Antique and Classic Boat Show

Gary

by Festival Nomad, Gary McWilliams

We’re Off To God’s Country…

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning and we are off to Gravenhurst to see the Antique and Classic Boat Show. When I say “we” I don’t mean I’m with Judi. She is off on a different adventure, so I asked my Grandson to accompany me. He stayed overnight with us so that we could get an early start. We were up by 7:00 am and out of the house at 8:00 am. I was excited to show him some of the types of boats I used to drive when I was young. I’m not saying that I am an antique, just a classic!? Anyway, we started off and traveled west along Hwy.401 until we came to Whitby. There we turned north and follow old Hwy 12. We passed by Port Perry, Sunderland, and Brechin and then, finally came to Orillia. In Orillia we checked out their beautiful waterfront and their first-class downtown core. After our sightseeing tour, we drove west towards Hwy 11. But first we needed to stop at Tim’s for refreshments and nourishments (coffee and donuts!). After a short stop, we were on our way again. This time we traveled north on Hwy11, Gravenhurst was just a few miles away. But on the way we had to make one stop, the Muskoka Trading Post. It is such a “neat” store, we just wanted to go in and look around. This store has everything weekend cottagers would to outfit their cottage home in style. Time was marching on, so we left the store and headed for Gravenhurst, home of the Antique and Classic Boat Show. We drove to the Muskoka Wharf were the show was being held, but parking was impossible. We were told that there was a shuttle service available and were to board it. We moved our way back through the traffic and found a parking spot close to a shuttle stop. We parked the car and walked to the stop. After quite a wait, the shuttle bus came and we boarded ready for the ride to the show! We arrived safe and sound and were now ready to explore the show…

And Now The Show…

We entered the show, after paying $10.00 for me and nothing for my grandson. Before we could get to the boats, we had to pass a beer tent on our left and then through a display of hydroplanes. I have actually driven them and boy, are they fun to drive and fast… and they can be very bumpy! After passing through the display, we came to the docks. The docks were quite narrow and only so many people, for safety, could fit on them at one time. Volunteers were standing at the top of the each allowing people to go on the docks as other came off. The boats were all “in-water” and they were magnificent! I can’t tell you how much memory they brought back from my boyhood summer days on Lake of Bays. I tried to explain how it felt seeing these boats again to my grandson, but I am not sure if he really knew what I was feeling. His time will come sometime in the future when he is trying to explain his childhood memories to his grandson. Anyway, it was a lot of fun looking at the boats and taking photos. The number of antique and classic boats on display was breathe taking and it was very hard to take it all in...

Antique and Classic Boats

I love antique and classic boats. As a kid I road and drove some of the ones we looked at. Of course, they weren’t old or antique when I was a kid. I don’t even think they were classic! As I said, I was lucky enough to have driven a lot of the smaller ones, especially the cedar runabouts. The only really classic boat I drove was owned by my father. I think it was a 1964 Shepherd. We had a cottage on Lake of Bays and I drove that boat all over the lake. I was a kid in paradise. Then one day we came back to the cottage from our home in Toronto and were sickened to look down at the dock to see the Shepherd was not there. There had been a big storm with heavy winds that week and the boat had been torn from the dock and then was smashed on the rocks. There was no hope for it. It was scraped and a new boat was purchased. It was an Outboard Marine tri-hull with a 70hp Johnson outboard. It was fast (for then) and turned on a dime, but it wasn’t a Shepherd! Even though I have driven some nice boats, I am definitely not an expert, so I won’t even try to pretend. I did, however, take a lot of pictures of them at the show. I’ll let the photos tell the rest of story…

And Now For The Rest Of The Show…

We left the dock area, but not before taking one last look at the boats on Dock B. My Grandson had to take another look at his favourite boats. They weren’t even wood! They were made of fibreglass, imagine, KIDS! Time to make a hasty retreat to the on-land, merchandise section of the show. They were lined up on either side of a wide pathway. Merchandise included boats, flags, clothing, boating supplies, shoes and on. Most everything to do with boating and boating needs. We walked to the farthest displays and then back. While were coming back they started in-water demonstrations. There were water-skiers, wake borders, classic boats, all showing how great life on the water is. No argument here! There was even the opportunity to take a trip on the famous classic steam ship, the Segwun. For only $10.00 you could take a 1 hour cruise around the lake. It was well after noon when we finished walking through the Antique and Classic Boat Show and we were getting tired and hungry. We tried to get into the Boston Pizza Restaurant, but it was jammed with along wait period. We then went to the Sunset Grill. It had a line up too, but didn’t quite as busy. After a long wait we were seated and then after another long wait we were served our food. My Grandson was very patient; he persevered through the long waits and didn’t complain from boredom. We were finally finished. It was time to catch the shuttle bus and go back to our car. Tired but happy we started our long journey home. We played and made up a lot of neat games to make the time pass more quickly. It was a great day, with great company.

TPL_KALLYAS_TOTOP