(click any image to enlarge)
Stan Hunter 23 - 2014
Stan Hunter is a traditional boatbuilder (although there is an occasional can of epoxy hiding in the shop) whose customer wanted a boat built with some definite visuals in mind. While cottaging on Lake of Bays in Ontario, he had seen many examples of classic runabouts and this style caught his eye. It is a low speed (about 20 mph) displacement hull - that is, with its rounded shape and lower horsepower it doesn’t plane. But it is a wonderful vessel for casual exploring of the bays, great for picnics and visits to fellow cottagers. And the aesthetics are nicely executed by Stan.
Gary Clark - 37' Spirit - 2012
The owner of Rainbow 1 was thrilled with the results of his first project and that led to this next boat. Spirit, the family runabout, is longer than Rainbow 1 (see below), but retains a similar running surface that we all found so pleasant to drive. Gone is the replica engine hatch cover and in its place a flush cover with gracefully integrated wooden air scoop. The larger cockpit can handle more guests. The unique windscreen found on Rainbow was retained to provide some family resemblance. The boat was built by Clark Wooden boats, launched in 2013 and sports twin Ilmor 650 h.p. Gen IV engines.
Clarion 23 BarrelBack - 2008
One of the challenges of selling custom boats is the typical waiting time of 18 months between order and delivery. Clarion Boats still builds these wooden boats by hand and they didn't want to compromise on their quality or process. So in 2008 they made the commitment to develop two new models, the 23 Barrelback and the 21 Gentleman’s Racer (see below) that they would tool up for and build into inventory. The results are spectacular.
Clarion 21 Gentleman's Racer - 2008
De Cossy 24 - 2008
An interesting project for a talented architect who wanted to design the deck and interior himself. So I created a set of lines and located the engine and cockpits, but he designed the rest and was very happy with the result.
Gary Clark - 32'7" Rainbow 1 - 2007
Rainbow 1 is a re-creation of a Classic Gold Cup race boat from 1920. The original was designed by George Crouch and built by Ditchburn Boats Limited, Gravenhurst, Ontario, but neither drawings nor the original hull exist. The shape of this boat was developed from a half model and numerous photos. Built in painstakingly careful detail by Clark Wooden Boats in Gravenhurst, even the aluminum frames for the engine compartment were cast as per the original. The result is a stunning, solid-riding boat that gets used on a daily basis in the summer in Muskoka.
Baldwin Lobster Boat - 2002, Runabout 1994
Mike Baldwin of Baldwin Boat Works is an artist himself - an industrial designer who creates inspiring custom furniture and architectural signage. But his love of boats keeps calling him back. He has built canoes that I have designed and these two projects, both custom - the 31’ Lobster boat and the 27’ classic mahogany runabout .
Clarion McKinney 28'3" - 2002
This custom 28 footer built by Dwight Boyd and his team at Clarion Boats was for an American client who wanted the flavour of a Ditchburn runabout. The classic Ditchburn raised engine hatch with circular air intakes and vertical stem helped to define that look. After drawing the hull shape, frames, cockpit layout, rudder and engine details for him, Dwight takes over and creates a lot of the deck and interior details himself, with superb results.
Peterborough Style 17' 9" Zephyr - 2000
The Peterborough Boat Company built the original Zephyr model powerboat in the 1940’s. This design was done for a client who wanted to build as closely as possible to the original shape. As with many of these projects no original drawings existed, so the new boats are created with the ‘flavour’ of the old vessel. Ron Frenette at Canadian Canoes decided the model was a good fit with his customers (who he teaches how to build strip canoes, kayaks and small vessels), so he has produced a few.
Clarion 34' Cocktail Launch - 1999
This twin engine launch has some of the flavour of the hotel launches that were used to ferry passengers from shore to island hotels. The hard top gives protection from the elements and, especially important these days, the harsh sun. Clarion Boats describes the boat like this: “With amenities like a luxurious leather and mahogany interior, a refreshment center, capacity to entertain 10 and six foot standing headroom under the hardtop, this fast launch has the enduring qualities of a timeless classic that will be appreciated not only today but for generations to come. On the water or at the dock this boat has a presence that speaks volumes in a whisper. Beneath the garb of an elegant lady lies the anatomy of a spirited athlete. Powered by two 300 hp Mercruiser V-8's she is capable of startling performance."
Clarion Gold Cup 22' 6" - 1999
The original Gold Cup 25 that started the relationship between myself and Clarion Boats saw a production run of six boats. With that success Clarion built the Gold Cup 22 with the same flavour, but in a smaller, less expensive package. A nice boat with the trademark Clarion attention to detail and fine finish.
Clarion 19'6" Picnic Launch - 1997
This nice little picnic launch was designed around the engine - a single cylinder St. Lawrence. The boat is a wooden lapstrake open day boat that welcomes straw hats and picnics. A very pretty go-slow boat.
Clarion 25 - 1995
A one-off 25 footer for a Clarion Boats customer (quite a different, more conservative approach than the Gold Cup 25 below). Large cockpit for family outings and additional cockpit forward. Classic styling.
Clarion 19 - 1991
Clarion Gold Cup 25 - 1987
The Clarion Gold Cup 25 is the boat that started my adventure into classic mahogany runabouts. Dwight Boyd of Clarion Boats had been dabbling in boat building, but hadn’t built any new boats, certainly not of this size. He was looking for something that was reminiscent of the classic runabout Baby Bootlegger with lots of rounded surfaces. It had to look fast sitting at the dock. It was also my first venture into powerboat design. Lots of research went on before the drawings began, but we were both overjoyed with the success of the project - it led to almost 30 years of collaboration.
The construction is routed marine plywood frames with two layers of thin plywood and a final layer of longitudinal mahogany. Construction is all epoxy, but finished with 15 coats of traditional marine varnish. Several of these boats were built with modern V8 engines and speeds of around 55mph.