Bimby is a 26 foot Minet launch that is one of the more challenging restorations I’ve undertaken . The first time I saw her she was an interesting runabout with a sloping windshield and a marinized flat head Ford V8 for power , but there was something about the boat that prompted me to do a bit of research and investigation . The boat had started life as a long deck launch in 1916 at Harraby point on lake Rosseau . Sometime in the 1940’s the boat caught fire and sank . The salvage was purchased and the remains repaired and converted to a runnabout by Norm Strip in Windermere , who used it for several years .
Over the years I had worked on a few early Minet launches and the front twelve feet of the hull was pretty much un-changed ,most likely the front of the boat sank while the back was still burning and extinguished the fire , preserving the bow. It was evident from the shape that a lot of liberties had been taken with the re-creation of the aft section of the hull after the fire . I had taken the lines off of two Minets that were previously in my shop, so I had the information to re-construct the hull . With the help of the owners of two other similar launches I was able to get enough information to re-construct the interior and replicate some of the missing hardware . The restoration was completed over about 4 years between other jobs . I still remember looking at the stem and realizing that it was steam bent out of a 2 inch thick piece of white oak . I don’t think there are many Minets left that still have a steam bent stem . —That was the first thing that I did . The rest of the boat grew from there