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The MLA Antique Boat Show began in 1971 and has been held bi-annually since, honouring boats that have been built in Muskoka or have spent most of their life in Muskoka waters. This show is a tribute to our Muskoka boat building heritage. The boat show will next be held in 2024.


Upcoming events

Join us in Port Carling on August 10th for this year’s MLA Antique Boat Show, celebrating the Roaring '20s!

The highlight of the show will be Whippet, a 1925 Ditchburn Gentleman’s Racer owned by Peter Herrmann. Originally built for Ewart McLaughlin of General Motors fame, Whippet boasted a powerful Hispano-Suiza engine, winning numerous awards in local Muskoka regattas. McLaughlin sold the boat in 1931, and it journeyed through various owners before returning to Lake Rosseau in 1972, when McLaughlin’s grandson acquired it at auction. Herrmann, who purchased Whippet in 2010, has since outfitted it with a 625hp Ilmor V-10 engine.

Whippet will be one of over 60 boats displayed at the docks in Port Carling on August 10th. Attendees can admire other boats from the 1920s and an impressive collection of Muskoka-built boats from the early 1900s through the 1960s. 

The event will also feature live music, demonstrations of Sea Fleas to inspire the younger crowd, and a vintage outboard motor display by the Maple Leaf Outboard Club.

This show offers a unique opportunity to learn about these magnificent vessels. Engage with current owners who are eager to share the stories and history of their boats. With continued care, these boats will continue to tell the tales of Muskoka’s Golden Age of Boat Building for generations to come.

The MLA Antique Boat Show, a bi-annual event established by the late Bob Purves, honors boats built in Muskoka or those that have spent most of their lives in its waters. The show runs on Saturday, August 10th, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Admission is free. Don't miss this chance to step back in time and celebrate maritime history!


The theme was Moving Forward and featured a selection of beautiful 1930s boats. 1930 turned out to be a pivotal year in boat designs. In Muskoka, the heritage of long deck launches with vertical windshields and a steering station located midship and behind the engine hatches gave way to “forward drive” configurations with steering ahead of the engine and behind stylishly sloping windshields. Some owners actually had their old-fashioned launches converted to “forward drive” which helped to kept boatbuilders busy through the depression.

This years poster featured Caprice, a unique 26’ triple cockpit MinettShields built in 1936 and featured at the New York Boat Show in the same year. Caprice is owned by Jonathon Blair who acquired it from his Grandfather, Alf Mortimer, founder and long-time proprietor of the Port Sandfield Marina.

Antique Boat Show Posters

Check out our online store if you are interested in purchasing an Antique Boat Show poster. We have posters dating all the way back to 1986!

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