Miss Canada IV Passed Her First Test With Flying Colors On Muskoka Bay

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“Miss Canada IV” being lowered into the water – Photo by Murray Powell

It’s been almost 25 years since “Miss Canada IV” was last in the water, and almost 63 years since the state-of-the-art multi-step hydroplane was first introduced to the world by Team Wilson. But late last week “Miss Canada IV” passed her first series of test runs with flying colors, according to Restoration Team Coordinator Jamie Smith.

As many of our regular viewers here at Woody Boater know, since July 2011 we have been following the remarkable restoration of “Miss Canada IV” at Tom Adams boat shop in Port Carling, Ontario. The famous, record setting hydroplane which was originally designed by Douglas Van Patten and built in 1949 at Greavette Boat Works in Gravenhurst, Ontario is now in the final stages of her restoration.

The 3,000 HP supercharged Rolls-Royce Griffon V-12 is running great and the vintage race boat is once again making news. Here’s the latest update from Jamie Smith.

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“Miss Canada IV’s” unique Douglas Van Patten designed multi-step bottom – Photo courtesy Murray Powell

To All Our “Miss Canada IV” Friends,
by Restoration Coordinator Jamie Smith

We have just completed 2-1/2 days of testing in Muskoka Bay. As I write this note to you I am glad that we have a day off… because it’s snowing in Muskoka on Sunday, May 12th!

Weather was not an issue for our testing as you will see from the attached photos! Testing is exactly that… testing. We started by running the boat at idle rpm which is 27.5 MPH. We check all fittings for leaks (we found one small leak). We check all the gauges for temperature, oil-pressure and boost-pressure. Once that was completed, we slowly added speed and quickly determined that we had a cooling issue. So, it was back to the dock at the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre. We put the boat away, called it quits for the day and went for a working dinner.

Peter & Norm

Test driver Norm Woods and engine builder Peter Grieve prepare for a test run.

On Friday am we made changes to the water/cooling system, checked the boat again and waited, and waited, and waited for the rain to stop. Testing “Miss Canada IV” meant that we needed a crew of volunteers to help us with our “on the water” testing. They provided the safety boats (we had three) and the Toronto Outboard Racing Club provided their rescue boat.

All in all we had more than 16 people out on the water, plus a few spectator boats. So late Friday afternoon we made the decision to test our cooling fix in the rain. Out we went! We found that our cooling modifications had improved on our problem, but, not enough to be able to run the boat at speed. So, back to the warm and welcoming Muskoka Boat & Heritage Center and more discussion.

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“Miss Canada IV” leaves the dock for the first time in over 25 years as Norm & Peter begin testing last week.

By Saturday morning the weather had improved. Again we worked on the cooling system and made a major change. By noon we were back on the water. The change helped significantly… still more work to be done though. The changes gave us the opportunity to take the boat out in the afternoon to do the “poster shoot” for the Toronto ACBS Chapter’s “The Greatest Boat Show in Canadian History” event on July 6th at a target speed of 60 MPH – the boat’s planing speed.

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“Miss Canada IV” alive and well on the water during initial testing.

During the 2-1/2 days of testing we had many Miss Canada IV friends visit. I can’t name them all because there were a lot, plus my memory is not that good; but among our many friends were two very special guests – Will and Mike Braden whose father Bill Braden drove “Miss Supertest I” formerly “Miss Canada IV”.

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Master photographer Tim Du Vernet was on hand at Muskoka Bay to document the “Miss Canada IV” testing procedure.

Some of the attached photos are mine (need a new camera… thank you Friday rain), also from boat builder Tom Adams, and photographer Tim Du Vernet.


3,000 HP Rolls-Royce Griffon engine builder Peter Grieve performs dynamic adjustments as test driver Norm Woods looks on – Du Vernet Photography

Today (Sunday), is as mentioned, a day off. The “Miss Canada IV” Test Team will meet on Monday morning to review the test results and determine the plans for this week. We still have a lot of work ahead of us!

To put “testing” in perspective – When Bobby Genovese acquired “Miss Canada IV”, he got a hull with no engine and no running gear. So with the help of Tom Adams and his crew, with the help of the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum, with Peter Grieve’s engine knowledge, Norm Woods & Harry Wilson’s racing knowledge and some Friends in New Hampshire who gave us some “plumbing” help, we are systematically working to provide Mr. Genovese with a boat that runs like she ran in 1950 – 63 years ago.

Miss Canada IV heads for the start of the 1950 Harmsworth Trophy race. Belle Isle Bridge, Detroit

“Miss Canada IV” heads for the start of the 1950 Harmsworth Trophy race, under the Belle Isle Bridge – Detroit, Michigan.

There is lots of new news on our Harold & Lorna and Miss Canada IV Facebook page.

Also, the Toronto Chapter ACBS is planning to post their boat show registration package this week on their website at http://www.acbs.ca/ – Make sure that you book your events ASAP because this show is going to be a sellout!

Tim DuVernet will also have a number of photos posted on his website shortly. http://www.duvernetphotography.com/

Regards, Jamie

James D. Smith
SKYPE: riverbendmuskoka

Thanks for the update Jamie. As the official re-launch of “Miss Canada IV” at Gravenhurst in July draws closer, we are looking forward to seeing this magnificent vintage raceboat finally completed.  Congratulations to Jamie Smith, Harry Wilson, Tom Adams & Crew, Norm Woods, Peter Grieve and the entire “Miss Canada IV” Restoration Team.  You have done an incredible job!


13 replies
  1. Sean
    Sean says:

    What is it with these Greavettes and cooling (or lack therof)…

    Well, I’m sure Miss Canada IV has a little more to cool than your average Greavette so I wager it’s not systemic amongst the marque 🙂

    Looks nice to see that boat in her home waters!

  2. Alex
    Alex says:

    Cooling issues in near-ice cold water mean bigger cooling issues in Summer’s 70+ degree water. Hope you guys get it worked out. What am I saying, of course you will!

  3. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    An mp3 or mp4 audio file would have been a great accompaniment but happy to see the pix, especially Tim’s work, always high quality. He looks quite the geek with all the equipment and factoring in the wet cold weather, that’s great work (and thanks to Murray Powell as well). Assuming one of the 15 boats was a Tim Horton’s supplying donuts and coffee, lol.

    That sure is a complex bottom configuration, one has to view it from front and side angles to understand how it works – multi step, tapered wetted planing surfaces. Hope I can work this event into my schedule.

  4. Jon
    Jon says:

    I’m from the states and happen to be at this sight when they took off. I will be following them this summer to see how well I think they will do… Good Luck.

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