May 18, 2022

Gravenhurst Boat Show – Annual Treasures

"Utopia" - 1932 Minett Shields at Gravenhurst Boat Show.

The first time I visited the Antique and Classic Boat Show turned in to another one of those “what a coincidence” episodes that seem to crop up in my life most frequently.

I was taking my time shuffling with the crowds of people trying to cross paths on the narrow wooden docks. You have to keep your balance and be aware of people milling about, or risk being accidentally bumped into the water. Don’t let that thought keep you away. I never actually saw it happen.

It was enough for me to admire the curves and lines of these magnificent water craft that I forgot to take pictures for the first quarter hour. When I thought I should get cracking, I knelt down low to get a good perspective on the beautiful deck of the boat directly in front of me. It was the first and is still my favourite shot of the few I took that day.

Several months later I was chatting with my neighbour in Sutton and in the course of mentioning what I’d been up to, the Gravenhurst Boat Show came up. My neighbour casually told me that her son had entered a boat or two and done very well, taking a blue ribbon. I retrieved the photo album and presented the collection of 5 x 7 prints, pointing out my favourite, the 1932 Minett Shields “Utopia”.

“Yes. That’s the one,” she said. I was talking with Dorothy Walker, the mother of Murray Walker, owner of an impressive collection of restored boats that grace Muskoka’s waters. I never knew. Since then I never forgot.

"Utopia" - 1932 Minett Shields at Gravenhurst Boat Show.
“Utopia” – 1932 Minett Shields at Gravenhurst Boat Show.

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