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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






wooden boat expo ad

(Clayton, NY) - Antique Boat America/ Antique Boat Canada announced today that they will be hosting the 2013 Wooden Boat Expo and Seminar Series. The first installment of the event will be held in Kingston, Ontario, Canada on April 5th and 6th 2013 on the shores of beautiful Lake Ontario and will be co-hosted at the Maritime Museum and the Steam Pump Museums in Kingston. The Expo will bring together the most notable guest speakers in the wooden boat market today. 

This event has established itself as a foundation of education and industry partnership and these factors continue to drive its growth. We expect these 3 days to be informative, educational and invigorating said Peter Mellon, President of Antique Boat America.
A first class educational line up will be the key feature of the Expo and will include a full slate of educational sessions and presentations.
Of special interest will be stream of Canadian themed presentations which include but will not be limited to the following:

  • Dream Boats of Muskoka
  • Ditchburn Boats
  • Boatbuilders of Muskoka
  • History of Greavette and Barnes Boats
  • The history of Minett and Minett-Shields
  • Shepherd Boats
  • Peterborough Boats
  • Canadian Boatbuilders of the 1000 Islands
  • History of Hutchinson Boats

Feedback from previous events has helped design the format for this Expo and Seminar. As in the past we have worked very hard to design this event based specifically on what the attendees have been requesting, explained Peter Mellon, President of Antique Boat America. We believe, that we are bringing to the Antique Boat Community a series of presentations that will educate and enlighten and are very excited to present this world class lineup of speakers and topics.
The City of Kingston, Ontario will serve as the perfect backdrop and the Maritime Museum and Steam Museum has graciously offered to host this event and open their doors to their facilities and exhibits.
The Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Kingston, Ontario will be our host hotel providing accommodations as well as hosting the evening activities. When making reservations please use the code “Wooden Boat Expo” for the special rate by calling 613-544-4434.
We expect this to be the one of the most significant events of the year related to the hobby of Antique and Classic boats said Mr. Mellon.
To register, or for further information, contact or call 800-675-4089. Registration and further details may also be found by visiting