The Disappearing Propeller Boat

Popularly known as the Dispro, or Dippy, this small boat was first built on this site in 1916 by the Disappearing Propeller Boat Company Limited. Also manufactured elsewhere in Ontario and briefly in the United States, more than 3,000 were built and sold around the world when production ceased in 1956. Boat builder W.J. Johnston Jr. and machinist Edwin Rogers invented a device that allowed the propeller and shaft to be retracted manually or automatically into a protective housing while the engine was still running. This patented design offered protection from rocks just below the surface in lakes of the Canadian Shield. Built in several models ranging from 16 feet to 19 feet (4.9 metres to 5.8 metres), the boats were constructed of overlapping cypress planks fastened to steam-bent oak ribs. Most were powered by single cylinder, 3-horse power engines. Simple, versatile and durable, these boats were a common sight on Muskoka lakes. Dispros have made a unique contribution to North American pleasure-boating history.


Located roadside in front of 95 Joseph Street in Port Carling.

Region: Central Ontario

County/District: District Municipality of Muskoka

Municipality: Township of Muskoka Lakes