Early 1940’s Peterborough 18′ Zephyr Deluxe Restoration Project
Growing up in the 1960’s, we spent our summers at the family cottage on Gloucester Pool, Ontario. Our boat at the time was a Peterborough 18′ Zephyr Deluxe double cockpit mahogany runabout. The boat was unceremoniously retired when I was approximately 10 years old, replaced by a newer Hunter wood boat and then by a Hunt 18 fibreglass boat, which is still in service today. The Peterborough was left abandoned for a few years, until I eventually claimed it as my own as a teenager. Since then, I have dragged it around with me over the years, always with the intention of eventually restoring it. On numerous occasions On numerous occasions I have been urged by friends and family to donate it to the campfire, but I held my ground.
The boat is not what people visualize when you mention Peterborough, which is widely perceived as a functional cedar strip utility runabout. The Zephyr Deluxe is carvel planked in mahogany, having a double cockpit, barrel back design, with the aft deck tapering down to approximately 12″ high at the transom. The boat is reported to have been designed for Peterborough by Earl Barnes. To the best of my knowledge, it is the last one of this model in existence.
Finally in 2005, after years of urging from Eric Seepa of Classic Boat Restorations, I took the boat to Eric’s shop in Orillia to start the project, with the agreement that I would do the majority of work under his expert supervision.