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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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w17 Jeffs talks about start up problemsThis year’s winter workshop was held at Parry Automotive in Orillia. We were lucky to have a nice day to drive north, the over sold crowd all came eager to hear what Jeff Titshall at Parry Automotive had to share. Along with the engine talk Ronny Haylock from Ronny’s marine brought along a restored 1960 G3. Ronny gave us all advice for restoring a fiber glass classic.

The day was split into 5 stations. Fiberglass restoration, distributer knowledge, oils and carburetor adjustments, transmission adjustments, valves and heads, and compression testing.

This years workshop was a great one. Thanks to Owner Steve Van Kessel for allowing us to overtake the shop on a Saturday. Steve, Jeff and staff of volunteers showed us all a great day and there enthusiasm to put on this event showed in the very positive response. We also need to thank Ronny for towing that boat in February to the shop and share his vast knowledge in the world of fiber glass.




Jeff starts off with trouble talk



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Transmission Adjustments



w17 talking transmition adjustment

Transmission talk



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Head resurfacing



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Distributor basics


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Distributor basics

















Thanks to Parry Automotive



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Ronnys 1960 G3 restoration



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Patrick talking about a crack


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Scott, Murray and Ronny



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Fun with bend valves



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Oils and  carbs 


Hope we see you all at the next event, Spring tour April 29 2017