Boat Racing Family And Local ACBS Chapter Represented At The 2012 Toronto Boat Show

Winter is here, the 54th Annual Toronto International Boat Show is now open and the 2012 boating season has officially begun! The largest boat show in Canada runs from January 14th to the 22nd and has something for everybody, including a huge indoor lake and a wide range of exhibitors and products.

Harry Wilson Jr., son of the famous Miss Canada race boat team of Harold & Lorna Wilson will be on hand at the Toronto International Boat Show as well as the Toronto Chapter ACBS with an impressive display of antique & classic boats.

First – This update from Harry Wilson Jr.

80 years ago, the 1st of 5 racing boats John L Hacker designed for Harold and Lorna hit the water and started a winning streak that lasted for 20 years. This relationship is being publicly revived at the Hacker Craft Canada display at the Toronto International Boat Show on Saturday Jan 21.

When John L Hacker left Greavette, the Wilsons commissioned the new company designer, Douglas van Patten, to create their last 3 Miss Canadas, including the record setting Miss Canada IV with her 3,000 HP Rolls Royce Griffon V12.

If you are planning to be at the boat show, drop by, say hi – it would be great to see you! – Get the latest on the film, talk some Canadian powerboat racing history, and oggle some beautiful Hacker Craft “Woodies”!

The Wilson Family Racing Legacy and John L. Hacker

John L. Hacker’s 3rd race boat design for Harold Wilson and riding mechanic and fiancée Lorna Reid gave Canada its first repeat World Champions. After winning the 1932 Canadian title in Little Miss Canada II, Harold & Lorna rode Little Miss Canada III to Canada’s 1st motor sports World Championship during the 1934 CNE, a title they successfully defended in 1935 in Little Miss Canada IV.

Father Ernest A Wilson and his racing team were able to build the Little Miss Canada and Miss Canada series of speedboats into a dynasty of championship vessels. Harold was the first Canadian speed boat driver to make a lasting mark on the international racing scene, claiming three world championship titles and setting numerous speed records over the course of his 20-year competitive career.

The Wilson Racing Team is the subject of Muskoka Film Work’s Harold & Lorna, to be released in late 2012.

From Toronto Chapter ACBS / Classicboat Magazine Editor – Kathy Rhodes

On Monday, Kathy sent us this live-ish report from the Toronto International Boat Show. You can always count on seeing some different and unique wooden boats from the Southern Ontario area.

Texx – Here is a look at the full display of classic boats in the entrance hall of the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto. In the immediate foreground is Murray Parnell and John Gullick’s latest acquisition, a 1958 Nordson 14 Schellboote (Speedboat) which is powered by a 1958 Johnson Sea Horse. Murray and John plan to restore the boat and show it at the annual Toronto ACBS boat show at Gravenhurst in July.

The next boat on the left (above) is a Link Boat out of Gananoque, Ontario. The Link’s new owner, Jim Watt, also plans to have this boat restored in time to show it in Gravenhurst. He’s also prepared a write-up for the Spring issue of Classicboat. Ed Link was the inventor in 1929 of the first Flight Simulator – the Link Trainer. Once he turned his talents to boat-building, he invented the Linkanoe, a canoe that could be broken down into 10 pieces for easier transport by bush plane, and the collapsible Link boat – a 6-piecer.

Here is a better look at Murray Parnell and John Gullick’s 1958 Nordson 14 Schellboote.

Below is Allez IV (pronounced Allez Quatre or Alley Cat), a 13’ Century Whirlwind inspired boat by an unknown builder built circa 1930. It is part of the collection of Ken Kirk and Laura Gaggi.

Thanks for the update Kathy. To learn more about the Toronto Chapter ACBS, Classicboat Magazine and their great archive of stories you can click here.

To learn more about the huge 54th Toronto International Boat Show you can click here to go directly to their website. They also have a live web cam on the indoor lake that you can see the many demonstrations such as Stand Up Paddleboarding & Rowing Demo, Wakeboard Shows, Powerboat Handling Seminars & Demos, etc.


6 replies
  1. Alex
    Alex says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but when I read Schellboote, I instinctively thought “Gesundheit!”

    As for the 10 piece collapsible canoe and 6 piece collapsible boat… I mean, what possibly could go wrong!?!

  2. Texx
    Texx says:

    I knew this was a big show but when I went to their website and scrolled through the list of exhibitors, I was amazed to see just how BIG it really is this year.

    Hundreds of exhibitors / booths and over 1,200 boats on site… It would be fun to spend a few days checking it out.

    It’s also great to see the local Toronto ACBS Chapter front and center representing the hobby.

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