Show theme invites people to consider the architecture of classic wooden boats

By Scott Dunsmoor

Every year the board at ACBS Toronto is challenged by the decision of determining the theme for the boat show. Recently we have attempted to extend this theme into the various events throughout the year as well.
This year’s theme is a little different.
In the past we have highlighted builders (Bert Minett, Shepherd, etc.), geographical areas (boats of Gravenhurst), boat types (hardtops, gentleman’s racers, outboards) and experiences (go-slow boating).
This year we have further extended our imagination by naming the theme “Fine Lines: Celebration of the design and documented preservation of vintage boating.”
We are very excited about the possibilities with respect to this theme in that it is open to a wide variety of interpretations. Allow me to establish an element of focus based on an understanding of its creation.
The initial idea came to us when I considered the extremely valuable resource that we have collected throughout the years: line drawings of some of the most beautiful boats that we have been privileged to share as a group with the owners – past and present. These line drawings represent a perfect record of these craft and will in all likelihood exist long after the boats themselves are shown at our events for all to marvel at.
From this initial idea our imaginations grew. One of our other valuable resources that should be recognized is the highly skilled men and women in the trade of wooden boat restoration – and more recently, boat building. Many of our advertising business partners have ventured into the world of boat building as part of their repertoire.
Their immaculate creations start in the same manner as the original vessels that we all admire – with the creation of line drawings. Of course, these line drawings are the valuable secrets of the different builders, but we hope that some of these craftsmen will be willing to share the stories regarding how these creations came to be – the motivations of the design, their influences, and the changes and revisions that were undertaken.
Many of our members will have similar stories. The experiences of so many of our members included kit boats that are built in garages with their kids – all from a set of line drawings and plans. Other members have undertaken a project to build a boat personally. One member actually researched and found plans for a race boat in the Smithsonian Museum, while other members had the plans developed using their own motivation of design, detail, function and power.
Part of every summer boat show is a wonderful collection of scale models of some of the most beautiful boats ever built. Many of these models were built from our collection of line drawings, while others were built after seeking the permission of boat owners to take the lines of the actual boats. These models are always a highlight of the boat show, and without the line drawings these incredibly accurate models would not be possible.
The possibilities seem to be endless. We have newly released line drawings to unveil at the summer boat show; we are ready to recognize and celebrate the beautiful work of our business partners as we highlight their replicas of the vintage craft that we all admire; we are excited about the stories that we will uncover from our membership and model boat builder friends. And the list just starts there. Enjoy the year of Fine Lines.
Scott Dunsmoor is the 2011 Theme Committee Chairman with ACBS Toronto.