What Makes Up a Dippy?

This famous early Canadian power boat is generally known as the “Dippy “ or “Dispro” and was the brainchild of the late William J ‘Billy’ Johnston of Port Carling, Ontario, Canada. Mr. Johnston started working for his pioneer Muskoka boatbuilding uncle, William Johnston Sr. around 1900 and together they built many fine boats in the Muskoka area.

What’s the Device?

The ‘device’ consisted of a cast iron housing (later aluminum) mounted in the hull to accommodate a universal joint, propeller shaft, combination strut-skeg and the propeller. The motor was mounted forward and was coupled to a flexible propeller shaft which entered the housing through a stuffing box. In the largely uncharted and unexplored waterways of that day, this device was truly a safe way to get there with little or no damage if the propeller shaft skeg struck bottom or logs, etc.