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“The Bunty”

Bunty A

Built in 1921 on the east end of Montréal island at Tetreaultville, “The Bunty” is twelve feet long and has a beam of 60 inches. The boat is a yacht tender. She was a gift to a 16 year old girl named Margaret Cleghorn whose family had a country home on the shores of Lake Manitou, Ivry-sur-le-Lac, Québec, about an hour’s drive north of Montreal. “The Bunty” has remained on Lake Manitou for its entire life.

She is constructed of oak ribs and copper fastened lap strake cedar planking. Her transom, decks and coaming are mahogany as are the seats and floorboards. She has a side mounted ship’s wheel for steering, connected to an outboard rudder. Her original and current power is a St-Lawrence Marine single cylinder (these famous and durable units were built in Brockville, Ontario). The motor serial number is 5345 and the records show it was built in 1920, prior to installation in the hull in 1921.

After leaving the Cleghorn family she was sold to other cottagers on Lake Manitou including J. Cecil McDougall, Lawrence McDougall, J. Malcolm McDougall and then Lorne Walls. In 1943, my father, Norman Harling bought the boat for $50 from Mr. Walls. It was sunk at the bottom of the lake in their boathouse! Undaunted my father and I (Richard A. Harling) raised the boat, dried it out and used it until about 1960 when a neighbour, William Drummond bought it. I arranged to buy the boat back into my family in 1974 and she has remained with us ever since.

I replaced the keel in 1974. My son, Bruce, at high school mechanics class in the 80’s, turned new main bronze bearings. In 1991 a friend repaired some wood, including the transom dog leg and the seats. In 1992 she won the Captains’ award at the Ottawa Boat show.

Over the winter of 2006/07 she had some further wood work done, including a new stem and some ribs spliced under the center section. The electrics have been changed from a 6 volt dry cell system to a 12 volt rechargeable battery. Other than this work, she is original.

“The Bunty” still berths at Lake Manitou where it is our family’s plan to keep her until she is well over 100 years!!

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