Feb 28, 2019
Sandy Kennedy and his model outboards
It all began for Sandy Kennedy in the 196’s growing up in Prince Edward Island. Sandy worked on the family farm that overlooked Charlottetown Harbour and had a non-stop view of boats cruising by. Ironically, his family never owned a boat. As his father, Keith, would often say “That is where the fish live (pointing at the water) and this is where we live (pointing at the ground.”)
However, Sandy’s friends and their families owned fishing boats, sail boats, power boats and water ski boats. This triggered his life long fascination with boating and its unique history in Canada.
After purchasing the family cottage on Gloucester Pool in South Muskoka in 2001, his fascination blossomed into an overwhelming passion for antique outboard motors, classic wooden boats and nautical memorabilia. Sandy bought his first antique outboard motor, a 1957 green Johnson 5hp, at an antique show in 2001. Like a proud parent with their new born child, he brought it back to the cottage and immediately began restoring it and was successful in getting it running. Soon after, he joined the antique outboard motor club (MLAOC.ca ), began attending their numerous events and purchasing more treasures.
After running out of storage space in the basement and garage of the family home, he built the current home of the Kennedy Marine Motor Museum at his cottage in 2003. It houses the majority of his collection including 100+ restored marine motors, both in-board and out-board, ranging from 1910 up to the 1960s. Furthermore, it contains an extensive collection of original sales brochures, parts catalogues, vintage photos, race trophies, old dealer signs, antique marine oil cans, rare shipping crates and other boating memorabilia.
Sandy bought his first vintage wooden boat, a 21’ Hacker Craft ) in 2005 and then upgraded to a 28’ mahogany Gentlemen’s Racer “ Nuisance ” that he still uses as his daily driver. Sandy is a member of the Antique and Classic Boat Society – Toronto ( ACBS.ca ) and is on the executive of the Maple Leaf Antique Outboard Club ( MLAOC.ca ).
Antique marine motors and wooden boats fit perfectly into the cottage lifestyle and are, as Kennedy says, a window to the past. Early motors were primary made of heavy brass and iron but display an era of engineering that has long since evolved into the mass produced clones of today. Similarly, wooden boats showcase craftsmanship and character that may not perform as well as today’s models but look and feel like nothing else on the water.
Some people have suggested that Kennedy suffers from some unusual marine version of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. His take on it is that he is merely the custodian of an amazing collection of cast-a-ways, flea market purchases, barn finds and junk yard rescues that tell the rich story of Canada’s boating history. Donations of older unwanted marine motors are always welcomed by Kennedy. His goal is to educate the public on the evolution of motorized boating over the last 100 years and to attract more people into the hobby.
Sandy will be having an open house at his museum on Saturday, July 20th, 2019. The museum has not been open to the public in several years, don’t miss this rare opportunity to meet Mr. Kennedy and see one of the largest marine motor collections in Canada!
This multi club event will also feature an in-water tour of Gloucester Pool and is located just 30 minutes North of Barrie ( 90 minutes North of Toronto ). Gloucester Pool offers wonderful small craft boating, the always popular “ Big Chute ” marine railway lock ( see photo ), great on-water restaurants, a choice of accommodations to fit all budgets, free boat launching in Port Severn and ( for the more adventurous ) is only one lock to Georgian Bay. Please visit ACBS.ca for more details.
(above left) a very rare, early 1900’s Waterman four cylinder, copper jacket cooling, in board motor.
(above right) Big Chute
The Kennedy Marine Motor Museum open house will begin at 8m on Saturday, July 20th ( rain or shine ).
For further details please contact Sandy Kennedy at SandyBrampton@gmail.com or 416-230-1700