by Greg Finch member of the Rocky Mountain Classics chapter
I grew up in Toronto, so I spent a lot of time in the Muskoka Lakes area of Ontario in the 60’s. I have such great memories of the woodies from those days. Most of which were built right there, with a few Century’s as well. I moved to California as a young professional but never lost my desire to have one.
We moved to Colorado and built a house on Grand Lake, I started to think seriously about getting a wood boat. We flew back to Cincinnati and visited Lou Rauh at ABC and looked at 100 vintage boats. Lou picked up pretty quickly that I had neither the time nor qualifications to restore a boat. Lou took me down to the River and demo’d a Fish Brothers barrelback,four hours later I ordered one then six months after that it was delivered right out of the Fish Bros shop. She looks just like a ‘39, but runs like a bat outa well you know, with a 357 Merc engine. Love of my life.
I followed the same path, almost buying a ’39 barrelback project. After visiting ABC and looking at more originals, I saw a 2007 Fish Bros 19′ and learned that they are exact replicas of the ’39-’42 models, but with a 350hp 5.7L Mercruiser, but otherwise the hardware is from the original sand molds. The hull, however, is assembled with the WEST epoxy system, incredibly strong and weatherproof, with oak ribs and mahogany planking, just like the original boats. After 13 years and lots of high speed runs, the hull has no indications of any seperation. With the hatches closed, she is identical to the originals at the shows. Best of all, the turn of a key and fuel is all that is required to enjoy her!
Hope one day you will be back to live in Canada with your boat on the Muskoka Lakes.
I am from Quebec but I love Muskoka lakes Nd the thousand islands where there is so many woodies. Salutations
I tried the restoration path since I was newly retired. A 1957 Higgins and a 1956 Correct Craft were my entry into the hobby. While the woodworking was fun and delightful, (I’m a retired remodeling contractor) the engine work was VERY frustrating. After struggling for a couple years with the mechanical learning curve, I sold both boats and bought a used but modern Hacker Craft.
Fuel and a key is correct! Got my life back and now have time to enjoy boating throughout the NW.
See everyone in Coeur d’ Alene this September!
I’ll remember all of you. Great to have a place on Grand Lake. Reminds me of a miniature Lake George that I grew up on. Best to you Fine looking boat!!