Last Gasp Muskoka Style – 4 Shepherds, 3 Hour Cruise, 2 Steamships And 1 Monster.

happy in a 1956 shepherd - canadian club

Happy to still be classic boating in “Canadian Club” – a 1956 Shepherd.

In early October fellow Woody Boaters Julie & Chris Bullen organized a “last gasp” cruise for the folks from the Toronto Chapter ACBS up in Muskoka, Ontario – when the fall colors in the area are at their peak. A few days after the event, they kindly sent us the following report, but we asked Julie & Chris if it would be OK to wait a few weeks and so we could include the story in the official “Last Gasp” week here at Woody Boater. As usual, it’s great! – Texx

4 Shepherds, 3 Hour Cruise, 2 Steamships and 1 Monster.
Story and Photos by Julie & Chris Bullen

With rain threatening the event all week, we lost a few members whose faith in Mother Nature was less than trusting. Still 9 boats and 29 hardy Woody Boaters arrived in Muskoka to defy the threat of nasty weather.

As the few boats trailered in and launched at the ramp, the skies were gray and a scotch mist fell on the varnish. By the time we all gathered and started on our way, our luck held and the rain stopped for the duration of our trip.

1962 shepherd - His bad habit

A great looking 1962 Shepherd named “His Bad Habot” – at home on the lake.

Unfortunately one of our enthusiastic regulars who has been a great supporter of these events, blew his transmission 15 minutes in. The rest of us carried on to see the change of the season and the wonderful fall colors.

1988 century resorter- freedom II

“Freedom II” – A mighty 1988 Century Resorter joins the woody’s.

Gatsby -1940s WJ Johnston takes the crew of the disabled boat for a ride

“Gatsby” – A 1940s WJ Johnston takes the crew of the disabled boat for a Last Gasp ride. That’s how Woody Boaters roll, always willing to lend a helping hand.

Behind the lead boat our 4 Shepherds kept the rest of the flock in line as we meandered into coves and bays around are lake.

4 shepherds

The four classic Shepherds flying in formation.


Two classic Shepherds herding a 1965 Duke.

Coming out of a long bay we met up with our first steamship – the 126 year old “RMS Segwun” , as honks and toots were acknowledged and many photos were shared from both angles.

segwun and 1957 shepherd  despina - Copy

The historic “RMS Segwun” and a classic 1957 Shepherd “Despina” reflecting on another successful year on the lake.

After many waves, we continued on around Browning Island where we came upon a monster sitting on a dock.

Lightening meets monster

“Lightening” (the wooden boat) meets Monster (“Koilos” on the dock).

We slowed and quietly slipped by unnoticed as it did not make a move.

“Koilos” is a 900-kilogram (2,000 lb) sculpture, which stands more than four meters tall (over 13 feet), and recently found a new home on a Muskoka cottage dock in August, after the artwork’s admirer became worried others were damaging it while it was on display in Toronto’s Distillery District. Click Here to learn more about the story of “Koilos.” – Texx

Now on the home stretch back to the warmth of a fire and pot luck lunch, we approached our second steam boat – Ok you got me its diesel powered, but it’s a replica of a steam ship “Wenonah II.”

wenonah II - Copy

Sheila and her 1941 mac craft. one Intrepid women

We were joined by Sheila in her rare 1941 Mac Craft – She is one Intrepid women.

More waves and on we went. We all made it back for the lunch and shared the great camaraderie of the Woody Boater family.

1953 shepherd Nauti Ewe

Designed for the big water of the Great Lakes, “Nauti Ewe” is a beautiful 1953 Shepherd.

With the last run of the year celebrated, it is now time to put our babies to bed for the winter and dream of where next year’s adventures on the water will take us.

Julie & Chris Bullen

Special thanks to Julie & Chris for sharing their great story with us today, and congratulations to everyone who participated in this years final cruise. It looks like everyone had fun (except the fellow who lost his transmission) and we look forward to more stories from Julie & Chris in 2014.


12 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    It was nice to see Lake Muskoka again. Although a bit cooler, the threatenng weather was very much like we had for the poker run back in July. The cruising gods were looking down on the woodyboaters for these great events. Thanks again Chris & Julie,

  2. Alex
    Alex says:

    Loved seeing those steam/diesel ships. They add real character to your area. Especially that pic of Wenonah II, with the Group of Seven-ish sky above. You should print and frame that one. It’s beautiful. Thanks, Julie & Chris, for sharing the story and pics.

  3. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    Looks like a great day! Anne and I are really looking forward to bringing our Greavette back to visit its ancestral home. From the pictures and descriptions, especially of the fellow woody boaters, we might just be tempted to stay!

  4. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Its always great boating on Muskoka, love that Billy Johnson triple. I’d hate to have had a few adult beverages, then come across that “Kiolos” monster on a night cruise. Think I’d have a heart attack.

        • Chris B.
          Chris B. says:

          we are in San fran. looking for some warm weather and staying with woody boaters but its only 54 here. Mac Craft build boats in Sarnia, On. and this is the place for Miss Supertest was built. I have only seen 2 Mac Craft boats but know of a third.

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