By Graeme Beattie, Manotick Chapter

Photo credits: Graeme Hoatson Beattie, Mike Corrigan, Chris Grant, Kevin Hayes & Randy McKendry

The late April showers certainly did not dampen the spirits of Manotick Chapter club members and friends who spent the day traversing a good portion of Eastern Ontario’s back roads on Saturday April 29th, 2023 for our Spring Workshop Tour. Mike Corrigan and staff of The Wooden Boat Shop in Gananoque welcomed us with big smiles and lots of hot coffee and Timbits. The shop jam packed with interesting projects underway.

Just a few kilos north in the village of Lyndhurst Brian Wykes of Wykes Generation III told us why Wykes fishing boats are still popular today while showcasing a lovely Gidley launch.

Wykes Boat Works in Harlem was a hub of activity with many boats on display including a rare pre-war Shepherd runabout. Ken Wykes said it could be the second boat built by the company. If that didn’t get your attention, then the 18’ Shepherd converted to a gentleman’s race boat certainly would. Not to be missed was Andreas’s new acquisition Greavette, what a ‘looker’ she will be when refinished.

It seems every time we visit Merrickville’s Sirens Boatworks they have erected another portable storage tent and all of them are bursting at the seems with vintage boats. A sure sign our little hobby is growing. The most talked about boat here was the Shepherd runabout being converted from an inboard engine with a straight drive shaft to an I/O set-up.

Waldie Woodworks, also in Merrickville, was our last shop of the day where we were warmly greeted by Jim and Diana. We also met our club’s newest member Blair, a proud owner of a 1963 14’ Lakefield runabout. In addition, Blair pointed to two kayaks he learned to build at the shop, one for him and one for his wife Gina. Like at Sirens we noticed more boats in for restoration work.

Good times always fly by quickly with another successful and interesting Workshop tour in the books!


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