Tag Archives: Lake Muskoka

Soon to be sailing in Muskoka again. New launching of old catboat.

Steve with "Dartry" at Muskoka Wharf


We brought a sailboat in need of restoration, back with us from Maine some 5 years ago. Today she was officially launched in Lake Muskoka at the Muskoka Wharf. Previously, and still currently named Dartry, she will be re-named Swell for the 2012 sailing season.

We first discovered these wonderful boats while living in Massachusetts. Known as a catboat in New England, these were the working boats in the 1800’s.  Typically using one large gaff-rigged sail, these wide beamed boats – ours is 18 ft. long and almost 9 ft. wide – had lots of room for the work at hand. They were used to unload cargo from much larger sailing vessels, to get good to and from shore. Catboats were also the fishing boats of the time, used for swordfishing, lobster traps, scallops, etc.

As you can see, the mast has not been raised yet so we planned to motor – there is a 4-stroke outboard built into a motor well – from Gravenhurst to Indianhead marina on Lake Muskoka.

Our timing was great and Cath caught a picture of the Segwun just as we both approached the Narrows from opposite directions. We exchanged greetings: two toots from the wonderful steam whistle on the Segwun and two dings from our bronze bell.

Although the weather was mostly overcast, our trip up Lake Muskoka was beautiful. Both the air and the lake were warm and the sun was beginning to dip below the cloud in places.

After five years of on-again, off-again restoration, this was truly a joyful trip. I did not know for sure if there would be leaks somewhere, so I was happy that I had given work on the bilge pump a high priority on the worklist; we made it with a dry bilge.

Mast still on cradle, but the boat arrives at Indianhead