Meanwhile In Another Part Of Canada!


The bottom of Dukes was rebuilt a few years ago and raised so it would not flood

As we all drool over the amazing Tarp Find Cobra, other stuff is happening in Canada.. Like wet other stuff with huge water issues. A huge thanks to fellow Woody Boater Chris Bullen for sending in this wonderful report from their spring tour.  And yes, we are gonna keep going on the Cobra. But this is all kinda happening in real time, and things are getting interesting.  Take it away Chris, WoodyBoater is all yours today.

A newly varnished Duke Playmate, no reasonable offer refused!

ACBS Toronto Spring Tour 2019

It’s the end of April and the May flowers are coming out…… Not this year, our trip north found us in the winter wonderland, oh it looks so pretty, the snow on the trees and Nooo, it’s not pretty at the end of April. To top this off we have record flooding in the area. The shops were not affected so the show went on.

Butter Tarts are all ways a favorite at Butsons

Steam boat had just come into James shop leaves spongy wood and all

Steam boats engine

Steam boats very sharp bow

As with every year the shops were full of wooden and varnish goodness. We had over 250 participants brave the winter April weather and 13 shops to view, it’s just impossible to get to all of them.

Herring Gull in background

I need to be this organized

We saw a rare site in Brackley’s shop, “Herring Gull” a 1926 Gelyce class Camper and Nicholson built in Gosport England. Used originally as a yacht tender. She is 50’ long so Paul put a temporary addition on the door to his shop to accommodate her length.

Chris Crafts

Our Presidents (Scott) newly rebuilt motor for his shepard

South of the border it would not be unusual to see but up here 4 Chris Crafts under restoration at the same time is. New Bottoms everywhere you look.


Garys shop seems to be the place to see a little Italian style every year and again he did not disappoint, with that he had a Hard top Ditchburn with a hacker design bottom that was pretty rare.

Ditchburn with rare Hacker bottom

A Big Thanks to all the shops, Peter Breen Antique and Classic Boat Company, Brackley Boats, Muskoka Steam ships and Discovery Centre, Gary Clark Wooden Boats, Tim Butson Wooden Boat Builder, Tom Adams Boat Builder, James Osler Classic Boat Restoration, Whiteside Mechanical services, Duke Boats Ltd, Stan Hunter Boat Builder, Curtis Hillman Boat Builder, Harwood Water Craft, Parry Automotive. – THOSE NOT LINKED have no website!

Home of Riot in distress

Our next event is the Boat Show on July 6 2019 “Age to Perfection” A celebration of 100 year old boats check it out at HERE at the Toronto ACBS website


After the tour I started to get emails that a state of emergency has been declared on the Muskoka lakes and towns, the flooding has passed record levels and continues to rise, another foot is expected before it peaks. I rushed out between sheets of ice as this is the first chance the ice was gone enough to find Riots boathouse starting to rise as it is coming off is cribbing. The water today is 4’ above the normal level. So we are going to have a few sleepless nights and tireless days trying to keep everything where it should be.

15 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Great report Chris. The tour looked amazing as always, but the flooding looks tragic and we wish our Canadian friends luck in dealing with it. The Michigan gang is doing a two day cruise of Muskoka in July. I guess we don’t need to be concerned about low water!

  2. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    Lake Ontario and the thousand islands are facing the same flooding issues…AGAIN! More rain in store for the watershed so this isn’t done yet. 2017 was a year with no real boating on the St. Lawrence to speak of. Hopefully some part of summer 2019 can be salvaged.

  3. Mo Sherrill
    Mo Sherrill says:

    Chris – Our thoughts to you and Julie for a good outcome with the flooding and the condition of “Riot.” The ride I had in “Riot” at Lake George in 2015 will always remain in my memory. Thanks again for that. Thanks for a great report on the Muskoka Lakes Boat Shop tour. It’s always fun to see all the great craftsmanship happening in our neighbors to our north.

  4. Roberta
    Roberta says:

    What is the impact on the International at Alexandria Bay? Will things subside before the show? We are all set to go there. Maybe there will be a lot of land display.

    • Bilge Rat
      Bilge Rat says:

      The village of Alexandria Bay did construct temporary raised docks in 2017 to try and salvage the summer season. So did Boldt Castle. The river did have an idle speed only requirement then, so boating was not as fun but they made every attempt to accommodate boaters.

  5. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    WOW, we will have to keep an eye on the water levels for the 1000 islands, Sept ACBS show. I would hate to haul my Coronado all the way there and find it has only no wake enforced all over!
    Thanks, Bilge Rat, for the heads up.
    We are also coming up to Muskoka this Summer with the Michigan Chapter, hope the water recedes by then. That also is a lot of lake area to explore at no wake,

  6. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    In 2017 the heaviest flooding occurred in May and slowly went down over the next three months. Its still too early to tell, but they cannot let out enough water to alleviate this at the dam at Massena as Montreal is already experiencing flooding.

    Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

  7. Royce Humphreys
    Royce Humphreys says:

    Thank you for your content today Chris! Thinking of you as we have high water as well here in Lake Okoboji. Keep us posted on your situation. Think Sun!

  8. Dave Hughes
    Dave Hughes says:

    And for being allowed to take a peak at whats going on in Canuckistan our PM has decreed that all Americans must now pay the Canadian Carbon Emissions Tax – Japan is next…and then it’s on to China! 🙂

    • floyd r turbo
      floyd r turbo says:

      How exactly will that be assessed? Asking for future trip planning. Tell your PM, his fake eyebrows fell off again.

  9. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Having experienced some flooding at a friends island cottage on Muskoka years ago, I always wondered why the Canadian Ministry of ????? didn’t lower the lake levels in anticipation of winter snow melt. This is what the US Corp of Engineers on TVA and other lakes with dams under their operational control frequently do. And the falls at Bala which drains Muskoka would be under Canadian management, I assume? Its not like Canadians don’t contribute to their fair tax burden. That was one of the reasons my friend sold his place. Nevertheless, thoughts and prayers for all those affected. it sure would reduce insurance rates if “they” got their act together and released water in anticipation – yes, I know this was an extreme year, but its not like we don’t have computer modeling and scientific weather forecasting to help with future planning. Okay, stepping down off my soap box now.

  10. Chris
    Chris says:

    It is predicted the water levels will be better by the end of May. If it does not rain to hard Wednesday we well be in the clear, or at least I will be in the clear. its going to rain hard so we well see. July boating here will be as good as always.

  11. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Thanks for the report Chris!

    Always thought those boat houses were/are really cool, but dang this could really create a problem.

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