The History of “Lightning”

Lightning on display

“Lightning” is a 9 ft. Yellow Jacket built by Christie Armstrong and Michael Cochrane, shop instructors, at Camp Hurontario in 1952-1953. Originally powered by a 1953 Johnson 10 hp, she ran between the main camp and Phil Jo, an island just south for CITs and counselors.

In 1958 she was purchased by Steve Wace, and powered by a Mercury Mark 10. She tore about Lake Joseph, Muskoka, where she was able to attain speeds of approximately 32 mph!

Steve’s father, sick of the noise, insisted he sell “Lightning” in 1959, which he did. The new owner was Mr. David Barber of Wegamind Island, Lake Joseph who bought “Lightning” for his sons John and David (aged 8 and 6 at the time).

Twenty-five years later, Steve approached the Barbers to see if they would be willing to sell “Lightning” back to him for his son, Ross (then aged 8). After consulting with John and David, they agreed that it would be nice to see it back with Steve and his son.

Lightning now

Following a major restoration, and powered by a new Mercury 10 hp, Ross spent many hours racing through the waters of Little Lake Joseph and Lake Joseph.

The latest restoration, started in 2005, included a new deck, paint, varnish, graphics and saw the addition of a 1952 Mercury Super Hurricane KG-7 for power. This engine while listed as 10 hp, really puts out more like 16 — 18 hp and with its 7 3/4″ x 11″ bronze prop can reach speeds up to 48 mph!

Ross plans to pass “Lightning” on to his son Davis (now aged 4!) in due course!

“Lightning” has become part of the Wace Family providing hours of enjoyment both on the water and in its care and maintenance.