Video: Couple Soupes Up Swan Boat With Sea-Doo Parts


You’ve probably seen them before; the fiberglass motorized swan-shaped boats that starry-eyed lovers rent to meander around the lake. Well, one of the iconic swans from the former Rainbow Valley has traded in its leisurely ways for some higher horsepower action in New London Bay, on the Canadian island’s northern shore.

Previously powered by an electric trolling motor, the swan boats operated via an on-off button and topped out at about half a kilometer an hour. Clearly that wasn’t enough for Ellen Clarke and Steve Smith who contacted Clark Waite to build something a little more aggressive for his friends. The end result is a Swan boat with a complete Sea-Doo hull and Rotax motor capable of reaching speeds as high as 37 miles per hour (with seating for four).

Named “Birdie,” the concept came to Ellen’s brother Pierce Clarke last year. The couple joked that they needed a boat to go with a cottage they had just finished. The joke soon evolved into them needing a swan boat. Taking the joke to heart, Waite found a swan boat that was being sold by a man who purchased it from Rainbow Valley, and went to work.

The transformation took about 10 months and more than $10,000, as the boat’s structure had to be re-fiberglassed, as it was cut into five pieces and remolded back together.

“They’re all laughing and yelling. Especially all the people we see out on the boats. And even people when we go under the bridge are stopping on the bridge and looking over the bridge and everybody’s got their phones,” Clark said in an interview with CBC News.

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.

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