Thoughts from the shop floor





Almost time for launch again

I don't ever remember a winter going by as fast as the winter of 2012-2013. Even with it being more of a traditional Canadian winter then years past, I cannot believe that we are entering the first days of spring.

This winter brought about some interesting jobs, we did two osmosis repairs (we only book two each winter) which I now have in the photo gallery. We are still working away at the cottage in Haliburton, we travelled up there when it was too cold to be on the concrete floor of the shop, but it is looking like it will be ready for use right around our busiest time. Always the way!

Paul is now finishing up a few of his canoe restorations and I am wrapping up my last two fiberglass boats of the winter, smaller jobs than the osmosis ones, which will be done *just* before the current jobs start rolling in.

Hope you enjoy the new photographs Ive put in the gallery and enjoy our Canadian spring!


-Bill Chalmers


2011 boating season coming to a close

I have to start by saying I now understand why you guys spend so much money to be out on the water.

Paul (Dad) bought a vacation property in Haliburton on Miskwabi Lake, and Lachelle and I have been up there as much as possible this summer catching some rays and some great fishing.

After a soggy start to the spring, the nice hot summer was surely enjoyed by us, hopefully by you and yours as well.


We had some very interesting jobs to complete this season and are booking up nicely for the winter season. Hopefully in the coming weeks I will get a chance to get some more photo gallerys up of the many boats and canoes we have worked on in the last few months.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

-Bill Chalmers


What a great summer season!

Not only was the weather perfect for a summer filled with enjoying the waters, we had a great season full of interesting people and their respective watercrafts. The response to our website has been fantastic and has reached more people than I had ever thought possible in such a short time. As of November we are booked for the winter months with lots of interesting boats that I will post photos of as I get a chance.

We have several different jobs booked in, the usual canoe recanvassing that Paul enjoys doing during the quieter months, three complete osmosis hull restorations on fiberglass boats, a couple floors for good measure and some gelcoat work.

The winter months is when we tend to do the bigger, more laborious jobs that we simply don't have the time to complete in the summer months. With these big jobs comes one of the most common questions that we are asked at our shop...


"Is my boat worth it?"


This question requires much thought and each situation is different.

We are currently doing a floor replacement in a very early fiberglass boat (1950's) While the bill on this job clearly exceeds what the boat would be worth from a resale point of view, the owner of the boat wants a sturdy boat to use for a few years. It was a gift from a friend, has a solid trailer, a functional outboard motor, the transom had been done a few years ago and the hull is solid with an epoxy coating for protection. After the floor is done, he is going to get us to refinish the sides and deck with more modern colors, and get a new top custom made.

From a useage standpoint, he will have a fully functional boat for years to come at a fraction of the cost of new. A similiarly equipped boat new would cost tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention he will have a unique craft that will turn heads and for sure be a discussion piece amongst his neighbours.


Is it worth it for him? Absolutely.


Happy May Two Four! thoughts on Osmosis...

Just sitting back here reflecting on a few of the more interesting boats I have worked on in the last couple months, getting everyone ready for what is hopefully a better boating season than we have had in the last couple years.

Ive been mobile the last two months and have done 18 boats in this stretch, mostly minor gelcoat chips and dings but also a handful of three stage compounds that are always rewarding to do.

The one thing that has really caught my eye though is the amount of osmosis that I am seeing on late model boats.

(As Im sure most of you reading this will know, osmosis is the process of water penetrating the hull of the boat by passing through the gelcoat and becoming trapped, causing a chemical reaction with the resins which results in blisters and if left unchecked problems with the hull structure)

Twenty or twenty five year old boats are bound to have some blisters here and there, the severity of which needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis, but for the most part I just consider it to be wear and tear and not something to stress about, unless they are over the size of a quarter or there are a large quantities of them.

What I am seeing now is three and four year old, reputable brand name boats, with severe osmosis, with the problems being acknowledged by the manufaturers! They even help foot the bill for the dusty, labourious job of stripping down the gelcoat and applying an epoxy finish to protect the fiberglass. 

We have two booked in for this winter already, both boats are 2006 model years.

I could not believe how thin the gelcoat was on one of them, and can't help but wonder if this was the culprit of the early failure of the shiny gelcoat surface.


Fortunately for the boaters they won't experience any downtime, but still, I feel for them.




Look for our new sign just west of the Canadian Tire in Fenelon Falls


Thanks to our IT guy John Butterill for the wonderful photograph of his Peterborough canoe. For a picture to blow up this size it had to be a high resolution shot, and with his background being a professional photographer, I knew he could dig up the perfect image.

Its rare in a family business to have all minds agree on something but in this case thats what happened!

Also thanks to Alain and Kathy (oh and Chuck...can't forget Chuck!) at Cardinal Signs for doing such a great job for us! Its great to work with you guys. We've come to know them quite well over the years, its amazing that they can recreate a decal on a 1950's boat just by me taking a photograph of the color difference on the planks