It Happened, It Actually Happened. You Know What They Say?

Yes, that’s a tow line, yes that’s Karen Harrison!

Now, I am going to just say right now, that this may seem like its made up, but I swear to the gods of Varnish that what I am about to tell you is the honest truth. Now, we all know that the Harrison’s from time to time….. Here on Woody Boater seem to break down a bit. I mean we are talking 10 years now. From a transmission in St. Louis, a trailer tire someplace, 6 ft of snow in Montana, and I can’t even count on the water. But what is the most epic part is that they always, ALWAYS laugh about it, and it’s one of the wonderful things about this passion. Breaking down is part of the culture, and how you deal with it, is the magic that makes it fun.

Karen at the helm with Shannon

Headed out for a sunset shoot

Shannon Knight at the helm.

NOW, this is the way this happened. Honestly, I have not seen Paul or Karen I think since last year at this time, so we popped by to say hi. Shannon and Karen were headed out on SEA BERT  for a photo shoot for Karen and Paul’s Club up in Canada’s Newsletter. I said, “hold on, wait til the sun is down and we can go all out. Full shoot thing. I will hold off on any Woody Boater stuff so your news letter can break the story. DEAL!”

Into the sun

As the sun sets, we all get ready and even the Boatress gets into the mood. Karen is hands down the most amazing boater out there. She can drive anything, Shannon is a gear head and Engineer in Detroit for a large Car Company and the Boatress is ready for anything on a boat. So this in no way just three women on a boat as models, these are three able boaters on a very rare boat with a ton of skills.

Why do we have to wave?

And yes those fender bumper things are a Canadian thing. It’s a Canadian boat and there is a very cool system BTW

But hey, you can always look good doing it. Right? And there was a glass or whine along for a slow cocktail sunset thing. And NO, the driver was driving sans whine, not drinking. UNTIL.


We noticed an odd smell on the photo boat. and noticed smoke. At the same time so did the Boatress and Shannon, so they killed the engine. No water pumping through. YIKES, and so we all looked it over, and found two of the water pump grease cups were loose, so no pressure could happen, but we wanted to just not take any chances and let it all cool down.

That sucks, wait, no it technically did not suck.

So we had sunset, wine and a camera. And then it hit us. OH MY GOD, IT’S A CLASSIC HARRISON BREAK DOWN! The story became ours partially, and we all got the perfect end to a perfect weekend. A tow in! Cause you know what we always say. IT AIN’T A BOAT SHOW UNTIL SOMEONE GETS TOWED IN! This is what Woody Boating is all about.

Give me a glass of that wine!

What wine?

Oh boy!

It’s all in how you make a breakdown fun!

I can’t make this stuff up? If I did, I would not tell this joke over and over. But the Woody Gods have a great sense of humor and thankfully for all of us, so do Paul and Karen!

The beauty is a 18′ 1940 Port Carling SeaBird with a  Buchanan Midget 25 HP engine. The back story and more beauty photos of the boat will be published in the Newsletter for the Okanagan Antique & Classic Boat Society

And the day and show comes to a cliche and wonderful end!

Stay tuned for some great week long photos and stories from our Lake Dora adventure.

18 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Great story. When you have a crew that capable and attractive you have to expect it to be a less than a boring photo shoot. Looks like it was a fun time and clearly the ladies enjoyed it. I think a WoodyBoater story that will live on for many years was created that evening! Thanks for sharing.

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    My memory is still foggy on Monday morning, but I believe that is the boat they purchased from the Field of Nightmares at last year’s Sunnyland event. The fenders on a pulley system we’re very cool…as long as you are Canadian.

    • Paul H
      Paul H says:

      Yes, it was bought from there, though from a gentleman I know very well – former ACBS Director and President John Howard.

      The boat is a wonderful little cocktail cruiser and it seemed that, as Canadians, we should have a Canadian boat and the price was right.

  3. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    If it were three men broke down in a boat itd be a different story. We’d be hanging our heads in shame and pissed off because our egos were deflated.

    I’m sorry to have to break this to ya guys, but women are smarter than us men and generally always right. Knowing this is why I’m still happily married after 43 years. Oh! And they look better than us too.

  4. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I can’t really tell is Suzy is hogging the wine or just holding it for the others?

    Not only can the Harrison’s have a good chuckle when things go wrong, but they are wonderful hosts and their re-designed house on lake Dora is FABULOUS!

  5. Carla
    Carla says:

    Quite the crew…in every manner! This trio makes us women in the classic boating hobby PROUD to know them!! Let me just say that if I was out boating on a beautiful, Sunday afternoon/evening, I would rather be with these three incredible women than anyone else. THE DREAM TEAM OF CLASSIC BOATING!

  6. Flash
    Flash says:

    They broke down because they broke two of the cardinal sins of boating…

    1. Fenders are to be stowed whilst underway.

    2. Any beverage served in glass is for land use only.

    Either of these is as bad as bringing bananas on a fishing trip.

    Glad to hear everyone is okay and they made it back in one piece.

  7. Matt
    Matt says:

    Those fenders are part of the boat. Its a Canadian thing. They are built into the boat and move up and down. Very cool system.

  8. Scott Ales
    Scott Ales says:

    Debra and I rented an apartment together the day she graduated high school. I was entrusted with $600 we saved up to buy furniture. She came home later that day to find $600 worth of chrome engine parts for my (our) Stevens flatbottom V-Drive. Not sure why she stayed but that was her chance to understand what she signed up for!

  9. Paul H
    Paul H says:

    The actual problem turned out to be minor, as is not often the case when it comes to our various travails. The grease cups on the water pump had loosened off (though we are not sure how after 2 hours of use), and this caused the water pump to lose its’ prime. Jimmy had it figured out pretty quickly and it turned out that he was right.

    The overheating caused no damage to the engine and it fired up right away yesterday.

    SeaBert was towed back to our slip by our very own 1962 Sea Skiff, itself not running right. The problem with that one turned out to be a bad plug – a simple fix but caused by a significant problem – water in the cylinder from a cracked head. That seems to be more like the outcomes we are accustomed to. All is right in the world……

  10. Steve L
    Steve L says:

    I’m the guy from the Okanagan chapter that’s waiting for a story on the Harrison’s cool boat for our newsletter.

    Matt, I believe you would have held off on your story until our newsletter was out. Ha! You just can’t make this stuff up and when a funny story brakes (breaks)… you gotta run (tow) with it!

  11. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Was a good story with a happy ending….Kinda like the show…My hat’s off to Terry and his Sunnyland followers for putting on a great show under difficult circumstances. My wife said she had more fun this year than ever before and when she’s happy, I’m happy..

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