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Thousand Islands Boating – water taxi and Calumet Island Marina

June 6, 2018 by Mike

How do you get to your family’s boat if you are in Clayton and the boat is at Calumet Island Marina?  Oh, and it’s the 1960’s… Well, you call the marina and ask Rollo or Betty Weeks to come get you!  Reliably week after summer week for years that’s what played out for families harbored at Calumet.  The island used a Danish-built Coronet and you could see it pop out of the right side of the island and speed across the river, docking in Clayton where the canon and loop driveway would meet the river.  The Coronet was fiberglass over wood construction, very sturdy.

"Calumet Island Orange" ferry boat used in the 60's

1000 Islands “Calumet Orange” ferry boat used in the ’60s

I recall one night we got to Clayton late and the wind had whipped the waves into whitecaps.  When Rollo brought the boat to Clayton, occasionally the waves crested over the dock and we had no idea how he would get the boat near enough for us to load bags and get aboard.  But he was a master and brought her alongside, timing everything just right and before long the line was slipped off the cleat and we were away!  That was not the smoothest ride over to Calumet thanks to mother nature, but safely done!

That Coronet ran with various size engines over the years, mostly of the Gale line.

Let’s look a little deeper, though – what is a Danish Coronet?  It was one among many variants built in Denmark by Botved Boats from the 1950s to the 1980s.  The Calumet Island Coronet appears to be either a 16-foot convertible or, more likely, the 18-foot hardtop seen here.

Can you add more to this?  If you know anything about the Coronet Boats and can add some detail about the one used at Calumet Island Marina, leave a comment below!

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