The Manotick Classic Boat Club Had Something For Everybody Last Weekend On The Rideau

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A classic and always entertaining Jersey Speed Skiff “Maple Magic” playing on the Rideau Canal.

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.

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Chris makes the minor windshield bracket repair on “King of Harts” while Bill his riding mechanic assists from the top.

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While Karen & Julie patiently wait in the aft seat. (Check out those stylish Nautique Optix wooden sunglasses that Julie is sporting – Texx)

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.

Chris & Bill both agree that “Life if Fun” when you’re classic boating on the Rideau.

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At her new home, a beautiful 1929 38’ Elco cruiser last restored from 1973 to 76.

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.

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Saturday of the show we found the boat count down a bit, but the uniqueness of the ones present made for some quality viewing.

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.

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A wild looking (and running) 1969 Sanger California drag boat “NO JOKE” sporting a 600 HP big block Chevrolet.

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.

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Brad’s cool looking 1972 Aqua Loop, one of 800 built.

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!

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“Grampas Dream” a 1985 30’ Hacker Craft Triple.

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A great shot of Dad’s 1960’s Cracker Box – P88

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A nice looking 1955 Thomson Sea Mate named “Knotty Girl” – This boat screams classic all day long – don’t you think?

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The proud owner of this 1960 Chris-Craft Cavalier – enjoying the attention it deserves.

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A beautiful 1956 Lyman outboard, always popular with the spectators.

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A nicely restored Century outboard, a boat you don’t see at shows that often.

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A Canadian made 1956 Peterborough outboard with one of the best names ever for a classic wooden boat – “SOGGY BOTTOM”

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.
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He received the special award for “The Most Traveled at the Boat Show”

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

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Why do I have the feeling that our friend and daily viewer Floyd R. Turbo was in some way involved with this outfit? He lives in the deep south… – Texx


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

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The flagship (and largest) of the Chris-Craft Fleet in 1930, the Model 123 Yacht was 48 feet long, offered full sleeping & living accommodations for 8, comfortable seating for 30 with an advertised top speed of 30 MPH – priced at 35,000.00. (1930 Fleet Brochure photo courtesy of Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club)

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Thanks to Chris & Julie Bullen for preparing this great report from the 38th Annual Ottawa International Antique & Classic Boat Show, along the historic Rideau Canal in Ontario, Canada.

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For more information on the Manotick Classic Boat Club you can visit their website Here.


13 replies
  1. Dave Clyne
    Dave Clyne says:

    Great report and photos ! Definitely caught the flavour of the show. Allez and Queenie were visual feasts. Wow !

  2. Troy
    Troy says:

    What an amazing array of boats.

    That drag boat is wild!

    I actually gasped out loud (GOL) at the header shot.

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    ALLEZ must be what varnish salesmen dream about at night! Inside and out that boat is amazing to look at, but I am glad I don’t own it!

  4. cobourg-kid
    cobourg-kid says:

    Thanks for the great report Chris. BTW what happened to the photo (s) of the 1949 Matlow Coxwain that you referred to? By coincidence I recently stumbled on a “for sale” ad for another Matlow Coxwain on Kijiji. The photos of it were, to be honest, very poor quality, but they were clear enough to ascertain that the old coxie needed quite a bit” of restoration. The price, however, was admittedly attractive so not surprising that it disappeared fast , too fast for me to arrange to drive up north and inspect it. Just wondering what a fully restored version looks like ?

      • Cobourg kid
        Cobourg kid says:

        Thanks Chris! Dang that’s one cool design, reminds me of a Ventnor along the stern As for the transom, it’s a new one on me. Looks very much like a art deco design , something you might see in the old DIsney movie, The Rocketeer.

        BTW I did. Check out another Matlo back in the late 80s .it was hiding out in a boathouse near Magnetawan Ontario..The lady selling it told me her husband (who had recently passed) was one of the few Matlo employees. The boat in question was not a Coxwain, however, it was a nice but fairly standard early 50s utility design in pristine shape. Regretably I talked myself out of buying it. I often wonder whether that boat is still out there somewhere .

        • Andreas
          Andreas says:

          The boat in the picture is mine. I bought it from a family member of the original owners in Bala. This is the fully optioned coxswain, M47s engine with copper manifolds for more HP, lots of trim. Was in complete but poor shape when I bought it. Tom Adams restored it over a couple years…in was completed to make room for the Miss Canada IV (33 footer) hydro.
          The other Matlo you speak of was also a Coxswain, but rough shape…”Patience” was the name…sold to new owner last year.

  5. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    @Texx – you can tell that mid 50’s Chev has been in Canada for a while, its starting to rust around the edges. The only lake I know of in Talladega is the one created from spilled beer at the Talladega 500 and I can see why there would be a need for marriage counseling.

  6. Tom
    Tom says:

    Great job covering the show Chris.

    Brads older brother Andrew thanks you for the ride in King of Harts and some day will repay you with a ride in his Coronado.

    Seeing Allez in person is way better than in pictures. The Gagnon family were a pleasure to meet. It is nice to see younger family enjoying the hobby together.

    It was also nice seeing Brad and the other young boy out playing/racing with their boats. As for being a father I was a little nervous when Brad was out there.

    Thanks again Chris for the wonderful job.

    P.S. if you need help cooking next year for the poker run let me know.

    Brads dad (Tom )

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Thanks Tom – Looks like the family is really having a great time with all those classic watercraft. Nice work!


  7. Cassie
    Cassie says:

    I am trying to find a vintage boat to enter our wedding ceremony on the water with in Calabogie. Does anyone know of anyone who does this?

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