Dad bought his first Seabee in 1949 - traded a tired J-3 and $500 dollars for it. Dad had planed on reselling the Bee at a profit. However, he could not part with it after flying it home. I guess I come by my love of the Bee honestly. We purchased our present Bee in 1969. It was sitting derelict on the shores of the Hamilton Bay. It was a sad case. Damaged by the winds & vandalized by local kids, it definitely needed a new home. This Bee was strictly a flying boat. The landing gear had been stripped out - including all the hydraulic lines! The Bee had been operating in the north country supporting a hunting & fishing camp. Every panel on our Bee has a story to tell.

We hauled the Bee home on a trailer behind my brothers 1968 Dodge Charger & put it back into flying service. We operated on a limited budget, & did only what was necessary for safety. Basic VFR panel, no radios or navaids, original Republic interior. Fortunately Dad was a talented mechanic & excellent scrounger. He even found everything necessary to reinstall the landing gear. We flew the Bee 22 August 1971.

Brian at 18 Months in front of Dad's<br>1st seabee. CF-DJV
Brian at 18 Months in front of Dad's
1st seabee. CF-DJV

Like Dad, I always figured we would fly the Bee for a while & then sell it. That was over 30 years ago! The Bee really spoils you for flying most other light planes. The only downside to the Bee was the Franklin. The Bee has a large cabin, & the Franklin is only 215 H.P. It is an easy plane to overload. Franklin reliability was a constant concern. You really had to enjoy getting you're hands dirty on a frequent basis & maintain a good supply of spare parts.

If you go for a ride in a Bee, be careful. Seabee fever is contagious & it can be very difficult to cure.

Gold Rock Lodge, Norland, Ont.
Gold Rock Lodge, Norland, Ont.
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