Boat Show

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“Scotty” – A rare 1933 J.C. Scott Boats 20′ Ranger model designed by Bert Hawker.

TODAY WE HAVE A LIVE-ISH REPORT from the huge 2015 Toronto International Boat Show north of the border, courtesy of fellow Woody Boaters Chris & Julie Bullen. The Toronto Chapter ACBS continues to be a fantastic ambassador for the antique & classic boat hobby which is evident today’s report. – Texx

2015 Toronto International Boat Show Report
Story and Photos by Chris & Julie Bullen

It’s January in Toronto. Temps are going up and down each week from -20C to 0C (-4F to 32F). Muskoka has had 9.0 feet of snow since the New Year. So what do you do to get warm? Go to the Toronto International Boat Show.

We (the Toronto Chapter ACBS) have had a display at this show for more than 20 years. We have gone down to a space only allowing us only two boats in the back corner of the show, to this year where we are front and centre with 2,000-plus square feet of display area. So Richard and his team of volunteers put on one of our biggest displays ever. Thanks to a lot of members willing to haul their boat down to the show a week before the event. Ten boats of a wide range in variety showed up, including classic fiberglass, sail, inboards and a couple of small racers.

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The boat I had never seen before was “BUZZ”. At first it looks like a simple outboard, and if you saw it at a dock you may not give it the attention it deserves. She is a very unique Peterborough Canoe Company craft.

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“BUZZ” was built in 1928 – she was designed by Lou Johnson (Johnson Motor Company). At 16’ long she has a concave bottom which when you see it you would wonder how you could make money building this boat, as it would have been an extremely time consuming job to build on its own.

Then you look at the side, where there is over 2,000 clenched copper nails to hold the horizontal exterior layer to the vertical interior layer; all built with eastern cedar and canvas. The more I looked at her, the more I like this boat and know why Ken saved it. The power on the transom is a Johnson Standard Twin Model ok-55, opposed firing, 8-HP outboard.

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“BUZZ” is powered by a Johnson Standard Twin Model ok-55, opposed firing, 8hp outboard.

On display with her, we had a nice sail boat, another Peterborough Canoe Company boat build in the 1950’s – the Peterborough Pal is 10.5’ long and can be used to sail, row or put a 5hp motor on it a go.

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Also seen is “Scotty” (shown as today’s cover photo), a rare 1933 J.C. Scott Boats 20-foot Ranger model, front and center along with her owner Doug Potts. Canadian reporter Cobourg Kid wrote a great two-part story on “Scotty” for Woody Boater in June 2013 – Below are the links to those stories.


“Scotty” towards the end of her extensive restoration in 2013 – Photo by Cobourg Kid

The Saga Of Sleepy Scott – Part 1
The Saga Of Sleepy Scott – Part 2

We also had a freshly restored 1959 classic glass Redfish all the way from Texas, a 22-foot Duke triple, a 1957 AristoCraft torpedo and a couple of vintage green mercury motors.

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A 1978 Browjes B Racer on display.

Lastly I would draw your attention to the Dispro built in 1922. She is on display with a lot of surrounding photos and even a separate device sitting beside her to show how that shaft and prop go up into the boat to protect her from logs and rocks. The disappearing propeller invention is 100 years old this year, and the theme for our Toronto ACBS Summer Boat Show in Muskoka the weekend of July 11th, 2015.

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The 1928 Dispro on display at the Toronto International Boat Show.

We are celebrating this boating creation that put the little town of Port Carling, Ontario on the map. Julie was in Sweden a few years back having breakfast on a terrace by the local lake and heard the distinct “chug chug” of the Dispro engine. She looked down and was shocked to see that yes indeed, it was a disappearing propeller boat putt-putting on by – they really did go a long way.

On a side note, the club’s connection can sometime find just what you need. I was chatting with Bill about the boat I have and know nothing about. It’s an Austin runabout with a 30HP motor and I need a prop for. Bill tells me I need a “C Prop.” Meanwhile Greg is looking at some parts Bill’s brother Richard has at the show and wouldn’t you know it – it’s a brand new “C Prop” in its original cool box.

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To my surprise, I found a brand new Mercury “C-Prop” in the original box at the boat show. – Chris

Julie is going to be so pleased to see me race by the cottage at 60 miles an hour on a 12’ boat. NOT. I do still need to find a nut to hold the prop on, so not quite ready to be racing down the lake yet.

The summer is only a few wintery months away for us – and we are dreaming of playing on the open water with friends.

Chris & Julie Bullen

Special thanks to Chris & Julie for their contribution today. For anyone planning to attend the 35th Annual Toronto ACBS Boat Show at the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst, Ontario – the date for this years show has been moved one week later to July 11th, 2015. For more information on the 2015 show you can Click Here to go directly to the Toronto ACBS website.


And happy header day!


10 replies
  1. Cliff
    Cliff says:

    Wow that looks like a fantastic display. Here is a picture a friend sent of the Chicago display. Woody boating is everywhere!

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      That looks very impressive Cliff – Thanks for sharing the photo.

      I think Frank Miklos and his crew also had an impressive classic boat display at the Pittsburgh Boat Show in PA. Maybe he will share a few shots with us here today.

      Frank? (I think that grumpy guy has gone away now…)

  2. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    Thanks Chris, Julie & Texx,
    Great diversity! Bravo to those willing to tow their boats through winter’s slush tin order to share them with the public.

  3. Rick
    Rick says:

    Chris and Julie thank you for the story and the pictures. Matt I have too much work to do today than constantly renewing to see the changing headers. Oh heck, maybe one more.

  4. Mike K
    Mike K says:

    oh crap, the header says they moved up the dora show!!! only 6 days, hell ill never make it. paul did you have something to do with this???

  5. Cobourg kid
    Cobourg kid says:

    Great report Chris and julie.. For an octogenarian Scotty is an astonishingly well preserved boat. Somehow during his meticulous restoration Doug managed to salvage somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of her original woodwork!

    The fact that she is currently the only known example of the make her extra special Great report Chris and julie…Scotty is indeed an astonishingly well preserved boat Somehow Doug managed to salvage somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of her original woodwork during his meticulous restoration,

    The fact that she is currently the only known remaining example of a Toronto based Scott motorboat make her extra special.

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