May 9, 2019
Aykroyd Shop The Ackroyd shop stood next to the National Yacht Club at the foot of Bathurst Street

If there is an Ontario builder whose fame rests on the production of a single model of boat, it must be Aykroyd’s. That boat, their 14 ft sailing dinghy, became a beloved icon for countless amateur sailors. In 1943, not long before the shop closed, Aykroyd’s celebrated the launching of its 2,500th 14-footer. By itself, this dinghy accounted for about half of the company’s total output.


Aykroyd BoatThe legendary Ackroyd dinghy


Aykroyd’s got its start with Henry Aykroyd (1827-1890), who moved his family from Kingston to Toronto in 1868. With twenty years of boat building experience, he set up shop on the waterfront at the foot of Yonge St. Sometime around 1880, the shop was forced by construction to move to the foot of York St., where they built a two-storey boathouse, right next to the Queen City Yacht Club. Not long after, Henry’s son Maitland (1859-1950) joined the business and it became “Aykroyd & Son.” At this time they were making touring boats, rowboats and sailboats of various sizes. After Henry’s death in 1890, another of his sons, George (1864-1946), partnered with Maitland to form “Aykroyd Brothers.” In 1921 The business, which also rented boats, remained at this location until 1921, when it was moved to the foot of Bathurst St.


In the early 1890s, the Lake Sailing Skiff Association (LSSA) established a class of standardized 14ft sailing dinghy. By 1898, George Aykroyd had designed a boat to conform to this class, a gaff-rigged, lapstrake catboat. Available in both a racing and a recreational version, the latter was especially popular with cottagers and summer camps, and it sold well for decades. Even today, many of these boats have been preserved and remain in use.

Of the two brothers, George eventually became the more active in the business, and when Maitland retired in 1934 the name was changed once again, becoming simply “George Aykroyd.” Aykroyd’s was never a large operation; it normally employed only about five workers. Still, it remained successful and continued on until 1943, when George retired and sold the company assets to J.J. Taylor & Sons.
  
• Gerry Hatherley


Gerry Hatherley is a researcher and writer for the Archives at Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Centre. His main focus has been on the vintage boat builders of Muskoka. Gerry lives in Gravenhurst, ON, and has deep family roots in the region.

This article is the CYOB’s fifth in a series of articles and photos. The series is nine at the moment but Gerry is working on another six or seven. Other articles in the series include: 
Bastien Boats of Hamilton, ON


Grew Boats


Gidley Boats


Gilbert Motor Boat Company

Related Articles
Boatyards
  • 11 June 2019
  • By Ethan

Ontario Boat Builders: Cliffe Craft

Even as a teenager, Charlie Cliffe (1921-2017) was interested in building boats. In 1947, he went to work at Link Manufacturing in Gananoque, milling the planks and other components for their line...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
On the Friday before a weekend with a gorgeous forecast, I heard on the news that a boat had ...
A reader suggested we take a look at anchors. Anchoring seems simple enough. A weighted hook with a ...
If you’ve spent any time in a boat yard during spring commissioning season, you won’t find it out ...
As a busy marine mechanic, I tend to have the same or similar conversations often, and they’re ...
This time of year, great deals abound. That boat with the ‘for sale’ sign looks quite attractive. ...
For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...
I’ve had two emails over the past few weeks with a count-down to launch (47 days per the last ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...

Cables SecuredOn the Friday before a weekend with a gorgeous forecast, I heard on the news that a boat had exploded at a local marina; the boat’s operator was seriously injured. At the time, I heard that authorities were investigating and were attempting to determine the cause of the explosion and fire.

What would I do if an explosion occurs on a boat that I was working on? What was the cause? How could this happen?


 

 

Read more about Safe Starts............

 

  

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...
ILCA is seeking new builders to complement its existing network of manufacturers, the International ...
Nelson Gilbert (1854-1921) began building canoes in Brockville in the 1890s, a time when the sport ...
I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...

Beneteau Oceanis 30.1The Oceanis official US debut will be at the upcoming Newport International Boat Show in September and will be featured at the United States Sailboat show in Annapolis in October.

With an overall size under 30 feet and a light displacement of less than 8,805 lbs., the Oceanis is easily trailerable without a wide load permit. If you prefer to access your sailing grounds by canals and rivers, the lifting keel and rotating mast open a world of endless possibilities. Perfect for sailing on lakes or for coastal hopping, this new Oceanis is, nevertheless, a robust category B sailing yacht, fitted for offshore sailing. The smallest of the range offers the biggest choice of programs! 

Read more about the Beneteau Oceanis 30.1............................

 

Grady White Freedom 235 Dual ConsoleBy Jill Snider

Once again, I had the pleasure of joining CY’s test guru Andy Adams on a boat review. This time, out on Georgian Bay, we put the Grady White Freedom 235 Dual Console to the test. There are so many great things to tell you about this classic beauty.

Andy
If I were required to compare Grady White’s Freedom 235 Dual Console to an animal, I would tell you that she has the character of a Labrador Retriever. Here are a few reasons why...

Read More about the Grady White Freedom 235 Dual Console......................

Destinations

  • Prev
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...
If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you ...
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...


Coal Harbour MarinaVancouver is ranked one of the most liveable cities in the world. You can explore much of the cityscape by water and moor at several marinas. The city offers the marine visitor a panoply of fine dining, waterside pubs, shopping and cultural amenities.

English Bay and False Creek, one of the choice urban boating destinations in North America, bring you into the heart of the city. Good moorage and anchorages are available and there is lots happening both on the water and all along the shoreline.

 

 

Read more about Vancouver...........

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
The Seabin device part of the Oak Bay Marine Group trial, has had promising results so far while ...
When I took the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV down to Wednesday night racing, the people that came over ...
Protecting your boat from scratches and dents isn’t always easy. That’s why the Big Bumper Company ...
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Forespar has just introduced a new smaller size version of their ...
As boaters we all have a very unique connection to the water and all the opportunities it presents. ...
Edited by the Quebec Marine Association under the direction of L'Escale Nautique (producer of the ...
Blue Guard has announced the general availability of the BG-One, a solid-state bilge pump switch, ...
With the introduction of the Ion Power Basic, a safe Lithium Ion battery formulated with Lithium, ...
Finding a car brand that you enjoy while it does what you need can be tough, as they can be ...
Yikes! No boat refrigeration? You’ve Got to be Kidding me!! But then again, true campers don’t use ...