Landmark boat moved to new home
After the sale of the family home on County Road 9, Todd Jardine new he would have to move the big boat from the side yard and he got to work on how to go about it.
The hull had been a curiosity for many in town, while others knew all about it and the lasting legacy of the builder.
The ship was a labour of love for Donald, or Doc Jardine as he was called, who lived in the stone house set back from the road with his wife Laura and two children, Todd and Londy.
Donald was from a long line of boat people, so sailing was in his blood. His father, Cap Jardine, was a chief engineer and his grandfather, Charles Beatty, was a captain. There was no doubt Don would follow in their footsteps, and he was on the water by the age of 13.
Londy said during her primary years her father would leave for months joining his crew on the large tankers, where he held the position of chief engineer. He sailed on the Great Lakes until 1969 when he went to work at the shipyards in Collingwood after Todd was born.
The ship started to take shape as steel plates were molded around steel ribs, which Todd said looked like a skeleton sitting on the lawn before it was covered. Both Londy and Todd recall seeing the blue glow of the welder lighting up the 60-foot hull from the inside as he worked at night.
While Donald was outside working on the troller, his friend was working on a wooden sailboat in the barn. Todd remembers his father and John Widdis sitting together at the kitchen table working out their designs. He said the construction was more of a journey, than a destination.
There has always been much community interest in the old rusty boat that has come to be recognized as a local landmark. Throughout the years Londy recalls the neighbours quipping about when the flood was happening?
Donald died in 2003 but left his mark on Creemore as the developer of Jardine subdivision at the top of town. He had an auto store on the corner where Jug City is now and he purchased the farm to the east from Billy Miller, which he later developed into the subdivision, where he had a dairy bar food stand and driving range.
“When I was a very small girl I told my mom that my dad could do ‘nothing’ but what I meant to say was my dad could do ‘anything’. Over the years this saying was more than true,” said Londy.
One might think the same of her brother as he was observed by passersby lifting the hull and affixing axles and tires salvaged from his neighbours at Steer so that he could tow it away soon after the closing date. It was after the death of Laura in 2020 that the house was sold and Todd decided to take the hull to his farm at Cashtown Corners.
The move was successfully executed this past Sunday.
“This last task, his last dream was not completed. But I don’t think it had to be. It was the process and the passion which was the joy he felt at that moment. Every weld that was made with precision. My Dad could do anything,” said Londy. “Dad’s boat will never be launched on the Great Lakes but Dad will see the bottle of champagne christened against her bow. You my dear Dad will always be anchored in our family’s hearts.”