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“Dad’s Boat”

Dad's Boat

“Dad’s Boat” is a 17 ft Peterborough Kawartha, built in 1939 or ’40 and registered in Montreal where John Richardson’s Dad acquired her in 1951 (John was 6 yrs old). Her original power, a 14 HP Evinrude Fastwin which was replaced in 1958 by a spunky new Johnson Seahorse 18 HP with electric start no less. With only minor maintenance, that engine continues to operate reliably today. Over the years she was used to transport lumber (across her gunwales) for building cottages on Lake of Bays in Muskoka, to haul rock for building wharfs, for grocery runs to the nearest water’s edge village store, as a ski boat and, when the day’s work was done, as a fishing boat. John has old home movies of her from that time and cherishes fond memories of steering the boat while his Dad and Grandfather held their fishing poles, one over either side, trolling for lake trout. Down wind the exhaust gasses would trail over the boat filling their lungs with those wonderful acrid 2-cycle fumes. Upwind John’s lungs rebelled against second-hand cigarette smoke and the occasional venting of dinner fumes. When the fibreglass era arrived, John’s Dad retired his old Peterborough in favour of a new plastic runabout. For ten years his cedar-strip lay upside-down, out in the elements winter and summer, a refuge for little critters that fashioned temporary homes under her deck. When John’s Dad retired, he took on the daunting project of restoring his favorite old boat and did a good job. He replaced the transom and stem, some sections of the splash rail and rub rails, the fibreglass bottom covering and gave her some badly needed varnish. That was in 1976. For the next 27 years she was in constant use without a lick of varnish. In 2003 John brought her home to work on her over the winter. She was in sorry shape with rot in her lower transom, transom knees, splash rail and rub rails – just about all of the oak fittings. All of the cedar was in excellent shape except that it was black with mildew and baked on varnish. She is now fully restored and back in service on Lake of Bays. This picture of John and Susan Richardson in “Dad’s Boat” was taken on the MCBC Cruise Night on June 2, 2004.

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