drawingsHere we are mid-March and we can almost see the water as warmer temperatures come and go. Some of us are getting ready to head to Florida for the annual start to the boat show season.

One couple that would like to be heading south are staying back to work on their new wooden classic. Rich and Linda Hughes are very serious DIY folks, each evening after Rich comes home from his real job that has benefits and a pension, he works at something that has become his hobby and passion. I don’t know how many boats Rich has had his hands on but there are 4 of his own that I know of and 2 of mine that he has help me with. I don’t know at what point you stop calling him a DIY guy. His workmanship really makes him a professional boat builder.

The other part of these great boats is Rich married a wonderful woman named Linda. Not only is she just a great lady she has a talent for doing upholstery. Yes she does all of the family work so the boats never leave the shop its quite a team.

The new build is a Clarion GR21.This is the last race boat designed for Clarion by renowned marine achitect Steve Killing. In 2014 Rich and Linda attended the Trent Severn antique and Classic boat clubs winter work shop at Clarion Boats in Campbellford, Ontario. There he saw the last hull Dwight had started but not finished. Knowing that Dwight was retiring Rich made him an offer to buy the hull. He brought it home and it sat for a year while he figured out what to do with it.

He decided to take a customizing route like that of Carroll Shelby and take the basic vehicle and just take it up a notch. While he was crafting out the new design he was talking to Mike Gridley of Powerboat Television. Mike suggested he put in Mercury’s brand new in house built 6.2 litre 350hp motor with all its bells and whistles. So now Mike (who has also become a great volunteer at ACBS) is filming the installation of the motor for an episode on PBTV. See it on March 25 at 11am on Global.


racer profileRich has taken cues from both old classic cars and new to come up with his interior. Linda has then meticulously cut and sewn the material to come up with this great look. Rich is not afraid to put his own touch to the boat. He played with the bottom and put on a reverse chine, then cut into the engine hatch to put in his own design of hood scoops. 

The boat will be ready for this year’s pre-events as well and this year’s celebration of Canada's Sesquicentennial 150 years of Boating.

The Hughes also help out with the club, Linda and Rich have been running this clubs boat show pre-events. This year we are on Lake of Bays and Lake Joseph. Sign up for some fun filled days - Join Rich & Linda and a whole lot of boat enthusiasits for the pre-events and boat show at Gravenhurst Wharf July 9th,2017.

See you on the water 

Chris Bullen










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