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Mackinaw Boat

Mackinaw Boat Canada Postage Stamp
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Mackinaw Boat
Date of Issue
November 18, 1977
Postal Administration
Ships of Canada, Sailing Vessels
Series Time Span
1975 - 1978
Perforation or Dimension
12 x 12.5
Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.
Designed by Tom Bjarnason. Engraved by Yves Baril.
About Stamp
No matter what Hollywood says about the computer, a sailing vessel still comes closer to being alive than any other inanimate object. Such craft inflame our passions despite the well-known rigours of seafaring life. Thus the hardships as well as the beauty and elegance associated with sailing are a precious part Canadian tradition. Sometime in the 1870's, a man from the Atlantic Coast named Carmichael turned up in Collingwood, Ontario. He ordered a ketch-rigged, double-ended, clinker-built vessel in the 25- to 35-foot range - a new type of craft to the Georgian Bay area. The Mackinaw boat, as it came to be known, impressed the locals and became popular in the remote fishing camps of Lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior and even Lake Winnipeg, Hudson Bay and the Fraser River. One captain stated that "properly handled, there is no type of boat made in the same class..." to rival the seaworthiness of the Mackinaw. Perhaps this is why some people used it as a nineteenth century version of the family car. Tom Bjarnason's design for this sailing vessel stamp continue the pattern established in our two previous ships issues. By focusing on the ships alone, his colour wash and line drawing has captured the essential grace and elegance of this hard-working vessel and present a visually interesting interplay of sail patterns and rigging detail. The people on the vessel give it a sense of proportion and aliveness. These ships show us that their builders' attention to function and utility has not ruled out beauty and elegance of design.
Canada. Post Office Department. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1977.
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