Classic Muskoka Part 5 – A Day For Post Cards & Celebration


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Julie Bullen in their 1988 Century Coronado.

BOATING IS A WAY OF LIFE IN MUSKOKA and it’s fantastic to see how many people here prefer to use their classic boats to get around the lakes. Our hosts this week – Chris & Julie Bullen – have spent their entire lives boating here in Muskoka, a necessity when your cottage is on an island, and it shows in their passion for the hobby and significant experience on the water.

Our friends Jim & Wendy Mersman stopped by Morris Island for a visit with their classic 1985 Century, and when we realized that there was three Centurys tied up to the dock at the same time. The first thought that came to mind was “How many Centurys do you need to call a special meeting of the Century Boat Club?” and “Should our friend Tommy Holmes be in attendance for that honorary meeting?” (For those of you who may not know Tommy, he is the President of the Century Boat Club and is a Century historian – among other things)

Not only would Tommy Holmes be the best man to preside over such a meeting, but he would also be the “Life of the Party” at the same time… Bonus!

So we then decided that the best thing to do was to send Tommy an electronic postcard from Muskoka via Woody Boater featuring the three Century boats all together. After all, now that the big boat show is over we deserve to have some fun too…

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From left to right we have Bill & Karen Ballard in their 1954 Century Resorter, Jim & Wendy Mersman in their 1985 Century, and Julie Bullen in their 1988 Century. The key to creating a fun photo is to first get organized, and Julie Bullen is a perfect organizer so we put her in charge of the boats.

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Then we had to get “Amelia” the drone organized, so we put Chris Bullen in charge of that. “Amelia” has been a bit cantankerous lately, so we will see what happens.

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Then Texx had to climb up a 16′ ladder onto the roof of the boat house. It was 4:00 PM and the Muskoka sun was blazing down at the camera lens as the boats drove into the sun. (Kids, don’t try this at home!)

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Drone in hover mode – Check… Texx on boat house roof – Check… OK – GO!

As the three Centurys get lined up at speed, Texx starts banging the shutter and hopes for the best in the glaring sunlight.

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Then all three Centurys get into the frame of the camera for the electronic postcard to Tommy from Muskoka.

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Jim Mersman and Bill Ballard do a celebratory lap to say “THIS POSTCARD IS FOR YOU TOMMY!”

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Jim & Wendy wave goodbye and head back to Gravenhurst.

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Chris brings “Amelia” the drone back to the dock for a re-charge before she decides to fly away again.

More evidence of the Magic of Muskoka, on Sunday afternoon we joined our fellow classic boaters for an amazing Sunday brunch at the very private Beaumaris Yacht Club. Notice that almost everyone attended the brunch today in their classic boat, which was impressive to see.

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The docks at Beaumaris Yacht Club were packed with classic boats for the Sunday brunch.

The Beaumaris Yacht Club
(from the BYC website)

This site is for the benefit of the membership of the Beaumaris Yacht Club, a strictly private, family-oriented club located on Lake Muskoka, in Ontario, Canada.

The Club of today has its roots in the early 1900’s. The Beaumaris Golf and Tennis Association was formed in 1911 by local cottagers (mostly from Pennsylvania at the time) to lease a 5-hole golf course and tennis courts from the nearby Beaumaris Hotel. A new clubhouse was built in 1912, and the golf course was expanded to 9 holes. New tennis courts were completed in 1916, and by 1919, the golf course had expanded to 18 holes.

At about the same time, the Beaumaris Yacht Club got its start. Originally founded (in about 1912) by US Congressman James Francis Burke, it operated as a sailing club until 1921. The BYC’s present building was purchased in 1921, and the Club became a centre for social activities for the surrounding summer community.

Despite ups and downs resulting from changes in ownership, two world wars, and the Great Depression, the two “clubs” were consolidated in 1946, and today, the Beaumaris Yacht Club offers its membership a variety of activities including golf, tennis, weekly sailing races, and social entertainment. In addition to top-notch golf and tennis teaching professionals, the Club staff also provides instruction in sailing, swimming, and lifesaving.

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A vintage photo at the Beaumaris Yacht Club from when the steam boats would ferry people and goods up the lake to their cabins in the summer. My new friend Chris Cragg shared many stories today of this club when he was a young boy growing up in Muskoka.

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The same dock and mail house today at Beaumaris – very cool.

Then on Sunday afternoon over 50 friends and relatives joined us at Chris & Julies on Morris Island to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Most arrived by classic boat, and others were transported from the nearby marina at East Bay Landing to Morris Island by the mighty red Century Coronado. A bonus for those who arrived by car.

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Classic boats gather at Morris Island for the 30th Anniversary celebration.

Our first ever visit to Muskoka is almost over, as we have to begin the long trip home tomorrow. The last five days has been an absolute pleasure and our experience in Muskoka was outstanding. For those of you who have never made it the area, it certainly should be a priority to make the visit – you won’t be disappointed. The rich history and connection to classic boating is a good as it gets!

Special thanks to Chris & Julie Bullen and the Toronto Chapter for their warm hospitality. We appreciate every thing you do for us.


20 replies
  1. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Sounds like a great and wonderful weekend. The Chris Craft dealer meeting in Sarasota was similarly wonderful but different kind of classics.

  2. Sean
    Sean says:

    During the Poker run, our group had a Century to mix it up with the CCs… This 17′ er is a cool boat and it really scoots!

    Those Century’s have a style all their own!

  3. Tommyholm
    Tommyholm says:

    Thanks for the Century Postcard! How thoughtful of you all. I would have been there but my passport has been impounded by the Liquor Control Commission. Now get those Made in the USA boats back to the homeland before the Canadians buy them all with their loonies.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Sorry Tommy – We have made arrangements to commandeer all classic Century boats once they arrive in Canada. That’s what the security guards are doing in the red shirts. – Texx

  4. Texx
    Texx says:

    Looks like we had a glitch here at Woody Boater HQ this morning and posted the story we had in the hopper announcing the new Woods and Water 2015 Event Posters.

    Although the beautiful posters were released a few weeks ago, some additional information regarding event sponsorships had to be included in the posters – so that news is on hold until further notice.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.


  5. Jack Schneiberg
    Jack Schneiberg says:

    It has been great to see Century Boats displayed in the articles and photos the past few days. Thanks much to Texx and the Woody Boater Crew for riding the Thoroughbreds…………….

  6. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    With all this Century love the past several days, I just had to go and “pull the trigger” on a 1995, 40th Anniversary Edition Coronado. This will be my Fourth Century, and it feels good to be back in a “Thoroughbred”…

      • Greg Lewandowski
        Greg Lewandowski says:

        Great looking boat. Glad to see you have an inboard back in your fleet. Congratulations!

      • Texx
        Texx says:

        Rick – Dave Bortner at Freedom Boat Service currently has a nice selection of Century boats like this for sale. You can see a link to his website on the main Woody Boater website right here. – Texx

  7. Philip Andrew
    Philip Andrew says:

    What a great weekend long extravagance of boating Texx. Thanks for putting so much effort into reporting. You people sure are lucky to have such gorgeous lakes to play on. While NZ is known for its unspoilt beauty we have nothing to compare to your lakes.

  8. Jim Mersman
    Jim Mersman says:

    It was great to meet you Texx! Thanks To you and Matt for all the coverage not only for the great events in Muskoka last weekend but also both wood and fiberglass Century’s! Burned quite a few liters of petro! Third time there and it just gets better. If you haven’t seen the area you’re missing a one of a kind place.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Thanks Jim – It was great to spend some time with you and Wendy. That’s what makes these events so much fun.

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