Penticton owner of classic boat looking for new owner, just in time for summer | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton owner of classic boat looking for new owner, just in time for summer

The Classic 1948 Duke 'Playmate' model wooden boat.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Christa-Lee McWatters
April 16, 2021 - 7:00 AM

This week’s sunny skies and warming temperatures might have Kamloops and Okanagan residents’ thoughts straying to summer days cruising on a local body of water.

If so, Okanagan resident Christa-Lee McWatters has a boat deal for you.

She has a 1948 Duke 'Playmate' model wooden boat for sale, owned by her late father, Okanagan wine legend Harry McWatters.

The boat comes from the historic Duke Boats facility in Port Carling, Ontario, in the heart of Muskoka lakes cottage country.

McWatters says the boat was purchased by her father around 20 years ago from a Prince George owner.

The Duke 'Playmate' is a piece of classic wooden boat history.
The Duke 'Playmate' is a piece of classic wooden boat history.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Christa-Lee McWatters

“It’s a relative rarity on this side of the Rockies. My dad’s and my interest comes from the boat’s ties to his family. Duke Boats was once owned by my grandmother’s uncle and dad spent many summers in Port Carling where they also owned the Port Carling Hotel. It was a special place for my dad, and when he found this boat he wanted it. He was very into history, genealogy, that sort of thing,” Christa-Lee says.

She says she would like to keep the boat for sentimental reasons, but has no room to store it.

“It’s currently in the winery warehouse and we’re about to bottle product so we need to move it out,” she explains.

The boat has a 50-horsepower inboard Buchanan Midget motor and has been completely refurbished with red cushioned seats, a trailer and boat cover. The wood has been refinished and chrome hardware is all in good shape. The boat has been stored indoors for the past 12 years.

Christa-Lee says the boat would be ideally suited to the region’s smaller, calmer lakes.

“I don’t know if I would take it out on Okanagan Lake myself. It can get very rough, very quickly,” she says.

The boat is being offered for sale for $15,999.

The Duke 'Playmate.'
The Duke 'Playmate.'
Image Credit: SUBMitTED / Christa-Lee McWatters

The Duke Playmate model first began production in 1933, with the last one built in 1953.

“Dad was definitely fascinated by this old boat. It provided him with ties to his youth, growing up, and ties with his family,” Christa-Lee says.

Duke Boats continues to operate in Port Carling, where the business began in 1924. The Muskoka area is famous for its wooden, mahogany-built boat business, where names like Duke and Greavette are synonymous with the classic wooden inboard runabouts that are still quite commonly seen on the three main Muskoka Lakes every summer.

For more details, see the B.C. Boats Facebook page.

The classic boat is powered by an inboard Buchanan Midget engine.
The classic boat is powered by an inboard Buchanan Midget engine.
Image Credit: SUBMitTED / Christa-Lee McWatters

Duke Boats

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