ACBS Antique and Classic Boat and Car Show!

08th July 2014
I can't remember a better day for the annual ACBS show. What made it even more special was how I was transported to and from the event. A small parade of three vintage cars made their way from Port Carling to Gravenhurst on the day of the show. A 1924 Buick owned by Eric Luk's, a 1912 REO owned by Paul Gockel and a 1914 Model T owned by Paul Dodington took about 2 hours to make the journey. What fun it was! While few visitors would have known about it, this year's show could also be called "the show before the 100th Anniversary of the Disappearing Propeller Boat!
Summer Excitement is Here

By Tim Du Vernet

The ACBS-Toronto boat show is looming large now. With just one weekend to go! For wooden boaters, the show represents a serious start to the season with the long weekend past.

While ACBS-Toronto organizes the event hosted by the Town of Gravenhurst, the ACBS is a big organization and draws participation to this show from several of its chapters.

That means both boating participants and spectators alike will get to enjoy a broad range of classic boats from as far away as Florida, Ottawa, and beyond.

As classic boat collecting matures, more and more fiberglass boats become vintage and historically significant. This year’s show will combine all classic craft into a one day public event on Saturday with member activities happening Friday through Sunday.

Once again, the ever popular card board boat building event will be fun for youth and families as well as those who love to see just how far a card board boat can go.

A special highlight of this year’s event is the return of Miss Canada IV to Gravenhurst. Built by Greavette Boats, she will be the centre of attention at 12:00 with official ceremonies. The return of Miss Canada represents the co-ordinated efforts of many people from Ingersol to Gravenhurst. She will be part of a remarkable documentary film titled “Harold and Lorna”.

The show boat is the very historically significant KITTYHAWK. This name is tied to aviation history as well as more humble boating history on Georgian Bay.

Built in 1929 by Gidley Boats, KITTYHAWK started her career as a taxi boat. She came up for sale and Orville Wright bought her in 1931 after she a hardtop had been added.

KITTYHAWK was his Georgian Bay boat, where he spent the summer. At 32’6” and substantial freeboard , KITTYHAWK, is ready to handle the waters of Georgian Bay. Perhaps her sturdy nature is one of the features that attracted Orville Wright. The Gidley “Gull” model is described in the brochure as an all mahogany express runabout, equipped with a Kermath engine. A “general purpose craft she has a passenger capacity of eight plus incidental baggage accommodation.”

Shis is currently owned by Guy and Kathy Johnstone, who summer on Georgian Bay in an area known as Franceville East. KITTYHAWK will be brought to Lake Muskoka and launched specially for the show. It is expected that representatives of the Wright family will be present for the special showing of this remarkable boat.

Once again, there will be lots to see at this year’s boat show. Remember, the show is one day only with a modest admission fee.

The ACBS will also be selling posters featuring the KITTYHAWK in two versions, the production version and a very exclusive, limited edition version produced by Tim Du Vernet. More updates on the show next week!