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issue 4 summer 1984Looking Back

Issue 4 was the first Classic Boat to have a colour cover. It was the first Boat show issue. Have a look at the articles in the accompanying PDF 

(Harold & Lorna, Rainbow IV )

By Joe Fossey Sr.   Link to video of Joe's Original COD" Miss Highland"


Canadian One Design Class. Racing Inboard Runabout.
Designed by Earle C. Barnes, N.A.
Toronto Ontario Canada Circa 1950.
Length 15 ft. Beam 5 ft. 7 in. Minimum Racing Weight 1200Lb.

The purposes of the Canadian One Design was for a low cost Racing Inboard Runabout Class, that was specifically-designed to provide a simple and affordable inboard racing boat. It was an ultra competitive class of boat that could be easily home built and raced by the average working man or non- professional boat builder and racing enthusiast.cod bow dwr

During their 15 year tenure with the Canadian Boating Federation, the Canadian One Design (short formed to C.O.D.) became one of the most popular inboard racing boats in Canada. Statistically almost 100 of these were built. The original motor selected for power was the popular and then readily available stock Ford V/8 flat head automobile engine of 239 cu. in. displacement. These motors were later allowed to use racing cams, racing pistons, dual point distributors etc. The rules eventually were altered further, to allow stock 283 cu. in. Chevrolet and 292 cu. in. Ford overhead valve motors to be used.

By the nature of their simple design and some owners "home-build" interpretive boat building skills, many of the C.O.D.'s built were not exactly "pretty or beautiful racing boats" to look at such as "Baby Bootlegger" or the "Miss Canada" series. They were all quite rugged looking, with reliability and safe performance being the most desired feature.

There were a few real show boats built for the class by recognized Canadian boatbuilders. Several had gleaming mahogany decks with sculptured fiberglass cowlings and dashboards filled with expensive gauges etc. Strangely, few of these ever became race winners or even consistent high performers? The old adage remembered of "built for show and not to go" rings in our ears.
An interesting technical point is that original class rules required these boats to be made of "good one side" marine fir plywood. At that time, good one side meant just that, no factory surface repairs or patches to the good side? This year after weeks of futile searching in marine and specialty lumber yards it could not be located anywhere, therefore the necessary deck replacement was made with common G.I.S. 1/4 "mahogany plywood.

"Skylark" was a tough competitor and after a few seasons of fine tuning became runner up, then captured the Canadian one Design National High Point Trophy for four years 1960,1961 & 1963,1964. She was withdrawn from competition, after some C.O.D. owners were able to promote (by a very narrow margin) the use of expensive overdrive gear boxes and repositioned the motor to a rear V drive configuration. Trying to make these boats into California style Drag Racing boats, caused the prohibitive and costly end to this competitive "working man's" racing boat class.
Originally built Circa 1954 in the basement of Lloyd A. Smith in Highland Creek Ontario. Lloyd Smith a tool and die maker by trade was introduced to the C.O.D. class by being the riding mechanic for brother in law Joe Fossey sr., in Joe's high point winning boat " Miss Highland". Not satisfied with flying in the right seat as the co- pilot, Lloyd decided to build his own boat and offer some real competition for the class
"Skylark" was restored for the 2012 boat show by Joe S.Fossey of Washago, Ontario, with joe Fossey Sr. of Barrie On. as the acting crew chief and advisor.

"Skylark" bears the usual visual "scars" and structural repairs caused by many years of fast competitive racing. In striving to remain "high point" winner, it often means hasty weekly damage control repairs to stay in the running. This boat has also had an engine change up to the stock 283 cu. in. Chevrolet motor, which leaves many extra holes and notches in the stringers.

"Skylark" was stored for about 25 years and made one brief appearance at the 1984 A.C.B.S. Toronto Chapter Gold Cup Race boat event. At that time a bottom frame let go in very rough water loosing some plywood. This embarrassment severely tested the boats floatation material again plus Lloyds ability to swim. The bottom was repaired again after that unfortunate incident.
There is little doubt that the Canadian One Design class was originally inspired by the very popular American "Crackerbox" class, racing in the American Powerboat Association. These boats Doing naturally "Wild and Woolly" always put on a great show on the rough water courses usually spending more time "in the air, than on the water".

cod plan
Thanks for reading a little reminiscence about our past boat racing experiences We think unforgettable class of One Design "Workingman's, race boat". It is not likely that we will ever see this type of competition again.
Joe Fossey Sr.

Joe wrote a book on the history of the COD you can get it from Joe. He is in our Directory.






                     John Hendren "Joker"                                                       Joe Fossey JR. "Skylark


new interpretation of cod

New interpretation of COD built by Clarion Boats