Stan became a boatbuilder officially in the 1980s but his experience with the finest boats of Muskoka is deeply embedded in his DNA.
Stan Hunter’s great-grand-parents arrived on Lake Muskoka in the 1880s.
In 1900, they built a cottage which remains in the family to this day. Stan came early to wooden boats, as a young child helping to maintain the family’s 1933 Ditchburn “Evangeline” (purchased new by his grandfather).
As a teenager Stan worked as the caretaker on a neighboring island, where, under the tutelage of a retired boatbuilder from Greavette’s (a well known Gravenhurst boat manufacturer), he kept a fleet of 17 antique boats in tip-top condition.
After earning his B.A. at York University, Stan returned to Muskoka full time and began carrying out wooden boat repairs for Clift’s Marine.
As an apprentice of Ron Butson at Butson Boats Ltd., he learned the traditional crafts of woodworking, rebuilding and refinishing Muskoka boats.
In 1985, Stan starting building his own boats from scratch and never looked back. Stan has lovingly restored many of the wooden beauties you see on the Muskoka Lakes and Georgian Bay today — and beyond. Some boats restored by Stan have homes in the U.S.
On opening his own shop, Stan has employed several Muskokans, two of whom became apprentices in his shop and are still employed as successful boatbuilders in Muskoka today.
In 2012, Stan’s son Crossley became Stan’s newest apprentice.
Stan’s love of classics extends beyond the water: He is a tenor in the classical choir, The Cellar Singers, and is working with a filmmaker to chronicle the building of one of his boats as a personal Opus, set to the music of Mozart.
Boatbuilding a family affair: Stan’s youngest daughter gets into the swing of things in the boat shop, too. In the picture at right, Kismet helps plug the new boat under the watchful eye of big brother Crossley.